HC Deb 28 November 1951 vol 494 cc1502-3
27. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the compulsory cutting out of diseased cocoa trees was abolished in the Gold Coast; and what progress or the reverse has taken place since in preventing the spread of the disease in question.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Compulsory cutting out of diseased cocoa trees was suspended on 3rd April, 1951. The declared policy of the Gold Coast Government is to control swollen shoot disease at the earliest possible time. A new scheme of cutting out and rehabilitation grants was brought into effect on 1st September, and the Government are preparing to launch next January an intensive publicity campaign to secure the full support of the farming community. The new policy of the Gold Coast Government has not yet been in force long enough to become fully effective. Until the forthcoming campaign is over it will be impossible to assess the progress made.

Mr. T. Reid

Has the suspension of the compulsory cutting out led to an increase of the disease or not?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Undoubtedly it has in certain areas. I think the Gold Coast Government are fully conscious of this fact, and I think everybody will have been glad to have heard in his broadcast on 28th June the words of Doctor Nkrumah, when he said, "If there ever was a test of our fitness to control our own affairs this is it."