HC Deb 18 October 1950 vol 478 cc2028-9
18. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how far the advice of the Colonial Economic Development Council was sought on the effect on the Colonial Empire of the Havana Charter and the policy on which it is based.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The Colonial Economic and Development Council was not consulted in this matter.

Mr. Russell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what steps were taken by his predecessor to ascertain the probable effect on the Colonial Empire of this policy of non-discrimination?

Mr. Griffiths

That is another question. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put it down.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Is it not a fact that if the Colonial Economic Development Council is to give advice on economic subjects, nothing has happened in the last few years more important to them than the Havana Charter? Surely they ought to have been consulted before the Government's attitude was declared.

Mr. Braine

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what use it is to talk about developing the economic resources of the Colonial Empire unless we make it plain to the world that we reserve the right to exchange mutual preference with constituent parts of the Empire?

Mr. Griffiths

The Question was whether this Council was consulted, and I said that it was not.