HC Deb 16 February 1920 vol 125 c540W

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he would state, in view of the threatened refusal of Lancashire manufacturers to buy American raw cotton, what steps are being taken to stimulate the growth of cotton in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and other parts of the British Empire; and if he has considered the advisability of granting ex-service men money and special facilities to assist in the growth of cotton in districts suitable for European colonisation?


I am not aware of any intention on the part of Lancashire manufacturers to cease buying American cotton, though there may have been some isolated cases of that kind. His Majesty's Government are fully aware of the importance of developing the production of cotton within the Empire, and in this connection they are giving earnest consideration to the recommendations contained in the report of the Empire Cotton Growing Committee. I am glad to find that those recommendations have been received with widespread approval in the Lancashire Cotton Industry, and I hope to be in a position to make a statement as to the Government's intentions at a very early date. The last part of the question should be addressed to my hon. Friend the Acting Secretary of State for the Colonies.