HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2052-3
38. Mr. Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the acreage under cotton in the AbyanScheme during the years 1952, 1953, and 1954; and what was the value of cotton produced.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The acreage under cotton in the Abyan Scheme was as follows:

  • 1952 –11,300 acres
  • 1953–22,000 acres
  • 1954 estimated at 46,000 acres.

The value of the cotton produced was:

Mr. Braine

Is my right hon. Friend aware that to produce such results in five years in what was once arid wasteland is a very fine achievement indeed and a great credit to those responsible? I wonder if my right hon. Friend could say what contribution this is making to the economy of the territory?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

A thoroughly worth-while contribution, and the thanks of all of us are due to those who carried it out.

Mr. Usborne

If we can grow all that cotton in that short time, does the Secretary of State think that he might grow a little bit more tea fairly quickly?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I feel that I must answer the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. I am afraid that the qualities of land required for one crop are not, unfortunately, always suitable for the growing of another crop.