Cabinet committee notes on food supplies from the colonies, 27th October, 1947 (CAB 134/215)



The committee had before them a note by the Minister for Economic Affairs
(E.P.C. (47) 3) regarding the food supplies to be imported from the Colonies, Mandated Territories and Southern Rhodesia in 1947 and 1948.

In discussion of this paper the following points were raised:-

a) Consideration was now being given to the possibility of developing the resources of the Colonial Empire in subsidiary foodstuffs, e.g. tapioca
b) The scheme for producing ground-nuts in East Africa was unlikely to yield results in 1948, as the clearing of the ground had proved more difficult than had been expected. Some easier ground might be brought under cultivation earlier in Sudan, and this possibility was now being investigated.
c) Research has now been made into the possibility of growing rice in Borneo, and it was hoped that and experiment might be started there in 1948. If this was to go forward early action was required.THE MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS undertook to see whether the necessary authority could be granted quickly.
d) Senior members of the Colonial Service who were responsible for developing Colonial resources were being summoned to London for a conference, at which opportunity would be taken to impress upon them the importance of securing even small increases in food exports from the Colonies.
e) Reference was made to the possibility that the United States might import more bananas from the West Indies.

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