HC Deb 20 April 1937 vol 322 cc1598-600W
Mr. Markham

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is aware that, during the period that the Overseas Settlement Department have been subsiding the 1820 Memorial Settlers' Association of South Africa with a view to encouraging young men with capital to proceed to that country to take up agri- culture, the conditions were such that the South African Government formed a Farmers' Assistance Board, the object of which was to provide the farmers with an alternative to insolvency, and that there were no less than 40,000 applications for assistance to this board, representing nearly 50 per cent. of the farmers of the Union; and whether he will use his efforts to discourage intending agricultural settlers from going to South Africa?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The object of the 1820 Memorial Settlers' Association, which has received annual grants from the Over- sea Settlement Vote since 1923, is to give disinterested advice to intending settlers in South Africa. It is the case that in 1935 a Farmers' Assistance Board was set up by the Union Government to assist South African farmers, who, like farmers in other parts of the world, have been affected by the world economic depression. I am not in possession of detailed information as to the number of farmers assisted by the board. I am satisfied that the association take steps to ensure that intending settlers are aware of the difficulties which every migrant has to face who takes up agriculture in a new country.