HC Deb 05 April 1944 vol 398 cc1989-90
25. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what machinery is being set up in the East African Colonies and Northern Rhodesia for planning development under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act; whether he is satisfied with the expenditure of only £120,000 in these territories since the Act became operative; and whether he will reconsider the establishment of special planning machinery for these territories on the lines of the Stockdale Commission in the West Indies.

Colonel Stanley

I am naturally anxious that as rapid progress as possible should be made with the preparation and submission of development schemes even if the present shortage of men and materials make their immediate implementation impossible.

In Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a joint development adviser has recently been appointed and each of the territories mentioned in the question, with the exception of Kenya, has set up a central committee to plan and co-ordinate development proposals. Although no such committee has as yet been established in Kenya, development plans are being considered through the ordinary machinery of government, and out of £666,000 so far approved for expenditure in these territories under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, £467,000 related to Kenya. I do not think that any advantage would be gained by adopting the proposal contained in the last part of the Question.

Mr. Strauss

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman satisfied that the organisations which are being set up are likely to be as effective as those which the Stockdale Commission recommended?

Colonel Stanley

Yes, Sir, in the different circumstances of East Africa. The hon. Gentleman will realise that in the Caribbean area we had to deal with a number of small Colonies which were not in a position to get the best expert advice. That is not so in East Africa.

Dr. Morgan

Will a report be available to hon. Members?

Colonel Stanley

Certainly, Sir. When anything is available, I will see that hon. Members receive it.