HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 c2047
26. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action, commensurate with the gravity of the problem, he is taking to provide employment in Jamaica to obviate the need for large numbers of its people to seek work in Britain or suffer destitution.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

I explained the position in the reply which I gave to the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes) on 16th February.

Mr. Dodds

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the people of this country and of the West Indies are fed up with fine words and would like to see some action taken in this great human problem?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

This is a very great issue and incapable of being dealt with in question and answer of this kind. Since 1946, £4½ million have gone from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund and many plans of an active and practical kind are well under way.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Since there is a prospect that in the not-too-distant future the Caribbean Islands will federate, will the Colonial Secretary take an early opportunity of discussing with the whole of the region those problems which can best be dealt with on a regional basis? Does he not agree that they ought now to be dealt with on some kind of a regional Colombo Plan for the West Indies which would make a start with the federation.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I will look into the right hon. Member's suggestion. It is true that in our approach to the West Indian territories we have the virtual certainty of federation very much in mind.