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African Colonies

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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Cocoa (Government Profits)

43.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he will announce the use to which he proposes putting the large sums, exceeding £20,000,000, arising from Government profits on cocoa deals.

It will be for the Cocoa Marketing Boards which are being established in the Gold Coast and Nigeria to consider how these funds may best be utilised for the benefit of West Africa farmers. Some of the uses to which these funds may be put are set out in Command Paper 6950 on the Future Marketing of West Africa Cocoa, which I presented to the House last November.

Will the Minister confirm that this enormous sum will not be put to any uses other than those indicated in his reply—that is to say, for general purposes?

The purposes are set out in the White Paper, and obviously these funds which have accumulated will he used for these purposes.

Certainly. The West African farmers are represented, in the case of the Gold Coast, on the Production Board; and in the case of Nigeria their voices will be heard through their officials.

If the Government carried on this business for themselves, would it not be a profitable investment for this country?

The answer is that this is bulk purchase and trading by the Government.

Will the Minister agree that hulk trading, where he pays £60 a ton to the natives and sells to the Americans at £177 a ton, is hardly a practice to he encouraged?

That is another question, but the whole of the proceeds of the sales of the cocoa will go back to the producers in West Africa.

Nigeria (Ijebu-Remo)

60.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies under what regulations the funds of the native authority of Ijebu-Remo are used to provide for the Akarigbo of Ijebu-Remo a salary which includes a sum paid in discharge of a treaty obligation of the Central Nigerian Government.

I am consulting the Governor on this question, and will communicate further with my hon. Friend when the reply is received.

Jewish Displa Persons, Uganda

61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Jewish displaced persons from Iraq are still interned in Uganda; and when it is proposed they shall be released.

Including women and children, between 20 and 30 persons of Jewish race who were transferred from Iraq for internment during the war now remain in Uganda. Those of them who are unable to obtain accommodation elsewhere live in a provided camp, but are subject only to the rules necessary for the organisation of the camp. They are free to accept any employment they can obtain in Uganda and to leave the country. It is hoped that an official of the Preparatory Commission for the International Refugee Organisation will shortly visit Uganda with a view to discussing the problems of these people on the spot, and that, as a result, the Commission will be able to arrange for their settlement elsewhere.

They were taken to Uganda at different periods during the war. A large number of them have now found places in which to live outside of, the country, and they are all free to go, and all possible help is given to them if they go elsewhere.

Will the right hon. Gentleman avoid the use of the term "Jewish race," because, in fact, the Jews are a religious community and not a race?

Has it occurred to my right hon. Friend that most people there would desire to go to the Jewish National Home in Palestine, and has he considered that at all?

In point of fact, the vast majority of Jews amongst these people have already left Uganda. But it is not a Jewish problem only. It is a much larger problem than that.

Education

67.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how soon it is estimated that it will be feasible to introduce compulsory education for Africans in townships in Kenya.

I regret that I am unable to give an estimate at the present time. The Kenya Government are re-examining their education programme for Africans in the light of the financial resources available, and as soon as I am informed of their plans I will communicate with my hon. Friend.

68.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in how many cases have local native councils voted a special cess for education in 1945 and 1946; and in how many cases have the proceeds been spent, and with what result.

I assume that my hon. Friend's Question refers to the African Territories. I am making inquiries from the Governors concerned and will write to my hon. Friend when I have their replies.