§ 21. Mr. C. Royle
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the conference on cotton production has now taken place in Port of Spain; if he will make a statement on the discussions; and who were the representatives of British Honduras at the conference.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
No conference on cotton production has taken place in Port of Spain. Perhaps the hon. Member has in mind discussions in Antigua last month between representatives of the Federal Government of the West Indies, unit territories and the West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association. I understand that at that meeting proposals were discussed for setting up a statutory board for marketing Sea Island cotton. The next step will be for the Federal Authorities to draft the necessary legislation. British Honduras, which does not produce cotton and is not of course part of the Federation, was not represented at the Conference.
§ Mr. Royle
Cannot something be done about the representation of British Honduras, which has been a neglected Colony and which is in need of further development? Will the right hon. Gentleman see whether it cannot be brought into these discussions which are of interest not only to the West Indian growers but to manufacturers in Lancashire?
Since this is a Question relating to the West Indies, may one express the hope that the right hon. Gentleman's wife has quickly recovered from the accident which she sustained there?
§ Mr. Macleod
I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for what he has just said.
It does not seem to be of great value for British Honduras to be represented 202 at a cotton conference if it does not produce cotton. If the pattern of production in British Honduras changed, whether it should be represented at future conferences would be a matter for consideration.