HC Deb 21 May 1947 vol 437 cc2320-1
40. Mr. Harold Davies

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will give figures for banana production in Fiji over the last 10 years.

Mr. Creech Jones

With my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Davies

Do these figures show any drop in the banana production in Fiji? Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is need for an energetic atttack on the problem of the economic rehabilitation of Fiji at the present moment?

Mr. Creech Jones

Very careful consideration is given by the local Government to the future economic progress of Fiji. In reply to the first part of the question, there has been a considerable drop in the production of bananas, compared with the prewar years.

Following is the reply:

As part of the Fiji banana crop is consumed locally, and cultivation is carried on by numerous small-holders, exact figures of production are not available.

Export figures are as follow:

(cases of 90 lbs.):
1937 154,419
1938 158,195
1939 56,946
1940 90,290
1941 40,745
1942 91,662
1943 76,943
1944 36,667
1945 77,176
1946 87,439

During the war years the following bananas were supplied to the Armed Forces:

(cases of 90 lbs.):
1940 10,000
1941 20,000
1942 30,000
1943 50,000
1944 20,000
1945 20,000

Local consumption is estimated roughly at the equivalent of 50,000 cases per annum.