HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 cc1076-7
28. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give the financial arrangements between the Colonial Development Corporation and Courtaulds, in relation to the permission given to the Usuto Pulp Company to utilise the 95,000 acres of pine forest in Swaziland.

Mr. Fisher

The issued ordinary share capital of the company of £5.5 million is held equally by the Colonial Development Corporation and Courtaulds, £150,000 of 7½ per cent. preference shares is held equally by the Corporation, Courtaulds and the Swazi nation. The Corporation has also provided secured loan capital of £5.25 million.

Mr. Wainwright

Is the Under-Secretary satisfied that this agreement is fair to Swaziland? Is he aware that the C.D.C. was financially responsible for this man-made forest of 95,000 acres? Could he tell us whether there is going to be any reafforestation of this area and any further afforestation at all in Swaziland? What contribution would the Usuto Pulp Company make towards those two efforts?

Mr. Fisher

It is perfectly well known that it is C.D.C. policy to go into partnership with private enterprise on these sort of ventures if it is possible. It is not really a question of the pulp company having permission to utilise these forests. The company planted the trees and grew the pines and is now proceeding to pulp them.

Sir G. Nicholson

My hon. Friend did not quite answer the Question asked by the hon. Member for the Dearne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) about reafforestation. Is the continuous existence of these forests to be guaranteed?

Mr. Fisher

I do not know whether it is to be guaranteed. That is why I did not answer the hon. Gentleman, but I will give my hon. Friend and the hon. Gentleman an answer as soon as I have looked into the point.