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Dominica (Exports)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 7 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in the case of the Colony of Dominica, and with special reference to lime juice, cocoa and cocoanuts, he will make a further statement in regard to the products of certain Colonies which were exported to the exclusive order of various Government departments in the United Kingdom who also fixed the price to he paid for such products.

None of these products is exported to the exclusive order of a Government department. Lime juice is exported by producers in Dominica to their agents in this country, import licences being issued by the Ministry of Food on a quota system. Dominica can and does export lime juice elsewhere. The price is fixed by the Minister of Food in consultation with the Government of the Windward Islands and myself. All Dominica cocoa is at present being bought by the United States according to the allocation arrangements of the International Emergency Food Council. Coconuts are not being imported into this country from Dominica.

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the growers in Dominica are not being prejudiced by the price fixed by the Ministry of Food?

I believe that is the case, but I would like to look into the matter further.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the position in regard to the export of limes from the Colony of Dominica; why the volume of export has fallen since 1921; whether the Colony is free to export limes to the U.S. at world prices; and what is the difference between the world price and the price fixed for limes exported to the United Kingdom.

The serious decline in the Dominica lime industry after 1920 was due partly to hurricane damage and the inroads of plant diseases, but also to the development of cheaper sources of citric acid. Since 1934 there has been a partial recovery, principally owing to the increased value of juice and distilled oil exported. The years 1944 and 1945 were the best since 1920. The export of fresh limes remains small. The Colony is free to export lime products where it wishes. No price is fixed for limes exported to the U.K.