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Cattle Industry

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to develop the cattle-rearing industry in South Africa, Rhodesia and other parts of East Africa which may be suitable, with a view to making this country less dependent on the Argentine and other sources of supply outside the Empire.

In regard to South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, the hon. Member knows that Questions relating to these territories are not answered by the Colonial Secretary. In regard to East Africa and Northern Rhodesia, increasing quantities of meat and animal products have become available in recent years, both, for local consumption and for export. But increased production depends on many factors, including greater control over diseases, improvement of pastures, etc., and these are being tackled. The provision of additional facilities for marketing and for processing or refrigeration are also receiving consideration but I would add that in some areas much depends on the willingness of African owners to co-operate with the technical advisers of the local government or to sell their stock for food. The whole question continues to be actively pursued.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the enormous benefit we should receive in this country if we were not so dependent on supplies from outside the Colonial Empire; and is he further aware that increased production would prevent prices being raised against us, as is at present happening?

We are doing all we can to increase the export of meat from East Africa.