Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 11, after "Court," insert:
A Federal Human Rights Commission:"—[Mr. Brockway.]
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ 3.45 p.m.
§ The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. Henry Hopkinson)
I think that the whole Committee will be indebted to the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) and his hon. Friends for having put down this Amendment, which has enabled us to discuss the issue of the reduction and the eventual elimination of racial discrimination in these territories. My right hon. Friend has made it clear on many occasions that both he and Her Majesty's Government sympathise with the objectives of this Amendment.
In the course of the speeches on Thursday last, there was reference to the activities of the United Nations in this field. That, of course, generally speaking, is a matter for the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, but Her Majesty's Government have continuously participated in the work of the United Nations in the field of human rights. I myself, representing the Government on the Fourth Committee of the United Nations Assembly last autumn, participated in drafting a resolution, which was finally adopted on 11th December, dealing with this subject of racial discrimination in non-self-governing territories. The fact is that Her Majesty's Government throughout from the beginning when they subscribed to the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 until today, have played a very full part.
It must, however, be borne in mind, that unlike what the hon. Gentleman suggested the other day, the Declaration of Human Rights is, in fact, a statement of aims and not a legal obligation. The 1912 present Leader of the Opposition, in January, 1949, was asked whether the Government would take steps to initiate in British domestic and Colonial legislation such legislation as was necessary to bring it into line with the principles laid down in this Declaration, and the then Prime Minister made it perfectly clear that the Declaration was a statement of aims and principles only, and he said that there was no obligation to give early legislative effect to any provision with which United Kingdom and Colonial laws might be at variance.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
In my speech I gave a number of instances where, in the case of a trusteeship council, in the cases of State constitutions and of peace treaties, the terms of the Declaration of Human Rights have actually been included in agreements or constitutions. I pointed out that the terms of the Declaration itself actually applied to the Bill which is now before the House. As we are handing over these very important powers, cannot the right hon. Gentleman include in this constitution both the Declaration and an instrument to carry it out?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I am aware of the facts, but the hon. Gentleman said that this was an international obligation. I am merely pointing out that that is not the case.
§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)
The right hon. Gentleman is making a statement of great importance. The Declaration, in the formal part, leaving out the preamble which is even more impressive, proclaims:… this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition. …Do we mean that or do we not? Have Her Majesty's present advisers gone back on this, or do they accept it? If they do accept it, what are they going to do about it in this Measure?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
Of course we accept it. As I have said, I was responsible for drafting a resolution in the United Nations last year which carried out or 1913 was intended to carry out the effects of the Declaration. As the present Leader of the Opposition himself said, it is not a legal obligation. I want to make that point clear. I am sure that it is clear in this Committee, but it is important that it should be made clear in other places where what we say here will be read.
I will get back to the present proposal, which is rather different from what the hon. Gentleman was referring to just now. The present proposal is one to set up a statutory Human Rights Commission in these Territories; it would form part of the law of the land. This goes much further than anything which has ever been debated at the United Nations. Apart from the constitutions in which references are made to the Declaration of Human Rights, all that has taken place at the United Nations is that from time to time there have been proposals for promoting local information groups or human rights committees; but, unless I am mistaken, no State, with perhaps one or two exceptions, has ever suggested that there should be anything more than consultation with voluntary organisations already existing.
In the case which we are discussing, the need for a statutory body of this sort seems to be less obvious, because one of the main functions of the African Affairs Board, under paragraph 58 of the scheme, is to make representations to the Federal Government on any matterwithin the legislative or executive authority of the Federation as the Board may consider to be desirable in the interests of Africans.That seems to me to be essentially positive in character and very much in line with what the hon. Gentleman was describing in his speech the other day, when he talked of some body which would have the continuous duty of watching developments and making continuous proposals to the Federal Parliament for the reduction of racial discrimination.
The African Affairs Board will have exactly those rights and powers, and will be composed of responsible legislators, that is, members of the Legislature, which must be the ultimate authority which, in due course, will help to eliminate these practices and the other matters which we are discussing today.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I should be going very wide of the Amendment if I were to discuss that now, but my right hon. Friend will deal with that point.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State is saying something which is intended to be heard by everybody?
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton) rose——
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I really cannot give way; I have only a short time, and I must deal with this important Amendment and the important new Clause which is being taken at the same time.
These persons are particularly well qualified to express views on this matter. In the first place, they will consist as to one-half of Europeans, specially appointed to represent African views, because they are in touch with the needs and requirements of Africans. The other half will be Africans themselves, selected from their members of Parliament. We believe that the powerful stimulus which this African Affairs Board will give, and the general support and encouragement which Her Majesty's Government, and, no doubt, this House will continue to give, towards the elimination of racial discrimination, will enable this process to go forward as rapidly and successfully as possible, having regard to the conditions in the Territories.
We do not believe that the process would be accelerated by the establishment of a Human Rights Commission, as proposed in the Amendment. It is perfectly true that certain differential legislation exists in Colonial Territories, but much of it is, of course, intended to protect the less developed sections of the population against economic or cultural submergence or pressure from other communities.
I do not imagine that the hon. Member for Eton and Slough would for a moment consider, when quoting the Declaration of Human Rights, that the present constitution of Southern Rhodesia should be altered so as to permit complete equality in regard to land tenure in favour of 1915 Europeans. He would not suggest that there should be no discrimination there, and, I imagine, neither would he suggest that we should eradicate all legislation in which there is discrimination against Europeans in the Gold Coast, Nigeria or the Sudan.
That constitutes the bulk of the legislation which might be described as of a racial character in these Territories. On the other hand, there is discrimination which comes from the customs and practices of individuals and communities concerned. The hon. Gentleman gave us an impressive list the other day of instances of the colour bar or racial discrimination in the Rhodesias, and, of course, we know that certain forms of racial and social discrimination do exist, but let us be quite fair about it.
Among the instances which the hon. Gentleman quoted the other day, he gave that of African customers in certain shops, and he said that they were served from hatches. First, let us bear in mind that, only about six months ago, after conversations with the Northern Rhodesian Government, the Associated Chambers of Commerce in Northern Rhodesia, which comprises almost all the businesses in Northern Rhodesia, sent a circular to their members urging them to consider the abolition of serving customers through windows, and the result has been that already there has been a great decrease in the number of shops which follow this practice. It is, as I know from my own experience out there, almost entirely maintained for practical purposes in grocery stores, butchers' shops, and so on, where goods which will deteriorate have to be handled, and which lie about on the counters.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I do not want to go into details on this matter.
To take the case of Lusaka, the capital, out of a total number of 102 retail shops, 80 admitted Africans without any distinction at all, four of them had separate counters, and only six of them served through hatches. These figures relate to the end of last year. To take the case of Post Offices with separate entrances for Africans, there are now only nine out of 1916 60, and, of the latter, only three have separate counters. In fact, the policy of building Post Office buildings with common entrances has been implemented since 1949 and is continuing today.
On a number of other points which the hon. Gentleman mentioned, his remarks were so worded as to suggest that there was a complete ban on Africans, and that a hard and fast line was being followed, whereas there are changes going on all the time. It is precisely because these changes are taking place in the attitude towards the colour bar in Northern Rhodesia, and in Southern Rhodesia, too, that I feel that one must deplore such movements as that to which the hon. Gentleman referred the other day—the so-called "Break the Colour Bar Movement" in Northern Rhodesia.
Surely, when these things are developing in the right direction, with the good will of the majority of the Europeans, and with evident signs of success, it cannot be right to encourage movements which attempt to secure their objectives by hostile demonstrations or by steps which are liable to lead to physical clashes or disorder. Such action can only lead, as in the case of the Union of South Africa, to the hardening of European opinion, the encouragement of reactionary elements and the frustration of the attainment of their objectives by the Africans themselves.
The hon. Gentleman, and also the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) referred to the position of the Asian communities, not only in regard to the colour bar, but in regard to their political status in the new Federation. I am of course, aware, as the hon. Gentleman is, of the large number of Asians in these three Territories, but the fact that they are not mentioned in the federal scheme is no more significant than the fact that the European community are not mentioned either. There is, in fact, no difference at all in the way in which the scheme treats Asians and Europeans. In Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, Asians will be on the common roll with Europeans.
§ Mr. Brockway
Surely the hon. Gentle-way knows that in Southern Rhodesia the total electoral roll is 50,000, and that there are only 535 Asians on that 1917 common roll? How can it possibly be said that they are being treated in a similar way.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I have not got the figures, so I cannot give them to the hon. Gentleman, but there are a great many more Asians in Southern Rhodesia. From what I have seen myself, I know that Asians, if they choose to do so, could register for enrolment on the common roll, and I think that if the hon. Gentleman will look into the matter he will find that they amount to many thousands.
The election of members to the Federal Assembly of Nyasaland will, until the Legislative Council of Nyasaland decides otherwise, be decided by the Governor-General, in agreement with the Governor in Council. I cannot say what these regulations will be, but I will willingly undertake to the hon. Gentleman to convey his view to the Governor-General and the Governor and suggest that it should be borne in mind when the time comes to frame these regulations.
The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson), in a very useful contribution the other day, referred to what he described as "the need for a change in the cultural equilibrium." That is a phrase I like and I would not dispute it for a moment. I certainly agree that education is the keystone to this question of finding a real and genuine partnership in these Territories. He said something about the new multiracial university college at Salisbury. All I would say to him now is that I have noted his views on this question of no discrimination in regard to the living quarters of students and I will see that they are sympathetically considered.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. When I said that the site of this new university college was 250 acres he interrupted to say that, according to a cable he has received, it was 1,250. Could he make any further comment on this matter?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I am very glad to have this opportunity of making the point clear. It is only 250, although in the cable I saw it was given as 1,250 1918 acres, and I thought I was justified in interrupting the hon. Gentleman. I hope very much that it will soon be 1,250. That is what we should aim at. On the question of accommodation at hostels for students I assure the hon. Gentleman again that Her Majesty's Government attach very great importance to this matter, and we are sure that a solution can be found.
Perhaps I may now sum up the views of Her Majesty's Government in regard to the proposed establishment of the Human Rights Commission as contemplated by the Amendment. The enactment of detailed legislation or the introduction of an artificial expedient of the kind proposed in the Amendment are not the answer. We consider that the African Affairs Board will go a long way to provide the machinery for securing the reduction and elimination of the practices of racial discrimination which the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends have in mind.
The best safeguard against such practices lies in the continued advancement of the less highly developed communities, for which we believe the present scheme will cater, and in providing for the education of public opinion which will itself discountenance prejudice. This policy has been followed elsewhere and has been endorsed by successive Governments as the best, inasmuch as it will lead to the co-operation of the people themselves, the people actually concerned, in the settlement of their problems, rather than attempting to dictate from Whitehall exactly how they should run their lives.
I turn to the proposed new Clause in the name of the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) and his hon. Friends. It has been argued in support of it that the value of paragraph 112—this was argued by the hon. Lady for Flint, East (Mrs. White)—which provides for non-discrimination on grounds of race in the Civil Service, is vitiated by the fact that in determining the suitability of a particular person for employment regard would be had to the circumstances of the locality in which he is employed.
This paragraph was not put in without a great deal of thought—[Laughter.]—a great deal of discussion and thought. It is a very important point. It is not some- 1919 thing to jeer at at all. It occupied long hours of discussion and we believe that we have succeeded in achieving the desired end. I will give a few examples of what we had in mind when we put in the sentence at the end of the paragraph.
§ Mr. Dugdale
Will the right hon. Gentleman say what the end desired was? That is the important thing.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
To secure the elimination of racial discrimination in the Civil Service. That is what we were aiming at. In the postal and telegraph service in Nyasaland, all the junior grades are in the hands of Africans. The feeling was that it would be inappropriate and undesirable to attempt, at present, to infiltrate European employees into that Service. We believe that to introduce a European, simply because he had the right qualifications, and for him to arrive in Nyasaland and say, "I want to be employed here," would be completely wrong. For that reason we put in the particular phrase in paragraph 112.
The same thing applies to postmasters elsewhere. Take the case of Southern Rhodesia. In the native areas the postmasters are all Africans. It would be quite inappropriate, and would receive a very hostile reception, for an attempt to be made to introduce a European. The same thing applies in reverse. In Salisbury——
§ Mr. Hale
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to be saying that there would be a hostile attitude towards the introduction of a European into the junior grades and not into the senior grades? Is he not making the case that can be made in New York, that the liftmen there are nearly all coloured men?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
There is no question of trying to secure elimination of Africans from the senior grades. I am discussing the junior grades and saying that at the moment it is undesirable to introduce members of European or African communities, as the case may be, simply because they possess the requisite qualifications. We want to have the right of control in that matter.
1920 As regards the headquarters of the Federal Service, which the hon. Lady raised and which are, of course, at Salisbury, I would simply refer the hon. Lady to paragraph 4 (2) of the federal scheme under which the Federal Legislature will have the right to establish a special area in Salisbury where the territorial laws will not apply, where there will be no question of applying any restrictions which may exist under Southern Rhodesian law, and where Africans and Europeans will be able to serve side by side with no limit whatever as to the posts which they can attain.
§ Mr. Dugdale
The right hon. Gentleman said, a minute or so ago, "We want to have the right of control." Surely the essence of the scheme is that we shall not have the right of control and that the Federal Government shall have the right of control. When he says "We" does the right hon. Gentleman mean the Federal Government or us?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I beg the pardon of the Committee. Perhaps I did not make my meaning clear. I was thinking of ourselves when we were drafting the particular paragraph. It is, of course, the Federal Government who have the right of control.
I think I might mention one further point to the Committee as it has an important bearing on the proposed new Clause. It refers to paragraph 112, on the eligibility for employment in the Federal Public Service of any member of the Civil Service capable of holding any office. The Clause has the same intention as the paragraph which we have put into the scheme, but which has been worded differently for the reasons I have explained.
It is nothing new. In the Constitution of India, which, I think all hon. Members will agree, is a very fair and up-to-date constitution as far as racial and religious discriminations are concerned, it will be seen that in Article 16 the first paragraph says:There shall be equality of opportunity,and the second paragraph:No citizen shall, on grounds of religion, race, caste … be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.1921 But the third paragraph says:Nothing in this Article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the State … any requirement as to residence within that Slate prior to such employment or appointment.And it then goes on, in the next paragraph, to say:Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any provisions for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.Those are the same exceptions which we had in mind when we drew up Paragraph 112, and we believe it will have the desired effect of securing equality of treatment in the Federation's public service. For this reason, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will feel it possible not to press for this new Clause as we think that the objects which he and his hon. Friends have in view have already been fully met.
§ Sir Frank Soskice (Sheffield, Neepsend)
I propose to concentrate the observations which I wish to make particularly on the new Clause. I feel sure that the Minister of Stale for Colonial Affairs and the Secretary of State for the Colonies will have realised from speech after speech that has been made from this side of the Committee that one of the great anxieties of my hon. and right hon. Friends is this. They find in the scheme set out in the White Paper certain provisions. These provisions, such as Paragraph 112, are designed to give certain safeguards to the African population in the Territories. But what they do not find is any guarantee that when the Order in Council is made provisions of that sort will find their place in the Order.
My case for the Clause very simply and briefly is this. When we look at Paragraph 112, we see that it contains what in our opinion is something of great value from the point of view of breaking down this colour bar, and we hope to find when the Order in Council is made that something of that sort will find its way into that Order. But when we look at this enabling Bill, we find that it is completely and absolutely bereft of any safeguard to ensure that that will be the case.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
Perhaps it would help if I gave the assurance right away that that Paragraph 112 will be written into the Constitution.
§ Sir F. Soskice
I am afraid that does not give me the assurance for which I am asking. If the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs tells me that that will be the case, why cannot the Bill say so? What is the difficulty?
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Oliver Lyttelton)
§ Sir F. Soskice
The Secretary of State says "Yes, certainly." Is he saying that he is prepared to accept this new Clause?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I said it would raise quite other and wider questions. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will know, whether rightly or wrongly, that the method chosen by the Government has been to have an enabling Bill and an Order in Council. All we are prepared to say at this moment, unless the right hon. and learned Gentleman wishes the argument to range wider, is that the particular provisions in Paragraph 112 will be incorporated in the Order in Council. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman raises the question of why little bits of the Order in Council cannot be put into the Bill, that is another question.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Sir F. Soskice
The Secretary of State has not added a word to what the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs has said, and both answers are unsatisfactory. I am not suggesting that the Government were wrong to have an enabling Bill; I am simply saying that it should contain such safeguards as that for which I am asking. It is no good the right hon. Gentleman saying that the method chosen is not wrong. I am not saying whether it is right or wrong, but simply that, whatever the method, he should accept what is contained in this new Clause.
We on this side might well have been criticised by those who think as we do in not having gone further in the new Clause, which is to achieve a very modest objective. I ask the Secretary of State to look at it and think again, and see if he cannot at least put that modest provision for which we ask in the Bill.
I am not arguing in favour of a Commission on Human Right, or anything of 1923 that sort. The Minister has given an answer which may or may not satisfy my hon. Friends. Probably, it will not. I am arguing whether this enabling Bill, remaining an enabling Bill, should not be altered to include what is asked for in the new Clause.
What does the Clause ask for? It asks that the enabling Bill shall provide that when the Order comes to light it shall contain what the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs says it will contain. He said it will contain that, and I am very glad to hear him say so, but I want the enabling Bill so to provide that it is an Act of this Parliament and so that it is the combined expression of the will of this Parliament that the Order in Council is to contain as a matter of necessity the minimum obligation which this Clause enshrines. That minimum obligation is that any law of the Federal Parliament and any instruction or directive given by any person in the service of the Federal Parliament shall provide that no individual shall be regarded as incapable of or debarred from filling a post simply and solely on the ground of colour, creed or race.
That is the minimum that anybody could ask for, and I am asking the Minister once again if that is what the scheme provides for in Paragraph 112. I gather from him that he concedes it is. If, in fact, he says that that is what is going to be in the Order in Council, why in the world cannot he give us the satisfaction of accepting this Amendment and putting what we ask for in the Bill?
This stolid and obdurate refusal, first by the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs and then by the Secretary of State, cannot but engender suspicions in the minds of those of us who feel that we must watch extremely closely every step which the Government take to implement this scheme. We have been suspicious of it from the beginning, and this kind of attitude, not supported by any reason, but simply supported by generalisations which do not bear upon the subject under discussion, this kind of attitude, this sort of unreasonable refusal, simply heightens the suspicions of those of my hon. Friends who sit on this side of the Committee and of those who are outside the Committee and who are keenly watching the 1924 proceedings of the Committee this afternoon.
I appeal to the Secretary of State and to the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs to give the matter further thought. What is the objection to putting it into the Bill? It cannot be because this is an enabling Bill There is no magic in the words "enabling Bill." An enabling Bill can contain in it what Parliament decides. I am asking that Parliament should decide that these words should be put into the Bill. Therefore, it is no answer to say that it is an enabling Bill. We have previously been met by the reply that the Bill could not be altered without the whole thing being re-negotiated with those parties who took part in the various discussions on this matter.
The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs cannot give that answer here because this is simply following out what I have said the federal scheme contains and what he says will be in the Order in Council. What is the answer? Why cannot he give us an answer? Why must he leave us in a state of complete doubt about the Government's intentions by this obdurate refusal to accept a sensible proposal which would go some way to give a sense of security to the many millions of people dependent upon the provisions of this Bill and on the Order in Council to be made under it?
I am very disappointed with the Minister's attitude. We have not had a single answer on the new Clause, but he has attempted to give an answer on the Amendment. He said that the African Affairs Board will partly cover the functions envisaged as those of the Commission. That may not be right and I should be very doubtful whether my hon. Friends would be satisfied with that. I cannot think what the Minister had to say about hostile demonstrations against the colour bar being undesirable had to do with the Clause. He and the Secretary of State have really excelled themselves in obduracy on this subject. I feel that the whole Committee and not only my hon. and right hon. Friends will feel that the Ministers have acted in a way that is utterly unreasonable and highly suspicious as well.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) has said that the Govern- 1925 ment have acted in an obdurate manner. There is increasing suspicion among all of us on this side of the Committee that in this respect the Government are unwilling to consider Parliament at all. They have made a deal and intend to stand by it, and nothing said in this Committee or the House of Commons will have any effect on them. The new Clause in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) is one that could easily be accepted if a deal had not been made.
The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs has said that, roughly speaking, it represents words which will in fact go into the Order in Council. The only reason why he can possibly refuse to put those words in the Bill must be that it has been decided to put certain words in the Bill and no others, that is none except those already decided in advance of Parliamentary discussion. That is not treating Parliament with proper respect.
Not only the new Clause in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly but also the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Fenner Brockway) expressed the feeling of abhorrence against racial discrimination of all of us on both sides of the Committee. Between 1939 and 1945 when we fought against the Nazis we fought, among other things, against their racial discrimination. That racial discrimination was not only shown in concentration camps. We want to see that we do not introduce the ghetto into Central Africa. Let us keep it out of Central Africa as we fought to keep it out of Europe during the war.
It is perfectly possible that if the action which is suggested in Amendments on the Order Paper from this side of the Committee is not taken, we may see something like that established in Central Africa, just as it has been established already in South Africa. It is not only a question of action such as the establishment of concentration camps, action of physical brutality, but action of the kind which is designed to make a man feel inferior, action consisting of turning him out of hotels and cinemas and making him enter special parts of trains and use special entrances into post offices. All these things are designed to make him feel that somehow or other, because of 1926 the colour of his skin, he is inferior to others.
However much he may educate himself, however much he struggles year in and year out in the new university which is to be created until he has achieved the level of education equal to that of the white man, he cannot alter the colour of his skin. That being so, the colour bar places upon him an inferiority which no amount of work on his own part can possibly remove. It may be said that the provisions which we suggest are not necessary if Sir Godfrey Huggins and Mr. Roy Welensky agree that there shall be no colour bar, or discrimination of any kind. But if they do agree why should they object to the Clause which we suggest should be inserted in the Bill? On the other hand, if they do not agree it is vitally necessary that such a Clause should be inserted.
