HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 cc1339-41
28. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will give any reliable statistics or estimate respecting the calorific value of food consumed by the average rural and urban

Mr. Creech Jones

With my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate a detailed answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I have assumed that the Question refers to the Executive and Legislative Councils of the four territories, but if my hon. Friend has any other bodies in mind I will obtain the information for him.

Mr. A. Edward Davies

Would the Secretary of State say whether it is the practice of his Department, or whoever is responsible, to consult the trade unions or other representative organisations of the natives in the territories concerned when nominations are considered?

Mr. Creech Jones

It is the practice of the Governors, in the case of nominated members of these bodies, to consult all organised sections of African opinion.

Following is the detailed answer:

male, female and child inhabitant, respectively, in any of the West African Colonies.

Mr. Creech Jones

Before any reliable estimate can be made dietary surveys must be carried out, and the nutritional values of many African foods must be further investigated. There are, in addition, wide variations in the food intake, not only in different areas, but at different seasons of the year. Work is at present in progress in the Gambia on the collection of data covering a one-year period with the object of providing more accurate knowledge on this subject.

Mr. Sorensen

Can the Secretary of State say when the information will be available because, in its absence, it is difficult to determine whether or not Africans are getting healthier.

Mr. Creech Jones

A very considerable amount of information has been collected over a period of years on the subject of nutrition. The working committee in Gambia have been operating there for nearly a year and we hope before long to know the results of their first experiments.