HC Deb 09 July 1952 vol 503 cc1293-4
9. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what date it is proposed to hold a general election in the Sudan; how soon thereafter, and by what instrument, the transfer of power to a Sudanese government will be effected; and how soon he anticipates that the interim period of self-government will be followed by self-determination.

Mr. Nutting

The present position of constitutional development in the Sudan is that the Governor-General has submitted a draft self-government statute to Her Majesty's Government and to the Royal Egyptian Government. This statute is now being examined by Her Majesty's Government. Under the provisions of the statute, elections for the Sudanese Parliament will take place when the statute comes into force. The draft statute also provides that following on elections a Sudanese Council of Ministers responsible to Parliament shall take office.

As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend on 15th November last, to which I have nothing to add at present.

Mr. Driberg

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is regarded as probable that the general election will be held in October, and can he say whether he saw the very important interview in today's "Daily Telegraph," in which Sayed Abdel Rahman el-Mandi Pasha expressed some anxiety lest the dragging on of the Anglo-Egyptian negotiations should delay that general election?

Mr. Nutting

As regards the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary, my attention has been drawn to that report. I do not think there need be any substance in those anxieties. As regards the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary, I should prefer at the moment to go no further than the Foreign Secretary went in saying that the Government hope that by the end of this year the self-governing constitution will be effected.