HC Deb 20 July 1949 vol 467 cc1361-2
36. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Governor of Sarawak has been transferred from Sarawak to the Gold Coast; to what extent it is his intention only to keep Governors in Sarawak for a short period of duty; and if he will give the name of the new Governor of Sarawak.

Mr. Creech Jones

This officer was selected for the Governorship of the Gold Coast because he was considered the most suitable person for that appointment. I certainly have no such intention as that suggested in the second part of the Question. I am not yet in a position to announce the name of the new Governor of Sarawak.

Mr. Teeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that when Sarawak was confiscated, two or three years ago, it was pointed out that the Brooke family knew the language, the country and the people, and that the main trouble would be that the new Governor would not? The right hon. Gentleman then suggested that everything possible would be done to keep a Governor there as long as possible. Is he aware that ignorant people there will now think that this means failure on the part of His Majesty's Governor, while others will realise that Governors are not to be kept there for the length of time originally suggested?

Mr. Creech Jones

I think the hon. Gentleman had better wait until a further announcement is made about the Governor of Sarawak, but in any case the principle of continuity is kept well in mind.

Mr. Stanley

In the case of illness of a Governor, however desirable it may be that Governors should have a long term in their Colony, is it not inevitable sometimes that these terms must be cut short?

Mr. Teeling

Is it not true that the Minister originally suggested that the Governor would stay there a long time, and that that statement was irresponsible.

Mr. Creech Jones

I do not agree that I made any such statement.

Mr. Dumpleton

Does my right hon. Friend agree with the suggestion that Sarawak was confiscated?

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