HC Deb 02 December 1947 vol 445 cc189-90
45. Mr. Bartlett

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the increasing importance of the African Colonies and the similarity of the problems most of them have to face, he will appoint an Under-Secretary of State for the British-African territories.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

I do not think that the proposal of my hon. Friend for the appointment of an Under-Secretary to deal with a specific group of Colonies would be administratively convenient or practical.

Mr. Bartlett

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind the fact that these problems are becoming very much greater now, and that the time has come for some regional consideration?

The Prime Minister

I think there is a good deal of consideration of these problems within the Colonial Office, but I do not think the specific proposal would be wise.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that there is a growing feeling among many hon. Members interested in the development of the Colonial Empire that it will be extremely difficult for the Secretary of State for the Colonies to face up to his very onerous tasks in the future unless such an appointment is made, which would make consultation on the spot available to both the Colonial Governments and the home Government?

The Prime Minister

I am quite well aware of the need for consultation on the spot by Ministers, but I was dealing with the position as a whole.