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West Indies

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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Emigration (United Kingdom)

36.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what further consultations he has had with representatives of Jamaican and other British West Indian Governments concerning the problem of ensuring reasonable accommodation for immigrants to this country, in view of the complaints by returning immigrants in respect of accommodation.

I have nothing to add to the Reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member on 16th November. As he said then, the Colonial Governments most concerned are well aware of the accommodation problems here.

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is most lamentable that full consultation did not take place between ourselves and the West Indian representatives before the Bill relating to immigration was introduced? Will the hon. Gentleman say whether he would now take part in consultations regarding this matter, which is the only valid aspect of the problem before us?

The first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is immensely wide of his Question on the Order Paper. Regarding the second part, there are standing arrangements by which representatives, that is to say, the Commissioner in London, the West Indies and the Home Department of this country are in touch.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall endeavour to raise the matter at the earliest opportunity.

Citrus Industry

37.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his discussions with the West Indian citrus industry.

A meeting was held last week, between my right hon. and noble Friend and representatives of the West Indian Citrus Industry, and it was agreed that certain inquiries should be made before a further meeting was held. In these circumstances, I am not at present able to make a statement.

Would not my hon. Friend agree that the present grave situation facing the industry is due largely to changes of policy in this country quite beyond the control of the West Indies? Does he recall that the Government gave a promise to the industry last April that we would do all that we could to publicise the availability of orange juice concentrates for mothers and children? Will he try to stimulate a little action in that direction to help the industry?

This is a very complicated question. I will certainly bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said.

May I remind my hon. Friend that the promise was made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health to this House and that very little money has been spent on advertising this product to the public? Will he arrange with his hon. Friend for rather more active steps to be taken in this direction?