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Uganda (Cotton And Coffee Funds)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1950

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12.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what sums stand to the credit of the Uganda Cotton Price Assistance Fund and the Uganda Coffee Fund, respectively; and how it is proposed that these sums should be spent.

On 31st March, 1950, the Cotton Price Assistance Fund stood at £7,351,206, and the Coffee Fund at £2,037,106. The object of these funds is to protect growers as far as possible from fluctuations in world prices.

Is it not a fact that these funds had a dual purpose, first the stabilisation of prices, and secondly that part of them be devoted to the welfare of the Africans themselves; and why is that not being done?

Payments have been made in the re-organisation of the industry, and we prefer that this re-organisation within the industry itself should be done by voluntary effort. The funds are being used for the benefit of the Africans themselves.

In view of an earlier answer, that the Government would encourage the cotton growers themselves to establish co-operative organisations for ginning and exporting their cotton, will a portion of these funds be used for that purpose?

One ginnery has been established in Uganda for working under African management.

The Under-Secretary did say at first that this fund was being used for price stabilisation, but in answer to my supplementary question he said that it was also being used for welfare. If that is so, how much of this fund of £7.3 million is being used for African welfare?

That is quite another question. I was dealing with the point that this preserved continuity of employment and guaranteed crops.