§ Question again proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
We were discussing the question of education and constitutional advance. Certainly I think that the actions in which the House has just been engaged show how difficult it is for even the most educated amongst us fully to understand the workings of our Parliamentary procedure. I am sure it would be very difficult for any of us to explain to African hearers why, in the middle of a debate on the Second Reading of a Bill dealing with the federation of Central Africa, we should have to go to another place to listen to the Royal Assent being given to Bills dealing with the removal of soil, the prevention of crime, and the improvement of the transport of this country. It is only by working this thing that we shall know. I am sure that the step which is being taken, the step of progress, is the essential one.
I certainly do not desire to detain the House at all in view of the many curtailments of our debate this afternoon, which 432 have inevitably taken place. But I must say that I was a little disappointed that the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson), in the debate on Monday, referred to the speeches of some of us on this side of the House, and in particular to my speech, as haying neglected to take account of African opposition and having failed to give full weight to opinion here, such as the opinion of the Church of Scotland. Indeed, it was suggested that I had failed to draw attention to it at all. I re-read my speech to see if that view was justified. I do not think it was, for I specifically called attention to the fact that in my part of the country, in Scotland, uneasiness was perhaps greater than anywhere else.
It is certainly true that the Churches are deeply concerned and the Scottish Church in particular. It is also true to say that they are in close touch with Africans of all grades, not merely the educated Africans, but the peasants and the African tribesmen themselves. So very great attention should be given to their views. I thought it a little unfair also of the hon. Member for Dundee, East to say that I seemed to show an opposition to Africans being educated at all. If so, I spent two years of my life in a singularly unfruitful activity, seeing that it was for the very purpose of stimulating African education, particularly higher education.
On the question of African opposition, I am sure that at the stage we have now reached, trial is the only thing which will be an effective step towards convincing them that this will be to their advantage. There is the infinitely complicated position of reserved subjects, the reserved rights of the Colonial Office, the particular powers of South Rhodesia and of the Colonial Office over certain subjects there. It is barely possible for us over here to comprehend altogether these powers. But I think the time has come—and rightly come—at which the subject, having been approached, has to go ahead to the touchstone of actual working.
As government departs from here much responsibility will pass from here and fall heavily indeed on the shoulders of those in Africa—as has been said by the Leader of the Opposition—on the shoulders of both black and white in Africa. But it will come towards them, 433 and impress them. They will feel it upon their shoulders. Responsibility is a great teacher. Only by an increase in responsibility will we get both sides to face the practical problems before them. We shall still have a great deal to do in this country, and in this House, because, after all, we are the originators of this great experiment. One thing we can do. We can give sympathy and understanding.
These will be our tasks. Our responsibility—standing back as we are, thousands of miles from these active clashes— is great. That is our responsibility that of self-restraint. We are dealing at our ease in a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with things which are of instant, burning, importance to those who live cheek by jowl with them. Therefore, we must do our best to see that every word we speak here is spoken with a sense of deep responsibility.
The House is today debating this great subject in a temper which could not be surpassed. I only trust that we shall be able in years to come to maintain the same judicial atmosphere in what is, after all, one of the greatest cases and causes which even this House in its long experience has ever had to embark upon. We are determining justice between black and white, partnership between cultures of very varying levels, and the reconciliation of a conflict which, if not resolved, will bring all that quarter of the world down into some of the bloodiest misery that has ever overtaken any section of the human race.
§ 5.51 p.m.
§ Mr. Gordon Walker (Smethwick)
This long discussion on the merits and demerits of federation, which has roused very deep and sincere differences, is now drawing to a close, and I would like to make two points which may be of some value in these closing stages of the discussion when, as we must assume, federation is on the point of being given legal effect.
The first point is the argument that has been advanced, I do not think in this House—at least not in my hearing— during the debates, but outside, namely, that if this Bill is passed it will weaken our case against any demand or request in South Africa for the transfer of the High Commission Territories. It is argued that if federation is carried through against, as is admitted, the oppo- 434 sition of articulate African opinion, that will weaken very gravely our case if South Africa asks for the transfer of the territories because, it is said, we could then no longer argue with such force that African opinion was opposed to transfer.
If I thought that was a valid argument, if I thought that the passage of this Bill really would weaken our case against the transfer of territories to South Africa, it would considerably affect my views upon federation, and I have therefore given very careful and anxious thought to the question. I am convinced that the passage of this Bill would not weaken our case against transfer, and I do not think hon. Members on either side of the House, whatever their views on other aspects of this Bill may be, need have fears about it on this score.
