HC Deb 24 June 1937 vol 325 cc1396-7W
Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give any information regarding an anonymous gift of £25,000 annually for the benefit of the peasantry of Jamaica; in particular, how this gift is to be administered; and whether definite schemes for its application have been drawn up?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I am pleased to be able to inform the hon. Member that I have received a report from the Governor of Jamaica that the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit and Steamship Corporation have offered to set aside for a period of years one cent per count bunch of bananas exported by them from Jamaica. In a normal year the combined sum so set aside should amount to about £20,000, and it is proposed to devote this to the promotion of schemes for the benefit of agricultural workers, based primarily on agriculture.

It is intended that the funds thus made available shall be controlled by an unofficial company to be formed in Jamaica, and that while the Government will take no direct part in the administration of the funds, the work undertaken will be supplementary to and co-ordinated with that of the Government. The scheme will, I feel sure, be of great benefit to the Colony. I have as yet received no information as to the details of the work which it is proposed to carry out under this scheme.