HC Deb 28 February 1951 vol 484 cc2078-9
19. Sir R. Acland

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now able, or expects shortly to be able, to make any statement about provisions for carrying on the research work formerly undertaken by the Medical Research Council into the social consequences of mechanised farming, the diseases of native villages and the potentialities of fertilisers in the Gambia.

Mr. I. Griffiths

The original scheme for the Nutritional Field Working Party, which operated at Benieri in the Gambia under the auspices of the Medical Research Council, ended on 31st December, 1950. The Governor of the Gambia has agreed that, with some shift of emphasis from nutrition to agriculture, the scheme shall continue under his general control and I am awaiting his detailed proposals.

Mr. Harold Davies

Will my right hon. Friend say why the scheme has been allowed to lapse—that is what it really means—why there is not more cooperation within the Colonial Office in providing information about the Nutritional Field Working Party Report, and what is going on at present in Fajara as well as Benieri in regard to this scheme?

Mr. Griffiths

Perhaps my hon. Friend did not grasp the import of my answer. It was that the Governor of the Gambia has agreed that with some shift of emphasis, the scheme shall continue, and I am awaiting the detailed proposals.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is it not a fact that a very large proportion of the findings of the Council would, if they had been applied to the poultry scheme in the Gambia, have prevented a great deal of the trouble which has arisen there?

Sir R. Acland

Will my right hon. Friend, in particular make sure that the work on the potentiality of fertilisers for tropical soils is continued and widely supported?

Mr. Griffiths

I will consider that. As I have said, I am awaiting the detailed proposals from the Governor. If my hon. Friend will put down a Question in a few weeks' time I will give him an answer.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is not the result of this research very valuable, and was it not completely ignored when the chickens and eggs scheme was started?

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