Productive Capacity.

Oral Answers to Questions — Colonial Empire. – in the House of Commons on 25th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to expand or initiate any suitable industrial and agricultural undertakings to counterbalance lost sources in the Far East; and whether, in such development, native interests will be fully safeguarded by the Government?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

All possible measures are being taken to expand the productive capacity of the Colonial Empire for our war effort. Every care is, of course, taken to ensure that this expansion does not damage native or non-native interests, in any greater measure than is necessary in a total war.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does the Minister appreciate that in certain parts of West Africa there are possibilities of agricultural and industrial development that may offset the loss in Malaya and the Far East, and is particular attention being paid to the matter?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

Yes, Sir. I am endeavouring to answer the Question honestly and straightforwardly. It is not possible to increase production without causing difficulties and interference with local interests, whether native or non-native. War is harsh.