HC Deb 10 December 1952 vol 509 cc454-6
33. Mrs. White

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies which African representatives have been invited to attend the conference next January on Central African Federation.

Mr. Lyttelton

In Nyasaland the African Protectorate Council has been invited to nominate delegates but has declined. In Northern Rhodesia a similar invitation is being issued to the African members of the Legislative Council.

Mrs. White

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House if, when these invitations were made, the undertaking, which was given in this House by the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, was at the same time conveyed to the persons concerned?

Mr. Lyttelton

I think the hon. Lady is referring to the fact that their attendance did not carry with it a previous commitment. That is so.

35. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what debates have been held in the Legislative Council of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland on Central African Federation since the publication of the draft Federal Scheme; in which provincial councils the scheme has been discussed; what expressions of opinion on the scheme have been made by these councils; what debates on the scheme have been held in the Nyasaland African Protectorate Council; and whether these bodies have expressed opinions on the scheme.

Mr. Lyttelton

The Northern Rhodesian Legislative Council discussed the scheme on 3rd and 4th July last, and I have put a copy of the Report of the debate in the Library. I have no report yet of a debate on the scheme in the Nyasaland Legislative Council. In Northern Rhodesia only the Central Province Council has, so far as I know, discussed the scheme. Again, I have put a copy of the record of this meeting in the Library.

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State discussed the scheme with members of the Nyasaland Provincial Councils. I understand that the African Protectorate Council of Nyasaland debated the Federation issue on 4th Decem- ber. Reports of this debate will be placed in the Library as soon as they are received.

Mr. Hynd

In view of the fact that opportunities were not given to the Provincial Councils of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia to discuss reports from the delegates to the July conference on the grounds that they had not attended the conference, has the Minister any views on how this African delegation, if they come to the next conference, can have any other mandate than they had before, not having had the opportunity of discussing the new mandate, and is he also aware that all African bodies which have discussed it have rejected federation, including the conferences of the chiefs? What steps is he taking to induce the African representatives to come to the conference and to discuss the scheme from a fresh point of view?

Mr. Lyttelton

These very complicated questions are being discussed now.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Minister say if any African has yet endorsed the proposals for federation?

Mr. Lyttelton


Mr. Harold Davies

Would it be in order, now that we have come to the end of Colonial Questions, to ask you, Mr. Speaker, if you will try to protect the rights of private Members to see that in future they get White Papers and economic documents on the Colonies and elsewhere at the same time as the Press have them.

Mr. Speaker

We have already dealt with that matter. There was one complaint about one document and I said that I would look into it.

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