HC Deb 10 November 1954 vol 532 cc135-6W
83. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies approximately how many smallholders are engaged in rubber production in Malaya; the average size of their acreage; and what attention has been given to the special needs of this class of cultivator, particularly in view of the strong competition of United States and German synthetic rubber.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

There are nearly 400,000 smallholdings of an average area of under 4½ acres. No estimate of the persons engaged on smallholdings is available.

The Rubber Research Institute of Malaya has for many years operated a smallholders' Advisory Service to provide planting material and technical assistance. In addition the Federation Government have established a scheme, financed from a cess on rubber exports, under which it is intended to replant with high-yielding trees 500,000 acres of smallholders' rubber by the end of 1959.

85. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many rubber research stations in Malaya are Government-owned; the amount of financial assistance given annually by the Government for the purpose of rubber research; and, in the interest of the future economy of Malaya, to what extent the Malayan Government themselves have considered plans to promote the future development of the rubber industry and a substantial increase in production per acre.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

None. Rubber research in Malaya is financed by the producers. The future development of the industry is under consideration in connection with the Mudie Report.