HC Deb 16 July 1957 vol 573 cc921-2
9. Mr. Reeves

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what proposals have been made by Her Majesty's Government for financial assistance to the West Indian Federation during the first ten years of federation in addition to the present commitments of the Colonial Development Corporation and the Colonial Development and Welfare Corporation in order to increase urgent economic development.

Mr. Profumo

The assistance which Her Majesty's Government have undertaken to provide to the Federal Government is described in Cmd. 9733. Consideration of a case for any further assistance must await a detailed and realistic assessment of the most pressing needs of the area and a co-ordinated regional economic plan. I am aware that the Standing Federation Committee has the importance of such planning much in mind and no doubt it will be one of the first preoccupations of the Federal Gov- ernment. My right hon. Friend is considering how best this Department can give the Federal Government any help it may require in the drawing up of such a plan and in the assessment of regional needs.

Mr. Reeves

Does the Minister realise that the success of this great experiment will depend largely upon the help which the West Indies receive, particularly during the early years, and that if the sum can be made as large as humanly possible there is more chance of the Federation succeeding?

Mr. Profumo

Yes, Sir, but before considering whether anything further can be done there must be a detailed economic planning assessment.

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