HC Deb 05 June 1939 vol 348 cc59-60W
Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has any information to give the House as to the position of affairs in Newfoundland?

Sir T. Inskip

The Commission of Government have reported that the catch of the seal fishery this year was below average and that unseasonable weather has hampered the preparations for the cod fishery now about to begin. In view of the continued low prices ruling in the foreign markets for codfish, special measures of assistance to the fishing industry have been approved, the aim being both to facilitate exports and to ensure an adequate return to the producer. Progress is also being made with schemes for widening the scope of the industry through the increased exploitation of fish other than codfish, the development of by-products, and the export of fresh or frozen fish.

The unemployment figures for March and April (which are the peak months of the year) were 80,739 and 84,659 respectively.

As regards reconstruction measures generally, apart from those affecting the fish industry, the Commission's programme for 1939–40 will be announced in the Budget speech to be made in Newfoundland towards the end of this month, and I will arrange for printed copies of the speech to be placed thereafter in the Library of the House.