HC Deb 09 November 1937 vol 328 cc1567-8
22. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what are the functions of the Board of Trustees set up in the Southern Rhodesian Constitution Bill which has just received the Royal Assent; and whether their decisions, and those of the Government, still remain, in certain matters relating to the natives, subject to the veto of the Secretary of State?

Marquess of Hartington

The Board of Trustees is a body which has been established by the Letters Patent amending the Southern Rhodesia Constitution which were brought into operation on 22nd October. Under these Letters Patent the Native Reserves are vested in the Board of Trustees in place of, as hitherto, the High Commissioner for Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland. The precise powers of the Board and of the Secretary of State are explained in detail in the documents published in the Command Paper Cmd. 5218. The amendments of the Constitution do not diminish the powers of the Secretary of State.

Mr. Creech Jones

May I ask whether the Board of Trustees take their authority from the Secretary of State, and in the event of a conflict between the Southern Rhodesia Government and the Board of Trustees will the Secretary of State himself decide the issue?

Marquess of Hartington

The chairman of the Board is nominated and appointed by the Secretary of State, and that gives the Secretary of State efficient control over the Board.