HC Deb 29 March 1960 vol 620 cc106-7W
Mr. C. Royle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the recommendations of the Evans Commission in 1948, the economic and development programme for British Honduras prepared by Mr. David L. Gordon for the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development in 1954 and considered by the Colony's Executive Council, and the Gilmore Report on financial and economic prospects of British Honduras in 1956, have been implemented.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The two main recommendations of the Evans Commission in regard to British Honduras were the establishment of a Development Corporation largely dependent financially on the Colonial Development Corporation, and organised immigration of farming families to develop specific crops. The first of these recommendations was discussed with the Colonial Development Corporation, but it was agreed to be outside their proper scope.

The second recommendation, concerning immigration, has not yet been carried out but, as a result of the Evans Commission's Report, British Honduras was given a special allocation of £850,000 from colonial development and welfare funds as a contribution towards a development plan which, it was hoped, would create conditions favourable to immigration.

At the recent British Honduras Conference it was agreed in principle that the central feature of the Colony's future economic policy should be planned immigration aimed at the creation, as quickly as financial, sociological and other considerations allowed, of an agricultural economy based upon a combination of large-scale enterprises and individual smallholdings.

Many of the Commission's detailed proposals to assist economic and social development in the territory have been put into effect.

The report prepared by Mr. Gordon was principally an evaluation of the British Honduras Government's Development Plan, Part III, covering the period from 1955 to 1960, and was not a separate economic plan.

The greater part of the recommendations of the Gilmour Report were accepted. In particular, it has been possible since 1957 to achieve the strengthening of the administration which was one of its main recommendations. Other recommendations concerned largely with agriculture, marketing and roads, have been or are still being carried out in varying degrees.