HC Deb 18 October 1950 vol 478 cc2034-5
34. Sir Herbert Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will ensure that there is a greater uniformity in the information supplied by the different Colonial annual reports.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The order of contents of the annual reports is already uniform, and guidance on the information it is desirable to include in each chapter has been given to colonial Governments, by whom the reports are prepared. Conditions vary so much from territory to territory that some freedom of treatment is unavoidable.

Mr. Braine

Is the Minister aware that some colonial reports do not give vital statistics, such as the infantile mortality rate or the birth rate, or even the degree of literacy, without which it is impossible to form an accurate picture of the economic and social conditions in the territory concerned?

Mr. Griffiths

Yes, Sir. We are examining, for future guidance, how these reports can be produced.

35. Sir H. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why there is now a long delay in publishing annual reports of individual Colonies.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Annual reports printed in the Colonies have to come by surface mail to the United Kingdom for binding and distribution. Delays in reports printed in the United Kingdom may occur from pressure of work in colonial secretariats and the Colonial Office and from printing difficulties. We do our best to hasten publication.