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British Group Considers Guiana Proposals; Additions to Report Issued

June 4, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A subcommittee of the Coordinating Committee on Refugees, it was officially stated today, is considering proposals arising out of the report of the Guiana investigating commission and will in due course submit its proposal to President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee on Refugees. The report, which was made public on May 10, said land suitable for ultimate large-scale settlement had been found and recommended early establishment of experimental settlements numbering from 3,000 to 5,000 young men and women at a cost of roughly $3,000,000 for two years.

This evening the Colonial Office released appendices to the report, consisting of expert reports by individual members. Dr. Joseph A. Rosen discusses the problem of large scale settlement, Dr. Emil C. Bataille, industrial conditions; Dr. Anthony Donovan and Dr. G. Giglioli, health conditions; Sir Geoffrey Evans, agricultural possibilities; Dr. D.W. duthie, soil conditions, and Lieut. -Col. Richard U. Nicholas, development of transportation.

Sir Geoffrey, who is economic botanist of Kew Gardens and formerly principal of the Imperial College of Agriculture at Trinidad, warns against attempts at large-scale plowing in the open savannah and declares that therefore the open savannahs must be considered as a pastoral proposition. He suggests a small station to tackle pastoral and stock problems and recommends that the fertile valley land be cultivated for crops and cattle.

Lieut.-Col. Nicholas, of the United States Corps of Engineers, recommends that the rivers in the areas under consideration be surveyed with a view to improvement and that highways should be constructed only as a necessary extension of waterways.

Dr. Donovan, of the United States Public Health Service, considers that large scale settlement by Europeans in the hinterlands is possible from the public health standpoint, but that serious health problems are involved, solution of which depends on provision of adequate funds and efficient application of the principles of tropical sanitation in the planning and execution of the entire project.

Dr. Rosen’s analysis of general conditions reaches favorable conclusions. He finds the coastal population vitally interested in development and settlement of the interior, the climate not unbearable, rainfall adequate, although the soil far from ideal, a superabundance of water power and considerable natural resources.

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