HC Deb 05 May 1960 vol 622 c1239
8. Mr. Chataway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what approaches have been made by the United Kingdom Government to other Governments and interested institutions to explore the possibilities of establishing an organised scheme for the resettlement of suitable farmers in British Honduras.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Before it is possible to make any definite approaches in this matter much preliminary groundwork must be completed, in assembling information on such things as the size of holdings and the type of farming which is best suited to the conditions, the type of organisation which will handle the work of settlement and the physical establishing of settlers, and the financial and other terms on which immigration can be organised. This work is now in hand.

Meanwhile, inquiries have been received from a number of Governments and we have been in touch with the World Council of Churches about the problem.

Mr. Chataway

Does my right hon. Friend agree with the Downie Report, in its general conclusions, that there can be no development of this territory without substantial immigration? After years of such recommendations, does not he also agree that this is now a matter for urgent action, and that it would be reasonable for the territory to hope that immigrants will arrive in the fairly near future?

Mr. Macleod

I agree with that and with the conclusions of the Report to which my hon. Friend referred. There was general agreement at the recent British Honduras Conference on the importance of immigration to the future of this territory, and we are doing everything we can to encourage it.

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