asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what representations have been made on behalf of the Government of Mauritius to meet the food shortage likely to be caused by the drought in Australia; and whether any decision has been reached as to continuing in the island the growing of maize, etc., on parts of the estates hitherto used for the growing of sugar-cane.
I am in constant touch with the Governor about the food position. Present indications are that the Colony's food requirements programmed from Australia will not be affected by the drought there, but if any shortage should arise arrangements will be made for supplies from other sources. I have recently accepted a recommendation from the Governor that the scheme for the compulsory planting on estates of maize, manioc and sweet potatoes should be abandoned, as the increased production hoped for has not materialised, in the interests of sugar of which there is a most urgent need. Production of other vegetables and cereals is still being encouraged.