HC Deb 10 November 1943 vol 393 cc1143-4
58. Sir Leonard Lyle

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in view of the fact that in 1942 His Majesty's Government made £1,350,000 profit by trading in cocoa, he can state the price paid to the producers in the West Indies and in West Africa, respectively?

Mr. Mabane

1.7 per cent. of cocoa purchased by my Department is from the West Indies, for which the price to the producer ranged in 1942 from £38 10s. to £89 10s. a ton according to quality and grade. West African purchases are made from the West African Produce Control Board, but I understand that the producers' prices were approximately £15 a ton on the Gold Coast and £14 10s a ton in Nigeria for the season ended 30th September, 1942.

Sir L. Lyle

Is this considered a remunerative price by the producers, and, if not, is it not a mistake to cut the price too low when our object is to improve conditions?

Mr. Mabane

The arrangement to reduce the price is a matter for the Colonial Office, and the Question should be addressed to the Secretary of State.