HC Deb 09 December 1953 vol 521 c1973
36. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the letter, of which he has been informed, sent officially by Mr. L. H. Goble, acting chief secretary of Nigeria, to the chairman of the Action Group on 6th November, 1953, was written with his authority

Mr. Lyttelton

If the hon. Member is referring to the letter which was addressed to Mr. Awolowo on the 9th November, the answer is "Yes, Sir."

Mr. Brockway

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the way to secure co-operation in Nigeria is to make the kind of threat which was included in this letter, and in particular the threat that any attempt to secure the secession of the Western Region from the Federation would be regarded as the use of force, when there was no indication that force was at all intended?

Mr. Lyttelton

There is every indication that force was intended. I have a number of quotations here, with which I shall not trouble the House unless I am pressed, which show that there is no question that the statements of the Action Group leaders threatened force. What I said—and I have stated this in public—is that Mr. Awolowo has not withdrawn from any of the statements which I have quoted, and that therefore no settlement will be reached in Nigeria if we submit to threats and do not say that they will be resisted.

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