HC Deb 29 February 1944 vol 397 cc1243-4
46. Miss Ward

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the general feeling in the British Colonial Empire that His Majesty's Government have been far too little concerned with their interests in the last quarter of a century, he will move to appoint a Select Committee to examine the machinery at the centre responsible for colonial interests in order to see whether this failure to have a virile policy is due to the Colonial Secretaries in Office, the Colonial Office, the Cabinet or the Treasury and to make recommendations for the future.

Mr. Attlee

The policy of His Majesty's Government towards the Colonies has several times been the subject of recent debate in this House, and I regret that I should not be prepared to divert the energies now concentrated on present and future Colonial problems to a study of possible shortcomings in the past.

Miss Ward

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is useless to initiate policy for the future, if the machinery of government is inadequate to put it into operation, and that we have paid lip service to the Colonies for years and have done very little about them?

Sir Alfred Beit

Does this question not entirely ignore the benefits which will be conferred by the Colonial Development and Welfare Act?