It is particularly necessary for one reason. Today many of the practices which I have described exist in Southern Rhodesia. Unfortunately, many of them also exist in Northern Rhodesia; but they do not exist in Nyasaland. Many of us fear that these practices may infiltrate into Nyasaland if federation should become a fact. It may be said that there are adequate safeguards. It is always said that there is the safeguard of the African Affairs Board, but I remind the Committee of the words used on 11th May, at Kitwe, by Mr. Roy Welensky. He said:I will see to it that Africans do not go looking to the House of Commons as a place where they can appeal against the decisions of their own Government.I submit that that is not a statement which should be made by a responsible man in the British Commonwealth. It is a statement which shows grave disrespect to this House.
It is typical of the attitude of mind of men like Mr. Welensky that African Affairs Board or no African Affairs Board, safeguards or no safeguards, they will do what they want to do. It is for this reason that we feel it essential to write the words that we propose into the Bill which will set up federation, so that Africans may be sure that in future they will have the rights which all of us, on both sides of the Committee, have so often said they deserve.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I intervene at this moment because earlier the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) questioned me about Amendments which alter the scheme and about incorporating in the enabling Bill certain parts of the matter which will be in the Order in Council. That is why, especially as the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice) has opened this subject again, I intervene.
The speech made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and the speech made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) are largely shadow boxing, because we have already given categorical assurances that Paragraph 112 will be incorporated in the Order in Council. That ought to satisfy hon. and right hon. Members in all parts of the Committee that the object will be secured in this way. I can hardly believe that either the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Neepsend or the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich is calling in question the good faith of my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs and myself when we assure them that this will be in the Order in Council. They both said our action engendered suspicion. Suspicion of what? Suspicion that it will not be in the Order in Council?
§ Mr. Dugdale
As the right hon. Gentleman has challenged us specifically, I rise to say that I said it engendered suspicion because this provision was not being inserted in the Bill. I said that the suspicion was not that it would not be put in the Order in Council but that it could not be put in the Bill because of the arrangements already arrived at with the other two parties to federation.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
That is mere shadow boxing. What matters to every hon. Member is that the provisions of Paragraph 112 of the scheme should be incorporated in the Constitution in such a way that they cannot be set aside by the Federal Legislature except by reference to the elaborate series of safeguards laid down in the scheme.
§ Mr. Hale
The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs began by saying that the Declaration of Human Rights had no legal significance, but neither has Paragraph 112. If it is incorporated in the 1928 Order in Council there is no method of enforcing it. There is nothing obligatory about it. It is just the same sort of pious expression which the Minister of State used when referring to the Declaration of Human Rights.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
This seems to be one of the hon. Member's electric hares. We must recognise that in all matters—not only that of racial discrimination—it is always possible for people of bad intent and bad faith to find reasons why they should not employ an African and should employ a European. There are many ways in which this can be set aside by people of bad intent, but when we are writing a constitution we must grant that most people will try to carry out what it says. I need not elaborate the point about the number of opportunities there are for cheating. We must recognise it.
It is quite easy to envisage a situation where there is a vacancy for the post of economic adviser. A European from Oxford has presented himself for consideration, and so has an African from Cambridge. It is quite possible for the Government to say, "In this particular instance we consider that the Oxford economic school is more highly versed in this matter than that of Cambridge, so we will give the Oxford man the job." But it is going too far to say that in this case everyone is of bad intent and will deliberately seek to set aside something enshrined in the Constitution.
It is only fair to the hon. and learned Member for Northampton and the right hon. and learned Member for Neepsend that I should deal with the further point which they raised—the question why we do not propose to accept this Clause as part of the enabling Bill. The real reason is that if we were to incorporate in the enabling Bill portions—and portions only—of the Order in Council, it would become amendable by different processes than those agreed to in the scheme, and that would be most impolitic. In theory, it is possible for the House to pass any legislation it cares to, and so far as the two Protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland are concerned it could, without any agreement with the Federal Government, do something which would be quite outside the terms of this scheme.
Such action, though theoretically and constitutionally possible, would in prac- 1929 tice be impossible and most impolitic, because in this matter we are being asked to pass an enabling Bill and, ultimately, an Order in Council, which then sets up elaborate safeguards under which the provisions of the Constitution cannot be altered without reference to Her Majesty, this proposal to incorporate in the enabling Bill little bits and pieces from the Order in Council would not only be untimely but would be an invitation to the House to legislate over the heads of the Federal Government instead of doing what should be done, which is, if proposed alterations in the Federal Constitution are put forward and if, on the signification and reference to Her Majesty's pleasure a discriminatory or undesirable thing should be contained in those proposals, to act as a watch dog and say, "No, you cannot do it."
This is a new principle—which I do not think we should accept; I call it a school-marm principle—of distrusting everything the Federal Legislature is likely to do and attributing to our fellow-countrymen in all parts of the world a most illiberal attitude. That charge is made because these words have no legal significance, and it is said that they are going to be observed only in the breach. There are a great many things in the House which are always observed, although they have no legal significance. If I were to say that I had received an assurance from hon. Members opposite that the Third Reading of this Bill would begin at 7.30 p.m., my statement would have no legal significance, but I should regard the word of hon. Members opposite as absolutely inviolable. On this particular matter, these words which are enshrined in the Constitution give the maximum safeguards that racial discrimination in the public service will not take place.
The reasons why this should not be incorporated in the Bill but in the Order in Council are quite clear. Once we take pieces of an Order in Council and incorporate them in an enabling Bill we are setting up a different process of amendment and acting as school-marm to the Federal Legislature, whereas our position should be that of an arbiter, watchdog or umpire. We should not be the authors of legislation to be imposed on the Federal Legislature.
§ Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas (Leicester, North-East)
The right hon. Gentleman has made the first substantial answer to the points raised by hon. Members on this side of the Committee, although it is an answer with which we disagree. If this proposal were incorporated in the Bill the Minister has just said that it would be subject to Amendment only by Parliament. That is a perfectly clear guarantee, over which Parliament has control. The other alternative—the one upon which he has decided—is that the proposal shall be incorporated in the Order in Council, in which case it will be subject to amendment not by Parliamentary procedure but by the procedure provided in the scheme, by a combination of the majority of the Federal Legislature with the assent of the Order in Council.
What we are nervous about is that if the second alternative is adopted, Her Majesty's Assent, exercised by the Commonwealth Relations Office in respect of a federation which is on the brink of becoming a Commonwealth, will not be an effective safeguard. We propose that where a fundamental issue is involved—as there is in this human rights proposal—it should be incorporated in the Bill so as to be unalterable and safeguarded for ever more. It should be unalterable by any process under the scheme; unalterable except by Act of Parliament. To our minds the intervention which the Secretary of State has just made has completely given his case away. What we want is a guarantee of fundamental liberty incorporated in an Act of Parliament, and not amendable, as are matters incorporated in an Order in Council.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
The hon. and learned Gentleman is being a little unfair to my right hon. Friend to say that he did not answer this particular point. This point was first raised by the right hon. and learned Member for Neepsend after my right hon. Friend had spoken.
The intervention of the hon. and learned Gentleman is entirely misplaced, because no alteration in the Constitution and, consequently, in this Clause, can take place unless the House agrees. That covers the whole question. What I am anxious to avoid is to legislate over the heads of other people. In these matters it is quite impossible that any alteration 1931 could take place in the Constitution without the agreement of the House. That should satisfy the right hon. and learned Member for Neepsend and his hon. Friends. If it does not, that is too bad; there is a difference of opinion. I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman will agree that I have tried to meet him fairly, and have tried to reassure him on this point, which seems to me to boil down to a very small one.
We have given an assurance that Paragraph 112 of the scheme will be incorporated in the Order in Council and, as everybody who studies the scheme knows, the Order in Council can only be amended by an elaborate process, which involves the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure and, consequently, the approbation or disapprobation of the House in the process.
§ Miss Jennie Lee (Cannock)
I am quite sure that the Minister is not guilty of deliberate hypocrisy, but I think there is a great deal of subconscious hypocrisy in what he has said. We should not be having this debate today, and pressing our Amendment, if anyone who knew the facts of the situation believed that there was to be a movement towards ending racial discrimination which we all want, at least theoretically.
A significant speech was made from the Front Bench opposite in opening today's debate. Three or four times, the Minister repeated that the Declaration of Human Rights was not a legal obligation but only a statement of aims. He kept repeating that and apparently he was extremely anxious that this should also be known in Africa. To whom was the Minister talking? Was he trying to say to the coloured people of Africa, "You cannot really expect much to be done" or was he trying to say to some of the reactionary white elements—I say "some" because the white elements are not all reactionary—in Africa, "You do not need to bother very much—this is just the British House of Commons talking."
§ Mr. Hopkinson
All that I was trying to make clear was that by resisting the writing into this scheme of a provision for a Human Rights Commission we were not violating our international obligations. I do not want it to go out from this House, as I think the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) 1932 would agree might be assumed from his speech the other day, that we might in some way be violating an international treaty.
§ Miss Lee
It would not be a violation of international obligations because the world as a whole has not yet reached the civilised notion that there should not be discrimination, but if there is one country that ought to be setting an example it is our country, with all its obligations towards the colonial peoples.
The Minister seemed to think that he was making a very important point when he kept repeating, "Do not let us play the school-marm." It may be that school teachers are a little on his conscience at the moment. On this side of the Committee we are perfectly prepared to respect the school-marm and to play the school-marm or to take up a maternal or paternal attitude if necessary.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I have maintained the attitude that more and more share in the management of their own affairs should be delegated to these people.
§ Miss Lee
Precisely, but this ancient Assembly must take care of the children. We must see that they have the proper schools and proper school-marms and schoolmasters, and we have obligations. We have practical, historical and moral obligations to the coloured people who look to us and whose relations with us can be immensely sweetened, as we see in our relations with India.
The fear on this side of the Committee is quite plain. We do not believe that the coloured people will get, under the federal scheme forced upon them, the respect and assistance they should have. I also noticed that the Minister, in his opening statement, rebuked my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) for having given moral support to breaking the colour bar movement. The only way of ending the colour bar movement is to end the colour bar. I hope that so long as the colour bar does exist in any form every sensitive and enlightened white man and woman as well as every coloured man and woman everywhere in Africa where protests had been made will identify themselves in every way possible with getting rid of the colour bar. It is not possible to talk of an awakening class, an awakening nation or an awakening race and 1933 expect it to remain half slave and half free.
Some Members opposite have been discussing this issue today as if we were arranging the terms by which we were to play a game of bowls. We are not doing that. We are trying to give our moral and practical support to a continent in revolt, trying to see that, as a House of Commons, we are identifying ourselves with the ending of racial discrimination. We do not want any double-dealing or any twisting. We are not satisfied that the coloured people will have their rightful aspirations respected if this Bill is left in the present form and, therefore, I hope that we shall press forward with our Amendment.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. R. W. Sorensen (Leyton)
I want to speak briefly because many of these matters have been already mentioned. May I put this to the Minister? We accept him as a very enlightened man with liberal views, but surely he appreciates that he stands somewhat in contrast to many Europeans who are in the Central African Territories, particularly in Southern Rhodesia.
It is not a question of having no confidence in the belief of liberal-minded people. We may have confidence in Europeans in Central Africa, as he has, but they do not represent the whole. Unfortunately, the deeds of Southern Rhodesia register what is their actual outlook. Many as individuals may be highly-desirable people, but in fact we know that in Southern Rhodesia large numbers have sought to establish and have helped to assist various types of colour bar. They are there. It was not the Africans who established them. Presumably they were established by those who have colour-bar prejudices in their minds now. They are a considerable number. Those, for instance, who in the referendum voted against the possibility of Central African Federation for a variety of reasons, but in many cases because they may have assumed that there would have been some kind of dilution of the colour prejudice if that scheme were established.
Motives were different in the case of others who voted against federation. All that I am saying to the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs and to the Secretary 1934 of State for the Colonies is that they must recognise that there is a very great difference between those who, in this House, say they wish to see the complete dissolution of the colour bar and are working steadily towards it and, on the other hand, those Europeans in Central Africa who have either openly or secretly no such intention whatever. We are afraid that they will get into power and that once they are in power they will in some way impede the intention which the Minister no doubt has in mind.
May I put another point to the right hon. Gentleman? This refers particularly to observations made by the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs some half-hour ago, when he deprecated the agitation in Central Africa against the colour bar. He did not want this to happen. What would his attitude be if, for instance, as a Conservative he suddenly discovered that a law had been passed depriving him of the rights which at the present moment he enjoys? This may seem an extravagant, perhaps even a fantastic hypothesis, but on the other hand it does not seem so fantastic or extravagant to many Africans. No matter how educated they may be, they find themselves at the present time suffering from the colour prejudice and placed in a position of inferiority.
Let me put it another way. I ask the Ministers what would be their reactions if they themselves were educated Africans suffering from this colour prejudice and this colour discrimination. Would they be content merely to utter pious protests and be content to say, "In God's good time these things will change, and we will steadily work for a change," or would they, according to their own vitality, do all they could to protest, as others are protesting in Central Africa at the moment?
I am perfectly certain that if the Secretary of State were in Central Africa now and were an African he would adopt every possible means to insist that he was equal to me, and probably superior. He would do so because he would say that there are times in the history of mankind when we must use not merely the traditional methods of discussion or of pleading, but some dramatic effort, and not merely to insist on inherent rights but also to try to secure, on the part of those who withhold them, an alteration of their attitude.
1935 I appeal to the Secretary of State and to the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs to appreciate what may seem very simple arguments, but are arguments that weigh very heavily indeed on the minds of Africans. As both right hon. Gentlemen know, and as we know on this side of the Committee, it is not a question of saying merely, as some contend, "The Africans are in a different stage of civilisation and cultural development, so we must go on slowly and steadily." Perhaps many of them are like that. It is not a question of that, however. It is a fact that, no matter how highly cultivated may be a Central African whom we meet here in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, or have tea with here in our Tea Room, and with whom we on both sides of the Committee have a close affinity of thought, no matter how close that African may be to us when he is here, he must in Africa suffer that callous and that immoral discrimination which here we should not tolerate for a moment.
Because that discrimination is being practised now, and because the Secretary of State and the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs know that it is being practised, I come back to my earlier contention that this practice is an expression of an attitude that does prevail, and that that attitude may be implemented even more in the days to come, and that, therefore, the only right and just thing to do for the Africans is to make the provision which is proposed. I hope that the Secretary of State and hon. Members in all parts of the Committee will join with us in demonstrating that we utterly repudiate that large section of European opinion that does not share the sentiments and convictions we have in this Committee.
So I do most earnestly appeal to the Secretary of State to engage in this task of educating European opinion. I think it was the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs who said we must try to educate people. Let us realise that there are many ways of educating them, and one way to educate them is by statute. If we can embody in this Bill the principles which he and all the rest of us in this Committee support we shall be taking one of the finest ways of educating that section of European opinion—an opinion which we do not share—by showing those who hold it what their moral duty is.
§ Mr. Paget
The Colonial Secretary enunciated one of the most remarkable constitutional doctrines I have ever heard. He said that when we make a constitution we must assume that those who administer it will be men of good will who will honestly try to carry out the intentions of the parliaments. If one makes that assumption there is not the slightest point in making a constitution.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
The hon. and learned Gentleman is off after an electric hare again. [Interruption.] There will be a good many more of these hares, I dare say, if we go on like this. The point is this. If something is inserted in a constitution that cannot be enforced legally we of course have to rely, as we do over the question of colour discrimination, on what, by and large, we may call the British way of people of good will. This does not apply to the 99 out of the 100 provisions which have legal force.
§ Mr. Paget
I am not pursuing any hare. I am pursuing the precise constitutional doctrine that the right hon. Gentleman enunciated a few minutes ago, and I would say immediately that the whole purpose of a constitution is to prevent governors from abusing power. That is why we have a constitution, and there is no point, as history confirms, in having broad expressions of opinion of legal significance without sanctions behind them.
§ Mr. Paget
Why we have Preambles to Acts, I do not know. They are not very serviceable. What matters is what is in the statute. For instance, here we have a constitution which provides for human liberty, and it provides for human liberty not by a pious expression but by providing the right of Habeas Corpus, which can be enforced. If, for instance, the Government were to come here and say the Labour Party is abolished and proscribed, that doubtless it contains some honest men but since Mr. Christie is shown to be a member of the Ealing branch there can be no doubt about its murderous proclivities, we should proceed to carry on, and if they tried to stop us, the courts would deal with it. Where, however, we have merely a pious expression, as in Kenya, then, of course, the African party is abolished.
1937 What I am concerned with here is sanctions, because these vague expressions such as we have in Paragraph 112 in the Federal Scheme mean nothing at all. Sanctions are not necessarily legal sanctions. I concede that much. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the sanctions of agreements between the two sides of the Committee. They have behind them the sanction of public opinion, and this Committee has the means to express it. It may be here that we cannot have a legal sanction as to the particular question whether Mr. Black or Mr. White gets a particular job. We may have the sanction of public opinion, but that sanction can be effective only if it can have means of expression. That is why we ask for a Federal Human Rights Commission. Were this sort of undertaking to be abused the Federal Human Rights Commission would be in a position to carry out the expression.
Again I refer to the African Affairs Board. It was mentioned by the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, who said it had nothing to do with this Amendment as to who should be the Chairman. It is vital who is to be Chairman, because on who is Chairman depends what goes on the agenda. In any event, is the African Affairs Board in a position to deal with administrative appointments? Does that fall within its jurisdiction at all?
Another way, perhaps, by which we could give sanctions, if we really believed in this, would be to have an independent appointments board, perhaps appointed by the judges and not by the Government. That is a manner in which this could be done, but, of course, in real practice there is not the slightest intention of applying the undertakings contained in their vague form in Paragraph 112.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I was only quoting what Africans said to me at meeting after meeting in Nyasaland, including members 1938 of the Civil Service, just about a year ago.
§ Mr. Paget
Do they really imagine that the wages paid in those junior grades are going to attract white men in those Colonies? It is complete nonsense. Does the right hon. Gentleman really imagine that Sir Godfrey Huggins and Mr. Roy Welensky really intend to build up a black Civil Service with Africans in the higher grades? But even if we make that assumption, which seems to be an extravagant one——
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
The hon. and learned Gentleman throws out these wild charges without the slightest justification. What he is now saying is that the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia and Mr. Roy Welensky subscribed to the paragraph, which they did, without the slightest intention of carrying it out. That suggestion is unworthy of the hon. and learned Gentleman and ought not to be made in the Committee.
§ Mr. Paget
Let us look for a moment at the terms of Paragraph 112 and see to what they subscribed, because this is the shoddiest hypocrisy. It reads:No person domiciled within the Federation who is a subject of Her Majesty or a person under Her Majesty's protection will on grounds of race only be ineligible for employment in the service of the Federal Government.Does that recommendation mean anything at all? It says "will be ineligible"; that is all. Certainly they will be ineligible; they will not be appointed.
Even if we assume that there really is in the minds of Sir Godfrey Huggins and Mr. Roy Welensky an intention to introduce Africans into the higher ranks of their civil service, that will take a considerable time, and before we reach the stage when this really becomes practicable, who will be in charge there? Governments are not perpetual, and the opposition which has come into being there on the part of the Nationalists of the area has done so to attack Huggins and Welensky because they are too soft with the natives. Is it seriously imagined that the people who will be in charge have the slightest intention of going the way of India, so that they will find themselves in the position that, because their civil service has become Indianised, they can no longer govern? Is it really 1939 thought that that is the intention of those people? Of course it is nothing of the sort. The idea of these people is that this shall be an area where white supremacy shall be maintained. That is the basis upon which this civil service will be run, and there is absolutely nothing in the Bill to prevent it.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Bing (Hornchurch)
The whole Committee can congratulate the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs who preserved throughout his speech an ingenuous note almost equal to that usually achieved by the Colonial Secretary himself. The Committee will recall that the right hon. Gentleman began by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) upon having raised the matter and provided an opportunity for discussion. No one would think from what the right hon. Gentleman said that his right hon. Friend had insisted that, if the discussion was to take place at all, it should take place either in time so restricted that the Committee could not go into it properly or else after midnight.
History will not lightly forgive the Conservative Party who, when a question of British liberty and the future of a part of the Commonwealth arose, said that it must be talked about either after midnight or within the compass of a few minutes. Those who in the future look back upon the history of our time will not judge lightly those who were prepared to neglect African liberties for the convenience of the company directors and others on the benches opposite.
The Colonial Secretary spoke about partnership and said that all these civil liberties should be in terms of partnership. He appears to have learnt his principles of partnership from the commercial methods of the great firm of John Lewis rather than from the more practical methods of partnership learnt in the comradeship of war. The hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Dodds-Parker) spoke on this very subject, describing how in 1940 and 1941 he noticed African troops among the South African troops but when he looked at the troops marching in the Coronation procession he saw not a single African among the South African contingent.
1940 That had no message or meaning for the hon. Member for Banbury, but it has a very simple meaning. It is an explanation of the terms of partnership in which the Colonial Secretary thinks. He thinks, as does the John Lewis partnership, that the junior partners should get everything except the profits, that it was all right for Africans to sacrifice their lives in the fight against Fascism but, says the Colonial Secretary, "if it comes to a matter of their getting the fruits of that liberty, that is carrying it too far. Why, they do not even do that in John Lewis's."
Our whole attitude to the question is a test of our sincerity. Do we believe in racial equality? The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs said that everyone believes in it. Nevertheless, racial inequality exists in these Territories, and the practice of racial discrimination goes on all the time. Who are the people who have produced it? They are the people of good will about whom the Secretary of State speaks every quarter of an hour, the people into whose hands we are entrusting the Constitution; the very people who have introduced the racial inequality are those into whose hands we are putting the Government of the Territories. We are then told that we are ridiculous visionaries to suggest that safeguards should be introduced. It is like the liberty of the Ritz Hotel; it is free to everybody, the only question being whether one can afford it or not.
There is a great deal of talk in the world about human rights. As a subject, human rights is a little too all embracing for hon. Gentlemen opposite, but they do at least subscribe to what they often describe as Anglo-American conceptions of liberty. There would be no harm if we were to introduce Anglo-American conceptions of liberty into some parts of our Commonwealth. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite have ever read the Declaration of Independence. It may well be that they have not, because for some peculiar reason it is one of the documents which are absent from the Library of the House of Commons. However, I have secured a copy of it from another source.
