HC Deb 23 June 1954 vol 529 cc408-9
6. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recent attention has been given to economic conditions in St. Vincent, in view of its problem of unemployment and the difficulty of finding markets for its produce.

Mr. Lyttelton

The St. Vincent Government have these problems very much in mind; they are taking measures to increase production and constantly seeking to widen the range of exports. Examples are the construction by Government of a new arrowroot factory and the development of the cocoa and banana industries.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that it is calculated that as many as 50 per cent. are out of work, and that much of the produce which they used to send to the Commonwealth and the West Indies cannot now be sent because of restrictive practices? Could not something be done at this end, financially or otherwise, to encourage the people in this island?

Mr. Lyttelton

I am advised that St. Vincent is not experiencing any particular difficulty in marketing its main crops of arrowroot, copra, cotton and sugar. The problem is that of increasing production. Several measures have been taken with regard to roads. The C.D. and W. grants and the bacon and ham factories also have the same object.