HC Deb 29 June 1948 vol 452 cc199-200W
Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to encourage the production of tobacco within the British Commonwealth; what are the present quantities and grades of tobacco obtained from the several Colonies and Protectorates; and what are the indications as a result of a survey as to the increase of yields that can be obtained in each case.

Mr. Creech Jones

In recent years, relatively high prices have encouraged the production in the Colonies of tobacco suitable for export. In the East and Central African territories, production is on a relatively small scale but an investigation to find ways of expanding it and of improving quality has just taken place; I am considering the recommendations contained in the report. In Cyprus, with money provided under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, experiments in the production of Virginia type tobacco are being made. Jamaica has greatly expanded production of cigars; imports into the United Kingdom increased from 6,495 lb. in 1938 to 410,291 lb. in 1947.

The official trade returns do not disclose the various grades of tobacco imported from the Colonies and Protectorates. Figures of imports of unmanufactured tobacco (both stripped and unstripped) by countries are shown in the accounts relating to Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. It is not possible to estimate how much yields can be increased. Increased production in the Colonies for the United Kingdom market depends rather on finding types and qualities acceptable here.