HC Deb 02 February 1949 vol 460 c1665
24. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the lime tree disease called die-back is threatening the lime industry in the Gold Coast.

Mr. Creech Jones

Sample surveys conducted at six-monthly intervals over the last four years have shown a mortality rate from die-back of about 10 per cent. of the surviving trees every six months. Research on the disease, which is being vigorously conducted by the Gold Coast Department of Agriculture, indicates that sufficient resistance to ensure an economic crop may possibly be obtained by growing limes budded on rough lemon stock; rehabilitation measures have begun on this basis.

Mr. Reid

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether the remedy is not to cut out the trees as in the case of the coconut disease? If so, may I ask whether the trees are being cut out to save the industry?

Mr. Creech Jones

These steps are being taken. The Agriculture Department has the matter under its most vigorous attention and a plant pathologist is actually at work on the research necessary for saving these crops.