HC Deb 04 May 1955 vol 540 c1672
17. Mr. F. M. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to make a statement on the damage caused to agriculture by tornadoes in the Southern Cameroons recently.

Mr. Hopkinson

My right hon. Friend has not yet had a full report but I understand that some 2¼ million stems of bananas and 26,000 rubber trees were destroyed on the plantations. There has been little damage to other crops, and losses on smallholdings have been comparatively small.

Mr. Bennett

As I understand that the damage, especially to bananas, represents nearly 50 per cent. of the annual crop, does the Minister anticipate that there will be any special relief measures this year?

Mr. Hopkinson

I do not think that the proportion is as high as that. It is about one-third of total production of the Southern Cameroons. There has been no question of asking for help from the United Kingdom so far. If there were any question of help, the authorities would presumably apply in the first instance to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Mr. Gower

While apologising for my ignorance in this matter, might I ask my right hon. Friend how many bananas grow on a stem?

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