HC Deb 29 November 1948 vol 458 cc1613-4
19. Mr. Skeffington

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that it is the desire of the Somali population of British and ex-Italian Somaliland that the two territories should be united, and that the Somali National League and the Somali Youth League have both expressed the wish that no part of Somalia should be placed under Italian administration, whether as a trust or otherwise; and what steps he is taking to meet these views.

Mr. Mayhew

My right hon. Friend is aware that there is some support for a United Somalia amongst the Somalis, expressed principally through the two organisations mentioned by my hon. Friend, which are not, however, as influential as they claim to be. His Majesty's Government have in the past expressed the view that a United Somalia would be the best solution for these territories, but suggestions to this effect have not met with the support of the other Powers. The most recent available information about Italian Somaliland is contained in the report of the Four Power Commission which visited Italian Somaliland early this year. This shows that a substantial portion of local opinion was not in agreement with the programme of the Somalia Youth League which includes opposition to a return of Italian administration. His Majesty's Government are aware of the aspirations of the Somali people and would wish to promote them, but the matter is now one for the General Assembly, and not for His Majesty's Government to decide.

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