HC Deb 15 June 1944 vol 400 cc2110-1
9. Mr. Price

asked the Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the annual increase of population in India and the low standard of agricultural production over that continent threatening recurrence of famine, he has taken any steps to appoint personnel and set up departments under the Central Government of India which will draw up a plan of land reform and agricultural and scientific development in food production.

The Secretary of State for India (Mr. Amery)

The matters referred to by the hon. Member are primarily within the Provincial sphere. For co-ordination purposes however the Department of Education, Health and Lands has long existed at the Centre and has the assistance of the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research and the Nutritional Research Laboratory. A Food Department was set up in 1942. Land reform, agricultural improvement and scientific research are among the problems which the new Mem- ber of the Governor-General's Executive Council for Planning and Development will have to consider.

Mr. Price

Do I understand from that reply that the responsibility in a matter of this kind rests mainly with the Provincial Governments? Do not the Central Government recognise the urgency of raising the standard of agriculture in India, and do they not take full responsibility for taking the initiative in this matter?

Mr. Amery

All that is covered by the answer I have given.

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