HC Deb 06 May 1920 vol 128 cc2255-6W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what British Colonies are affected by the rice shortage; how they are meeting it; what is the loss sustained per month in buying rice at high prices for popular consumption; and whether there are many means of taking steps to avoid a rice famine of this nature in future?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

I learn that the situation as regards the supply of rice in the British Colonies chiefly affected has now been relieved by the release of large additional quantities from Burma. As regards the second part of the question, I regret that I am not in a position to state a figure, but in some Colonies the loss has been very heavy. With the approval of the Secretary of State, efforts have been made for a long time past to encourage, as far as possible, the growth of rice and of other indigenous foodstuffs locally, as well as the adoption of a more varied dietary among the native populations.