HC Deb 22 December 1965 vol 722 cc472-4W
Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken by the Government of Mauritius to prepare the inhabitants of Rodrigues for the responsibility of voting.

Mr. Greenwood

The Government of Mauritius is arranging for posters, leaflets and talks in advance of the registration of electors.

Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements are being made, in consultation with the Government of Mauritius, to ensure the continued efficiency and prosperity of agriculture in the island of Rodrigues.

Mr. Greenwood

During the four-year period 1966–70 the Mauritius Government hope to double the annual rate of agricultural development in Rodrigues. Proposals will be included in the draft overall development programme now being prepared by the Government of Mauritius. I hope to consider the draft programme in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development at the appropriate stage.

This rate of development is within the capabilities of the existing organisation and staff on the island. Besides mixed farms, emphasis is being placed on the development of peasant dairy farms using Pangalo grass, which grows succesfully

Agriculture Bill
Estimated cost in 1966–67 £1 million.
Building Control Bill
Administrative costs £36,000 per annum.
Coal Industry Bill
(i) Relief of interest arising from capital reconstruction About £20 million per annum beginning in 1965–66.
(ii) Grants for reorganisation Up to £30 million spread over five years to 1970–71.
(iii) Extra borrowing by the National Coal Board in 1965–66 will follow from reduced depreciation provisions* as a result of writing down the Board's capital About £10 million.
Housing (Financial Provisions) (Scotland) Bill
(i) Cost to Exchequer of housing subsidies The cost in the early years will be small.
(ii) Total extra capital cost to Exchequer of advances to the Scottish Special Housing Association £25 million.
Housing (Slum Clearance Compensation) Bill
Total extra capital cost to local authorities £3 million.
Housing Subsidies Bill
Cost to Exchequer of housing subsidies The cost in the first three years will be about £30 million.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
Estimated cost when fully operative £0.5 million per annum.
Pensions Increase Bill
Total cost of Bill and associated Royal Warrants £25.1 million per annum.
Rating Bill
Total cost to the Exchequer (the local authorities will also bear £7 million in a full year) £22 million in a full year.
Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Bill
Total extra (capital) cost to Exchequer About £3 million per annum.
(*Not specifically provided for in the Bill, but an indirect consequence of the capital reconstruction).

on the island. To provide the Rodriguan peasant farmers with an assured market and a fair price for their produce the Agricultural Marketing Board has already started activities in Rodrigues with the purchase of the whole onion crop.

I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to my hon. Friend for the detailed and valuable report which he wrote after his visit to Rodrigues in August. This is now under consideration in Mauritius.