HC Deb 12 March 1947 vol 434 c1304
11. Mr. Wilkes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are taken to ensure that his despatches to Colonial Governments are brought to the attention of officers serving those Governments; and whether he will require that individual officers working in the field should have copies circulated to them and sign them to indicate that they have been read.

Mr. Creech Jones

Colonial Governments are responsible for seeing that the substance of despatches from the Secretary of State, whether published or not, is brought to the attention of any of their officers who may be concerned. I have no doubt that this responsibility is realised and properly discharged, and I should not be prepared to lay down any requirement going beyond the Colonial Regulations, which empower a Governor to publish any despatches which are not secret or confidential unless in a particular case he has been otherwise instructed

Mr. Wilkes

Is the Minister aware that one of the most frequent complaints of political officers working in the field in various Colonies, especially in Africa, is that they have no general picture of the overall policy for the Colony since the secretariat is the last resting place of Colonial documents?

Mr. Creech Jones

I very much appreciate the point. I admit that it is a gap and it is a service which we are setting out now to give to the colonial officers.