HC Deb 12 June 1956 vol 554 cc210-1
3. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what consultations he has had with other Commonwealth Governments regarding the development of the mineral resources of the Commonwealth; and if he will make a statement.

23. Mr. Cooper

asked the President of the Board of Trade the policy of Her Majesty's Government for the development and exploitation of the mineral resources of the British Commonwealth and Dependencies.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

We are anxious that important mineral resources of the Commonwealth and the Dependencies should be developed as far and as fast as is economically feasible. Mineral development was one of the subjects considered at the Commonwealth Economic Conference of 1952. Since then the Commonwealth Economic Committee has made a study of raw materials and expects to report to Governments within a few months.

Mr. Johnson

Will my right hon. Friend press on with these studies as far as possible because it seems to be tremendously important for Commonwealth Governments to give a helping hand to enterprise of this kind? Would that not avoid uneconomic development of our resources, and ensure that the greatest possible use is made of them, where it is economic to do so?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that the report will serve a useful purpose.

Mr. Bottomley

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether an interim report will be presented to the forthcoming meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Not by that Committee; it will be separate.

Back to