HC Deb 29 April 1953 vol 514 cc2133-4
17. Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the decision of the Eastern Region Parliamentary Committee of the party led by Dr. Azikiwe in Nigeria that Ministers belonging to the party must sign an undated letter of resignation before appointment, to be kept by a person who is not a member of the Eastern Region House of Assembly; and what steps he is taking to safeguard the electorate against this undemocratic practice.

Mr. Lyttelton

I am informed that the National Executive Committee of this party did require such letters to be furnished by those whom it nominated to replace the present Ministers in the Eastern Region. These letters were to be kept for use should the nominees fail to obey the party dictates, but in fact none of these nominees has been appointed to office. I hope that the House will join me in condemning this threat to democratic Parliamentary Government in that Region. The only effective safeguard against it lies in the sense of responsibility of members of the Regional Legislature and electorate and I propose to ask the Governor to give this Question and answer wide publicity in Nigeria.

Mr. J. Griffiths

As one responsible for bringing this constitution into operation, may I ask to be able to join in making an appeal to our friends in Nigeria, who are embarking on a very great scheme of self-government and Ministerial responsibility, that in these matters they would be well advised to follow the good practice obtaining in this country?

Mr. Lyttelton

I should like to thank the right hon. Member for that.

Back to