§ 50. Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) which of the recommendations made by Miss Carleen O'Loughlin in her recent report on the British Virgin Islands have been accepted; and, in particular, what plans exist for the airport, bridges and roads development she suggests;
(2) what plans he has to develop the tourist trade of the British Virgin Islands; 29W and to what extent this trade has improved recently, particularly in 1962–63.
§ 55. Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the Government of the British Virgin Islands can expect an answer to the proposals submitted by them for implementing the current development plan.
§ Mr. Sandys
The Virgin Islands Government have already implemented most of Dr. O'Loughlin's proposals for fiscal reform, all aimed at encouraging the tourist trade. Her recommendations on capital development, which she envisaged as being carried out over eight years, have been before a local committee, which made recommendations for expenditure over a period of three years. These proposals have been adopted by the Virgin Islands Government. They include proposals for improving and extending airstrips, linking it to the mainland by a bridge and the paving of roads, all on the lines suggested by Dr. O'Loughlin.
It is unlikely that any major sources of finance other than CD. and W. moneys can be found to implement these proposals. A further allocation of CD. and W. funds, depends on the enactment of the Commonwealth Development Bill which received its Third Reading in this House on the 28th June. Until I am in a position to announce the new Virgin Islands allocation under this enactment, I am unable to give a full answer to their proposals.
In the first five months of this year the number of tourists was more than double that of the same period last year. This increase is expected to be maintained this year and will probably accelerate with the opening of the new resort in Virgin Gorda next January.