British Empire Exhibition.

Oral Answers to Questions — Inter-Allied Debts. – in the House of Commons on 12th December 1922.

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Photo of Captain Reginald Berkeley Captain Reginald Berkeley , Nottingham Central

74.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Fiji and any other Crown Colonies have declared their inability to participate in the British Empire Exhibition upon the grounds of their present financial difficulties; and whether His Majesty's Government will do everything in their power, by loan or guarantee or otherwise, to provide the comparatively small sum necessary to enable the great potential economic resources of such Colonies to become more generally known throughout the Empire?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

I regret very much that the Colonies of Fiji, Barbados, Ceylon, Gibraltar and St. Helena and the Protectorates of Somaliland, Nyasaland and the Western Pacific have decided not to participate. The Colony of Trinidad has deferred consideration, in the hope of an improvement in its finances. In some instances the benefits of participation are doubtful, in view of the very limited economic resources of the Colonies or Protectorates concerned, and I do not think it would be justifiable to ask this House to vote moneys to assist the non-participating Colonial Governments to take part, in view of the need for economy at home.

Photo of Captain Reginald Berkeley Captain Reginald Berkeley , Nottingham Central

Will the Government consider doing all in their power to induce these Colonies to participate in the Exhibition? It might be possible to do something?

Photo of Mr William Ormsby-Gore Mr William Ormsby-Gore , Stafford

I certainly most sincerely regret that a Colony of the importance and resources of Ceylon has so far, regrettably, been unable to participate.