asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what is being done to extend the cultivation of rice in the West Indian Colonies, particularly having regard to the loss of supplies from Burma, Malaya, and other Eastern territories, upon which the West Indies have hitherto been largely dependent; and, as the cultivation of rice requires organisation, initiative, capital and planning, whether the Development and Welfare Commission in the West Indies is taking any action in the matter?
The most active steps are being taken to extend the cultivation of rice in the British Colonies in America. Schemes requiring financial assistance will certainly be carefully considered with a view to the grant of assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, 1940, and the Comptroller of Development and Welfare in the West Indies is in the closest contact with all the schemes under consideration.
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is much labour available, particularly in Barbados, for use under this scheme? Is it intended to make use of this labour?