Colonies (Grants and Loans).

Oral Answers to Questions — Palestine. – in the House of Commons on 26th July 1939.

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Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the total amount of financial grants made to Colonial Governments in any form during 1913, 1923, 1933, and 1938?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

As the reply contains a considerable number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the Official Report.

Following is the reply:

The net expenditure in the years mentioned from the Votes which are now comprised in the Colonial and Middle Eastern Services Vote was as follows:

£
1913526,885
192313,328,250
1933548,722
19384,380,000 (estimated).

The expenditure in 1923 includes £6,614,905 on defence services in the Middle East and £3,750,000 in respect of a financial settlement with the British

South Africa Company, which can perhaps hardly be classed as grants made to Colonial Governments.

In addition, in the years 1933 and 1938 the net expenditure from the Colonial Development Fund was £358,336 and £381,184 respectively.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the total amount of loans outstanding to Colonial Governments to the last convenient date; and whether any and, if so, what amount of interest is in arrear?

Mr. MacDonald:

As regards the first part of the question, the figures of un-repaid advances by the United Kingdom at 31st March, 1938, were £10,892,685 exclusive of outstanding loans from the Colonial Development Fund of £1,205,068. No arrears of interest are outstanding on the loans from the Colonial Development Fund. As regards the amount of interest outstanding in the case of the unrepaid advances, the position is somewhat complicated, and I would refer the hon. Member to pages 86-88 of the latest edition of the Finance Accounts of the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Having regard to the punctilious financial rectitude which the right hon. Gentleman imposes on the Colonies, is it still the policy of the Government that they should be self-supporting as between revenue and expenditure within each Colony, irrespective of the position of the Colonial Empire?

Mr. MacDonald:

That is a very different question, and I could not reply within the bounds of a Parliamentary answer.

Photo of Mr Reginald Fletcher Mr Reginald Fletcher , Nuneaton

Has the right hon. Gentleman formed any estimate as to what percentage of the capital value of the Colonies is represented by this £10,000,000?

Mr. MacDonald:

I should require notice of that question.

Photo of Mr William Craven-Ellis Mr William Craven-Ellis , Southampton

What is the rate of interest charged upon these loans?

Mr. MacDonald:

If my hon. Friend will look up the publications to which I have referred, he will see the rates of interest.

Photo of Mr John Cartland Mr John Cartland , Birmingham King's Norton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies which of the Crown Colonies have received no grant in aid from the Imperial Exchequer during the last three years?

Mr. MacDonald:

As the answer contains a long list of territories I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the Official Report.

Following is the answer:

No provision was made for grants or loans in aid to the following Colonial Dependencies in the Estimates of the Colonial and Middle Eastern Services Vote for the years 1937–38, 1938–39 and 1939–40 (including the Supplementary Estimate of 7th July, 1939 (Cmd. No. 147 of 1939):Aden Colony, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Ceylon, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Federated Malay States, Gibraltar, Grenada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mauritius, North Borneo, St. Helena, St. Vincent, Sarawak, Seychelles, Straits Settlements, Trinidad and Zanzibar.

All the above dependencies have, however, with the exception of Gibraltar and Sarawak, been granted during the three years in question assistance of varying amounts in the form of grants and/or loans from the Colonial Development Fund.