HC Deb 28 November 1951 vol 494 cc1501-2
26. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement upon the future of the Jamaican cigar industry, in view of the economic difficulties facing this country.

The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. 'Alan Lennox-Boyd)

I realise the importance of the cigar industry to the economy of Jamaica, and the Government are considering what can be done to assist it, consistent with revenue considerations and the international obligations entered into by the late Administration.

Mr. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that when they were in Opposition the Conservative Party often talked about helping these industries in the Empire, and that we are very happy that they are to make a start?

Mr. Nabarro

is it not a fact that the Jamaican cigar industry expects to sell practically the whole of its output in this country? Will my right hon. Friend take steps to exclude Havana cigars in favour of Jamaican cigars only?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As both the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) and my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) know, an Agreement has been signed with Cuba under which for the years 1952–53 a certain value of cigar imports will be taken. As I pointed out in my answer, this Agreement was entered into by the late Administration.

Mr. John Rankin

Can we be assured that the views the right hon. Gentleman expressed when he was on this side of the House will guide him in any action he may take with regard to the Jamaican cigar industry?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Member can be sure of that.

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