HC Deb 13 May 1954 vol 527 cc1420-1
30. Mr. Brockway

asked the Undersecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make a statement regarding the future of the colonial development abattoir at Lobatsi, Bechuanaland.

31. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Undersecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, whether he will make a statement regarding the future plans for the Lobatsi abattoir of Bechuanaland.

The Under-Sccretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a similar Question by the hon. Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) on 29th April, 1954.

Mr. Brockway

Have there not been certain developments since that date, and has not Mr. William Rendell, the General Manager of the Colonial Development Corporation, met the European Advisory Council? Also, should there not fee discussions on this issue with the African farmers who are concerned?

Mr. Foster

I do not think there has been any development since 29th April. The local Administration and Her Majesty's Government will of course consider all the interests involved. The issues are very complex and I quite agree with the hon. Member that they must be seriously considered.

Mr. J. Johnson

Can the Minister confirm or deny the suggestion that neither the Union of South Africa nor Southern Rhodesia will be taking meat in future from this abattoir at Lobatsi and that this is leading to uncertainty about the future of the scheme? Is he prepared to do anything about that in the future, if it is a fact?

Mr. Foster

If it is a fact something would have to be done, but I do not think it is so. I believe that the Union will continue to take the meat. That is a matter which will be very seriously looked at.