We have been told how wrong it is that anyone should support in any way this type of opposition to the racial inequality which exists in South Africa, and how wrong it is to try to pursue a 1941 policy along those lines. I would remind hon. Members of what was said in what is, I suppose, regarded in the Anglo-American world as the classic statement of the principles for which everyone should strive:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-alienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.Can the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs and the Secretary of State lay their hands on their hearts and say that the Federal Constitution in any way corresponds with that Declaration? If right hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like the subject of human rights, let them look at the first amendment made by the Americans to their Constitution, for they all thought they were, among themselves, men of good will, and yet they found it necessary to introduce certain provisions to make certain that liberty was observed. What the American colonists thought was necessary among themselves when all of them had a vote the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs does not think the least necessary when nine-tenths of the people have no votes at all.
The amendment said:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the Press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.The spirit in which the Federal Constitution is being worked can be seen from the contemptuous way in which the petitioners against it have been treated. How on earth can it be said that the Constitution will be more liberal than those who framed it?
§ Mr. John Mackie (Galloway)
The hon. and learned Gentleman has made great play with articles of the American Constitution and I have no complaint to make about that, but I should like to ask him whether in the past 170 years the colour question has been more favourably treated in the United States, where there is a written Constitution, or here, where there is an unwritten Constitution?
§ Mr. Bing
The United States Constitution should perhaps have been more explicit on the question. Indeed, if the famous amendments passed after the 1942 American Civil War had been cast in rather a stronger form, then there might have been a great deal more to be said for them. At any rate, it is possible to go to the Federal courts on the basis of the American Constitution and attempt to have these things set right. There have been a number of very great liberal judges in the United States who have been able, on the basis of the Constitution, to ascertain fundamental human rights. At any rate, it is better to have it in the Constitution, I should have thought, than not to have it there.
§ Mr. Hale
Would my hon. and learned Friend assure the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie) that, in point of fact, the American Supreme Court in the last few years have given more declarations in interpreting the first amendment to the Constitution in favour of abolishing the colour bar than any other country in the world?
§ The Temporary Chairman (Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner)
I would suggest that the Committee is continuing its concentration rather too long on the wrong continent.
§ Mr. Bing
With great respect, there is a parallel. It was 200 years ago that a Conservative Government lost to this country the American colonies because we denied them exactly the same rights that we are in the process of denying to the Africans today. That is why this debate is of such a serious nature. One Conservative Government having thrown away one part of the Commonwealth, at least there is a duty on the Members of this Committee to see that they do not throw away another part of it.
This is an issue which cannot be confined to the African continent, because how we show our attitude towards civil liberties in Africa will be reflected in the attitude of India, Pakistan and other parts of the Commonwealth towards this country. It is no use on the one hand saying we regard India as an equal partner absolutely in the British Commonwealth of Nations if on the other hand we are saying that when an Indian citizen goes to the Rhodesias or to the new Federation he is then going to be a second or a third-class citizen.
I do not think there is an hon. Member in this Committee on whatever side he may sit who does not detest and 1943 abominate the conduct of the South African Government in regard to the nine million Africans who live in that country. I say how much we detest and deplore what they are doing there today, but how are we going to compel them to change, because if, somehow or other, we do not compel South Africa to change its attitude towards the African population it will produce an explosion throughout Africa which will destroy the whole position of the white people there.
How can we persuade them to change? We can only persuade them so to do in one way, by the force of our example. How can we set that example? We can set it by setting out in the Constitution of this new federal body those human rights which make it perfectly clear where this Parliament stands on these matters, and that we abominate and detest what is taking place in South Africa. But what has the Secretary of State done? His whole policy is one of appeasement. He merely switches from Munich to Johannesburg. Let me give the Committee one example of that appeasement.
When we debated this matter last week, I mentioned the case of Mr. John Rex, and I asked why he was not permitted to teach in Sierra Leone. The answer I have discovered is a simple one, that he was debarred from Rhodesia, and under those circumstances it was said by the Secretary of State that this man should not be allowed to enter any other British Colony. Why was he deported from Rhodesia? He was deported under the provisions of the Rhodesian law that anyone against whom another Government complained can, in fact, be deported. And who was the Government that complained? It was the Government of South Africa. What did they complain about him? They accused Mr. John Rex of the "abominable crime" of being in favour of racial equality.
What happens? The Secretary of State followed this up by appeasing the South Africans and saying that Mr. John Rex would not only lose his job in Rhodesia, but that he cannot have another job in the Commonwealth because he is in favour of the principle which the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs gets up and enunciates from the Dispatch 1944 Box in this Committee. There is an awful lot of talk about deeds rather than words, and I should have thought that this was one of the most obvious occasions where a wrong could be righted by the Colonial Office, who should be prepared to show that they are in favour of racial equality by allowing people penalised for expressing their beliefs to be employed somewhere in the Commonwealth.
The Committee will ask why it is that there is, in fact, this denial of civil liberties, why there is this racial inequality. The reason for it is a very simple one. If one wants to exploit the African then one must prevent him from having any opportunity to answer back. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Alport) is not here because I happen to have in my hand the document to which he referred during our last debate and we could have solved the whole of the controversy by saying there is no need to discuss whether this is a forgery or not; it is a document which, in fact, proves itself in any court of law and it is drawn specially in that form. It shows that Mr. Michael Blundell, leader of the white settlers in Kenya, was in fact employing people for 12s. a month. If a man is employed for 12s. a month and a clause is added that his family will have to work as well, as this document, in fact, does, then there is a clamping down on any opportunity which he has of telling how he is being exploited. It is for that reason that those people who wish to exploit the African are insisting upon the maintenance of the colour bar.
But it is rather more important that we should hold the Commonwealth together than that we should use this House as a mechanism for enabling various individuals to exploit African labour a little longer. I do not want to delay the Committee any longer than to read them one extract from a speech which was delivered a long time ago by a very great Parliamentarian, Burke, on the subject of the American colonies when he was dealing generally with how the British Empire—as I suppose it would have been described then—how the British Commonwealth was held together and the way in which it was dissolved.
This is what he said in regard to the Colonies—and I suggest to the Committee 1945 that what he said is just as true today as when he said it:My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges and equal protection. These are ties, which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government;—they will cling and grapple to you; and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood, that your government may be one thing, and their privileges another; that these two things may exist without any mutual relations; the cement is gone; the cohesion is loosened; and every thing hastens to decay and disillusion. … Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain,"—this is curiously topical—they may have it from Prussia. But until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you. This is the commodity of price, of which you have the monopoly. This is the true act of navigation, which binds to you the commerce of the colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond, which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire.Every person in this country of ours gains his livelihood by the existence of a colonial Commonwealth. It is only because of the existence of the sterling area that industry in this country is possible. Those people who imperil it, as hon. Gentlemen opposite are doing at the moment, are doing far more than imposing an injustice on the Africans; they are threatening the livelihood of every person in Britain. That, too, was appreciated by Burke. He concluded by saying:Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great Empire and little minds go ill together.I think all hon. Members here will regret that when I came to this passage the Colonial Secretary was not in his place:If we are conscious of our situation, and glow with zeal to fill our places as becomes our station and ourselves, we ought to auspicate all our public proceedings on America with the old warning of the church, Sursum corda! We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of that trust to which the order of Providence has called us. By adverting to the dignity of this high calling, our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire; and have made the most extensive, and the only honourable conquests; not by destroying, but by promoting, the wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race. 1946 Let us get an American revenue as we have got an American empire. English privileges have made it all that it is; English privileges alone will make it all it can be.If hon. Gentlemen opposite insist on denying to the Africans the liberties which we enjoy in this country, they will without doubt, within the shortest possible space of time, have destroyed for ever the British African colonial Commonwealth in exactly the same way as their predecessors in office lost to us the American colonies.
§ Mr. Hale
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) has referred in most moving terms to the American Constitution, which is one of the great historical documents that exists, and I was sorry to see the manifestation of Anglo-American hostility on the part of the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie), whose observation, I hope, will not incur the ire of Senator McCarthy but which is one with which we ought to deal. The hon. Gentleman said, "Do not play down our part. Criticise America, if you like, but do not criticise us." We are not here to criticise other countries; we are here to look at the mote or beam in our own eye and see if we can correct it. That is our job.
I detest the repression of liberty that takes place beyond the Iron Curtain but that is not my responsibility because I do not make laws for Iron Curtain countries. The whole House was extremely shocked and horrified today at the shooting of a man for an inadequate crime in East Berlin. Of course we are shocked, but the thing we must be shocked about is that people are being killed in Kenya without a trial, because that is our responsibility.
§ Mr. Mackie
I try to be realistic and to state facts. The hon. and learned Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) was making great play with the American Constitution. I ask him and the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) if he thinks there has been a greater exhibition of the colour bar in America than in this country? If not, let him go down the New York subway.
§ Mr. Hale
I am much obliged. We had some discussion on that while the hon. Gentleman was away. I would remind him that Eugene Debs, who was perhaps one of the greatest and noblest 1947 men America ever produced, in a famous speech he made immediately before being sentenced to 10 years' penal servitude for exercising the right to freedom of speech, said that only a Socialist could understand the American Constitution because only a Socialist would understand the fervour of the struggles of the Revolutionary fathers for liberty.
§ Mr. Hale
They do, but they call it by another name. If the hon. Gentleman would care to go to the Tennessee Valley he will see one of the finest practical exhibitions of Socialism that can be seen in the world. It is quite true, however, that they do not like the word and we respect their dislike in this matter.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies made a fervent appeal to the Committee to trust Sir Godfrey Huggins and Mr. Welensky. He said it was most unfair for this Committee to drop little hints that those people are not sincere. But I have authority for that from Sir Godfrey Huggins himself. The right hon. Gentleman knows that His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury himself wrote to "The Times" last year, pointing out that Sir Godfrey Huggins had referred to the African Affairs Board as being rather like Gilbert and Sullivan without the music, and asking what he meant by it. Has the right hon. Gentleman ever asked Sir Godfrey Huggins what he meant by it? If he has not, ought he not to ask him?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
Perhaps it would be useful if I read what Sir Godfrey Huggins said the other day about partnership. He said:Partnership is based on the total rejection of any policy of racial domination and suppression and a sincere acceptance of the fact that black and white are indispensable to each other and that each must, by his conduct and actions, earn the confidence and good will of the other.
§ Mr. Hale
Let me say what Sir Godfrey Huggins said in 1952 before he was warned that at this moment it would 1948 be tactless to keep on saying these things. He said:Suppose that as more and more Africans get on the voters' roll, instead of playing party politics they play colour politics? All you will have to do is to alter your electoral law again. … No reservation in the constitution can ever stop people from passing laws to ensure their own survival. No British Parliament will stop you.That is what he said. Why should we not say that we do not trust him when he says things like that? He appears to be an honest man and he said that the African Affairs Board would be dismissed at the end of 12 months if it did not behave itself. The dishonesty is not on his part but on the part of people who ask us to trust him after that.
I am surprised that no reference has been made in this debate to a leading article in the "Manchester Guardian" this morning. There has been issued today a report of great importance, the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Forced Labour appointed by the United Nations Association. It has something to say about the British Colonial Territories. This House ought to feel a deep sense of shame when, in this year of the 20th Century, an international committee should be condemning our policy in the Colonies in relation to forced labour and the possibilities of employing slave labour. In an article which makes it clear that it is still entitled to claim that it is the best paper in the world, the "Manchester Guardian" has drawn forceful attention to this matter.
What is our policy in relation to this? It is not without significance that the two Colonies in respect of which it is said there is in existence legislation which could permit of forced labour on a very large scale are Kenya and Malaya. And if we read the report submitted on behalf of Her Majesty's Government to the commission with relation to Rhodesia, in which they frankly call attention to the condition of things there, I should have thought that hon. Members on both sides of the Committee would deplore the situation. For instance, the rates of wages of coalminers in 1951 varied from 74s. a month for surface workers to 89s. a month for underground workers. When we remember that these monthly payments are being made in many cases to people who come vast distances and have 1949 families living hundreds of miles away, it betrays a condition of things which is in need of some attention.
The hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland) was seeking to catch the eye of the Chair when this debate was going on a day or two ago. Today he tells me that he is engaged on business of great national importance in North Berkshire and is not able to be present. He wanted to put a point which I regard as of very great importance—the right of people to use their own language. It is a fundamental right. My hon. Friend called my attention to the fact that the Secretary of State, in a previous statement, referred to the people of East Africa being influenced by statements emanating from Bloomsbury. I hope he overlooked the fact that I live in Bloomsbury and am one of the few hon. Members who does live there. I am really what the "New Statesman and Nation" would call a lifelong bourgeois bootlander and only came to Bloomsbury quite recently.
But the right hon. Gentleman must understand that if laws are in a foreign language, all the legal documents are in a foreign language and most of the national newspapers are in a foreign language, people of course will get that opinion. If this country were occupied by the French and all our documents were in French, of course we should take some views from France. It is the greatest mistake that in the colonial administration so few of our officials have ever had to learn the language of the people for whom they are supposed to care. If one can only talk to a very small minority one can never get the facts nor develop a first-class understanding.
Through the ages the great battles in Britain have been won in the courts of law. I always mistrust my efforts at French but "C'est au Palais de Justice que I'histoire s'ecrit." We have fought the battle for freedom of speech over the centuries, we have fought the battle for freedom from economic restraint over the centuries, mostly in the courts. I am proud of the part which members of my profession have taken in those battles. We fought the battle of political free- 1950 dom and on every occasion there was someone making the same sort of speech as the right hon. Gentleman has made today. It was always too soon, it was always the sort of thing someone wanted to do, but it was not quite prudent or wise to do it. Every reform has had to face precisely this form of opposition.
The right hon. Gentleman spoke today, and although it was not a very informative speech it was a very revealing speech. He said, amongst other things, addressing himself to my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) that my hon. Friend would not like to see discrimination of land tenure between white and black removed. Why on earth should there be discrimination of land tenure between white and black? Is the right hon. Gentlemon really saying that an African leaving Oxford University should not be allowed to farm under the same conditions as a white farmer? Does he really mean that?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I thought I made it pretty clear that a white farmer would not be allowed to take a farm in the Gold Coast, or the Sudan, or a very large area of Central Africa.
§ Mr. Hale
It is quite true that each country has its immigration laws and each country legislates for its own people. But we are not talking about the rights of minorities, we are talking of the rights of majorities. This is the curiosity of the situation. I referred to the article in the "Manchester Guardian" and that article was certainly written as if one were talking of the rights of minorities—quite rightly so because they are a subject race, a subject people, but they are in fact the majority of the nation.
I want to make this clear. I am in favour of the protection of the rights of minorities everywhere. The time will come when the white settlers in Kenya will wish to be protected as a minority, and this House must generously give them that protection to which they are entitled. I would advocate that protection with just the same sincerity and firmness as I advocate the cause of the emancipation of the majority there.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to say—it was the most serious statement—that the Declaration of Human Rights is a mere pious enumeration of matters of principle. That will not do. To start 1951 with, the Declaration has been ratified by a number of countries and is open to ratification by this country. Secondly, it was adopted with most elaborate ceremony and ritual at the Palais de Chaillot in 1948. There was no question then of this not being regarded as a great milestone of human history and a point of departure on a new road to progress. To say now that it is a mere pious expression of intention is disastrous.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
May I quote the Leader of the Opposition in his statement? He described it as "a common standard of achievement" which all should strive to attain and that is what we are seeking to do.
§ Mr. Hale
Those are the precise words of the Declaration itself and I quoted them the other day. But what does the right hon. Gentleman mean by "striving"? Just at this moment we are asking him to accept a modest Amendment implementing some of the most fundamental principles of the Declaration. We have not gone very far with it. We have not said that he must take all in, but have asked him to implement something which he says is the policy of the Government, and to accept an Amendment which merely supports what he says he would desire to see done and hopes the Government will do. Where is the striving?
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman of one other pregnant fact? My hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough introduced a Bill into this House 12 months or so ago. It was carefully drawn—I was going to say ably drawn because I drew it very largely myself. In that Bill an attempt was made to carry out some of the vital recommendations Clause by Clause. But what happened? It was talked out by hon. Members opposite, not one of whom has risen today to say a word about human rights because they are not really interested. There is no need to talk this out, because it was talked out day after day by hon. Members opposite, in particular the hon. Member for Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle). That is the depth of their sincerity and this is the "striving" they are doing for the standard of human rights.
I agree entirely with the concluding words of my hon. and learned Friend the 1952 Member for Hornchurch. Unless we are prepared, with the forces of this Parliament, which is built up on cherished traditions of liberty, which is the palladium of liberty and is still a source of admiration and of a desire to emulate throughout the world—there are still many countries in Europe which look to Westminster and admire our great tradition, our methods of democracy and the standard of living we have achieved—to set on example in this matter and to say that the struggle that went on in Britain shall continue throughout the Colonial Empire, and that this standard of life must be achieved, we have failed. I think my hon. and learned Friend is right; we shall not only fail in our moral standards but will lose a great continent once more for the same reasons as we lost the North American Continent.
No one under-estimates the difficulty about the Declaration of Human Rights. No one who has studied the matter can doubt that there are many rights we do not yet comprehend and cannot assert. Have we the right to proselytise? Is there a right to rebel? That is a subject which has been discussed by very able men who contributed to the Declaration. Some say we have a right to rebel—and we sometimes get a feeling that that might be true of our own country at any rate. One cannot achieve complete servitude.
No conception of right is a static one; as the centuries pass, so our conceptions progress. Everyone today would agree that it was wrong and wicked to employ children of eight for 14 or 15 hours a day in the factories and to whip them, although this House defended it at the time. It may be that in 100 years' time people will believe that our present methods of employment contain an element of barbarity. It may be that by then we shall have progressed to a new standard. It is a dangerous thing to make a written enunciation of rights if we do not intend to implement them, because it means that we are placed in the position of reverting to unstated assumptions.
I suggest—and this suggestion has already been made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan)—that the Labour Government found a substantial answer to this in the way in which they handled the difficult 1953 problem of India. We said, "Here is a problem of great complexity, of great difficulty, of great gravity. We think it right that India should have her liberty. We will fix the date in advance—the date on which these things will be done." That having been done, most of the difficulties were resolved with the passage of time and the fixing of the date. The transfer of power passed very much more easily than anyone could have imagined.
§ Mr. Hale
A million people died there of starvation every year under our rule. Let the hon. Member read the predictions of the Tory Press at the time—predictions of what was going to happen there—and then compare them with what did happen. I do not think he will then repeat that observation.
We have to make a great comprehensive declaration of our intention in colonial affairs. We have to say what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. If we are prepared to do that, no one will doubt that there has to be an interval of time, no one will suggest that we can do it by waving a magic wand or by the simple passage of a short Bill. It is a complex question. Unless we solve it, we shall fail in our duty not only to the colonial peoples but to posterity.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. G. M. Thomson (Dundee, East)
I shall not detain the Committee for more than a few minutes, but the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie) made an intervention which seemed to me astonishingly short-sighted and insular. He said there was a great deal more racial discrimination in the United States than in Britain. For a member of a party which has always prided itself on being the party of an empire on which the sun never sets, that displayed a very limited point of view.
§ Mr. Mackie
The hon. and learned Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) and the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) made great play with the written American Constitution and the benefits which it held out in connection with the colour problem. I challenged the hon. and learned Gentleman about the way in which that is carried out in the United 1954 States. I believe in facts, not in theories. If the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) disbelieves me, or if the hon. Member for Oldham, West doubts my word, let them take a journey in the New York subway and see how the colour problem works out there.
§ Mr. Thomson
I recently took a trip in a New York subway for that very reason. I want to deal with what the hon. Member said, because it throws some light on the problem which the Committee face. The problem of racial equality is one of the major sources of international discord today, and the two countries in the West which are in the position of the greatest leadership in seeking the solution of the problem are the United States, on the one hand, and this country, on the other hand.
§ Mr. Mackie
The hon. Member should not represent the United States as being in the vanguard. We have been in the vanguard.
§ Mr. Thomson
The United States has the problem within its own boundaries whereas we have the problem in various parts of the world for which we in this Committee have just as personal a responsibility as members of the American Congress have for what happens within America. If I understood the Government's argument correctly, it was that the problems of racial equality cannot be solved by legislation; that they cannot be dealt with by writing things into the constitution. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) very properly mentioned the American experience in that respect. It is true, as I had ample opportunity to see, that racial discrimination is still the blackest stain on American democracy, but it is also true that great effort is being expended in the United States by millions of liberally-minded people to wipe out that stain. One of the greatest weapons in their hands is the legal weapon.
I do not believe we can solve the problem of racial discrimination by law alone. The real way to do it is by the longer method of education, of teaching people to treat each other as equals. Nevertheless, the legal sanction behind the movement is extremely important, as has been proved in the experience of the United States. My hon. Friend the Mem- 1955 ber for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) pointed to the series of judgments of the American Supreme Court in recent years which have led to notable advances, particularly in the field of discrimination in American education.
I suggest that American experience in these matters should lead to us to write into this constitution words which would place some sort of legal authority behind the pious beliefs which we always express about racial equality. It seems to me that Dr. Malan's real crime against humanity in the Union of South Africa is not merely the racial policies he is putting forward but the fact that he is erecting a legal superstructure to justify them. In the United States, the white supremacy people still exist but are on the defensive, on the retreat. They know that history is against them and they know that the law of America, written into the Constitution, is also against them.
In the Union of South Africa, however, legal sanction has been given to racial policies, and in that sort of world situation we in this country have a responsibility to give a lead. One way in which we could do that is by putting into this enabling Bill a firm declaration of our belief in racial equality. The Human Rights Commission mentioned in the Amendment should be mentioned in the Bill. It would not only be a great help in promoting harmony in Central Africa but could do more than acting merely in a legal way.
One of the points which impressed me in the United States was that in many parts of the country there were official and semi-official organisations working to get at the roots of racial discord. I was pleasantly surprised in the City of Chicago, where there is a great deal of very bad racial discrimination—the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie) will know of the race riots in the suburb of Cicero—there was a department of the city corporation called, curiously enough, by the same title used in the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Fenner Brockway), "the Commission on Human Rights." It operated as a department of the city administration and tried to provide an intelligence service and to get at the roots of racial discord. It has some 1956 pretty useful achievements to its credit. If we had a similar sort of thing operating in Africa it would be very useful indeed.
