HC Deb 06 February 1947 vol 432 cc1958-9
52. Mr. Stanley

asked the Prime Minister whether he will inform the House of the division of responsibility between the Minister of Food and the Secretary of State for the Colonies under the East African Groundnut Scheme; and who is responsible for watching the interest of the colonial peoples in these areas.

The Prime Minister

The Minister responsible for the execution of the Groundnut Scheme described in Command 7030 is my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food. He will be responsible for the general control of the development of the scheme, including its finances, the appointment of agents and contractors, expenditure on the housing, health, welfare and education services provided for employees of the scheme, the provision of machinery, equipment, supplies and such new transport facilities as may be required, and for the disposal of the crops. Questions which hon. Members may desire to put on such matters should therefore be addressed to him. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies will be responsible for the more general effects of the Scheme on the territories concerned, and especially for the effects on the welfare of the Colonial peoples, the connection of the scheme with wider projects of development and the relationship of the Colonial Governments concerned to its management.

Major Cecil Poole

May I ask the Prime Minister if he would agree that if this scheme had been pressed forward by the Colonial Secretary and the Minister of Food in the Coalition Government, we might well have been reaping a handsome dividend from it?

Mr. Stanley

May I ask the Prime Minister if he is aware that we on this side were prepared to support this scheme without any idea of party advantage, and in view of that supplementary question, will he state to the House that in wartime conditions it would have been quite impossible to supply either the material or the labour which this scheme requires?

The Prime Minister

That is so. I did not intend to reply to a hypothetical question.

Mr. Ronald Chamberlain

May I ask whether the interests of the Colonial peoples will be safeguarded in any contract entered into?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir

Mr. Speaker

I would like to point out to the hon. Member who asked the first supplementary question that one of the first rules about supplementary questions is that imputations are out of Order.

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