HC Deb 28 February 1951 vol 484 c2069
20 and 21. Sir Richard Acland

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he will expedite publication of the reports and balance sheets for the various commodity marketing boards operating in West Africa and Uganda for the year 1949–50; and whether, in advance of such publication, he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table giving approximate figures for the net credit balance earned by each on the year's working;

(2) whether he can publish approximate figures showing in 1950–51 an estimate of the credit balances likely to be earned by each of the produce marketing boards in West Africa and Uganda on the assumption that the present buying and selling prices are maintained and that the total crops for sale in 1950–51 are the same as those in 1949–50.

Mr. J. Griffiths

It rests with the boards themselves to publish their reports and balance sheets. I am asking the Governors concerned to inquire from the boards whether publication can be expedited. I should be reluctant to ask the boards to give any figures in advance, as they might later prove to be misleading.

Sir R. Acland

As it is certain that important policy decisions may depend upon having, in time, the best estimates that are possible about the way in which the finances of these boards are being used, may I ask my right hon. Friend once again to do his very utmost to make broad and general estimates of financial progress available to the House before Easter?

Mr. Griffiths

I appreciate the point, but as the responsibility for publishing the accounts rests with the boards I can only do what I am proposing to do, and that is to ask them to expedite publication.

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