HC Deb 12 October 1943 vol 392 cc702-3
45. Mr. John Duģdale

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to say whether the statement by the Secretary of State for the Colonies at Lagos, on 17th September, that no country could be self-governing without being economically independent represents the views of His Majesty's Government?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

I have ascertained that no verbatim record was made of what my right hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies said at Lagos on 12th September. My right hon. and gallant Friend with whom we have communicated suggests that the Question may refer to a remark, which was in effect what he had already said in this House on 13th July, namely that there could be no reality in self-government without the ability to be financially independent. As a general statement this seems to be unexceptionable.

Mr. Duģdale

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I, too, have made inquiries, and have ascertained that the words in this Question were actually used in the official release given out to the Press of what had taken place at the interview?

The Prime Minister

Well, and we have the advantage of knowing direct from the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the position in principle which he adopts.