HC Deb 02 July 1935 vol 303 cc1696-9
31 and 32. Mr. PALING

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1) whether he will publish the despatch which he sent to the High Commissioner of South Africa following upon General Hertzog's visit;

(2) whether the memorandum handed to General Smuts in July, 1933, with regard to the transfer of the Protectorates, will be published as a White Paper?


My right hon. Friend does not consider it necessary to publish his letter to the High Commissioner, which was semi-official in character and does not contain anything material in addition to the information which he gave in the House on the 20th June. He is consulting General Hertzog as to the question of the publication of the memorandum of July, 1933.


Is my hon. Friend aware that the Dominions Secretary stated in reply to a question by myself that it would be published as a White Paper; and why is it necessary to consult General Hertzog?


My right hon. Friend promised to publish the aide memoire of this year and not the letter to General Smuts in 1933.


Do I understand that it is the memorandum to General Smuts that is to be published and not the latest communication?


It is the aide memoire which will be published as a White Paper in the course of the next few days. That is the document to which my right hon. Friend referred in his speech on the Dominions Office Vote.


Can the Under-Secretary indicate what is the nature of the co-operation between this Government and the Government of the Union of South Africa which was covered by the instructions to the High Commissioner?


I think there is a question to that effect later on the Paper. If anything more explicit is desired, perhaps the hon Member will put it down.

34. Mr. PALING

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs for what reason the development of the protec- torates, including the expenditure of the sums allocated to carrying out Sir Alan Pim's proposals in Bechuanaland and Basutoland, is to be submitted for approval to the Government of the Union?


It was not contemplated that any proposed expenditure from United Kingdom funds for the purposes mentioned should be submitted to the Union Government for approval; but, for the reasons indicated in the aide memoire which my right hon. Friend gave to General Hertzog, His Majesty's Government are naturally anxious to proceed in co-operation with the Union Government.

28. Mr. PALING (for Mr. LUNN)

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether in the instructions sent to Sir William Clark immediately after General Hertzog's return to South Africa, he took into account the desirability of the High Commissioner consulting with the resident commissioners in the protectorates?


Yes, Sir.

30. Mr. PALING (for Mr. LUNN)

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs at what date the description of the preamble of the South Africa Act of 1909 as a promise that the Protectorates should be transferred to the Union was accepted by the Union and by his Department, respectively; and if objections were made to the grant of self-government to Southern Rhodesia as one of the territories mentioned and to the constitution of Northern Rhodesia as a Protectorate under the Colonial Office?


The position is that Section 151 of the South Africa Act has, as General Hertzog recently described it, a meaning and intention, but that the right of the Government here to transfer the Native Territories or not remains unimpaired by the provisions of the Act. This, indeed, was made clear in the course of the Debates on the Bill in 1909. The reply to the second part of the question is in the negative.


Is it clear from the answer that the description of this portion of the Act as a promise is not accurate unless it is accompanied by the conditions of that promise?


The word "promise" is taken to mean an under- standing that a transfer will take place sooner or later with the agreement of the natives and after this Parliament has had an opportunity of expressing its opinion.

33. Mr. PALING (for Mr. LUNN)

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether His Majesty's High Commissioner in South Africa consulted the Resident Commissioners in the Protectorates before the recent agreed statement with General Hertzog was made; whether they agreed to the proposal for closer co-operation between the Union and the Protectorates administration; and, if so, in which spheres of government do they think it possible to co-operate?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative; as to the second part, the High Commissioner has been requested to confer with the Resident Commissioners on the whole question of co-operation, which is now under consideration locally.