HC Deb 21 March 1928 vol 215 cc353-4

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will assure the House that, when the Report on Western Samoa comes before the Permanent Mandates Commission at Geneva next June, the British representative will not offer any resistance to the hearing of the cause of the Mau or League of Samoans for self-government as well as the official case of New Zealand, the mandatory Power?


It is expressly provided in the constitution of the Permanent Mandates Commission that its members shall be selected on personal grounds and that they shall not hold any office which puts them in a position of direct dependence on their Government. It has further been ruled by the Council of the League that in no case shall any member of the Commission be regarded as representing the State of which he is a citizen or subject. It follows that His Majesty's Government in Great Britain are not in a position to give any assurance of the kind suggested in the question. The constitution of the Commission, however, provides that each report on a mandated territory shall be examined in the presence of the duly authorised representative of the mandatory Power from which it comes. In the case of Western Samoa, the appointment of this representative and the instructions which he receives are matters for decision by His Majesty's Government in New Zealand.