HC Deb 12 July 1944 vol 401 cc1726-7
23. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the failure to develop the harbour of Freetown to a standard worthy of the British Empire, and the divided responsibility as between his Department, the Admiralty and the Ministry of War Transport, he will take steps to set up an independent committee to develop Freetown and its harbour on up-to-date lines.

Colonel Stanley

The development of the port of Freetown is the responsibility of the Sierra Leone Government except for areas specifically set aside for naval use. Correlation of requirements is secured through the port executive committee which is responsible to the Colonial Government and on which the three Services and the Ministry of War Transport are represented.

Proposals for the post-war development of the port, drawn up by an officer of experience of port working both in the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone, have now been submitted and will be considered in conjunction with the proposals being made by the town planning adviser for West Africa and with the post-war requirements of the Services.

Miss Ward

In view of the fact that past correlation did not seem to be very successful, can my right hon. and gallant Friend assure me that no financial difficulties will stand in the way of the real development of the port and the Colony, consistent with the best use of British prestige?

Colonel Stanley

The hon. Lady will realise that the machinery is different now from what it was when she paid a brief visit to Freetown in the autumn. I am sure that no financial difficulties will stand in the way of a really well worked out- and economic scheme.