HC Deb 02 August 1944 vol 402 cc1378-9
43. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps have been taken in British Honduras to absorb in the economic life of that Colony the men who came to Britain to take part in the war effort; and whether, apart from road and relief schemes, any proposals for economic development and long term planning are being considered.

Colonel Stanley

Various plans for development have either been approved or are under consideration which will provide employment for those foresters who have not yet returned to the Colony and for the men recruited for the U.S.A. when they eventually return to the Colony. These include the construction of two roads of major importance, the development of the Belize airport and the Colonial Development and Welfare Scheme for the expansion of food production. Plans for the development of forestry supplies and for the utilisation of the fisheries are now under examination and the whole position has been under discussion with the Governor and Sir Frank Stockdale.

Mr. Creech Jones

Could my right hon. and gallant Friend say what is now being done in respect of the men who have already returned from this country to British Honduras; and further could he do something to expedite the soil and land survey, which is so important just now?

Colonel Stanley

With regard to the first part of that question, there is no unemployment now in British Honduras. There has recently been a large recruitment of foresters for the United States. With regard to the second part of the question, I agree that such a survey is needed. As soon as is practicable it will be obtained.

Mr. Riley

Under the proposal which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman is to consider, will there be a land settlement scheme?

Colonel Stanley

Part of it will be for forest holdings.