HC Deb 21 March 1951 vol 485 cc292-3W
83. Mr. Erroll

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the circumstances which led to the setting up of a Government spinning mill at Nicosia in Cyprus in 1946, and its subsequent sale in November, 1950; and whether he will issue a financial statement on the whole transaction.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The mill was set up to help in meeting the war-time shortage of textiles. Owing to delays in obtaining the machinery it did not begin production until December, 1945. As imports returned to normal, it threatened to suffer from the competition of imported cotton, and the rate of profit fell sharply. The Cyprus Government decided not to continue to work it under peace-time conditions and it was sold as a going concern in January, 1950. I am making inquiries into the point raised in the second part of the hon. Gentleman's Question and will write to him as soon as they are completed.