HC Deb 14 October 1942 vol 383 cc1615-6
28. Mr. David Adams

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in the West Indies research is proceeding towards the preserving of the banana industry and also in connection with the production of sugar; and the respective sums allocated thereto?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

Considerable research is being, and has been carried on in connection with both the banana and sugar industries in the West Indies, and substantial sums have been expended on it both from public and private funds. The work is carried on in so many territories and with the co-operation of so many different agencies that considerable labour would be required to ascertain precisely what sums are devoted to these purposes, but my hon. Friend may be assured that these matters are regarded as of the first importance here and in the West Indies, and there is no danger that the work will be stinted through lack of funds.

Mr. Adams

Will a report be issued to Members in due course?

Mr. Macmillan

I will make whatever possible report I can. As my hon. Friend knows, I am always anxious to give information consistent with the difficulty of devoting a great deal of labour necessary to obtaining information from different sources.

Colonel Arthur Evans

Is It not a fact that all these subjects are under the constant review of the Tropical School of Agriculture in Trinidad, and would it not be possible to place the annual report of that body in the Library of the House?

Mr. Macmillan

Oh, yes, but I was asked to give such comprehensive figures that I was naturally concerned about the difficulty.