I do not see why we should not take the opportunity to put these things in the Bill. The Secretary of State for the Colonies was very frank with the Committee about the reasons for rejecting the proposed alterations to the Bill in this regard. He said he did not wish to act as a school-marm; that we ought to deal with these matters by the procedure of Order in Council rather than by leaving the guarding of them to the normal legislative operations of this House. I submit there is a little more to it than that.
The writing of a Constitution for Central Africa is rather different from granting independence to India, or from writing a constitution for Nigeria or the Gold Coast where there is predominently an African population. In Central Africa we are writing a constitution which will be operated by an infinitestimal minority, one twenty-fifth of the population in fact. We in this House have a duty to the white citizens in these areas. It is also important to remember that we have a great responsibility to the vast majority of African citizens. I think the responsibility to them is greater, because they are not in the same position to look after their own interests.
In that respect we, and it does not matter upon which side of the House we sit, have the African members of that part of the Commonwealth as our constituents. We speak for them here. According to the way that this constitution works, and is quite likely to work for several years, they will obtain more representation from these benches than in the Federal Legislature in Central Africa. Surely that is a reason for writing this into the Bill at this stage and leaving the guarding of this matter, because of the peculiar multiracial situation in Central Africa, directly under the control of the House of Commons in this country.
I am frightened by the developments in many parts of Africa. I think a great legacy of distrust is being created there. In this Bill we have an opportunity to do all we can to try to dispel as much of that suspicion as we can, though I am 1957 not very hopeful about how far we can go now. It will help if we write into this Bill now a firm declaration of our belief in racial equality. I do not think that would bring about racial equality, or that it will be achieved by a wave of the magician's legal wand. With all respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West, I do not think the law courts can win the victories which he claimed for them. The battle can be fought finally, and won, in the law courts, but work has first to be done in
§ the economic, social and educational fields.
§ While we all grant that, I think the writing into the Bill of a firm declaration that this House believes in racial equality would go a long way to dispel the grave and dangerous suspicion existing today in that part of the world.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 187; Noes, 210.1959
|Division No. 199.]||AYES||[5.55 p.m.|
|Albu, A. H.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Paton, J.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Pearson, A.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Hamilton, W. W.||Peart, T. F.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Hannan, W.||Popplewell, E.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Hargreaves, A.||price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Hastings, S.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Barlley, P.||Hayman, F. H.||Reeves, J.|
|Beattie, J.||Holman, P.||Rhodes, H.|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Beswick, F.||Houghton, Douglas||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarven)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A, (Ebbw Vale)||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Blackburn, F.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Short, E. W.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Boardman, H.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Bowen, E. R.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Keenan, W.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)|
|Burke, W. A.||Kenyan, C.||Snow, J. W.|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||King, Dr. H. M.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Kinley, J.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Champion, A. J.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Slewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Collick, P. H.||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Lewis, Arthur||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Cove, W. G.||Lindgren, G. S.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Logan, D. G.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||MacColl, J. E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Daines, P.||McGhee, H. G.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||McLeavy, F.||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Davies Stephen (Merthyr)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Deer, G.||Mason, Roy||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Mellish, R. J.||Thornton, E.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Messer, Sir F.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Mikardo, Ian||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Mitchison, G. R.||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Monslow, W.||Weitzman, D.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Moody, A. S.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Morley, R.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Fienburgh, W.||Mort, D. L.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Finch, H. J.||Mulley, F. W.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Follick, M.||Murray, J. D.||Wigg, George|
|Foot, M. M.||Nally, W.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||willey, F. T.|
|Freeman John (Watford)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Oldfield, W. H.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Orbach, M.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Glanville, James||Padley, W. E.||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Paget, R. T.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Grey, C. F.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Palling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Yates, V. F.|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Pannell, Charles|
|Grimond, J.||Pargiter, G. A||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hale, Leslie||Parker, J.||Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Royle.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Harvie-Wall, Sir George||Peto, Brig, C. H. M.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Hay, John||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Heald, Sir Lionel||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Heath, Edward||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R (Blackburn, W.)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Pitman, I. J.|
|Astor, Hon J. J.||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr, J. M.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Hirst, Geoffrey||Profumo, J. D.|
|Barber, Anthony||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Barlow, Sir John||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Radmayne, M.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Horobin, I. M.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Horsburgh, Rt. Hon. Florence||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Black, C. W.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Robinson, Roland (Balckpool, S.)|
|Bossom, Sir A. C.||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Braine, B. R.||Hutchison, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Russell, R. S.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Savery, Prof. Sir Dougals|
|Bromely-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Jennings, R.||Scott, R. Donald|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Bullard, D. G.||Kaberry, D.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Bullus, Wing-Commander E. E.||Kerr, H. W.||Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Speir, R. M.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)|
|Carr, Robert||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Stevens, G. P.|
|Carry, Sir Robert||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
|Channon, H.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Low, A. R. W.||Storey, S.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Strauss, Henry (Norwhich, S.)|
|Cole, Norman||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Studholme, H. G.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Summers, G. S.|
|Cooper-key, E. M.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||McAdden, S. J.||Taylor, Charles (Eastboure)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Crouch, R. F.||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchely)||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruisilp—Northwood)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Maclean, Fitzroy||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)|
|Deedes, W. F.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Donner, P. W.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Turton, R. H.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.||Vane, W. H. F.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Markham, Major Sir S. F.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Fell, A.||Marples, A. E.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Maude, Angus||Walker-Smith D. C.|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Ford, Mrs. Patricia||Mellor, Sir John||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Foster, John||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Fraser, Sir Ian(Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Wellwood, W.|
|Gammans, L. D.||Nicholls, Harmar||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Nicolson, Godfery (Farnham)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croyden, E.)|
|Godber, J. B.||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E)||Williams, Paul (Sutherland, S.)|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Gower, H. R.||Noble, G. R. H.||Wills, G.|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Oakshott, H. D.||Wilson, Geoffery (Truro)|
|Girdely, Sir Arnold||Odey, G. W.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Grimston, Hon, John (St. Albans)||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||York, C.|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOTES:|
|Harden, J. R. E.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Sir Cedric Derwe and|
|Hare, Hon. J. H.||Partridge, E.||Mr. Richard Thompson.|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
§ Mr. Sorensen
I beg to move, in page 1, line 13, at the end, to insert:in each of which there shall be adequate representation of both Europeans and Africans.I move this Amendment in order to abstract from the Minister some in- 1960 formation which we greatly desire to get. I should like to know whether the Minister intends that on these various bodies mentioned in the Bill there shall be African representation. At the moment there is no intimation or assurance whatever that any African shall be present and 1961 shall act on any of the bodies mentioned. The purpose of this Amendment is to ensure that there shall be adequate representation.
I am fully aware that "adequate" is a very ambiguous word and is a relative term, too. It may mean, in the estimation of those responsible for appointing the membership, that one is adequate. It may, on the other hand, mean far more; it may mean over 50 per cent. Let us leave that matter on one side, because I am sure that experience will gradually help us to understand what should be adequate representation. I feel nevertheless that the failure of the authors of the Bill to indicate in any way that there shall be some guaranteed African representation is a most serious omission. I do not intend to say any more, because the whole purpose of the Amendment is to ascertain whether the Minister intends to take any action on the point which I have mentioned.
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett (Reading, North)
I am glad that the mover of this Amendment admitted that the word "adequate" is ambiguous. I shall go further and say that it is meaningless in this context. However, it is nice to find him admit that it is ambiguous. On one of the bodies mentioned in this Clause, the Legislature, we ensure in the scheme as such that one-sixth of the members shall be Africans. The authors of the scheme evidently regard that as adequate in the existing circumstances. In spite of all the eloquence on the benches opposite, the late Socialist Government, in appointing the Legislatures of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, thought that one-tenth African and one-twelfth African representation, respectively, were adequate. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will admit that we have advanced very considerably from the position which the late Socialist Government adopted when arranging the Legislatures in that part of the world.
§ Mr. Sorensen
I take it that the hon. Gentleman feels that one-sixth is adequate representation. If that be so, I am prepared to interpret the term "adequate" in my Amendment in exactly the same way.
§ Mr. Bennett
I was only pointing out that "adequate" is a matter of relative judgment. The main reason that I wish 1962 the Government to reject this Amendment is that I think that any further stress on racial boundaries and differences is to be regretted. I am one of those who, rightly or wrongly, believed from the inception of this scheme that its best future would lie not in stressing racial differences but in encouraging the people throughout these countries irrespective of colour, by education and every other form of social advance, that their promotion should not be decided by colour but by whether they are worth their job or not.
Therefore, above all other considerations it would be a pity if we were to stress once more in this constitution racial differences which cannot help partnership, but which can only embitter relations still further than hon. Members opposite have succeeded in doing in their speeches.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I should like to deal with this Amendment briefly, in the way in which it was moved. I know that the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) was principally seeking information. As I see it, this group of federal bodies on which the hon. Gentleman would like to see adequate representation of Europeans and Africans—we agree that it is a difficult term to define precisely—divides itself into two parts.
First, there is the Federal Legislature, on which there is already African representation which amounts to over a quarter: when we take into account the Europeans who are representing purely African views, it is over a quarter. Then, of course, there is the African Affairs Board itself, and that is purely representative of the Africans. Outside that there are certain other bodies—the Federal Supreme Court, the Apportionment Commission, the Interim Public Service Commission, and the Loan Council. Those are the four bodies to which, I take it, the hon. Gentleman referred.
We feel that in this matter, it would be wrong, and contrary to the trend of modern thought, to attempt to introduce communal representation into these bodies. We believe it would be a retrograde step to do so. We regret the fact that it is not possible to have a common roll throughout, in the case of the Legislature, but we think that with these other bodies it would be quite 1963 wrong to try to introduce specific representation of African interests. In regard to the Supreme Court, the hon. Gentleman will agree that it would be a slur on the impartiality of Federal judges to suggest that there should be any kind of communal representation there, and the same thing applies to the Loan Council, the Interim Federal Public Service Commission and the Apportionment Commission.
While there is absolutely nothing in the way of African appointments, and while we should like to see Africans appointed, we feel that it would be undesirable to specify that a certain number of Africans have to be appointed to these bodies. There is no specific provision for that, and we could not see our way to put one in, but I see no reason why Africans with the requisite qualifications should not be appointed to some of these bodies in due course.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I beg to move, in page 2, line 18, at the end, to insert:(2) Any Order in Council under subsection (1) of this section shall provide that—In the earlier discussion, the argument turned in part on whether it was necessary or desirable to write into this Bill some provisions which the Secretary of State said were going to be in the Order in Council, and I anticipate that, in regard to the Amendment which I am now moving, the same argument will be 1964 advanced. In regard to this proposed change of words, it will be argued that the provisions detailed in this Amendment are already embodied in the preamble to the scheme, which is set out in the White Paper (Cmd. 8754).
- (i) The Protectorate status of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland shall be preserved and in no circumstances shall Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland be amalgamated with the Colony of Southern Rhodesia, unless a majority of all the inhabitants in Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia desire and shall have voted in favour of such amalgamation; and
- (ii) the Governments of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland shall remain responsible to the exclusion of the Federal Government for all matters concerning land and land settlement in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and for the promotion of the political advancement of the African population in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the local and territorial government of those territories.
The first point, which is a very important one, is this. When this enabling Bill is passed, if it is passed, by this Parliament, and, under its provisions, an Order in Council is placed before this House and subsequently approved by majorities in both Houses of Parliament, presumably, the Order in Council will, in the main, follow the lines of the draft scheme which we now have before us, and these safeguards, about which this Amendment is concerned, will be in the preamble. The question which I wish to address to either the Secretary of State or the Minister is whether the preamble is an integral part of the Constitution.
Let me now say why we are moving this Amendment. In the first conference held at Victoria Falls to deal with this problem of Federation, which I was privileged to attend, along with my right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker), we found that there were four anxieties and fears which were uppermost in the minds of the Africans, and particularly in the two Northern Territories of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and the fact is that these fears persist. They are still there. Everybody at the conference—representatives of Her Majesty's Government, of the Governments and peoples of Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia, including African representatives in the Northern Territories, all agreed that there were four major fears which Africans had about any proposals for closer association, including the original scheme. These fears still persist, and they are still one of the major problems confronting Her Majesty's Government and those concerned in Central Africa in initiating this scheme.
The four fears were these. First, that Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland would lose their Protectorate status, to which they attach enormous importance. They placed their countries under our protection, and they want them to remain under our protection. They want that Protectorate status to be pre- 1965 served, but they were afraid that, if federation came into being, that Protectorate status would be lost.
The second fear was linked up with the first. It was the fear that the three Territories would be amalgamated, and, if amalgamated, by that very act, their Protectorate status would be destroyed, so that these first two fears were linked together. I would interject here that, although, in the scheme, the hope has been expressed that, once the new State is established, it will progress and march forward until it attains Dominion status, it cannot attain Dominion status without destruction of the Protectorate status, and, therefore, it is very important that when the Minister replies he should make clear that references in this scheme to the hope that this new Federal State in Africa will reach Dominion status within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, would mean amalgamation. I therefore urge upon the Secretary of State that the very fact that there is a reference to Dominion status, however vague, as something to which the Territories should aspire, at once gives rise to these fears that the Protectorate status will go.
The third fear was the fear that they would lose their land and lose the protection of the existing ordinances in the two Northern Territories, by which their land rights are preserved. Finally, there was the fear that their political advancement in these two Northern Territories would be retarded. That advancement has not been very rapid, and I would remind the Committee that it is only in quite recent years that there has been African representation in these Territories.
Those were the fears which I heard expressed in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland when I had the privilege of visiting Africa two years ago. They were expressed at all the meetings which I attended, at the Victoria Falls Conference, and they are still being expressed. Because we who attended the conference felt that these fears were so deep and so widespread, we decided that in the communiqué issued at the end of the Conference we should include some commitments for the future. With the indulgence of the Committee, I will read them out because I think they are important. 1966 Paragraph 11 of Command Paper 8411 says:The conference agreed that in any further consideration of proposals for federation:—(I) The Protectorate status of the two northern territories would be accepted and preserved. This therefore excludes any consideration now or in the future of amalgamation of the three territories unless a majority of the inhabitants of all three territories desire it.And "inhabitants" mean inhabitants without any qualification of colour, race or creed.(II) Land and land-settlement questions in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland must remain, as at present (subject to the ultimate authority of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom), the responsibility of the territorial Government and Legislature in each territory and not of any federal authority. The land rights of the African people in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland must remain secured in accordance with the existing Orders in Council on the subject.(III) The political advancement of the peoples of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, both in local and territorial government, must remain as at present (subject to the ultimate authority of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom), the responsibility of the Government and Legislature of each territory, and not of any federal authority.Our Amendment is calculated to write those assurances into the Bill. On an earlier Amendment, as I have indicated before, which raised this very same point, it was said that there was no need to do this; that it was already in the scheme, and that it would be in the Order in Council. I expect that, likewise, it will now be said that what we propose is, in substance, already in the scheme before us.
Therefore, what we have to address ourselves to is whether it is desirable to write these assurances into the Bill. This applies with equal force to the debate just concluded, to some other Amendments which we have already moved and which the Committee have rejected, and to some of the further Amendments which we shall move later. I am sure that the reply we shall receive is that this Amendment, if written into the Bill, would not, in substance, alter the scheme in any way. But if that is so, what objection can there be to its insertion in the Bill?
I will give the reason why I think it is important that it should be in the Bill. 1967 If it does not alter the scheme, then neither the Government nor any hon. Member can have any objection to it. Why should there be objection in Central Africa? Quite bluntly and simply, the reason for putting this into the Bill and eventually into the Act is that this is the one chance which this Committee and the House have of reassuring the Africans who are afraid that these things will be lost.
Those of us who met the Africans and discussed these matters with them know perfectly well how much importance they attach to Protectorate status, to the written word and to the contract, if I may put it that way. Here is a chance to put it into this contract. I ask the Minister and the Secretary of State not to say in reply, "It is all right; it is in the scheme, and it will be in the Order in Council."
The important thing is not whether we think it is all right, but the fact that the Africans still do not think it is all right. They are still afraid and anxious. They still want to preserve their Protectorate status. They still want to preserve their land rights. They still want to preserve their rights to political advancement in the two northern Territories.
Time is running out and the scheme will come into operation in the not too distant future. This is one of the biggest things we could do to allay the fears of the Africans. It is in the scheme, and no one has any objection to it. Both Sir Godfrey Huggins and Mr. Roy Welensky agreed to it at the Conference, and the right hon. Gentleman himself, in the first statement he made on this scheme, said that Her Majesty's Government attached the greatest importance to these assurances. If we are all at one in the matter, why cannot these assurances be put into the Bill?
The Government may say, as they have said before, that they feel bound to stick to the scheme as it is and cannot accept any Amendment to it. But, in these days, Salisbury and Lusaka are at the other end of the telephone. Is there any reason why the Secretary of State should not speak to them on the telephone and ask them, in view of the situation in Central Africa, what their wishes are? We must do all we can in the time that remains to us to reassure African opinion. We 1968 should be doing that if we were to write these things into the Bill, because the fact is that the Africans trust this Parliament more than they trust those who are in authority in Central Africa. It is irrelevant to argue why that is so, but they trust Her Majesty's Government and this country more than anyone else.
If we put this into an Act of Parliament it will be a charter. The Africans pride themselves on their treaties with Queen Victoria. If we put this into the Bill it will become a treaty between the Africans and this nation. I earnestly hope that the Government will not turn this down for the same reasons that they have turned down other proposals. This is something which they ought to accept, and which, I believe, the Governments in Central Africa ought to be glad to accept, because it provides us with what is perhaps a last opportunity of giving furher reassurance to the Africans on these problems.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman had this Amendment on the Paper. I am very sorry, for reasons which I have already given and which I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not expect me to reiterate, that I cannot accept it. We are pursuing a policy by which the Constitution is enshrined in the Order in Council. If words mean anything, the Africans will get their reassurances from the Order in Council just as much as they would by taking a small piece out of the whole scheme—a very important piece, but nevertheless small in relation to the whole—and putting it into the enabling Bill.
I do not propose to recapitulate the arguments which I used on the previous Amendment, but I thank the right hon. Gentleman for raising this matter because it will give me the opportunity to give him and the Africans assurances upon those four matters which he described as "the four fears," and which still, he says, assail their minds. First, let me say that the Order in Council, and the provisions of the federal scheme, will secure that the Northern Territories will still be Protectorates. Their constitutional status is unaffected when the Order in Council is promulgated.
There is a very important point about amalgamation, relating to the second 1969 fear which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned. I take it that we mean by "amalgamation" the creation of a unitary State. The right hon. Gentleman made the point that if we hoped for Dominion status, that would mean the abandonment of Protectorate status and the creation of a unitary State. I think that is correct but it amounts not to an alteration in the Federal Constitution but to its destruction.
We are definitely pledged to have nothing to do with amalgamation, except under provisos to which I shall refer. No alteration in the Constitution, far less the destructive alteration which would be involved by the creation of a unitary State, can take place without the consent of the Government of the United Kingdom. The right hon. Gentleman is concerned that any Government of the United Kingdom could ever contemplate such a thing. I think he is right. The only circumstances in which they could do so are those referred to in the Preamble, which, though an integral part, is not a legally enforceable part, of an Act of Parliament.
None of these separate States can be incorporated in a unified State, whether by amalgamation or in order to get Dominion status, unless the Government of the day of the United Kingdom are satisfied in advance that the majority of the people so desire it. By "the majority of the people" I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that we mean the inhabitants which he said are the inhabitants. I do not cavil at that at all. Any Government who seek to have a unitary State created have to be satisfied that the majority of the people so desire.
The method of ascertaining this desire has often been referred to, and sometimes as a referendum. That would be only one of the ways. We do not want to commit ourselves whether it would be by referrendum or otherwise. It might be done with regard to the common roll. The Government would have to be satisfied that it was drawn on a property qualification sufficiently wide to make them able to say that a majority of the people desired it. Nothing short of that will enable any Government to approve of a scheme of amalgamation or of a status which will end in Dominion status, without the agreement of the majority of the inhabitants. I give a categorical assurance about that.
1970 With regard to loss of land there is written into the scheme the principle of inviolability of African land. There is only one matter about which we felt much concern, and that was the acquisition of land for public purposes. Something has to be put into the scheme on that score in order to prevent, for example, Africans being deprived of power lines because it is impossible to acquire land for public purposes. No land can be acquired for public purposes for the settlement of Europeans. With that exception, which is not a major one, the whole land of the African remains inviolate to the extent that it is now.
Finally, the right hon. Gentleman referred to political advance, in the Northern Territory in particular. Under the scheme, that still remains in the hands of the territorial Government and is unaffected by the Order in Council.
I think that those were all the matters to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. I hope he will take it from me that if the African is to be assured by words—and I do not think he ever will be quite assured by any words—he surely ought to be convinced by having all these matters of the "four fears" enshrined in safeguarding words in the Order in Council. I do not think I can go so far as to say that Africans can be assured by any words, but they will get all the words that we can give them, and as time goes on they will realise that these are solid things.
I have often said that a man in the village or the field will be unaware at first that any federation has taken place, since he will be tilling the same field under the same district officer with the same impartiality of justice. As time goes on, he will be able to realise the economic advantages which federation brings to him. I repeat that I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has put down this Amendment because it has given me the opportunity of giving categorical assurances on the four points which he raised, which are all major points.
§ Mrs. Eirene White (Flint, East)
I understand from the right hon. Gentleman that the Order in Council is to embody the proposals in Command Paper 8754. The right hon. Gentleman has given us an assurance that the situation suggested in the Preamble, in the White Paper and the rest of the documents will 1971 be found in the Order in Council. In other words, the provisions in the Preamble and the White Paper will be so embodied in the Order in Council that there is no legal distinction between the force of these provisions and the force of all the other provisions in this White Paper.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
The points on which I have been trying to reassure the Committee are to be embodied in the actual articles of the Order in Council. The Preamble has no legal force, as the hon. Lady knows. It is a statement of intention which is very valuable for the reasons which I have mentioned and because it gives guidance to people on how to interpret the law. It is not a matter of what is in the Preamble, but what is embodied in the clauses of the Order in Council.
