HC Deb 11 December 1935 vol 307 cc888-9
20. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what changes are in contemplation in the constitutions of the West Indian colonies or in that of any particular colony; what stage has been reached to secure public discussion in the colonies concerned; and whether any changes will be submitted to this House before being put into effect?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. J. H. Thomas)

Proposals for constitutional changes in the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands have been fully debated in the local Legislatures in those Colonies. It is intended, after consideration of the views of unofficial members thus obtained, to submit to His Majesty in Council a proposal to amend the constitutions of Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent in the Windward Islands, where the elective principle already exists, so as to provide for unofficial majorities in the several Legislatures in accordance with the recommendations of the Closer Union Commission, the Governor retaining full overriding powers. In the Leeward Islands the elective principle exists only in Dominica. It would be applied also to Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis and Montserrat, and in all these presidencies changes would be made by local ordinance similar to those in the Windward Islands. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.


Should not the suggestion in the last part of the question be complied with?


No one knows better than my hon. Friend that I have not departed in any way from ordinary procedure. The usual method is through the Colonial Office Vote.