It seems to me that the argument that the passage of this Bill would weaken our case rests upon a misunderstanding of the real issues between us and South Africa upon this matter. Our case has never altered on this point. It was stated right at the beginning in 1909 when the South Africa Act was passed. It has been restated by every Government of every political complexion. I myself had the honour of restating it from the Dispatch Box when I was in office. It is that there cannot be any question of transfer without prior consultation with the inhabitants, both African and European, of the territories and without the consent of Parliament.
We have always from the very beginning stressed both these conditions—the need to consult the inhabitants and the need for the consent of Parliament. We have done so for a very good reason, because insistence upon the need for the consent of the House of Commons is really a main bastion of our case. It is absolutely necessary if we are going to answer South Africa's main case. We must understand what South Africa's case is if we are going to resist it and argue against it.
South Africa's case is a very simple one. It is that the United Kingdom and this Parliament are already committed and pledged to transfer these territories. South Africa says that the Act of 1909 created a direct, or at any rate an implied, obligation on our part to transfer these Territories; and that there was an implied pledge to transfer those Territories. 435 South Africa says that our failure to do this for more than 40 years is a very grave breach of our given word. That is the South African case which we have got to answer.
Of course, if we have no answer to it, it is an extremely powerful case because if, indeed, the Act of 1909 created an implied or direct obligation, if it contained a pledge on our part that we would transfer these territories, our whole position on this matter is fundamentally weak and grows weaker with time. It is only by asserting the need for the consent of Parliament as well as the need to consult the inhabitants of the territories that we can argue against and destroy this case which is South Africa's main case. We can only do it by asserting that Parliament is in no way committed by the Act of 1909, that it is absolutely free and that its freely given consent is necessary before there can be any question of transfer.
Our case, therefore, has been always and still must be that the Act of 1909 did not set up any pledge, direct or indirect or implied, but merely created machinery by which the transfer could be effected if at any future date both Governments freely agreed to the transfer. There is no pledge at all. It is only machinery set up by the Act of 1909.
I cannot go into the details of why our case is good on this matter, but I should like to say one brief word about it because I think there is little doubt that misconceptions on this point have affected some people's judgment about the merits of this Bill. The argument that we would be weakening our case on the territories if this Bill were passed has been picked up by certain South African papers and it is, therefore, important to show that our case is extremely strong and unanswerable on this matter.
I have studied this matter very carefully and closely. The documents and the speeches in particular in 1909, when the first Act was passed, showed conclusively that the 1909 Act was, in the first place, a South African Act. It was passed by this Parliament, but it came to us from South Africa having been framed, drafted and agreed upon in South Africa, and we were merely the legislative machine for putting into operation a South African Act. It is not an Act im- 436 posed on South Africa by this country. Secondly, this Act specifically and in terms said that the United Kingdom Cabinet and Parliament must agree before there could be any question of transfer; and thirdly all parties in 1909, including South Africans, agreed that that was the interpretation of that Act. This whole argument that there was an implied obligation on us in the Act to transfer the territories is a later invention by South Africa.
Therefore, there can be no doubt that the consent of Parliament is necessary as well as the need to consult the inhabitants of the territories before there can be any question of transfer. This point is essential to our case. We cannot answer the South African argument unless we put great weight upon the need for the consent of Parliament.
If a request came from South Africa, Parliament and the Government would at once consult the inhabitants. They are pledged to do that. The views of the inhabitants would, of course, be a very important factor weighed by Parliament when making up its mind, but the essential point that we must stress in order to defeat South Africa's case is that Parliament would have a complete, unhampered and free right to decide the matter then in its view of the interests of the inhabitants. That must be our main case against South Africa on this question of transfer, and certainly that case cannot be affected in any way by the passage of this Bill.
I hope that nobody in South Africa— the South African Government or anyone else—will be misled by arguments that have been heard that the passage of this Bill will weaken our case on this matter. I very much hope that no request for a transfer of the territories is going to come from South Africa. If it did, it would undoubtedly put a very great strain upon the relations between our two countries. South Africa must realise that we here, without division between the sides of the House, reject altogether the argument that we are pledged in any way by the 1909 Act to transfer these territories, that Parliament is completely free to make up its mind, and finally that no conceivable Parliament in this country, as things are, could ever agree to the transfer of these territories to South Africa. That must 437 be understood, and that our case on this is unaffected by the passage of the Bill.
