HC Deb 14 June 1939 vol 348 cc1271-2
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether, in connection with Lord Hankey's appointment to the Permanent Mandates Commission, he will give precise particulars, including periods and territory involved, of Lord Hankey' s experence of native Colonial administration?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

Lord Hankey's distinguished career does not include any direct handling of native Colonial administration. But, as the hon. Member is aware from my answer to him on 6th June, there is no specific requirement that members of the Permanent Mandates Commission should possess such experience, and I am sure that the House will agree that Lord Hankey's exceptionally long and intimate experience of administrative problems of all kinds renders him particularly well qualified to serve on the Commission.

Mr. Mander

Is it not a very great pity that the precedent set in the past has not been followed by appointing some outstanding British administrator who has had experience of native Colonial administration?

Mr. Butler

No doubt the value of a knowledge of Colonial administration is a matter which should always be borne in mind but I think we have been exceptionally fortunate in this case.

Mr. Mander

Would it not have been better to appoint the Colonial Secretary himself?

Mr. Butler

If there is any suggestion of a comparison between distinguished persons, I find it difficult to distinguish which is the more distinguished of those two.

Mr. T. Williams.

May I ask whether Lord Hankey has gone to the Mandates Commission to submit the case of the Government for the White Paper, or as an impartial member of the Commission?