HC Deb 21 March 1956 vol 550 c1238
38. Mr. Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement as to the progress achieved in teaching handicrafts and improved agricultural techniques to the Maya in British Honduras.

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

Weaving and basket-making are taught in the schools at Otoxha. The people have been instructed in various forms of agriculture and horticulture to replace the old system of shifting cultivation. At Otoxha, 30 acres of ground have been cleaned and burnt, a variety of grasses has been sown and grassland is being fenced for the grazing of cattle. School gardens have been established at Otoxha and Crique Sarco, where the introduction of new seeds and the method of growing them are explained. A beginning has been made on a pig and poultry scheme at Crique Sarco.

Mr. Smithers

Is there a Maya welfare officer actually serving, as was promised by my right hon. Friend's Socialist predecessor?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Well, Sir, we have a Kekchi liaison officer, who is doing most valuable work.