asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that the Agricultural Department of the Gold Coast has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that the low price now being paid to the natives for cocoa is endangering the entire industry, and that in the most recent report the Department expresses the view that unless some change takes place the cocoa industry may become a thing of the past, he is prepared to fake any action in the matter?
The report to which the hon. Member refers was dated 7th June of last year. So far, there are no signs of any failure of the industry. The export of cocoa for 1921 was 133,000 tons, as against. 124,000 tons in 1920, and indications point to an even larger export during the current year. The only action which seems possible is to induce the farmers to improve their present imperfect methods of cultivating and preparing the crop—which are part of the cause of low prices; and this is being done.