HC Deb 19 March 1923 vol 161 c2133W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the address of the Governor of Sierra Leone to the Legislative Council, in which he uttered a serious: warning upon the danger which it is anticipated will confront the oil and kernel industry of the West African Dependencies by reason of Dutch competition; whether His Majesty's Government shares these views; and whether, during the forthcoming visit of the West African Governors to this country, he will discuss with them what measures can be taken to meet this danger?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative The question of what steps could usefully be taken to assist the West African oil palm industry to meet the threatened competition has for some years been engaging the attention of the Colonial Office and the West African Governments. Suggestions for the scientific investigation of the oil palm were made by the Director of Kew Gardens and the Director of the Imperial Institute and communicated some time ago to the West African Governors. In Nigeria and the Gold Coast the agricultural departments are being strengthened to enable experts to make such investigations, and it is hoped that those departments will be able to teach the natives better methods of cultivation and extraction. The Governor of Sierra Leone in the address referred to has indicated the measures they propose to adopt in that Colony.