HC Deb 01 June 1937 vol 324 cc837-8
20. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, whether any representatives of the British dependencies in South Africa have attended the meetings of Pan-African Conferences held in Johannesburg in 1935 and 1936; what is the nature and purpose of these conferences; and whether any secretariat exists to summon future conferences or to carry on work in the intervals.

The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

The meetings of the Pan-African Health and Transport Conferences held at Johannesburg in 1935 and 1936 respectively were attended by representatives of Southern Rhodesia and of Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland. The purpose of the Pan-African Health Conference, convened by His Majesty's Government in the Union of South Africa under the auspices of the Health Committee of the League of Nations, was to continue the work done at a previous conference held in 1932 of considering problems relating to diseases affecting the various countries of Africa. The general purpose of the Pan-African Transportation Conference was to consider technical and other questions relating to rail, road and air transport, with a view to the elimination of uneconomic overlapping of services. With regard to the last part of the question, I understand that this matter is now being considered by the various authorities concerned.

Mr. Creech Jones

Is it intended to extend the scope and purpose of the conference so as to cover considerations of land and native policy?

Mr. MacDonald

I am not aware of any suggestion to that effect. The whole question of setting up machinery and the continuation of these discussions is under consideration by the authorities at the moment.