The second point I wish to make is, now that federation is on the point of being given legal effect, it must be the duty of us all to try to make it work as smoothly and as beneficially to the inhabitants of the territories as we possibly can. The constitutional provisions of the Bill will, of course, be of very great importance, and we shall have to discuss them very carefully on Committee stage. I quite agree that paper safeguards cannot themselves be the solution for everything, but none-the-less they are of great importance. It will be one of the duties of hon. Members of this House to make those paper safeguards as effective as possible.
But the real safeguard will not lie in the terms of the constitution. It will lie in our capacity to breathe a proper spirit into the constitution and make it work; to create an atmosphere which will really make this constitution a step toward the progressive development of a partnership between the races. The spirit and the method of the introduction of federation will be of extreme importance. It is essential that the introduction of federation shall be accompanied by tangible progress, progress which can be seen and felt, toward the economic, social and political advancement of the Africans in the territories. It will make all the difference in the world if this federation comes to be associated in the general public mind—and particularly of course in the minds of Africans—with concrete steps toward the kind of things which they want, and for which they are struggling.
I would make an appeal to the Colonial Secretatry, but first I must say this. I was glad that today he made, if I may say so, an extremely moderate and reasonable speech. I must say also that it seemed to me that, rightly or wrongly, he has given the impression— it may not be his own view—that he has not fully realised the importance of the views and the fears of Africans on this whole question of federation. I may or I may not be right. I cannot judge his opinion; I can only judge the impression which he gives to me and to some of my hon. Friends.
438 Certainly it is not enough only to have one's policy right in this matter. It is vitally important that the whole attitude of approach, the whole impression given, shall also be right. I listened very carefully the other day when the right hon. Gentleman gave his reasons why he had seen fit to advise Her Majesty not to receive the Nyasaland chiefs. I was not really impressed by the arguments I heard. I still think—although I can see the case he made, and that there was an argument both one way and the other— that it was a clumsy and an unfortunate act of advice which he gave.
But now is the moment when all these mistakes—if they are mistakes—can very well be corrected. The moment of the introduction of federation is a moment when new impressions can be given; when a new atmosphere can be created. I appeal to the Colonial Secretary and to Her Majesty's Government to do all in their power to ensure that the introduction of federation is accompanied by tangible steps. And they have very considerable powers which they can use. Under federation Her Majesty's Government will, of course, retain the ultimate responsibility for a great many powers in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland which directly affect African interests.
The whole field of such things as past laws, trade union rights, health, housing and schools will, in the Northern Territories under federation, be the ultimate responsibility of Her Majesty's Government in this country, and therefore of Parliament. In all those fields striking and long overdue progress and advances can be made. It would be very important were advances made in many of these fields at the time, or about the time, of the introduction of federation.
Above all, the whole question of political advancement in the two Northern Territories is under the ultimate control of Her Majesty's Government even under federation. For the right to political advancement in the legislatures in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland we in this House are responsible, even under federation. Therefore we have controls and powers and it is very important that these powers should now be used. Although we have no control over Southern Rhodesia, the Government have great influence in Southern Rhodesia; 439 and it would be a very fine thing if at this moment the Southern Rhodesian Government could again reduce the qualification for being on the common roll which was raised and increased. I would appeal to Sir Gordon Huggins—I agree with my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition about his essentially liberal attitude—to realise the importance of such an act as this at such a time as this.
The Federal Government would not have many powers that directly affect African interests, but there are two fields in which they could make concrete advances as part of the early stages of federation. One, as was mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, is in the field of higher education. I was glad to hear what he said about that. It is vital to press on as quickly and as early as possible with the development of this university for all races. Higher education includes universities, teaching hospitals and many other things which could be done in due course.
If one of the first proofs of federation were the creation of this great university, open with equal treatment to all races, it would do a great deal to create the right atmosphere for the introduction of federation and give it the best chance of working well. This sort of development in the field of higher education is one of those things which would not be possible, or which would be not nearly so easily possible, if there was not federation. It is one of the things which can be said to be the first fruits of federation in the sense that it could not have come from anything else. It is of vital importance that the right hon. Gentleman should push on with what he was telling us about this afternoon, so that as soon as possible we may see his ideas translated into bricks and mortar.
