HC Deb 26 July 1939 vol 230 cc1600-1W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what action is being taken by the Empire Marketing Board, or otherwise, with reference to the cultivation of tung-oil trees in the Empire; and is he aware of the urgency and importance of the introduction of this new industry for the provision of raw material for home industries?


Inquiries as to the possibility of cultivating tung trees on a commercial scale in the Empire were made by the Imperial Institute in 1917, and have been followed up in recent years with the active co-operation of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Paint Beseareh Association. In 1928 supplies of seed obtained from Florida by the Director of the Paint Research Association were distributed to the following countries in the Empire where experimental trials have since been started, namely, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, India, Southern Rhodesia, Ceylon, Kenya, Tanganyika, Nyasaland, Nigeria, Cyprus, Palestine and the West Indies. With the aid of a grant from the Empire Marketing Fund to the Royal Botanic Gardens, further supplies of seed have been sent this year to most of these countries. The Empire Marketing Board is fully alive to the economic potentialities of this important product for the purposes referred to by the hon. Member and is now considering, in consultation with the Tung Oil Sub-Committee of the Imperial Institute, the directions in which it can most usefully co-operate in intensifying and developing the work already in hand.