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Cocoa Trees (Disease)

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the attitude of the Legislative Council of Nigeria to the compulsory destruction of cocoa trees infested with swollen shoot; and whether destruction is being universally enforced.

In April last, the Legislative Council approved regulations providing for the compulsory inspection of cocoa farms and for power to destroy infected trees. These compulsory powers are being used at present outside the endemic area, but it is proposed also to attack inwards from the perimeter of this area.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the cocoa conference last month, officials of the Department of Agriculture of Nigeria said that hardly a week goes by without some incident and the withdrawal of the gangs doing the cutting out? Why is it that there has been so much less success in Nigeria in enforcing cutting out than there has been in the Gold Coast?

I would like to see that statement and consider it. Some time ago, I made a very long statement on the whole problem in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg). It is very difficult, but my present information is that plans are proceeding reasonably satisfactorily.