§ Mr. Hale
I rise only to make one or two points clear. I understand that the Chair intends that a proposed new Clause in the name of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) relating to power to secede is to be discussed with this Amendment. I speak for myself in saying that I was greatly impressed by the assurances which the right hon. Gentleman has given. I accept that this proposed new Clause will be purely exploratory and I would very seriously advocate that it is not necessarily a good thing to find out just what the powers of secession are. I do not think that it is a very good thing that each nation in a federation should be able to threaten the others with the consequences of one breaking away at any moment.
The right hon. Gentleman has given substantial assurances. I do not want to be ungenerous about the matter but the alacrity with which he promises that there will be some form of electoral method available for the inhabitants to record their views seems to indicate that some of our own criticisms were substantial and that the machinery might be put into operation now. Yesterday there was laid upon the Table an Order called the Northern Rhodesia (Legislative Council—Extension of Duration) Order in Council which is not yet printed but is available in the Library. It was not the only thing that was laid, because the Votes and Proceedings recorded surprisingly that a giraffe from Avonmouth was 1972 ordered to lie on the Table too. When I came to the Chamber I looked with some curiosity to see how this proposal in the Votes and Proceedings had been carried out.
The Order in Council relating to Northern Rhodesia provides that the present term of five years of the Northern Rhodesia Parliament is to be extended to a period of five years and eight months. I understand that it will be said that this is desirable because all the controversy of a general election is not wanted at the moment. But I would remind the Government that there are two points of view about that. A general election at the moment might very well be desirable, to enable the people of Northern Rhodesia to record their vote, now that this matter has been explained to them.
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us the purpose of the Order and will say whether it was part of an agreement. What methods are to be used in Northern Rhodesia to express the views of the inhabitants, other than by the expression of the views of a dying Parliament, which if it were not for this Order would have passed away by the time with which we are concerned here?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I do not know whether I am able to give the hon. Member the assurances which he requires. I can begin by saying that it is no part of the arrangements which were discussed at the Conference. It is no bargain which has been made on this subject. I think that the object of the Order is not to delay the federal elections, which we hope will take place within six months or thereabouts, but to avoid having two general elections going on at the same time. I do not know whether the hon. Member thinks that that is a sufficient assurance, but that is my recollection. It is certainly no part of the arrangements made at the Conference. It is simply a piece of administrative convenience.
§ Mr. Paget
I should like clarification from the Minister on the point whether the right of secession with regard to Protectorates exists or not. I should have thought that the inherent right of secession must exist here, because in one sense we have the curious situation that Her Majesty's Government, in their capacity as the protector of the Protectorates, are the subordinate Legislature 1973 to the Federation whilst, on the other hand, they are above the Federation which is part of their jurisdiction. In those circumstances I should have thought that there was an inherent right of secession in those areas for which we are the direct Government.
§ Mrs. White
May I put another point relating to that same subject? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that at some period in the future the majority of people in Nyasaland wish to be amalgamated or federated with Tanganyika. I am putting that forward as a hypothetical case and presuming also that Tanganyika itself was willing to enter into such a constitutional relationship with Nyasaland. Under the legislation which we are now discussing, would it be possible, in those circumstances, for Nyasaland to say that it would rather not be in the Central African Federation and would prefer to be amalgamated with Tanganyika?
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I think that the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and that made by the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) came to the same thing—the right of secession. Under the hon. Lady's proposition, if Nyasaland wanted to federate with Tanganyika it would first have to take the step of seceding from the Federation which we are now discussing. It all comes back to whether there is a right of secession under the present scheme. My advice is that there is not. There is no federation of which I, as a layman, and my advisers with expert knowledge can think, in which there is a right to secession as such. [An HON. MEMBER: "The Soviet Union."]
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I am speaking of countries within the British Commonwealth. I cannot go into anything more exotic. We have not proposed that in the scheme. I think that to introduce into this marriage which we are about to solemnise opportunities for the parties to seek divorce before they are joined together, and to emphasise those opportunities, would be very impolitic. I think that the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East will agree with me on that.
1974 If the majority of these Territories wished to have Dominion status and secured it, and came within the Statute of Westminster, then the matter of secession would take a different shape. There is no right of secession under the scheme. Indeed if there were I think that it would be thoroughly retrograde because, for example, the Federation would be unable to raise money if it could be broken up by the one-sided action of any of the three States which composed it.
§ Mr. Paget
I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman has not entirely followed my point. It is quite clear that not one party as such can secede from the Federation, but two of those parties are us. We are the Government of Northern Rhodesia and we are the Government of Nyasaland. We make the Federation. If it attained Dominion status then it could dissolve itself but we could not dissolve it. Until it reaches Dominion status I should have thought that we retained the sovereign power and that we could dissolve this Federation. In that sense, and in that sense only, I apprehend that the right of secession remains.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I do not know if that is the right of secession. I am not a lawyer, but as one who remembers very little of his law I think that it is correct to say that in theory the House of Commons could dissolve the Federation. But when we have subscribed to a scheme in which the powers of the Federal Government are laid down, such an action would be highly improper. So though in theory the right exists, it is impracticable in this case.
§ Mr. Paget
Surely it is not theory. If there are federal laws of which we heartily disapproved they would have to be enforced in our Territories by police who are responsible to us. There are circumstances in which we might find that this federation scheme was a failure and had clearly demonstrated itself as not being in conformity with the interests of those whom we wanted to protect. If that happened then either this scheme would be a breach of our obligations as a protecting Power or we have to take action in the interests of those protected. The right of this Parliament to dissolve the union must be more than theoretical.
§ Mr. Hale
A genuinely important point arises out of this question. When we get to the stage of consideration of constitutional amendments after, I think, the lapse of a nine years' period, and when the discussions have taken place and a substantial measure of agreement has been reached between representatives of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, one has frankly to face the fact that Southern Rhodesia is in a position to frustrate any constitutional amendment. It has to be carried by a two-thirds majority, and there cannot be a two-thirds majority in the Federal Parliament unless the Southern Rhodesian Members vote with the majority, so one might easily find oneself with a situation in which the Southern Rhodesian Members said, "No, we will not have this electoral change which is recommended by the other two Territories; we will not have this constitutional re-form which is recommended by the others." In that case the question asked by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) becomes an extremely important one, on which the Committee is entitled to have an unequivocal answer. In those circumstances it is surely within the powers of the House to dissolve the Federation.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I do not wish to hide behind the word "theoretical." I usually attach much more importance to theory than to practice. I was arguing upon the point of secession. No doubt the point of secession is there, in the background, but I think it would be impractical, impolitic and dishonest to apply it at the moment. What may happen in nine years' time still does not alter the theory.
§ Mr. Griffiths
The intention of our Amendment is that the Protectorate status shall be preserved, and in the Victoria Falls communiquéthere are the words:… remain a Protectorate under the ultimate authority of Her Majesty's Goverment.The ultimate authority in the case of these two Northern Territories still rests with Her Majesty's Government, and that is the authority for all the powers we are discussing.
§ Mr. S. S. Awbery (Bristol, Central)
Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland can appeal to the House if they are dissatisfied after federation takes place, and the 1976 House can take action and dissolve the Federation.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I do not think it would be proper for me to give those assurances. It is one thing to say where a theoretical right resides, but there is also the question of honouring a constitution.
§ Sir F. Soskice
The Secretary of State made a careful reply to my right hon. Friend, formulating, in terms to which we listened with attention, the assurances he thought it proper to give, and we are certainly grateful to him for the reply he gave to the apprehensions we voiced. At the same time, notwithstanding what he said in answer to a similar appeal which we made on a previous Amendment, we still feel that he has not quite met the purpose of the Amendment, in refusing to write this into the Bill.
On the last Amendment but one, when we asked him to write it into the Bill, he gave a careful reply, saying that he thought it was impossible to do so. As I understood it, the burden of his reply was that it would have interfered with the arrangements for amending the Constitution which are at present contained in Paragraph 144 onwards of the federal scheme as embodied in the White Paper.
In speaking on this Amendment I want to say what I should have said in reply to the answer he gave on the last Amendment but one. If the words we seek to have written into the Bill are included, the effect will be that to the extent that those words operate no change can be made either in the Order in Council or the federal scheme which the Order in Council would embody, unless the ordinary processes of our Parliamentary debate are gone through, with the result that a new amending enactment is passed by the House. We think that is a desirable situation.
If these words were written into this enabling Bill the result would be that the Constitution could still be amended; the machinery envisaged by Paragraphs 144 onwards could still operate, except to amend the Constitution in any way to conflict with the words we want written into the Bill. Despite what the Secretary of State has said, it seems to us that that is a perfectly logical and desirable situation. I hope the Secretary of State will consider what I have said because it does not seem to conflict in any real sense 1977 with the situation as he thought it should exist.
In asking that certain provisions should be written into the enabling Bill we think that if the Constitution is brought into being by the Order in Council the existing provisions in the Constitution as envisaged in Paragraphs 144 onwards will still be able to operate for the purpose of amending the Constitution in accordance with their terms, subject to this, that they will not be able to amend the Constitution in a way which conflicts with the words written into the Bill in response to the appeal we are making to the Secretary of State.
I suggest to the Secretary of State, and to his hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, that that is the real reply to the case which he has put forward. Despite what he has said I do not see any objection to writing certain safeguards into the Bill. He has made a careful statement of his intentions and has given assurances for which, to the extent that they go, we are grateful, but despite what he said in dealing with this Amendment and the last but one before it, I am not convinced that he is taking the right attitude in refusing to write into the Bill what we seek to have written into it. He was wrong before and he is wrong again and, in a sense, he is more wrong now than he was before, for the reason given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths).
§ As my right hon. Friend said, if this were written into the Bill the Africans would have something which they could look upon as a charter and as something which, in their eyes, supplanted the treaties with Queen Victoria, upon which they set so much store. If these words were written into the Bill they would think that something tangible was at hand on which they could place some reliance. That was my right hon. Friend's case.
§ For those reasons it seems to me, and to many of my hon. Friends, that it is even more important that the words which are contained in this new Clause should be written into the Bill than the words contained in the previous Amendment to which I have referred. I certainly advise my hon. Friends to register the view which I feel confident they hold in the matter, by taking it to a Division. We take full account of the assurances given by the Secretary of State, but he should have gone further and acceded to the appeal we made to put these words into the Bill. I am not content with the answer he has given and I advise my hon. Friends to press this matter to a Division.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 195.1981
|Division No. 200.]||AYES||[7.0 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Crosland, C. A. R.||Hamilton, W. W.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Crossman, R. H. S.||Hannan, W.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Hargreaves, A.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Davies, Harold (Look)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Hastings, S.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Doer, G.||Hayman, F. H.|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Delargy, H. J.||Hewitson, Capt. M.|
|Bartley, P.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Holman, P.|
|Beattie, J.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Houghton, Douglas|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Hudson, James (Eating, N.)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Blackburn, F.||Fernyhough, E.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Fienburgh, W.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Finch, H. J.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)|
|Boardman, H.||Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)|
|Bowen, E. R.||Follick, M.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Foot, M. M.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Keenan, W.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Kenyon, C.|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Gibson, C. W.||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Glanville, James||Kinley, J.|
|Burke, W. A.||Grey, C. F.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)|
|Champion, A. J.||Grimond, J.||Lindgren, G. S.|
|Collick, P. H.||Hale, Leslie||Logan, D. G.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||MacColl, J. E.|
|McGhee, H. G.||Popplewell, E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|McLeavy, F.||Proctor, W. T.||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Reeves, J.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Mason, Roy||Rhodes, H.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Mellish, R. J.||Richards, R.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Thornton, E.|
|Monslow, W.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Turney-Samuels, M.|
|Moody, A. S.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Morley, R.||Royle, C.||Viant, S. P.|
|Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Weitzman, D.|
|Mort, D. L.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Mulley, F. W.||Short, E. W.||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|Murray, J. D.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Nally, W.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.||Skeffington, A. M.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Orbach, M.||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)||Willey, F. T.|
|Padley, W. E.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Paget, R. T.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Snow, J. W.||Williams, Donald (Wigan)|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Sorensen, R. W.||Williams, W. R. (Droylesden)|
|Palmer, A. M. F.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Pannell, Charles||Sparks, J. A.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Yates, V. F.|
|Parker, J.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Paton, J.||Stross, Dr. Barnett||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Pearson, A.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E||Mr. James Johnson and Mr. Holmes.|
|Peart, T. F||Swingler, S. T.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Fell, A.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Finlay, Graeme||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Fisher, Nigel||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Arbuthnot, John||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Foster, John||McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Fraser, Sir Ian (Moreoambe & Lonsdale)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Gammans, L. D.||Maclean, Fitzroy|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Godber, J. B.||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Gower H. R.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Graham, Sir Fergus||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Markham, Major Sir S. F.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Marples, A. E.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Black, C. W.||Harden J. R. E.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Mellor, Sir John|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Braine, B. R.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hay, John||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Heald, Sir Lionel||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Heath, Edward||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Higgs, J. M. C.||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Hirst, Geoffery||Odey, G. W.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Holland-Martin, C. J.||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Carr, Robert||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Channon, H.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Horobin, I. M.||Partridge, E.|
|Clarke Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Honsburg, Rt. Hon. Florence||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Cole, Norman||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hulbert, Wing. Cdr. N. J.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Crouch, R. F.||Jennings, R.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Profumo, J. D.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Kaberry, D.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Deedes, W. F.||Kerr, H. W.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D||Lambert, Hon. G||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Drewe, Sir C.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Russell, R. S.||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Scott, R. Donald||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||Webbs, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)||Wellwood, W.|
|Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Soames, Capt. C.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Speir, R. M.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)||Williams, Paul (Sutherland, S.)|
|Spans, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Stevens, G. P.||Touche, Sir Gordon||Wills, G.|
|Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Turner, H. F. L.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Turton, R. H.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Storey, S.||Vane, W. M. F.||York, C.|
|Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Studholme, H. G.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Summers, G. S.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)||sir Herbert Butcher and|
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
I beg to move in page 2, line 18, at the end, to insert:(2) Any Order in Council under subsection (1) of this section shall provide that there shall be included among the powers of the African Affairs Board mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (a) of the said subsection the power to present a request to the Speaker of the Federal Legislature praying that any bill or other proposed enactment introduced before the Federal Legislature which in the opinion of the Board is detrimental to the interests of the African population may be reserved for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure with regard thereto, and the Speaker shall take all necessary steps to give effect to any such request, and no proceedings shall be taken on or with regard to any such bill or other proposed enactment until Her Majesty's pleasure has been signified with regard thereto.This Amendment deals with the powers of the African Affairs Board to have Measures reserved for Her Majesty's Assent instead of the assent of the Governor-General. It involves a very short point arising out of the difference between hon. Members opposite and ourselves. The scheme proposes that in order to reserve a Measure for Her Majesty's Assent it must be a differentiating Measure. We propose that it should be sufficient if it is a Measure detrimental to African interests. The issue, therefore, turns on the difference between differentiating as applied in the scheme—and I will come to that later—and detrimental to African interests.
What we propose is precisely in line with the Baxter Report. We are using the same phrase as is used in the recommendation made in that Report. We are dealing here with a question of substance. I am not concerned with the exact words of this Amendment or with questions of form or anything of that kind. We are dealing with a question of substance, and right through the difference between the Government and ourselves on this there are two threads running. The first is the question of the Government's intention, 1982 and the second is the question of the construction to be put upon the words which they use in the scheme when they define a differentiating Measure.
These two threads of Governmental intention and of the construction of the definition run the whole way through the remarks which I have to make upon this subject. I am sure that the Undersecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations will make clear, first, what the Government's intention is and, second, as a separate subject from that, what construction the Government put upon the phrases which they use in their definition in the scheme.
I shall deal first with the difference between "differentiating" and "detrimental," the difference between the Government proposals in the scheme and our suggestion in the Amendment. I shall later deal with what appears to be the practical effect of the difference. I turn first to the Government definition in Paragraph 59 of the scheme. This is a complicated matter and I wish to develop my argument stage by stage. Paragraph 59 says:In this paragraph and in the subsequent provisions of this Chapter the expression 'differentiating measure' means a Bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable, or a Bill or instrument which will in its practical application have such an effect.The words which I wish at the moment to emphasise are:… disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable, …In other words, if I understand the definition aright, if there is a Measure which is disadvantageous to Africans and to African interests but Europeans are subjected to that disadvantage, then it is outside the definition in the scheme.
1983 The Government have sought to defend their position in different ways at different times through different mouths. I want, first, to bring to the attention of the Under-Secretary what appears on the face of it to be a flat contradiction between the Government view as expressed by him and the Government view as expressed by the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs. My right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) raised the matter on 24th July of last year. He referred to it very succinctly, in these words:The word 'detrimental' has been deleted"—my right hon. Friend was complaining about the deletion from the Baxter Report—… and the word 'differential' has been substituted. But it is possible to have legislation which would be detrimental to African interests without being differential. Therefore, I say that the change of wording from 'detrimental' to 'differential' is a narrowing of the powers of the Board in all three fields: executive, administrative and legislative."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th July, 1952; Vol. 504, c. 868.]I now turn to the reply given by the Under-Secretary. He said:I must now pass on from that point to the point which the right hon. Gentleman made about the use of the words 'differentiating' and 'detrimental.' For the benefit of those hon. Members who were not present when the right hon. Gentleman made his speech, may I say that his argument was that, in the new scheme, the word 'detrimental' had been omitted, and the word 'differentiating' put in. I think that, while omitting the word in the new scheme, we have defined 'differentiating,' and the right hon. Gentleman will find that a differentiating measure is one which is disadvantageous, and there is no difference between detrimental and disadvantageous.That is the pith of the hon. and learned Gentleman's reply.
He continues:In other words, in the new scheme, the definition of 'differentiating' involves the use of the word 'disadvantageous,' which is the same as detrimental, so that it comes to exactly the same thing, or near enough not to make his point a valid one.Then the hon. and learned Gentleman quotes the definition which I have already read to the Committee.
He then continues:I appeal to the Committee …—he makes great play of this—… whether there is anything in what the right hon. Gentleman says about the terrible omis- 1984 sion of this word, which makes him say that he would tell the Africans, 'You must not accept it, because the word "detrimental" has been omitted,' when, in fact, the definition of 'differentiating' is that it is disadvantageous.7.15 p.m.
I pause there to bring to the notice of the hon. and learned Gentleman that the definition is not just "disadvantageous" but… disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable …That is a fundamental difference, and it is a distinction over which the hon. and learned Gentleman has glided in that debate and in the later debate which I shall bring to his attention. I now continue where I left off.
The hon. and learned Gentleman said:He says he would tell the Africans not to accept it, because of the horrible word 'disadvantageous,' instead of 'detrimental.' I really cannot think that that is a sound point.There are then two interventions by my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly to which the hon. and learned Gentleman replied. I do not think I am being unfair in omitting those interventions and his replies.
He went on:It never occurred to me that somebody would say, 'I will tell the Africans to reject the scheme because the word "detrimental" is different from "disadvantageous".' That is what it amounts to."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th July, 1953; Vol. 504, c. 880–1.]Again I would emphasise that the words… to which Europeans are not subjected or made liable …do not appear there at all. Let me tell the hon. and learned Gentleman at once that if the intention is that the words… to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable …should have no effect, so that they could be left out, that would go very far to meet our point in this case.
I would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman whether in expressing the view which he put so forcibly in the passage which I have quoted he was expressing the view of the Government on the effect of paragraph 59, and whether he was then expressing the Government's intention of the effect that paragraph 59 should have? If so, it seems to me that the Government should come forward 1985 straight away and say that they are prepared to delete the words… to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable. …I now come to what seems to me to be the quite contradictory statement made by the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs in the debate on 24th March this year. The right hon. Gentleman said:The changing of the word 'detrimental' to 'differentiating' was made quite deliberately with a view to making the position more clear. 'Detrimental' can mean anything. One could say that Income Tax is detrimental to an individual. But when one uses the word 'differentiating' one means something quite different, and when one goes on not only to say that it is a differentiating Measure but to explain that it means something which is disadvantageous to the Africans, and something to which the Eropeans are not subjected—or is an instrument which will in its practical application have such an effect—it seems to me that one has gone to the very limit to try to provide effective safeguards for Africans in that field."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th March, 1953; Vol. 513, c. 790.]It seems to me that the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs was very much nearer—I do not say that his interpretation was precisely identical—the substance of paragraph 59 than was his hon. and learned Friend. We have a Minister in the Colonial Office saying, in effect, that when one uses "differentiating" one means something quite different, and yet in the passage which I have quoted, the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations said that it comes to exactly the same thing. We wish to know in the first place which of those two apparently contradictory interpretations correctly expresses the intention of the Government.
I want to look for a moment at the Southern Rhodesia Constitution and the effect of this difference between differentiating and detrimental. The Committee will forgive me for referring for just a minute or two to a point which I made on Second Reading. It arises here, and this is perhaps the first opportunity that we have had of considering this point in detail. I think I ought to refresh the memory of the Committee.
The Southern Rhodesia Constitution, paragraph 28, says that there is reserved for Her Majesty's pleasure Measureswhereby natives may be subjected or made liable to any conditions or disability or restrictions to which persons of European descent are not also made subject or made liable.1986 In some respects that is a very closely paralleled provision, but those wordswhereby natives may be subjected toare not what we have in paragraph 59 where it says "Whereby"—if I may put it in the same terms for clarity—"natives are subjected."
Obviously to ascertain whether they may be subjected or not we have to look not merely on the face of the Measure but also at its practical application. If we look at its practical application we will then, and only then, find out whether or not natives may be subjected to the disabilities to which persons of European descent are not also made subject. In the federal scheme the words are… instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable.There, of course, we have in addition the insertion of the words "or a Bill"—and then it reads on—… or instrument which will in its practical application have such an effect.In other words, there is the insertion of these latter words, because there is not the word "may" that there is in the Southern Rhodesia Constitution.
