Oral Answers to Questions — Colonial Empire (Expenditure)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1949.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon 12:00 am, 20th July 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the total sum given or promised since 1st January, 1944, to Colonies on behalf of the British taxpayer.

Mr. Creech Jones:

As the reply contains a list of figures, I am circulating a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

Could my right hon. Friend say what is the total?

Mr. Creech Jones:

It is rather difficult to give a final figure. I have tried to classify the various items of expenditure, but one item is £160½ million and the other is £120 million.

Following is the statement:

The total sum given or promised to colonies on behalf of the British taxpayer since 1st January, 1944, is approximately £160,500,000, comprising the following main items:

  1. (a) £120,000,000 made available under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act of 1945.
  2. (b) £15,544,000 grant-in-aid of administration.
  3. (c) £8,918,000 for defence and reconstruction in the Far East.
  4. (d) £2,539,000 for subsidies, mainly for food, to Malta and certain West Indian territories.
  5. (e) £13,500,000 for claims waived by His Majesty's Government chiefly in the Far East.

Items (c) to (e) are made up in detail, as follows:

Item (c)£
(i) Malaya: Defence Expenditure6,000,000
(ii) North Borneo:
Redemption of Chartered Co.'s Currency502,296
War Compensation816,666
Item (d)
(i) Malta:
Food Subsidies1,650,000
(ii) British Guiana:
Compensation to Sugar Growers117,669
(iii) Trinidad:
Subsidies for Sugar Replanting190,450
(iv) West Indian Colonies:
(Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands and British Guiana):
Subsidies to reduce cost of living since the war580,908
Item (e)
Claims waived:
(i) Military Administration in Malaya, Hong Kong and Borneo10,000,000
(ii) Purchase price of North Borneo Chartered Company1,400,000
(iii) Defence Expenditure Fiji2,000,000
(iv) British Honduras:
Hurricane Loan (outstanding part of principal converted to grant)100,418
(a) (a) Colonial Development and Welfare120,000,000
(b) (2) Grant-in-aid
(1.1.44 to 31.3.49)11,644,905
Estimate (1.1.49 to 31.3.50)3,900,000

In addition, His Majesty's Government have made an offer of a £20 million grant to the Federation of Malaya in respect of war damage, but this offer is conditional on the Federation accepting the projected war damage scheme. The above figures, except for the provision under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, do not take into account assistance in the form of loans.