HC Deb 16 July 1952 vol 503 cc2132-4
24. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has yet received from the African Representative Council of Northern Rhodesia or the African Protectorate Council of Nyasaland a reply to his communication made to them before they left England on the subject of the proposals made at the Lancaster House Conference upon which they agreed to reserve judgment; and if he will publish their reply.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Oliver Lyttelton)

I made no formal communication to the delegates and I have had no indication that they propose to send one to me.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Secretary of State realise that his approach to this problem is entirely wrong and misguided in view of what has happened in this matter, and will he now alter it in the light of developments, and improve it?

Mr. Lyttelton

I am afraid I cannot accept the view that my opinion is misguided.

26. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the proposed constitution of the conference on Central African Federation which Her Majesty's Government intends to hold in Africa later this year; and what steps he is taking to encourage the Africans of the three territories concerned to send representatives to the forthcoming conference.

Mr. Lyttelton

The Governments concerned have not yet discussed this matter, but Her Majesty's Government assume that the individual delegations will be similar to those which attended the Lancaster House Conference. Africans from the Northern Territories will be invited and I hope that they will agree to send representatives to the next conference. I am asking the Governors to do everything they can to encourage them to do so.

Mr. Hughes

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Africans who did attend, and apparently are now to attend a further conference, were in no sense representative Africans, and that the conference cannot possibly succeed in the absence of representative Africans; and what does he propose to do about it?

Mr. Lyttelton

I really do not know what the hon. and learned Gentleman is talking about in this case. There were two Africans who attended from Southern Rhodesia, and I think it would be a disservice to say that they were not representative. The Africans in the Northern Territories refused to attend the conference, either as delegates or as observers, although they were invited.

Mr. Sorensen

What efforts are being made to secure at least equal attendance from Africans, not only from Southern Rhodesia but from Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Gentleman must accept my assurance that I pressed this invitation upon the representative bodies in both the Northern Territories, and I take this opportunity of repeating that I earnestly hope they will attend the next conference.

47. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will invite from leaders of all races opposing federation of the three Central African Territories definite statements of the alternatives suggested by them so that Parliament may be apprised of the real issues at stake.

Mr. Lyttelton

As I said in the debate on 29th April, it is always open to those who do not like the present scheme to put forward definite alternatives.