Burns Commission (Report)

Oral Answers to Questions — Fiji – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1960.

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Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe 12:00 am, 15th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the study of the Burns Commission's Report on the economic development of Fiji has been completed; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Tom Iremonger Mr Tom Iremonger , Ilford North

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he expects to receive the views and recommendations of the Fiji Government on the Burns Commission's, Report.

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

The Report is to be debated in Legislative Council early in December. In the light of the debate the Fiji Government will prepare their recommendations. My right hon. Friend expects to receive these by the end of the year.

Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe

Has my right hon. Friend considered, as a possible contribution towards solving the economic problems of Fiji, consulting with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence about the raising of two or three Fiji battalions?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

No, Sir, not I think at this stage. It is important to see how we go on the Burns Report.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

In view of the great delay in considering this Report, which came out in February, is there not now an urgent need, in view of the Fiji sugar crisis and what is stated in paragraph 246 of the Commission's Report, to revise the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement of 1951 in order to allow Fiji a higher export quota?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

I gather that because of the various movements in the world—Cuba, etc.—there is a higher potential for Fijian exports. As to delay, there had to be appropriate consultation with the Fijian local authorities, and that has taken place.