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Seychelles (Food Subsidies)

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1950

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115.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will clarify the announcement recently made in the Seychelles Legislative Council in respect of price controls and food subsidies; and, in view of the low minimum male wage of 8s. 6d. for a 40-hour week, he will give an assurance that subsidies will be maintained on sugar, maize, coconut oil and soap until and unless compensating wage increases have been granted for their withdrawal.

Since the statement, to which I presume by hon. Friend refers, was made in July last, my right hon. Friend has received no recommendation from the officer administering the Government of Seychelles for the winding up of the Government Supplies Department in the Colony. On the other hand, the Government of Seychelles has recently, with my right hon. Friend's approval, increased the subsidy on rice and sugar to assist in meeting the higher landed cost of later consignments. As regards the second part of the Question, the maintenance of subsidies is primarily one of the Government of Seychelles to decide, but I can assure my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend will continue to keep a close watch on the situation.