HC Deb 21 November 1946 vol 430 cc1012-3
48. Mr. Dumpleton

asked the Prime Minister what undertakings were sought or obtained with a view to safeguarding the future economic and political interests of the people of the Bechuanaland Protectorate before a decision was taken to support the Union of South Africa's application to U.N.O. for the annexation of South West Africa.

The Prime Minister

As has previously been explained to the House, it is not considered that the interests of the Bechuanaland Protectorate can be regarded as involved in the question of the future status of South West Africa. In the opinion of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom the views of the inhabitants, European and native, of South West Africa itself are the factor to be taken into account, and as I stated in reply to a Question on 23rd October we are satisfied as to the steps taken by the Union Government to ascertain the wishes of the inhabitants.

Mr. Dumpleton

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the need to the Bechuanaland Protectorate for an outlet to the West coast will at any rate be safeguarded?

The Prime Minister

As I understand it, that matter does not really arise. I understand that is not a feasible proposition. If my hon. Friend has any point to put to me, I will gladly look into it.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the House be assured that before Bechuanaland and the other two Protectorates in the same position have either their status or the practical control of their administration altered, there will be a full opportunity for discussion in the House?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. Of course, that is another question, but it has been answered very often.