Mr. Creech Jones:
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make a statement regarding the assistance to be afforded to the Palestine citrus industry during the forthcoming season?
After consultation with the High Commissioner for Palestine it has been decided to continue for the season 1942–43 assistance to the citrus industry on the same lines as that which was afforded for 1941–42, and described in the statement in the House by my predecessor on 9th April, 1941. That is to say, the forthcoming crop will be financed by advances to be made by the Banks, and partly guaranteed by the Palestine Government. The total amount of the advances will be limited to £650,000, in respect of which the Banks will assume a liability of up to £128,000. In return for their participation in the scheme, and for the assumption of the fresh liability which I have described, the Banks will be reimbursed in full in respect of the outstanding advances made by them in the preceding season, and these outstanding debts will consequently become debts due to the Palestine Government.
My Noble Friend has informed the High Commissioner that, if the resources of Palestine should be insufficient to meet the new commitments in respect of the 1942–43 scheme, His Majesty's Government will be ready to afford such financial assistance as may be required. My Noble Friend has further asked the High Commissioner to recast the form of assistance to the citrus industry for future years, in view of the undesirability of continuing to grant loans when receipts to the industry remain far below normal.