HC Deb 16 April 1923 vol 162 cc1716-7W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what steps the Overseas Settlement Committee are taking in relation to the maintenance of British trade interests in British West Indies as against the ever-increasing competition of the United States; and if schemes have been submitted to this Government for their consideration and support?


I have been asked to reply. The British West Indies are in general unsuitable climatically for European settlers except in the capacity of employers of labour, and accordingly the Overseas Settlement Committee is little concerned. The question raised by my hon. and gallant Friend is one which has already engaged the attention of the imperial, Dominion and Colonial Governments concerned, those Governments are giving such assistance as is in their power by the grant of preference and otherwise, and they will no doubt always be ready to consider any further proposals which may be brought before them in this connection. A Trade Commissioner has recently been appointed to the West Indies and arrived in Trinidad a month ago, and it is hoped that he will he of assistance to British manufacturers and merchants in developing this market to the fullest extent.