The point I am making is that the definition in the scheme is no more favourable to Africans than that is in the Southern Rhodesia Constitution. In fact, it is our view that it is considerably less favourable, because the combination of the word "or" to the reference to "its practical effect" does not go as far as "may" in the Southern Rhodesia Constitution. That it enables us to consider the effect of this scheme by comparison with the Southern Rhodesia Constitution.
What we find in the Southern Rhodesia Constitution—and I shall be corrected by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if I am wrong—is that the franchise qualification can be raised and it was raised. When it was raised that was not treated as a differentiating Measure. Here, for instance, under this scheme it is perfectly open to the Federal Legislature to raise the franchise qualification and impose a property qualification which would eliminate a large number of Africans from qualifying for the vote. That has, in fact, happened in Southern Rhodesia without it coming within the ambit of paragraph 1987 59 and being treated as a differentiating Measure.
I should like to know—and I am coming back to other observations of the hon. and learned Gentleman on this—if that is correct and if that is what happened under the Southern Rhodesia Constitution. In South Africa we have had differentiating, detrimental measures including the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act and the Public Safety Act, Acts which we in this Committee abhor because they are used in order to suppress opposition to the Malan regime and the Malan programme. None of us would countenance that.
Of course, those Measures are not, as I understand, within the definition of differentiating measures in paragraph 59, because they apply equally to Europeans and to Africans. Trade unionists in South Africa suffer under them, but they are not differentiating Measures although they are detrimental, and grossly detrimental, to African interests. So it would be quite impossible, as I understand paragraph 59, for those acts done in pursuance of such a policy to be brought within the ambit of the provision and to be reserved for Her Majesty's pleasure. I should like to know if that is correct and, if not, why not.
I should like to pursue the example of the franchise because the hon. and learned Gentleman made some remarks about it. I should have thought it was clear, in accordance with the argument I have put before the Committee, that where the franchise is raised the property qualification is raised, and as it is the property qualification which Europeans and Africans must alike pass before they get the vote, it is quite clear that that is not a differentiating Measure. In Southern Rhodesia, as I understand it, it was not so. Despite this, the hon. and learned Gentleman—and I will quote him verbatim—has stated that the raising of the property qualification, which would be more prejudicial to Africans than Europeans, would be a differentiating Measure.
I want to refer to the exact words he used, because in the course of this passage I shall be able to pin-point the difference between us on our interpretation of para- 1988 graph 59. This is the question that was put to the hon. and learned Gentleman:What about the case of property qualification? That would apply to both Europeans and Africans in its application but, nevertheless, it would mean the exclusion of Africans and not of Europeans in precisely the same way as we have seen in Southern Rhodesia in recent years.The hon. and learned Gentleman made this reply:It is quite clear that the qualifying words 'which will in its practical application have such an effect' do apply to the substance of such a Bill.May I pause here before going further and look back at the definition and see what the effect of it is? Paragraph 59 says:… the expression 'differentiating measure' means a Bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable, or a Bill or instrument which will in its practical application have such an effect.That means such an effect as aBill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected.It refers to all the preceding passage and it is important, in construing this, to bear that in mind.
The hon. Gentleman said:It is quite clear that the qualifying words, which will in its practical application have such an effect …apply to such a Bill. The property qualification affects both Europeans and Africans but it would have disabilities disadvantageous "to the Africans." I pause here to point out that the hon. and learned Gentleman did not refer to the following words "to which Europeans are not also subjected." He went on to say:In other words, the provision means exactly what the right hon. and learned Gentleman sought in his example; if we have a property qualification of £x, it applies equally to Africans and Europeans,"—I agree with that—but if there are conditions—namely, that most Africans do not have as much money as Europeans—which make it disadvantageous to Africans, then this proposal comes into effect."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th May, 1953; Vol. 515, c. 504–5.]1989 Again I observe that when the hon. and learned Gentleman refers to "disadvantageous to Africans" he does not include the vital words:to which Europeans are not also subjected …May I draw his attention closely to this?
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)
May I ask a question without upsetting the hon. and learned Member's train of thought? Supposing I was right on this point, there would be no quarrel with the intention of the Government there? The only thing which the hon. and learned Gentleman is maintaining is that the construction is wrong?
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
Yes, I think that is so, but I shall not commit myself before hearing the reply of the hon. and learned Gentleman as to the intention of the Government.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
As I said earlier, if the hon. and learned Gentleman says the same now as is said in the OFFICIAL REPORT, it will go far towards meeting our point, though not completely.
Now let me deal with the construction side. The hon. and learned Gentleman said:… if there are conditions—namely, that most Africans do not have as much money as Europeans …But that is not the test which is laid down in paragraph 59. The test there is not whether most Africans or more Africans than Europeans are to suffer a disadvantage—whether a greater proportion of Africans or Europeans are to suffer a disadvantage. The test in paragraph 59 is:disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected …But even if Europeans are also subjected—whether on the face of the Measure or in its practical effect, I do not mind which—to the disadvantage, then on this definition the Measure is outside the relief which is given under paragraph 59.
In other words, it is not a test of comparison of more or of most, of a greater proportion of Africans suffering under the Measure than Europeans. Still less 1990 is the test whether the Measure in its practical operation will be detrimental to Africans in the way in which the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act are detrimental to the Africans. The only test—and this is what we complain of—provided in paragraph 59 is whether or not it is disadvantageous to the Africans and, in addition, not only has it got to be disadvantageous to them but it must also be a provision to which Europeans are not also subjected. For that reason it seems to me that the hon. and learned Gentleman is in error in his explanation of the passage which I have just read. If, however, I am wrong on that, I shall be glad to be corrected and to have it explained precisely where I have fallen into error.
My next point is the complaint suggested by the Secretary of State in the passage I have read. It was that "detrimental to African interests" was too wide. My first answer to that is the one I have already given, that if an Amendment is adopted on the lines of the interpretation given by the Undersecretary in the passage I have read, making that absolutely clear in the scheme, it will go far to meet our objection. Secondly, it is far preferable in a Measure of this kind and in a definition of this kind to be wide rather than narrow. I will explain exactly why.
The only effect of making a Measure differential is to enable the African Affairs Board, if it thinks fit, to reserve the Measure for Her Majesty's pleasure. So the African Affairs Board has to come to the conclusion that a Measure ought to be referred for Her Majesty's pleasure. That is one safeguard. The other is to reserve it for Her Majesty's pleasure, and she may or may not assent, as she thinks fit. So all it does is to refer it to the discretion of Her Majesty's Ministers. In our view it is vital that Her Majesty should be able to consider legislation which is detrimental to Africans and to which the African Affairs Board objects, and that the Government should have an opportunity of considering that Measure before it is put into operation.
In our debate of 18th June the Undersecretary made what seemed to me to be some significant observations. He indicated that the local police in the Terri- 1991 tories would be responsible for enforcing the legislation passed by the central Legislature. May I refresh the memory of the hon. and learned Gentleman? I asked:What is intended about the police? Is it intended that they should come under the central authority, or do they remain under the territorial authority?The hon. and learned Gentleman replied:My recollection is that they are to be local.Then I asked:Does that mean that the central authority will be passing legislation which it will be the duty of the police under the territorial authority to enforce?He answered, "Yes," and then I asked:Would that mean that the central authority, the Federation, would be passing laws which this country, as the responsible authority for the Territories, would be responsible for enforcing?He answered:In a way, yes. The local police would enforce."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th June, 1953; Vol. 516, c. 1332.]That is the extraordinary anomalous position to which we are reduced as the result of carrying through this legislation. Let us consider the constitutional position. We have a Federation set up composed of Territories, in two of which we are the supreme authority responsible inside those Territories. As the territorial Authority, we are responsible for the police, for law and order. The central Authority can pass legislation which might arouse the keenest opposition inside those Territories but, nevertheless, we are responsible for seeing that it is enforced.
This is a serious constitutional difficulty and I should be very glad if the hon. and learned Gentleman would deal expressly with his point. Here we are, an independent, sovereign Power, and the Federation not having as yet Dominion status. Yet we have the Federation, under the Constitution which Her Majesty's Government propose, put into a position of being able to pass laws which we have to enforce inside these Territories. Supposing those laws raise the franchise and that they do not differentiate within the meaning of the scheme. Supposing that laws analogous to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act or the Public Safety Act of South Africa are passed and do not differentiate. Nevertheless, as I understand it, we are responsible for seeing that those 1992 laws are enforced and law and order maintained in those Territories, despite the aggravation which may be caused by oppressive legislation of that kind. That is a really impossible position in which to put this country.
Where do we draw the line? Supposing that did happen. In dealing with constitutional matters one cannot disregard such a possibility, and it is our duty to probe these possibilities and see how far the Constitution provides for them. Supposing there is an outbreak or outrages caused by legislation of an oppressive character; what do we do? Do we send the Lancashire Fusiliers to maintain law and order, despite this legislation? What is our responsibility? The least we can ask is that before legislation of that kind is put into operation at all it should be capable of being referred by the African Affairs Board, which is responsible for African interests, for consideration by the Secretary of State. That is all we ask in this Amendment. It is the least that the Government can do in order to safeguard the position.
As I see it, the Government have put the country into a quite impossible position in this respect. I strongly urge the Government to make clear beyond any shadow of doubt that the object of paragraph 59 of the scheme is to ensure that legislation which is not only differentiating but detrimental to African interests can be reserved by the African Affairs Board for Her Majesty's pleasure. If such is the intention of the Government, they should in that definition achieve their intention beyond doubt and beyond argument.
§ Mr. Foster
I shall deal first with the points made by the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas) about the words "disadvantageous," "differentiating" and "detrimental." I conceive the fallacy of his argument. I conceive the fallacy to be that he has not paid any or sufcient attention to the wordswhich will in its practical application have such an effect.The hon. and learned Member argued that, by the way in which the scheme has been drafted in paragraph 59, a Measure which was in his submission actually detrimental to the Africans would not come within the definition in 1993 the scheme, because it would not be caught by the definition of the word "differentiating." He took the example of the franchise law and I think it is easier to work on the example. He put in the forefront of his argument the proposition that I had disregarded the words,to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable.and that by disregarding those words I had missed the point he was putting forward.
I shall deal with the matter in this way. Let us take a Measure which applies equally to Europeans and to Africans. The hon. and learned Member is arguing that that cannot come into the definition because it applies equally to them but may be detrimental, in his terminology, to the African. I do not agree, and I hope I shall be able to satisfy him because I understand that if I am able to satisfy him that our definition of the word "differentiating" will catch that he will be satisfied on this matter.
May I say in parenthesis that I am not taking the dichotomy he advocated on "intention" and "construction," because what we say is "construction" is our intention and there is no necessity for me to follow his division? There was a necessity for him to do so because his first thesis was that he wanted to make sure that what my right hon. Friend and I said had the same intention. I understand from his answer to my intervention that he was satisfied that I have only to explain that my hon. Friend and I are saying the same thing and that the construction equals that. That is the scheme of my answer.
At the end I shall explain why in my submission what my right hon. Friend and I are saying amounts to the same thing. I am now dealing with the construction. The imaginary franchise Act which we are hypothecating has the same restrictions, conditions and disabilities equally applicable to Africans and Europeans. The hon. and learned Member says they cannot differentiate according to the scheme because there is nothing on which the section could operate, as it applies equally to Europeans. In my submission the words,which will in its practical application have such an effect1994 do take account of that very factor. Spelt out, they mean a Bill which makes Africans liable to conditions to which Europeans are not subjected or which in its practical effect—this is my interpolation—not in its technical or legal application of construction, but in its practical effect, do have the effect of rendering Africans liable to restrictions or conditions or disabilities to which Europeans are not subject—I emphasise the word "disabilities"—then the Measure would operate and the African Affairs Board could take action. That is where the point of difference is.
§ Mrs. White
By way of illustration, supposing in legislation in the Federal House a monetary penalty Clause were included in the Bill of a kind which to the great majority of Europeans might be small and possibly negligible, but for the great majority of Africans might be a very serious matter indeed. In circumstances of that kind, would the hon. and learned Gentleman consider that the Africans Affairs Board could refer such a matter as it would be disadvantageous to the majority of the Africans?
§ Mr. Foster
Yes, that is the point, and I am grateful to the hon. Lady. We are not now dealing with the construction of the law but the practical application would be to subject Africans to disabilities to which Europeans are not subject.
§ Sir F. Soskice
Following the question raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) would every single Income Tax provision be a differentiating Measure in that sense, because the Africans might find it more difficult to pay Income Tax than white people?
§ Mr. Foster
I should have thought it would, because that is the reason why Africans do not pay Income Tax at the moment. It is realised that they do not have the same incomes. Where the general conditions of the Africans are different, and the law is, on basis, the same for both Africans and Europeans but is not the same in its practical application, then this provision operates. If I am right in this argument, then I gather that the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not quarrel about the intention.
§ Sir F. Soskice
But does the hon. and learned Gentleman realise where the argument leads him? Is he saying that the true effect of the words is that any Measure which in even a small degree affects Africans more adversely than it affects Europeans is within the definition of a differentiating Measure. That is where his argument leads him, and obviously it is going far too far.
§ Mr. Foster
It does not go further than the right hon. Gentleman's word "detrimental." I am not saying that his words are nonsense; all I am saying is that this definition goes as far as the right hon. and learned Gentleman wanted to go in his Amendment by using the word "detrimental."
§ Mr. Paget
Surely what the hon. and learned Gentleman is doing is what he did last time. He is forgetting the words,to which Europeans are not also subjected.If we put on a poll tax, it is payable by everybody—Europeans and Africans; and it may be to the detriment of the Africans, but it is not a detriment to the Africans, either in its theoretical or practical application, to which Europeans are not subjected.
§ Mr. Foster
We say the exact opposite. The poll tax is a Measure which in its practical application will subject an African to a disability to which a European is not subjected because, while the European is liable to the tax, he is not liable to the disability. I do not ask the hon. and learned Gentleman necessarily to agree with me, but merely to see that we have reached a point where no amount of discussion on either side will improve the argument.
The matter is perhaps not as serious as has been suggested because it will be noted that it has to be "in the opinion of the African Affairs Board." On a very tight argument like this—and assuming, merely for the purpose of the sentence, that there is more in the right hon. and learned Gentleman's argument than I think there is—I do not think anybody could stop the African Affairs Board if they followed the construction which I have put forward. I only advance that as a reason for saying that I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman need be as anxious about the effect as he appears to be.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
I am afraid that the hon. and learned Gentleman has been interrupted quite a lot and that it is difficult for him, but he cannot argue that in practice we need not bother about the interpretation. That is where his last observation leads. Obviously we must get the interpretation right. If the African Affairs Board acted wrongly, they could be restrained from taking that action. Take the case of the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, where they could be restrained by the courts from exercising their discretion. I think we can throw that argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman on one side.
The crux of the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument lies in the words,which will in its practical application have such an effect.He relied on those words, but they carry him no further in his argument. They do not aid him in the way in which he calls them in aid. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) has already made the point: have what effect? If the effect isa Bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected—which the hon. and learned Gentleman again left out—then the wordswhich will in its practical application have such an effectsimply bring in again the wordsto which Europeans are not also subjected.There is no point in his relying, therefore, on the wordswhich will in its practical application have such an effectbecause that carries his argument no further.
The whole issue, therefore, is whether the phrase,to which Europeans are not also subjecteddoes or does not mean—and I say it does—that a case is taken outside paragraph 59 if there are Europeans who are subjected to the Bill or instrument or the conditions, restrictions or disabilities in the Bill or instrument. That is precisely what we object to. It does not have to be more Africans or most of the Africans being affected, whereas most Europeans are not. I dealt with that point and will not repeat the argument.
§ Mr. Foster
If the hon. and learned Gentleman's construction were right, and the fact that some Europeans were subjected to it as well as some Africans took it out of the paragraph, then his argument is valid. But I doubt whether stating it backwards and forwards will help very much. Perhaps I may follow his construction to the point where we diverge, which will be easier. His criticism of my argument is that I did not read the words,to which Europeans are not also subjected.I agree that they should be read.
Take the poll tax, which is imposed equally on Aficans and Europeans. If we omit the wordswhich will in its practical application have such an effectthe right hon. and learned Gentleman's construction is correct, but if those words are inserted, and if the effect of the tax is to subject Africans to the disability of having to pay the tax when they have no money, then that is a disability to which Europeans are not subjected. The second time round the word "disability" does not mean the same as it does the first time round, because the first time round we are looking at a legal disability—a disability imposed by the Bill. In that case we do not find the disability, because on this hypothesis Europeans and Africans are subjected to the same poll tax.
But the second time round it means something different; it means the difference between the practical disability and the legal disability. The second time round we look at the practical disability, and we find that there is a practical disability in that to the European the poll tax is a small sum and to the African it is a large sum. There we find a disability to which Europeans are not subjected.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
Does this mean that the Government accept the fact that in a plural society, where white Europeans have a higher living standard, there is bound to be not a differentiating but certainly a detrimental and disadvantageous impact, whatever legislation we pass?
§ Mr. Foster
In the sphere of money, I accept that. It is so. I am not saying that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his hon. Friends are wrong in what 1998 they want and that we differ from them. I am saying that they are right in what they want and that we agree with them. It is only a matter of construction. I may be too obstinate. Here we have four or five lawyers disagreeing about construction. These words are in the scheme and they do what we say they do.
May I turn to the point of whether the Amendment would do it? The Amendment first of all just alludes to the words:detrimental to the interests of the African population.It then goes on to enable the African Affairs Board to halt all legislation. We disagree on principle with hon. Members opposite if they really want that. The scheme is that the legislation goes forward and that the African Affairs Board cannot stop it at any stage except when it has passed through all the stages of legislation, when they can in a sense, force the Speaker to forward it to the Governor-General to refer it to London.
The Amendment does something different. It may be unintentional and, if so, we disagree. If it is intentional then the Amendment ought not to do it. The words in the Amendment would be without a definite offer to wait, and that is where the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman comes in, and where I agree with him. If the word "detrimental" is to be left the African Affairs Board would not know where they were. The word "detrimental" would bring in any legislation, as the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) has said, and would give the African Affairs Board, not the right to object to detrimental legislation, but to any legislation at all.
§ Mr. Foster
No it does not, because there are many spheres apart from money where it could not be construed that there was a disability to Africans even though they did not live in houses.
§ Mr. Foster
I do not want to be diverted by the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
As I have said, I doubt if arguing back and forward, and disagreeing on con- 1999 struction will get us any further. I think hon. Members opposite understand what I was trying to say, and also the way in which I have argued that it will have such an effect plus the second time round effect. The first disability will be a legal disability and the other a practical disability.
With regard to the point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman about the police, I would answer colloquially, "So what?" I think he has raised a false dilemma. He has assumed legislation which is so unpopular that it has to be enforced with a certain amount of force in the territory. Evidently his suggestion is that as our proposals are unacceptable to him, the Federation should enforce it with federal police; that they should be responsible for law and order. That must be so.
He is assuming that the Federation will not work with the central legislature and the executive will possibly cease to enforce laws which are unpopular, and therefore he has put it in a dilemma, as something repugnant to him. It would be dreadful for the territory police to enforce it and it would be equally dreadful if the Federation was responsible for law and order. The objection is to the hypothesis, namely, such unpopular legislation as would have to be enforced. That is not an objection to the way in which we have provided for law and order to be enforced by the Territories.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
If I may answer straight away, I would say, certainly. The dilemma to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has referred is the inevitable result of his pushing this scheme of federation through. The Government's scheme of federation involves putting this country as the Power responsible for two of the Territories under the Federal Legislature and that is the ridiculous, anomalous and absurd thing which this Government have done. It results in precisely the dilemma I have indicated, and that inevitably arises.
I used it on this Amendment to show that the least we can do therefore, in order to avoid other consequences of pushing through this Central African scheme, would be to ensure that Measures to which the African Affairs Board object as detrimental to African interests should 2000 be defined in as wide a way as possible, in order to enable the Colonial Secretary or the Commonwealth Secretary to have the opportunity of disallowing legislation to which they object before it comes into effect.
§ Mr. Foster
I think the hon. and learned Gentleman also used it to say it was wrong for the State or the territorial police to have to enforce these laws——
§ Mr. Foster
That is inevitable, and I imagine the hon. and learned Gentleman will agree. If there is enforcement to be made it is our place to enforce it. I would like the hon. and learned Gentleman to answer that. If it has to be enforced does he suggest that the Federation should be responsible?
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
No. Of course the hon. and learned Gentleman has posed the most frightful dilemma and that is what I am complaining about. From these Opposition benches I am not answering the dilemma. I am pointing out the iniquitous result of the dilemma in which this Government have placed the country.
§ Mr. Foster
I think "iniquitous" is a very strong term. The difficulty is the point of construction. The hon. and learned Gentleman must not get away with it in this way. He has linked up the enforcement of a hypothetical law with the African Affairs Board not being able to forward it to the Secretary of State. That depends on the point of construction. Therefore, he calls it "iniquitous," because in his view we are forcing on the people of this country and Central Africa a Clause which in his view is not properly construed——
§ Mr. Foster
I fail to see that it even begins to be a travesty and therefore I think I have dealt with the point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ Mr. Foster
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will correct me if I go wrong about what was his point as I was not in the Chamber at the time he made it.
§ Mr. Hale
The whole position depends on who is the chairman of the Board. There will be six members of the Board and the chairman will have a casting vote. If the chairman is a European then the African Affairs Board ceases to have any importance, unless the right European is selected. Who is to be the chairman? Is he to be a European or an African? Is the hon. and learned Member prepared to indicate that the chairman of the African Affairs Board will be an African?
§ Mr. Foster
No. I am not. As I explained in a previous debate the casting vote of the chairman is to be exercised in such a manner as to provide that the matter should be kept under discussion. That will safeguard the position. Obviously the Governor-General will select the best person, in his opinion, to be chairman and he will not decide on the grounds of race.
§ Mr. Foster
Three members of the committee who may be either Europeans or Africans, any three members, are pushing that a Measure be sent to the Speaker and the other three object. It would be the duty of the Chairman to keep the matter under further discussion, if the time-table was approaching near where the Bill would pass into law. Unless a report came from the African Affairs Board, they would have to vote for the report to be sent to the Speaker. The hon. Member will remember that there is a provision there which says that in the event of disagreement it shall be reported to the Speaker in the statement which is forwarded to him.
