HC Deb 09 October 1946 vol 427 cc170-1
10. Mr. Rees-Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the concern felt by banana growers and exporters in Jamaica at the possibility of His Majesty's Government's guarantee to buy all Jamaican bananas terminating at the end of the year and of their desire to have an extension for another two years; and whether he will give the desired guarantee for this further period.

Mr. Creech Jones

The guarantee to which my hon. Friend refers was a wartime measure instituted to maintain the banana plantations at a time when exports were impossible. Exports have now been resumed and the necessity for this form of assistance to producers no longer exists. I am, however, considering with the Governor of Jamaica an extension of the wartime arrangements whereby all bananas are bought and marketed by the Jamaica Government.

Mr. Skinnard

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this statement of policy is a matter of some urgency, in view of the fact that thousands of small cultivators rely on bananas as their only cash crop?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir, discussions are being pursued.

Mr. Oliver Stanley

Do shipping facilities exist to bring the full Jamaica crop over here?

Mr. Creech Jones

At the moment, yes.