asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he has taken to give effect to the recommendations of the Lovat Committee on agricultural organisation and services in the non-self-governing colonies; how many dependencies have expressed their willingness to support the first part of the scheme involving the creation of an agricultural adviser or advisers and a central council; how many dependencies have so far declined to co-operate in the matter; and what are the names of the latter?
The Committee to which my hon. Friend refers recommended the establishment of a Colonial Advisory Council of Agriculture and Animal Health and the appointment of a Chief Agricultural Adviser and an Assistant Agricultural Adviser to the Secretary of State. I have selected Mr. F. A. Stockdale, C.B.E., late Director of Agriculture, Ceylon, for appointment as Assistant Agricultural Adviser, the appointment of Chief Agricultural Adviser being left unfilled for the time being. Mr. Stockdale assumed duty on the 1st March, and I am now taking steps to constitute the proposed Advisory Council. An officer of the rank of Principal has been seconded from the Colonial Office for work with the council as recommended by the Committee. Twenty-one out of 26 dependencies invited to co-operate have agreed to contribute towards the cost of the council. Final decisions have not yet been reached in the case of the remaining five dependencies.
Is my right hon. Friend taking every step to urge the remaining dependencies to carry out the recommendations of this Committee? Certain of the dependencies are very backward in their agricultural methods, and will my right hon. Friend urge the necessity on them of doing something?