§ Mr. Paget
On the point of construction, I would only say that in my view, for what it is worth, the words themselves are quite incapable of bearing the meaning which the hon. and learned Gentleman has sought to put upon them. But even if one were to concede for a moment that these words were capable of either meaning—and I do not think that they are even capable of the hon. and learned Gentleman's interpretation—then I believe that any court would still have to select the meaning which my hon. and learned Friend has placed upon them for this reason.
This is an interpretation of a differential Measure. If we adopt the Under-Secretary's construction, the differential Measure becomes meaningless because in a society divided such as this is, no Measure that one can conceive can fail to have a differential effect in its practical application upon the two races. One cannot conceive of a Measure which in its practical application does not have a differential effect upon these two races. If the practical effect is to be divorced from the words:to which Europeans are not also subjected,then the differential Measure covers every Measure which this Federation could conceivably pass. "Differential" has ceased to have a meaning. So that if there is a choice between these two interpretations, then the interpretation which gives a meaning to "differential Measure" would be that which would have to be adopted.
§ Mr. Paget
Yes, certainly. It has different advantages, restrictions or disabilities. It would cover everything. But let us drop that for a moment, because I agree rather that one does not get very much further by hammering a point of construction when there is no judge to decide it.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Neepsend (Sir F. Soskice), my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas), and myself, for what very little that is worth, all take very strongly indeed one view of the meaning of this Clause. The Under-Secretary takes another view. When we are trying to make a constitution upon which the lives 2003 of Africans depend, why on earth not select words as to the meaning of which we can agree? They do not seem to be very difficult to find.
All we have to do is to omit the words "to which Europeans are not also subjected." The hon. and learned Gentleman says that those words have no meaning at all. We say that they have a meaning and that it is a meaning which has the effect of making this Clause mean what the hon. and learned Gentleman does not want it to mean. What is the trouble? If we omit those words he is giving nothing because, according to him, they are meaningless. We are getting what we want. We can then all agree and be happy about what the Clause means. Why not let us settle this argument simply in that way, which appears to satisfy everybody?
If we cannot conclude the argument here by agreement, which seems to be a very small thing to ask, let me deal with the next point. The other point which the hon. and learned Gentleman takes is that this does not really matter, because it is the opinion of the African Affairs Board, and they will be able to adopt, whether sincerely or not, whichever opinion they like, and, after all, if the Government have expressed an opinion as strongly as the hon. and learned Gentleman has done they might accept that opinion.
The whole trouble here is that this must be a matter of the procedure of the African Affairs Board, and whether the matter will be in order for the consideration of the African Affairs Board will depend on what the chairman rules. It is not here a question of a casting vote. It is for the chairman to decide whether anything can or cannot be considered by his Board. Therefore, the vital question here is. who is the chairman?
We are told that we cannot have "differential" and that there can be no assurance that there will be an African chairman but that, of course, the Governor-General will choose the best man. That is the Parliamentary way of saying that the chairman will, of course, be a white man. There is no question at all that that is the intention and that that is what is going to happen. There- 2004 fore, that protection does not seem to be a very large one. We should very much rather this Clause was so worded that it would then, without any doubt, mean what both sides of the Committee intend it to mean. What is the difficulty about that? I wish the hon. and learned Gentleman would tell us what the difficulty is.
§ Mr. Foster
If we had the word "detrimental" it would have the very effect which the hon. and learned Gentleman is putting forward, because in the Amendment the words are:detrimental to the interests of the African population. …The word "detrimental" in the Amendment does not import any degree of differentiation between Africans and Europeans. Most legislation is detrimental. Some people have to take out dog licences; others have to pay Income Tax, and so on: all legislation is detrimental in effect. This Amendment does not say "specially detrimental to the Africans" or "detrimental to the Africans because of their circumstances." In fact, the words in this Amendment would have the effect which the hon. and learned Gentleman does not want.
§ Mr. Paget
I am afraid that the hon. and learned Gentleman has not followed me. I do not agree with his submission as to the meaning of "detrimental." However, I waive that so far as my speech is concerned. All I am suggesting is this. Let him have his definition with regard to "detrimental," as to which we do not agree. Let us stick to "differential "and merely omitto which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable.Those are words which, according to him, are meaningless.
§ Mr. Foster indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Foster
No. Those words are essential, but they mean something different from what the hon. and learned Gentleman says they mean. My argument is that the word "detrimental" in this Amendment without a qualifying provision about Europeans, brings in the universality of which complaint is made. 2005 I am sorry if the hon. and learned Gentleman understood exactly the opposite of what I have said.
§ Mr. Paget rose——
§ Mr. Paget
Let us just see. I think it is very important that we should go on at this point, because the hon. and learned Gentleman seems to have entirely reversed his argument. Let us have a look at the definition paragraph, because it is important that we, and the Africans as well, should understand what it says. It says this:In this paragraph and in the subsequent provisions of this Chapter the expression 'differentiating measure' means a Bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them"—and so on. Does he not see that that has a universality?
§ Mr. Foster
I quite agree, but I did not use the word restrictive. As the hon. and learned Gentleman puts it now, I agree it is restrictive, but I did not use the word, and that is all I said.
§ Mr. Foster indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Paget
At any rate, whether or not we have this Amendment, surely, when the hon. and learned Gentleman comes to make a constitution which has important provisions—and this has been emphasised—for the protection of 2006 coloured wards—for that is what they are—it is important that that which we should both intend should be expressed in words which we can both understand. After all, I do not believe that any great difficulty can arise if we get together.
The Order in Council has not yet been drafted. Why cannot the hon. and learned Gentleman give an undertaking to consider a form of words afterwards, and see if we can find a form of words which will express what we both intend and desire? Surely, the hon. and learned Gentleman can go as far as that? Cannot he say that, if this Amendment is withdrawn, we will meet together afterwards and find a form of words which we can agree expresses what both of us intend? Cannot he say that?
I am afraid this is where we simply come to the situation in which one has to say that, throughout this Bill, the Government have been thoroughly dishonest. They are putting forward a Measure containing protections and restrictions which they know perfectly well are bogus, and which we have said are bogus from start to finish. Here they come with a lot of prevaricating argument pretending that this means something which they know perfectly well it does not. When we ask them if they are prepared to meet us to consider words to express what they say is the meaning, they are not even prepared to do that.
The whole of this debate as to the protection of Africans has been nauseating hyprocrisy on the part of the Government from start to finish, and the intention of this Federation—as it has been throughout—is to maintain and preserve white supremacy. It is not the Government's intention, and there has never been the smallest intention of preventing the sort of legislation which has come about in the Dominion of South Africa. There is not the smallest intention of creating a coloured civil service here, and it has been nauseating hypocrisy from start to finish, and that is the real answer.
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)
May I deal with the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Undersecretary? I gather that his real difficulty in accepting the Amendment is that he feels that it goes too far, and that it 2007 introduces words which have the same kind of universality to which we object in the provisions of the scheme. I want briefly to put a point which arises out of what the hon. and learned Gentleman said. He was arguing that the argument of my hon. and learned Friend was based on a fallacy concerning the words at the end of paragraph 59 of the scheme. Surely, the real point is this. Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee are trying to define in precise language the kind of legislation which the African Affairs Board shall have the right to reserve. I agree that some such words asto which Europeans are not also subjected or made liablemay be necessary if we want to introduce into the scheme the idea of discrimination.
There are three kinds of Measures which could be held to be discriminatory. There would be, first of all, measures which, on the face of it, are discriminatory and no one imagines that any Legislature in its senses will pass legislation which, on the face of it, is discriminatory. Therefore, it is totally unlikely that there will be any legislation of that kind. The real object is to arrive at a form of words which, in fact, will indicate that legislation discriminates unfairly to the disadvantage of Africans, and the Minister says that, if we use the word detrimental, it may be going too far, because it may apply to all legislation. If that is his only objection, we may have to introduce some qualifications to make it clear that its effect is not only detrimental to Africans, but in practice discriminates against them.
I think the words which one has to try to incorporate into this Bill or the Order in Council are words which would give effect to the idea of legislation which produces practical discrimination against the Africans, and I have no doubt myself that, on the construction of paragraph 59 of the scheme as it now stands, the words… or a Bill or instrument which will in its practical application have such an effectmay have the effect of imposing conditions. It has the effect of imposing conditions to which Europeans are not also subjected.
2008 8.30 p.m.
Take a third example. Supposing there was a Measure which stated that its provisions should only apply to a person who could prove that one of his parents was born in England, such a Measure would obviously discriminate against Africans, but it would apply equally to Europeans, because some Europeans could prove that and others could not. What I thought was most significant——
§ Mr. Fletcher
Very serious. One could imagine a whole series of Measures which would totally discriminate against Africans; some of which in a larger degree than others discriminate against Africans, and others which are borderline cases. It may be that it is the borderline cases with which we are most concerned.
I thought that the most significant feature of what has happened so far was the Minister's refusal to commit himself or to express any opinion as to how such a Measure as the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of South Africa or the Public Safety Act of South Africa, to both of which my hon. and learned Friend referred, would be considered under the construction which the Minister placed upon them. There we have Acts in which the language used is of universal application, but there is nothing in the text of either Act which says that they are designed to prejudice Africans or Europeans. They apply equally. But, as everyone knows, they are Acts which impose special disabilities and restrictions, and which are particularly disadvantageous to Africans. It might be argued that they did not discriminate against Africans because Europeans are equally subjected to them.
That is the kind of Act which we are considering, and we want to make sure that Acts of that kind can be reserved for Her Majesty's pleasure. Would the Minister give us his opinion as to whether Measures of this kind come within the ambit of paragraph 59 and could be reserved at the will of the African Affairs Board? Unless we can have an assurance to that end, I hope that my hon. Friends 2009 will press this Amendment, because it seems to me absolutely essential that for the protection of the African people, whom we are pledged to defend, this Bill should not be left as at present and that an Amendment must be inserted to make quite clear the intention on which we all agree. I hope that we shall receive an asurance from the Minister on this point.
§ Mr. Foster
The hon. Gentleman has raised the same point in another form, and the answer is the same. In so far as any Act has a practical effect of imposing disabilities on Africans to which Europeans are not subjected, it comes under the definition of a differentiating Measure. I would add, in parentheses, that there are Measures which are discriminatory in favour of the Africans. The hon. Gentleman is presumably excluding those, because the word "discriminatory" does not necessarily mean disadvantageous or detrimental. I only say to the hon. and learned Gentleman that the words to which Europeans are subjected are necessary because, without that qualification of the words "detrimental" or "disadvantageous," there is universality. That is the difference between us, and I think that, in the end, the hon. and learned Gentleman appreciated that.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
I do not think that is the issue between us, and I am very anxious to get it perfectly clear that we really intend the same thing by paragraph 59. If there is the possibility of an opportunity for conversation about amending paragraph 59, then we should like to have that opportunity.
May I say, first of all, that on the latter part of our Amendment there is no difference of principle between us. This is the point which I want to have made clear. The paragraph says:… disadvantage to which Europeans are not also subjected.The essential point of our case is that if there are any Europeans, a fair number, who are subjected to the legislation, even though in its effect it is overwhelmingly anti-African, it is not within paragraph 59. If the intention of the hon. and learned Gentleman, as stated in the earlier debate from which I quoted, is that if it should be more detrimental to Africans than to Europeans, the intention is that it should be in paragraph 59. If that is the Government's intention there should be no difficulty at all in making a slight 2010 Amendment to paragraph 59 which would achieve that object.
I put it to the hon. and learned Gentleman straightaway whether he would accept this, perhaps not word for word, but as expressing the intention that he has in mind:A bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities more disadvantageous to the interests of Africans than of Europeans;or, if he likes:substantially more disadvantageous to the interests of Africans than of Europeans.Would the hon. and learned Gentleman accept that as expressing the intention that he has in mind, or would he not? And if not why not? Would the hon. and Learned Gentleman give me an indication? I will give way for him.
§ Mr. Foster
If we could express the greater amount of disadvantageouness in some quantitative way it might be a very slight thing. Does it express a disability to which Europeans are not subjected?
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
I understand that, and I have put in the word "substantially." I understand from the hon. and learned Gentleman that the words which I have given:substantially more disadvantageous to the interests of Africans than of Europeanswould meet the intention that he has. If so, I completely fail to see why these precise words should not be incorporated in paragraph 59. What I ask the Government to do is to give an undertaking that they will reconsider paragraph 59 with a view to effecting in it, by appropriate words, the intention which the hon. Gentleman now indicated. Will he do that?
§ Mr. Foster indicated dissent.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
Then what is the sense in the hon. and learned Gentleman saying that he has the intention of doing this? He accepts these words as indicating his intention far more succinctly and accurately than the words we have been arguing about tonight, and yet he will not consider amending this para- 2011 graph in order to carry out the intention which he has recognised is expressed by the words I have given. It is reducing this debate to a complete farce. It really is. We come here to work this out and argue about it from each side of the Committee, and we come to a form of words which the hon. and learned Gentleman recognises as expressing his intention. They are perfectly simple words. There is no difficulty at all in incorporating them, but not only will he not incorporate them, he will not reconsider the position so as to incorporate them and to avoid the difficulty we have had right through this debate.
We are driven in a case like this to divide. It is ridiculous to conduct this debate in this kind of way with a view to coming to a solution and when we are coming to that solution to dig in one's toes in an assinine kind of way and say: "No, we won't budge."
Take one other point which the hon. and learned Gentleman took, for the purpose of clearing it up. That was on those words,… which will in its practical application have such an effect.Those words in fact add absolutely nothing at all to paragraph 59 of the scheme. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well that it is a well-enunciated principle that a legislature is considered to intend the necessary consequences of its own legislation; and one can only decide and ascertain those necessary consequences by applying them to the facts.
That principle is enunciated in a very recent case in the Privy Council, a very
illuminating case which bears strongly on the argument which we have here. I will not go into it in detail now. It is reported in the "Weekly Law Reports," volume 21, page 1142.1 will merely quote this passage from it:
The principle that a legislature cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly has always been recognised by their Lordships' Board, and a legislature must, of course, be assumed to intend the necessary effect of its statutes.
That is precisely what the Privy Council did in that case, which is a very strongly analogous case to paragraph 59. It applied it to the state of affairs as they were at the time. Of course, one is not restricted to what appears on the face of the statute itself. One considers it in its practical application, and the Government add nothing by inserting these words:
… which will in its practical application have such an effect.
§ There is no foundation whatsoever in these words for the kind of ingenious arguments which the hon. and learned Gentleman has addressed to the Committee. I ask him to refer to that Privy Council case if he is really under the impression that those words add anything at all. It is impossible for us to carry this debate any further. It would be sheer waste of time to do so in view of the Government's attitude that whatever we on this side of the Committee say or do they will not reconsider this matter. It reduces debate to a complete farce and I advise my hon. Friends to divide in favour of the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 187.2015
|Division No. 201.]||AYES||[8.44 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)|
|Albu, A. H.||Burke, W. A.||Follick, M.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Burton, Miss F. E.||Foot, M. M.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Champion, A. J.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Collick, P. H.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Baird, J.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Glanville, James|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Cove, W. G.||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)|
|Bartley, P.||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Grey, C. F.|
|Beattie, J.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Griffiths, William (Exchange)|
|Blackburn, F.||Deer, G.||Hale, Leslie|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)|
|Boardman, H.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Hamilton, W. W.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Hannan, W.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Fernyhough, E.||Hargreaves, A.|
|Brookway, A. F.||Fienburgh, W.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Finch, H. J.||Hastings, S.|
|Hayman, F. H.||Murray, J. D.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Holman, P.||Nally, W.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Houghton, Douglas||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Orbach, M.||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Padley, W. E.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Paget, R. T.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Johnson, James (Rugby)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Pannell, Charles||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Pargiter, G. A.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Keenan, W.||Parker, J.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Kenyon, C.||Paton, J.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Peart, T. F.||Thornton, E.|
|Kinlay, J.||Popplewell, E.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Proctor, W. T.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lewis, Arthur||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Weitzman, D.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Reeves, J.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Logan, D. G.||Rhodes, H.||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|MacColl, J. E.||Richards, R.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|McGhee, H. G.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|McLeavy, F.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Whileley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Royle, C.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Mason, Roy||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Willey, F. T.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Short, E. W.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Monslow, W.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Moody, A. S.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Williams, W. R. (Droysden)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Skeffington, A. M.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Morley, R.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Mort, D. L.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Moyle, A.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mulley, F. W||Sorensen, R. W.||Mr. Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Doughty, C. J. A.||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Drayson, G. B.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Drewe, Sir C.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.||Jennings, R.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Fell, A.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Finlay, Graeme||Jones, A. (Hall Green)|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M||Fisher, Nigel||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Kaberry, D.|
|Banks, Col. C.||Foster, John||Kerr, H. W.|
|Barber, Anthony||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Barlow, Sir John||Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Gammans, L. D.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Garner-Evans, E. H.||Linstead, Sir H. N.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Godber, J. B.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Gough, C. F. H.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Gower, H. R.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.).|
|Black, C. W.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Braine, B. R.||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Braithwaile, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Harden, J. R. E.||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Bullard, D. G.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Markham, Major Sir S. F.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Hay, John||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Heald, Sir Lionel||Marples, A. E.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Heath, Edward||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Carr, Robert||Higgs, J. M. C.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Mellor, Sir John|
|Channon, H.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.|
|Crouch, R. F.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Horobin, I. M.||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Deedes, W. F.||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Hulbert, Wing, Cdr. N. J.||Partridge, E.|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Scott, R. Donald||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Turton, R. H.|
|Peyton, J. W. W.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Speir, R. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Span, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Powell, J. Enoch||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)||Stevens, G. P.||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Profumo, J. D.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Raikes, Sir Victor||Storey, S.||Wellwood, W.|
|Rayner, Brig. R.||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Redmayne, M.||Summers, G. S.||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Renton, D. L. M.||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Roberts, Peter (Heeley)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Roper, Sir Harold||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)||York, C.|
|Russell, R. S.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)|
|Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.||Touche, Sir Gordon||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Studholme and Mr. Wills.|
The Deputy-Chairman (Mr. Hopkin Morris)
I think that it might be for the convenience of the Committee to take this Amendment and the first of the new Clauses together.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I can put this Amendment as a point of substance very shortly. I do not know whether the Undersecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations or the Minister would care to give an explanation of subsection (2), but what we are concerned about is that it deals with the problem of the amendment of the Constitution.
We are now discussing the Constitution, and when this enabling Bill goes through, if it does, then the provision is in the Bill itself that the Constitution has to be subject to an affirmative Resolution of both Houses of Parliament. It seems to us, therefore, that it is both logical and desirable that any amendment of the Constitution which is made in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council which we shall be eventually seeing before us shall be made in the same way.
I do not think that this touches on any point which has been argued before as to whether something was in the scheme or not. This is certainly a matter for us to decide in the House of Commons without reference to Central Africa or anywhere else. This is a matter in which we are masters in our own house, deciding our own procedure without having reference to anyone else.
I think that it is right and logical, since it had been considered desirable in this case that the Constitution shall be subject, when it becomes a Constitution 2016 embodied in an Order in Council, to an affirmative Resolution of both Houses of Parliament, that the same procedure should be made in the case of any amendment which may be made in the Constitution in the future in accordance with its own provisions. I think that this is desirable, and I hope that the Government will accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. J. Foster
In our view it would be very cumbersome and inapposite to subject amendments to the Constitution to affirmative Resolution procedure. It would be entirely an innovation to put a provision for affirmative procedure in any Constitution for overseas territories. I do not think that the matter is possible of further debate. That is our view. It may appeal to the right hon. Gentleman if I say that this would be an innovation in so far as our researches have gone.
§ Mr. Griffiths
It would not be an innovation for this matter. This is a federation. There is no precedent for it. This is not an ordinary colonial Constitution embodied in Orders in Council. When have we had an enabling Bill for a Colonial Territory? This is almost unprecedented. The Government themselves, because they have to decide the procedure, have decided on an enabling Bill, and then for an Order in Council and then for an affirmative Resolution. Surely it is logical and desirable that we should follow the same procedure if and when any amendment of the Constitution is brought before this House of Commons.
§ Mr. Foster
I do not think it follows at all. There may be amendments which are quite unobjectionable, but we should have to have the machinery of the 2017 affirmative procedure to get the amendments through. I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's point about this being a new kind of constitution. I believe that the first Malayan Constitution was, in effect, an enabling Bill, but that does not matter.
§ Mr. Bing
All hon. Members must be absolutely astounded at the answer given by the Under-Secretary. This is a most fantastic procedure. The hon. and learned Gentleman has only to look at today's Order Paper to see how absurd it is. He has talked about the cumbersome procedure and all the difficulties that would be involved, but on the Order Paper there is an affirmative Order in the name of the Minister of Transport, as follows:Road Traffic and Vehicles: That the Hartlepool Corporation Act, 1925, Modification Order, 1953, a copy of which was laid before this House on 9th June, be approved.If we can have that procedure for Hartlepools, why cannot we have the same procedure in respect of a whole Federation in Africa? If any road in Northern Ireland is stopped up, even for 10 yards, that is subject to affirmative procedure in this House, even though Northern Ireland happens to have an independent Parliament, so-called. That provision was enacted by hon. Members opposite, and if they can do that even in respect of the stopping up of roads in Northern Ireland we ought at least to do the same in regard to federation in Africa.
What is the objection to the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends presenting the whole Constitution in blank and then forcing through its approval? This might be described as South Sea Bubble procedure. Hon. Members are being asked to vote for a Bill to enable the Government to produce a Constitution. It is much the same as inviting people to participate in a project which has not yet been divulged. When we have given our votes for a project which has yet to be divulged, there will be brought forward a Constitution in blank which leaves out all the critical points, and when the points are put in, we shall be told, "No, they are not going to be submitted to the examination of the House."
The borough of Eye in Suffolk has 1,034 inhabitants. If that borough de- 2018 cides that it wants to have its cinemas open on Sundays, that matter has to come before the House by means of an affirmative Resolution, even though there has been a poll of the inhabitants. We know that the right hon. Gentleman proposes to conduct all his alterations of the Constitution in the same way as he has introduced the Constitution, without taking the opinion of the great majority of the inhabitants of the Territories concerned, or, if he has taken their opinion, disregarding it entirely.
