HC Deb 14 October 1942 vol 383 cc1614-5
24. Mr. Mathers

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies how far the Commission, headed by Sir Frank Stock-dale, has proceeded with its task in the West Indies; how many Reports have been received; whether these will be published at an early date with particulars of the action already taken upon their recommendations; and what other steps are contemplated to give effect to them?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

The Comptroller's organisation is making satisfactory progress with its task. Over a hundred reports have been received from the Comptroller, chiefly in support of particular proposals which have resulted in schemes under the Act, but including some general reports on different subjects. To publish all such reports would not, in the opinion of my Noble Friend, give information of the nature desired. A comprehensive report upon progress made since the Act came into force, together with the statutory annual return of schemes in respect of the year ended the 31st March, 1942, will, I hope, be laid upon the Table of the House in the near future. In regard to the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply circulated in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) on 8th October, 1941. I would add that difficulty in obtaining suitable staff and material, owing to war conditions, has inevitably delayed some of the schemes made under the Act.

Mr. Mathers

While thanking the Minister for his answer, may I ask for his assurance that all is being done that can be done to expedite progress in these matters?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir, we are pressing forward with the utmost expedition.