HC Deb 30 July 1941 vol 373 cc1383-4
11. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Under-secretary of State for the Colonies whether any arrangements for the closer co-operation of Northern Rhodesia and Nyassaland with Southern Rhodesia have been made during the war; and whether discussions as to the future relations of these territories will remain in abeyance until the conclusion of hostilities?

14. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any further steps have been taken or are in preparation in respect of the proposed closer union of Northern Rhodesia, Nyassaland and Southern Rhodesia; and whether he can state the result of the study made by Lord Hailey, at the request of the Government of Southern Rhodesia, for the purpose of comparison of the principles and methods of native administration in the territories concerned?

Mr. Whiteley

Arrangements are in progress for the establishment of a standing secretariat of the existing Governors' Conference for the purpose of securing more effective co-operation of the war effort of the three territories. These arrangements will be reviewed within a reasonable period after the cessation of hostilities. As regards the future relations of the three territories, it will be remembered that in September, 1939, it was announced that the outbreak of the war had made it necessary to suspend the discussions with the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, but that they had not been indefinitely postponed. That statement still holds good, but further discussions of this problem have not, in fact, taken place up to the present. The views of Lord Hailey following on his visit to Africa are not yet available.

Mr. Creech Jones

May I take it that the Joint Committee referred to will limit its examination to problems that are designed to further the war effort, and will not include larger problems of the administration of the three territories concerned?

Mr. Whiteley

I think it would be better to wait to hear what the report is likely to be.

Mr. Harvey

Will the views of Lord Hailey be made available eventually to the Members of this House?

Mr. Whiteley

We cannot promise this under war conditions.