asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the present position of the cocoa trade in West Africa; and whether he adheres to the statement on future policy as announced in Command Paper 6554 of September, 1944.
As was announced by my precedessor, all cocoa produced in the Gold Coast and Nigeria during the season which has just opened will be purchased and marketed by the West African Produce Control Board. On the recommendation of the Governor, the price has recently been increased in the Gold Coast from 12s. 6d. to 15s. a load, and corresponding increases have been made in Nigeria. As regards future policy, I have not yet been able to complete the examination of this question, but I hope to be able shortly to present to the House a full statement of the policy His Majesty's Government proposes to follow.
Can the Minister say whether the delegation of West African farmers who have been conferring about the price of cocoa are satisfied with the price of 15s. per 60 lbs.?
Mr. Hall: That I could not say. I have not met the delegation.
Is the Minister aware of the considerable dissatisfaction which exists in the Colony of Nigeria, where the price is regarded as insufficient to meet the cost of labour?
The price was fixed as a result of consultation not only with the Governor of Nigeria but with the chiefs in the area where the farmers reside who grow the cocoa.