HC Deb 23 March 1956 vol 550 cc149-50W
Mr. Iremonger

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the New Hebrides is now included in the United Kingdom Government agreement with British copra producing territories in the South Pacific; what price per ton is paid to New Hebrides planters for copra delivered at Vila or Santo; and what price is paid to planters in neighbouring British territories.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

There is no copra agreement between the United Kingdom Government and the New Hebrides. The answer to the second part of the Question is £31 9s. 2d. (sterling equivalent). The sterling equivalents of prices paid to producers in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Fiji and Tonga for different grades are shown below; the grading varies as between the territories.

£ per ton
B.S.I.P. 49 4 0; 45 12 0; 42 0 0(a)
Fiji 51 12 0; 51 7 0 (b)
Tonga 41 16 0; 37 0 0
(a) Delivered Honiara. Gizo and Yandina.
(b) Subject to special deductions for high moisture content.

Mr. Iremonger

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on the progress of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate's five year development plan with special reference to the contribution made thereto from colonial development and welfare funds and any reductions that have been made in the amount of such contribution.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The British Solomon Islands Protectorate's development programme for the five years beginning 1st April, 1955, envisages a total expenditure of about £1,235,000 (sterling). Towards this total, funds are available from the following sources:

Unspent balance of colonial development and welfare funds allocated under the 1945 Act 302,000
C.D. and W. funds allocated under the 1955 Act 230,000
Japanese reparations 376,000
Total 908,000

It is hoped to find the balance from other sources, including some further assistance from central allocations of C.D. and W. funds.

£157,800 is being devoted to the completion of C.D. and W. schemes started before April, 1955; and since that date new schemes to a total of £157,200 have been approved, including £44,800 for a teacher training and technical college, £18,700 for roads and bridges and £16,026 for forestry. In addition, a contract has been placed for the construction, not at the expense of C.D. and W. funds, of a Government vessel to provide a regular inter-island shipping service.

Actual disbursements since April, 1955, have been approximately as follows:

C.D. and W. funds £120,500
Other funds £47,500

There has been no reduction in the scale of C.D. and W. assistance promised to the Protectorate.

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