HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 cc2286-7
55. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the new constitutional prosposals for the Sudan; how soon he anticipates that the Sudan Legislative Assembly will have completed consideration of them; and what reactions to them there have been from the various Sudanese political parties.

56. Mr. A. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what has been the attitude of the Sudan Legislative Assembly and the major political parties in Sudan to the official proposals for a new constitution.

Mr. Eden

The draft legislation which was laid before the Legislative Assembly in the Sudan on 2nd April represents a further stage in the process of consultation with the Sudanese people about constitutional reform, which originated with the establishment of an Amendment Commission approximately 12 months ago. The legislation is in the form of an amendment to the 1948 Executive Council and Legislative Assembly Ordinance and is designed to take into the fullest possible account the views and desires of all sections of responsible Sudanese political opinion.

The debate on the proposals in the Legislative Assembly begins today. I cannot foretell how long this debate will last. At the appropriate moment thereafter the proposed legislation will be referred to the Co-domini for their comments. It is too early yet to assess the reactions of Sudanese political opinion but this will to some extent become apparent as a result of the Legislative Assembly debate.

It is my earnest hope that all Sudanese political factions will sink their differences about the ultimate status of their country and co-operate in the measures which are now being prepared with the purpose of giving the Sudanese people control over their internal affairs.

Mr. Brockway

Can the right hon. Gentleman give information on what happened when the Commission which was to prepare these reports split, and from whom the proposals actually came to the Legislative Assembly?

Mr. Eden

The proposals were drawn up and put forward by the Governor-General.