HC Deb 25 February 1953 vol 511 cc2070-1
9. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for how many years he estimates the Overseas Food Corporation is to be run at a loss; and whether he will now turn over the whole project to the Tanganyika Government or the East African High Commission to operate as a production and research unit, as most suitable to those on the spot.

Mr. Lyttelton

We must expect a yearly deficit, although, all being well, a decreasing one, until the end of the experimental period in September, 1957.

As regards the second part of the Question, the possibility of closer association between the Overseas Food Corporation and the Tanganyika Government it at present being considered, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will my right hon. Friend remember that many people feel that the sooner the onus for winding up this scheme and salving what is possible out of it is put on the authorities in East Africa the better?

Mr. Lyttelton

Yes, of course, but the question arises of on what terms the East African High Commission and the Tanganyika Government are willing to take it over. At present, it is doing useful work, not in production but in experiments on African farming.

Mr. J. T. Price

Since the right hon. Gentleman is now considering steps which constitute a certain measure of economic planning in this part of the Commonwealth, does he regard these measures also as merely "baloney "?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member is, as usual, somewhat misinformed on the matter. As far as I know it is no part of economic planning to make an annual loss.