32. Mr. David Adams
asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether 739 he is aware of the urgent appeals of the people of Mosley Hall and Blackstonedge districts of Jamaica for improved roads, relief work, land settlement and medical attention; and what steps have been taken to meet these demands?
§ Mr. George Hall
My Noble Friend has no information regarding these appeals from the two villages referred to, but during the year 1940–41 major relief works were carried out in Jamaica to a total cost of £190,000, of which sum £163,000 was met by an Imperial grant. The needs of the places mentioned must clearly be considered by the Colonial Government in conjunction with those of the Colony as a whole.
Is the Minister aware that strong deputations have been sent to members of the Legislative Council asking for these works?
33. Mr. Adams
asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the urgent demand for working-class housing schemes in various areas of Jamaica; and whether this provision is an obligation upon the estate proprietors, or, if not, whether the Colonial Government propose to undertake this without delay?
§ Mr. Hall
Yes, Sir. I appreciate the need for these schemes. As regards the second part of the Question, so far as I am aware, there is no legal obligation on estate owners to provide accommodation for their employees. The question of improving housing conditions is receiving the attention of the Colonial Government and the Comptroller for Development and Welfare; but I fear that there may be serious difficulties of a practical nature during the war in working out and carrying into effect any far-reaching schemes.
Is the Minister aware that recent meetings of the sugar estate companies have called public attention to the urgent necessity of better housing in and about their estates and is not action in this matter urgently required?
§ Mr. Sorensen
Have the Colonial Office received any recent reports upon housing conditions, and will they be available to Members of this House?