Why should Eye, when its population has voted in favour of having cinemas open on Sunday, be entitled to have the whole thing reviewed by Parliament by means of an affirmative Resolution when the changing of the Constitution of a huge territory like this in Africa is not to be submitted to Parliament? This is typical of the complete disregard by hon. Gentlemen opposite of our Parliamentary tradition; it is typical of the way they attempt to do everything possible by executive order.
My hon. Friends and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) will press the Amendment and do what he can to preserve some degree of Parliamentary sovereignty and some degree of control over right hon. Gentlemen opposite. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite are not going to consult the inhabitants. The changes in the Constitution are going to be arranged behind the scenes by a handful of white Settlers and the right hon. Gentleman. Parliament is going to be excluded from considering any change they like to make.
Earlier on we had a great point made about the wonderful things that were in the draft and how superb were these safeguards. We were told none of them was going to be changed. The right hon. Gentleman now says, "I do not want to be bothered coming down here to get an affirmative Resolution to approve the changes," changes in a document which he only got through this House because those changes were not in it at that time. That seems to be a most immoral and wrong way of behaviour. It is most undemocratic and most improper, and I hope that my hon. Friends will press this Amendment to a Division.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Foster
It is a pity that the recollection of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) is so faulty that he seriously misleads the Committee. The scheme has been divulged and it is nothing like the South Sea Bubble. It has been debated nine or ten times. Every detail of it is known and will be embodied in the Order in Council.
§ Mr. Foster
That is another point. The hon. Gentleman makes a false statement and he cannot ride it off by saying, when he is shown it is a false statement, why was not something else done. He is either right or wrong about the statement, and the fact is that he is wrong for the scheme has been divulged. It was very misleading to say to the Committee what he has said, because it goes out to the world and to Africa. He pretended to this Committee that the scheme had not been divulged and that it was like the South Sea Bubble. He knew that it was divulged and he said the opposite. That is what I cannot understand and that is what I deplore.
The next thing he tells the Committee, and by that method the world, is that amendments are not to be debated in this House, that they are not to be subject to the scrutiny of this House, and that they are not to come before this House. He knows as well as I do that the negative procedure allows this House to scrutinise them, and debate them, and it is misleading to tell the Committee that the negative procedure prevents Parliament discussing them but that it brings in the back-room white settlers.
The point was put quite fairly by the right hon. Gentleman when he said that it was the logical outcome of the way the Constitution had been agreed that there should be the affirmative Resolution procedure, and we all agree that under that procedure the House would have the opportunity to discuss this matter. The hon. and learned Gentleman must know that it is going to come before the House, and if he does not know it he has not paid any attention to the debates on the subject. I am now telling the hon. and learned Gentleman that the Constitution does come before 2020 this House in the form of an affirmative Resolution and this House will be able to discuss any amendments, which are to be subject to the negative procedure. I, therefore, hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw the statement which he has made, which I can only assume he made in a fit of wild oratory, led astray by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget).
§ Mr. Bing
If I were to be led astray I could think of no more pleasant ways than of being led astray by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) but I was neither led astray nor led astray by him. I stand by everything that I have said. The negative Resolution procedure is a most unsatisfactory one. It comes at the end of a long day's business, and any discussion of African affairs under it imposes no liability on the Government to deal with the matter.
Of course, I know that the Government are not able to get out of the difficulty of having an affirmative Resolution for the Constitution itself. Nobody can amend it, and nobody has seen the Order in Council. It is all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman to say that this will all be in the Order, but why did we not have the Order in draft before us and have the opportunity to amend it? We have been told all along on this Bill that we cannot amend any of these procedures because the Order is not in front of us, and the whole object of getting the Bill passed is to enable the draft to be made.
If the Under-Secretary really believes that this is the most democratic method of framing a constitution, he ought to consult the right hon. Gentleman. He ought to look at the debates on the India Bill, where he will find that, by arrangement between the right hon. Gentleman and his own Front Bench, 60 days were allotted to the Committee stage. Why was that? Just because it was not all in an Order in Council, just because it was not a scheme subsequently to be divulged. Why cannot we debate the Constitution now? The answer is a simple one. It is because all we have as the scheme is the White Paper and we have not even got the scheme in draft. It is highly unsatisfactory. The responsibility for any change ought to rest 2021 fairly and squarely on the Government. They ought to give to the people of Africa, who after all are not represented, the same rights as they give to those who object to Sunday opening in the smallest borough in this country.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
I am anxious that we should get on to discuss the next new Clause to be called. Therefore, I shall not spend time in dividing the Committee. I thought that the Government would have accepted this Amendment and I am more than disappointed, I am shocked, by the fact that they are turning down everything, including this Amendment. I register that protest and leave the matter at that.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. Dugdale
I want to refer to the question of Nyasaland. We are asked in Clause 1 to agree to the federation of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia. There may be a case, although I do not agree with it, for federating Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, but whatever case there is, it is far less strong when it comes to Nyasaland. What is the position there?
In Nyasaland they have a land and lake frontier, mainly with Tanganyika, rather than with Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia. Certainly they have very little land frontier with Southern Rhodesia. The rivers there mostly flow into the lake, and all their economic trends lead towards Tanganyika. It is true that a number of their workers work in Southern Rhodesia but they have others who work in South Africa and there is no suggestion that there should be a federation with South Africa. As regards Customs, they come within the Congo Basin Treaty, which is quite different from either of the other two countries.
More important, they have social conditions which are quite different from those in the other two Territories, for instance their colour bar conditions. They have, too, a far smaller percentage of Europeans. There are fairly large numbers of Europeans in Northern Rhodesia and in Southern Rhodesia, although these are much smaller than the numbers of Africans. In Nyasaland the 2022 number is ridiculously small. In Northern Rhodesia there are 55 Africans to one European whereas in Nyasaland there are 625 Africans to every European. Then again Nyasaland is a Protectorate made by a definite agreement on 15th May, 1891.
In the case of Barotseland we were told that special considerations prevail; that it is a Protectorate and it would have different conditions from other Territories, and that there would be special concessions. I understand, incidentally, that the paramount chief of Barotseland is by no means satisfied.
§ Mr. Dugdale
I am not at all certain about that; events will prove whether that is right or not, but I am informed that in fact he is by no means satisfied and that he had great pressure put on him and was told that either he agreed or he would be left to his own devices.
§ Mr. Dugdale
With great respect, I was only using it as an illustration and making the comparison between the Protectorate status of Barotseland and the Protectorate status of Nyasaland. I think the methods being used by Her Majesty's Government to persuade Nyasaland to join this Federation are exceedingly questionable. I would ask particularly if the Secretary of State would give us a little information on this point. I understand from what I take to be a reliable report—it might be that his information is different—that provincial commissioners have received the following official instruction from the Government:You will have heard that in House of Commons on 6th May federation enabling bill passed its second reading with majority of 26. Mr. Attlee said that although he and his party hadn't been in favour of introducing federation at this particular juncture now that it had been decided upon by Her Majesty's Government, 'twas the duty of all in whatever party to work loyally together to make it successful. This should be given widest publicity by D.Cs and others and it should be made clear to all communities that the die is now cast. Federation has now been decided 2023 upon. It's useless any longer to oppose it and to raise doubts or objections.I submit that to tell district commissioners to make statements like that to Africans when the Bill is still being discussed, and when we have to consider it on Report stage and Third Reading and it has to go to the House of Lords is a practice not really worthy of this or any Government. I think it is a most unfortunate thing to have done, particularly as the statement deliberately misquotes the Leader of the Opposition. He did not say that and it would have been quite wrong for him to have said it. I hope that when the right hon. Gentleman replies he will tell us why it was that district commissioners in Nyasaland were instructed to misquote my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition.
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman would be in order in replying because this is a matter of administration and not of Federation.
§ Mrs. White
With respect, I raised this matter at an earlier stage in the debate and the Chairman of Ways and Means indicated then that we should be allowed to raise the matter on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
The Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" seems to me to be a very narrow matter. All the Clause does is to give power to establish Federation by Order in Council and I understand that the right hon. Member is referring to matters of administration within the Territory.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
I happened to be in attendance in the Committee when my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) was proceeding on a discussion on a particular Amendment to call attention to the question referred to of misquoting the words used by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition. The Chairman intervened and said that the hon. Lady could not refer to that or deal further with that particular matter on the Amendment. She intervened further and asked when there would be an opportune time to refer to it. My recollection is that the Chairman said the appropriate time would be when we came to the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ 9.15 p.m.
I know nothing about the position one way or another. I do not want to restrict the debate, but it appeared to me that the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) was dealing with a matter of administration, and administration is certainly not in order on this Question.
§ Mr. Dugdale
It may well deal with administration, but it was a matter of administration reflecting directly on the discussion of the Bill and, particularly, of this Clause, which says that Nyasaland shall be federated. Earlier, we raised objections because we said the wishes of the people had not been adequately taken into account. The Government are attempting to secure the wishes of the people by making statements about speeches alleged to have been made by the Leader of the Opposition, and because that deals with the Bill I suggest that it is in order for it to be raised. As I have raised it, perhaps it would be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to reply.
§ Mrs. White
I also propose to touch on the point, following the guidance given by the Chair. We have spent a long time in Committee discussing this Clause and we are now to decide whether it shall stand part of the Bill, but according to the actions of the Government all our discussions have been pointless. In their official statements they say this matter has already been decided. The Motion before the Committee is therefore a frivolous Motion. The official notices given out in Nyasaland, sent, as I understand, officially to the provincial commissioners and from them to the district commissioners, is that they should tell the population of Nyasaland that it is now certain that the Bill has been passed and——
The only thing that is in order and before the Committee is what is in the Clause. What instructions have been issued in Nyasaland or any other Territories is not within the Clause.
§ Mr. Paget
On a point of order. This Bill provides that there shall be Federation, and part of the process of federating is to inform the people. That is part of the very process which we are discussing. To inform the people of Federation 2025 before it happened was something which I should have thought was a part, a very unfortunate, regrettable and dishonest part, but none the less a part, of the process of Federation.
With respect to the hon. and learned Gentleman, the process is not part of this Clause. The Clause provides powers to establish Federation by an Order in Council and it does not deal with whatever instructions have already been issued.
§ Mr. Hale
What the Committee is discussing is whether the Clause shall stand part of the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) is giving reasons why the Clause should not stand part of the Bill. It is intolerable for the Committee to be asked to pass ex post facto legislation when we have information to present to the Committee of a complete misrepresentation of the attitude of the House. Surely it is in order for her to argue that there should be a period of postponement and that we should not pass the Clause now in view of the action which has been taken in Nyasaland and in view of the conduct in relation to a speech by the Leader of the Opposition.
Whatever is in the Clause is in order, but it cannot be in order, on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," to go into the administration outside the Clause.
§ Mrs. White
It is very difficult when two occupants of the Chair take a different view on a point of order, but naturally one bows to the person in charge of the debate at this time.
I feel that this Committee is being insulted when it is asked to go through a legislative process which the people concerned are being told is completely pointless, because a decision has already been made. Surely we are entitled to inquire whether the Government really wish us to pass the Motion now before the Committee? They appear to consider it quite unnecessary that we should have the Committee stage; that the Third Reading is quite unnecessary and the proceedings in another place. Surely, therefore, we are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he wishes the Committee to go through this apparently quite unnecessary process? I submit that that is entirely in order.
2026 We are being asked to put something on the Statute Book, when, according to officers under the control of the right hon. Gentleman it is not even necessary to proceed to do so, because it has already been decided. There can be no argument about it. Apparently we are wasting time in deciding whether or not this Clause shall stand part of the Bill.
This kind of behaviour on the part of Her Majesty's Government is both disreputable in itself and also unwise. It must be known by the Africans that debate is continuing in Parliament. How can they trust Her Majesty's Government if they are told everything has been decided and yet they continue to receive reports that the matter is, in fact, still being discussed in Parliament? I consider it derogatory to the honour of this House that such statements should be published and extremely unwise on the part of Her Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
We shall divide the Committee on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." I do not wish to enter into the long arguments over which we have ranged for a considerable time. I accept your Ruling, Mr. Hopkin Morris, and I content myself with asking the Secretary of State whether, if my hon. Friends submit to him the inaccurate statements made in this document, referring to the stage we have arrived at in this Bill and the words attributed to my right hon. Friend, he will desire to see they are corrected?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
If the right hon. Gentleman is asking me to correct any statement which is contrary to the facts I am ready to give him an assurance that I will have the document corrected. I should obviously be out of order in replying to something which was not in order. Otherwise I should be prepared to deal with the matter.
But before we part with this Clause I would refer to the first part of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dug-dale). The tenor of his speech was that Nyasaland should be omitted from the Federation. That is a very curious thing for the right hon. Gentleman to put forward. In broad principle his party have supported federation. What is still more curious is that if there is any terri- 2027 tory more than another which will benefit economically from federation it is Nyasaland. If Nyasaland is not included it will be condemned to permanent economic poverty, and probably become a grant aided territory.
One of the greatest attractions of Federation from the economic point of view is that it will enable Nyasaland to be part of a much larger unit. I see a far brighter economic future for Nyasaland by its inclusion than its exclusion, which would result in that state of economic poverty to which, for political reasons, the right hon. Gentleman would condemn the territory.
I do not know if it was in order, but it was not good enough when he made some entirely inaccurate statements about the attitude of the Paramount Chief of Barotseland who left my room at, I think, five o'clock yesterday afternoon with a letter which I gave him, which he can show to anybody in Barotseland, and with which he expressed himself entirely satisfied.
As a Member of the Privy Council the right hon. Gentleman should be a little careful about putting out statements which are not accurate——
The right hon. Gentleman must have forgotten that I did intervene on that matter.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I was not intending to get in anything which I should not, and I will therefore confine myself to the first part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. Nyasaland will benefit. I do not wish to use a phrase like "lame duck," but the less viable—I think that is the correct present day term—of these Territories is the one which will benefit most from federation.
§ Mr. Hale
On 9th June the hon Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) is recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT as having used these words:I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman by what authority notices have been issued anticipating the decision of this House upon this matter? As he is no doubt aware, the district commissioner in Blantyre and, I believe, other district commissioners in Nyasaland have issued public notices to native authorities with orders that the notices should be displayed, saying, 'It is now certain that the law making federation will be passed on its Third Reading in the British Parliament'2028 The Chairman rose in his place and said:While I might allow the hon. Lady to raise this point on the Question, 'That the Clause stand part of the Bill,' it does not arise on this Amendment."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th June. 1953; Vol. 516, c. 45.]That very clear indication was not challenged by any of us at that time. We accepted it. Here was an important issue that many of us were anxious to raise; indeed, it was a matter of importance to raise. It was an almost unprecedented situation that at a time when Parliament was discussing a controversial Measure and——
These are matters of administration. They may be important matters. I have no doubt they are important; I know nothing about them. I am only concerned with the order of this debate. Matters of administration do not come within the terms of this Clause. Therefore, they are not appropriate to raise on the Motion "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. Hale
What I am saying is that the Chairman intervened on 9th June and said that the matter would be discussed on the Motion "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." [HON. MEMBERS: "Might."] There is nothing dubious about the phrase "I might allow the hon. Lady." In that connection "might" obviously means "shall." [Laughter.] Of course, it does. Today right hon. and hon. Members opposite have made great verbal play with the words of this Measure. They seem to be getting into a habit of playing with words to a somewhat incredible extent.
Of course, I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Hopkin Morris, but I hope that I may at least say this. I hope it will not happen again, because we were given an undertaking by the Chair without challenge. We have been deprived of our right of arguing the matter, although the suggestion from the Chair was that the relevant moment for discussion would be on the Motion "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." Clearly it could have been raised on any Amendment on the Bill. It could have been raised on the whole human rights discussion, and it could have been raised on the question of leaving Nyasaland or Northern Rhodesia out. It could have been raised time after time.
When I gave my Ruling I did not know of the undertaking at all, if it was an undertaking. I merely intervened upon what appeared to me to be a clear point of order that it did not come within the terms of this Clause at all and, therefore, could not be properly raised on the Motion "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." That is the reason for my Ruling.
§ Mr. Hale
I appreciate that, of course. Mr. Hopkin Morris, and I also appreciate that this is a fantastic difficulty. The Chair changes its occupant from time to time and obviously there must be differences of view and of opinion. I am not trying to attack your personal conduct of the matter, Mr. Hopkin Morris, or that of the Chairman, for both of whom I have a very sincere regard. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate, to put it at its mildest, that this should have happened and we find ourselves debarred from discussing this important matter. I will not pursue that matter any more.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Paget
On a point of order. It does seem that we have a very important question raised here. I have always understood that the Chair was bound by its previous decisions. In the House, the Chair acts on precedents, and when Mr. Speaker is asked to give a Ruling, he constantly tells us what one of his predecessors on a certain occasion ruled, and that he is bound by that Ruling. With very great respect, that equally applies here. Of course, I appreciate entirely that, without knowing of the Ruling which had been given by your predecessor, you expressed an opinion and gave a Ruling that what my hon. Friend was saying was out of order, but, when a previous Ruling
§ from the Chair which was contrary to your Ruling was brought to your notice, in my submission, your Ruling ought to have been reversed, and the Ruling previously given ought to have been followed. Is not that correct?
I said that I did not know what the previous discussion was; nor did I know if any Ruling was given, but it seemed to me clear, under the rules of the House that, on a Clause of this kind, in which no matters of administration are involved—and, as I understand them, these are clearly matters of administration—that would not be in order. The Clause is a very narrow Clause, which merely gives power to establish a federation by Order in Council. There is nothing at all about administration in this Clause.
§ Mr. Paget
With respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, the question, fundamentally, is whether the Clause shall stand part of the Bill. If the fact is that that which the Clause provides for has already come about, and that, therefore, the Clause is unnecessary, that, I should have thought, would be a reason why the Clause should not stand part of the Bill, and that is the point to which I understood the remarks of my hon. Friend were applied. Whether that be right or not, a Ruling having previously been given on the very point that this particular issue would be relevant on the discussion of the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," in my submission, whether the previous Ruling was right or wrong, it was none the less binding, as previous Rulings are.
I am also bound, quite clearly, by the Orders of the House and the rules of order. I have said that, when I gave the Ruling, I did not know of the previous discussion. Whether that was a discussion or a Ruling I do not know.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 191; Noes, 173.2033
|Division No. 202.]||AYES||[9.32 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Baldwin, A. E.||Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Banks, Col. C.||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Barber, Anthony||Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Barlow, Sir John||Black, C. W.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Beach, Maj. Hicks||Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Braine, B. R.||Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Horobin, I. M.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence||Profumo, J. D.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Radmayne, M.|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Carr, Robert||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Channon, H.||Jennings, R.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Russell, R. S.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Scott, R. Donald|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Kerr, H. W.||Shepherd, William|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Lambert, Hon. G.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Crouch, R. F.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Speir, R. M.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Deedes, W. F.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C||Stevens, G. P.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Low, A. R. W.||Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)|
|Donner, Sir P. W.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Storey, S.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)|
|Fell, A.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Studholme, H. G.|
|Finlay, Graeme||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Summers, G. S.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold|
|Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F||Maclean, Fitzroy||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Ford, Mrs. Patricia||Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Taylor, William (Bradford N.)|
|Foster, John||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Manningham-Buller, Sir, R. E.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)|
|Gammans, L. D.||Markham, Major Sir S. F.||Touche, Sir Gordon|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Godber, J. B.||Marples, A. E.||Turton, R. H.|
|Gough, C. F. H.||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Gower, C. F. H.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Mellor, Sir John||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Gridley, Sir Arnold||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Walker Smith, D. C.|
|Grimston Sir Robert (Westbury)||Nicholls, Harmar||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Harden, J. R. E.||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)||Webbs, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Hare, Hon. J. H.||Nield, Basil (Chester)||Wellwood, W.|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Nugent, G. R. H.||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Oakshott, H. D.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Hay, John||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Heald, Sir Lionel||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.||Wills, G.|
|Heath, Edward||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Higgs, J. M. C.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Partridge, E.||York, C.|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Peyton, J. W. W.||Sir Cedric Drewe and Mr. Kaberry.|
|Adams, Richard||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.|
|Albu, A. H.||Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Champion, A. J.||Glanville, James|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Collick, P. H||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Grey, C. F.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Cove, W. G.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)|
|Baird, J.||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J||Crossman, R. H. S.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)|
|Bartley, P.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Hale, Leslie|
|Beattie, J.||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Deer, G.||Hamilton, W. W.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Hannan, W.|
|Blackburn, F.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hargreaves, A.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Hastings, S.|
|Boardman, H.||Fernyhough, E.||Hayman, F. H.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Fienburgh, W.||Holman, P.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Finch, H. J.||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Houghton, Douglas|
|Brook, Drydan (Halifax)||Follick, M.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Foot, M. M.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)|
|Burke, W. A.||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Freeman, John (Watford)||Johnson, James (Rugby)|
|Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Padley, W. E.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Paget, R. T.||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Swingler, S. T.|
|Keenan, W.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Kenyon, C.||Pannell, Charles||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Pargiter, G. A.||Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)|
|Kinley, J.||Parker, J.||Thomas, David (Aberdare)|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Paton, J.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Peart, T. F.||Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)|
|Lewis, Arthur||Popplewell, E.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Lindgren, G. S||Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)||Thornton, E.|
|Logan, D. G.||Proctor, W. T.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|McAdden, S. J.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|MacColl, J. E.||Reeves, J.||Viant, S. P.|
|McGhee, H. G.||Rhodes, H.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Richards, R.||Wells, William (Walsall)|
|McLeavy, F.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Mason Roy||Royle, C.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Shackleton, E. A. A.||Wigg, George|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Monslow, W.||Short, E. W.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Moody, A. S.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Willey, F. T.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Morley, R.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)|
|Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Skeffington, A. M.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Mort, D. L.||Slater, Mrs. H (Stoke-on-Trent)||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Moyle, A.||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefied)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Mulley, F. W.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)|
|Murray, J. D.||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Nally, W.||Sorensen, R. W.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.||Sparks, J. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Orbach, M.||Stewart, Mirchael (Fulham, E.)||Mr. Pearson and Mr. Arthur Allen.|
§ Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.