HC Deb 05 June 1940 vol 361 cc853-4W
Colonel Wedgwood

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will obtain reports from the Governors of the various Colonies as to how production and exports, at home or abroad, might be increased up to a maximum, irrespective of the market prices of produce, together with suggestions of fresh plant required for such production and of the possibility of producing the plant locally or raising a loan locally wherewith to buy the plant?

Mr. George Hall

My Noble Friend has carefully considered this suggestion, but he does not feel that it would be useful to call for such reports. There is no shortage of Colonial products, but rather a superfluity of them, and the problem is to sell the supplies which are available, rather than to encourage more production. As regards plant, it is exceptional in Colonial conditions for the production of plant to be necessary for an increase of output. In those cases in which it would be necessary, it is practically certain that plant could be obtained only from this country or from foreign sources; and to make it available would involve the diversion of resources from more urgent needs.