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Dominica (Food Shortage)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the shortage of foodstuffs in Dominica; whether he has studied the petition recently presented to the Administrator by housewives which deals with this matter; and what steps are being taken to ensure an adequate diet for the people of the island.

I am aware of the shortage and the petition. The first attempts to obtain additional foodstuffs from neighbouring islands were unsuccessful, but extra flour is now being imported and more rice is being sought from British Guiana. As regards the future, a landowner has agreed to plant ground provisions on a large scale, and it is intended to start a prison farm near the capital.

Does the Under-Secretary recall that in reply to a question of mine recently in this House the Secretary of State gave a reassuring answer about the supply of flour, and is he aware that I have in my hand a letter stating that the supply was most unsatisfactory two days after that occasion? Can the hon. Gentleman give us some real assurance that we may have confidence in his answer today?