§ Mr. David Adams
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is being 702W done to implement the recommendations put forward in various paragraphs of the Stockdale Report that plans should be made now for meeting the certain increase in unemployment in the West Indies in coming years?
§ Colonel Stanley
In general it is hoped that measures financed by grants and loans under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act will have the effect of increasing employment in all the Colonies concerned. In addition, however, the Colonies concerned are preparing plans for public works which can be put into effect should there be any sudden increase in unemployment as a result of the cessation of work on the bases and other wartime changes. The position in the separate Colonies is as follows:
A loan has been raised for the relief of unemployment, and a representative committee appointed to advise on its allocation. The recommendations include the setting up of agricultural centres, road construction, swamp reclamation, antimalarial schemes, food storage and rural water supplies.
Provision has been made for the construction of an important road work on which can absorb a considerable increased quantity of labour if necessary. In addition, proposals are under consideration for the improvement and enlargement of the airfield, and plans are being prepared for other public works such as the construction of a new hospital, when materials are available after the war.
Leeward and Windward Islands.
The Governors are well aware of the importance of this question, and proposals for Colonial Development and Welfare schemes envisage a considerable number of public works which will also have the effect of absorbing labour.
Funds have been made available by the Legislature for a relief scheme which will be put into effect immediately, should the occasion arise.
A committee has been set up, under the Governor's Chairmanship, to consider the question of providing employment, and 703W the departments concerned have been instructed to prepare lists of works to be undertaken. No difficulty is anticipated in finding employment for ordinary labourers in agriculture and works of reclamation, road construction and so forth.
Extensive proposals for drainage and irrigation have been approved and others are under consideration. These schemes should provide employment for large numbers of labourers.