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Land Settlement

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, how much land suitable for cultivation in Tobago is at present uncultivated; and what plans have been made by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to assist the settlement of landless peasants on smallholdings in Tobago.

The information asked for in the first part of the Question cannot be furnished until the results of the census of 1946 have been compiled. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as the figures are available. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer to my reply to the Question on this subject asked today by my hon. Friend, the Member for Heston and Isleworth (Mr. W. R. Williams).

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, how many estates have been put up for sale in Tobago within the last five years; whether the local government has taken over any land for distribution to landless peasants with assisted purchase; and whether there are any plans for such action in the future.

I regret that the answer to the first part of this Question could not be ascertained without research into a large number of deeds. The Colonial Government have recently acquired an estate of 600 acres in Tobago with the object of establishing an agricultural experiment and demonstration centre of some 80 acres, and creating a land settlement for peasantry. There are no further plans at present for the acquisition of land for settlement.

Will my right hon. Friend satisfy himself that the rentals proposed in these cases are such as to make the development of the smallholdings a practicable proposition for peasants with small means?

I know that to be the desire of the Trinidad Government, but I will so inform them.