Food Subsidies

Oral Answers to Questions — Colonial Empire – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon 12:00 am, 14th December 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what food subsidies were paid, or promised, to Colonies in 1949–50 at the expense of the British taxpayer.

Mr. Creech Jones:

Twenty-eight thousand pounds has been paid to the Turks and Caicos Islands to meet the cost of food subsidies incurred during 1947–48 and 1948–49. No other food subsidies have been paid or promised at the expense of the British taxpayer.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

Do I understand that the Vote which was in the Estimates is not going to be expended on these items? Would my right hon. Friend agree that it is a very dangerous practice for the British taxpayer to give foodstuffs to Colonies? If they need assistance and must get it, surely it should be done in some other way?

Mr. Creech Jones:

Yes, but only in the Turks Islands is this subsidy now paid. In other cases where assistance is required it is given through the grants-in-aid.

Photo of Mr James Harrison Mr James Harrison , Nottingham East

Is my right hon. Friend fully satisfied that within the Colonies themselves everything is being done to develop the food resources which exist there to a large extent?

Mr. Creech Jones:

That is quite a different question, but the answer is in the affirmative.