The second field in which the Federal Government could make advances is in the setting up of an electoral qualification for federal elections. I hope very much that one of the first acts will be to create a common roll for elections with a fair and reasonable qualification. I believe that the common roll is much better for partnership than communal representation. The danger of communal representation is that it perpetuates the political colour division, whereas the 440 common roll cuts across this political division. It is, of course, essential that the common roll should be on a fair basis and hold out a firm prospect of progressive participation by all people in the territory.
Those are some steps that could be taken to accompany the introduction of federation. The most important of them psychologically, as was said by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, is that actual steps should be taken here and now to begin to break down the colour bar. I was very interested in what the Colonial Secretary had to say about the new policy of an important section of white employers in the Copper Belt. I agree with him further that it is not at all easy to see what the next step will be. It may well be that the white trade union will resist. That has been known to happen on the Rand before now. There have been bitter fights between white employers and the white trade union on this very matter. I hope that the white trade union will respond to the lead given in this matter of the industrial colour bar by certain employers in the Copper Belt.
There are other fields, too, in which the colour bar can gradually be broken or in which steps can be taken to begin to break it—fields in which the Government have considerable influence, if not complete control. There is, for instance, the social attitude of Government officials. Great progress could be made in breaking down the colour bar at the social level—the social mixing of people—if Government officials would give a different sort of lead from that which they give at the moment, almost without exception. There are, too, things under direct Government control, such as the separate counters at post offices, where real steps could be taken to start that visible breaking down of the colour bar.
If steps of this sort were taken now, it would create a completely different atmosphere and would set federation off to a very much more hopeful start. It would greatly improve the prospect of the smooth working of the scheme, which, once it is in operation, it must be the interest of all of us to make work as well as possible.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)
The House is approaching this subject with a deep sense of its responsibilities, as has been shown by all the speeches which have been made. If I may, I should like to refer to the intervention by the Leader of the Opposition. We are all glad to see him back; he spoke this afternoon with a deep sense of responsibility, and he also put before us a closely reasoned, cogent and effective argument.
It is right that the House should approach this tremendously serious matter in this manner, for we are about to decide the fate for, at any rate, the next decade of about 200,000 Europeans and six million Africans. I think it is the desire of everyone in the House and the country that this question should be settled in the best possible way so as to bring peace, co-operation and understanding amongst all the people.
Unfortunately, there is a strong difference of opinion between us about how that is to be achieved. I am quite sure that the Secretary of State and all those who support him are sincerely of the opinion that this method of federation, introduced now, is the best way of achieving it, and I am sure that they will equally acknowledge that we fear the introduction of federation in this way and at this time.
Moreover, it is right that we should approach this matter in all seriousness because of the great reputation which this country has deservedly had for its colonial policies and, especially, for its recent policies towards certain parts of Africa. The Secretary of State spoke of this Bill and of the decision which the House will reach in a few hours as being a turning point for the whole of Africa. I do not think that is the expression which I should use. I think the Bill marks a decision, but I hope it is not a turning point; I hope we can continue with a policy which has all along been the policy of this country and its Governments.
What has that policy been? We have regarded ourselves in those territories in Africa as trustees for those people. We have gone there, first of all, perhaps, as traders, but then, having taken the responsibility, our policy has been that we will do our best to educate them, to 442 guide them, until at long last, sooner rather than in the very distant future, they will be able to take part in their own government and ultimately to administer all their own affairs.
Look what has been happening recently. Even if one looks at North Africa, it is in the main the part played by this country which has led to the fact that some new States have been created which have never known independence before. Even in North Africa, I do not know whether the vast area of Libya has ever known independence, but largely owing to this country Libya has it now. It is the same with Cyrenaica. We remember Abyssinia and how we said that the Abyssinians should govern their own country.
Next, there is the Sudan and the tremendous change which has taken place there under our guidance, in the establishment of self-government containing, as the right hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) reminded us, a multi-racial problem. We are dealing with the problem not in the way in which we deal with it here, with paper guarantees, but with actual guarantees given to the people themselves and especially to those who, as in Southern Sudan, are not as forward as those in Northern Sudan, ensuring that they shall have representation in the Cabinet of the Sudan whatever the circumstances.
If we turn to the other coast, to the west, we see what has happened there. We have come to the conclusion that the people of Nigeria and of the Gold Coast, and now the people of Sierra Leone, are in a position in which they can guide their own affairs. We have guided and helped them until they have reached that position, and apparently there is no doubt in any one's mind that it is the right course to take.
What worries me is that there should be this difference where Africans are living in the same area as Europeans. I should have thought that the very fact that Europeans were living with the Africans, next door to them—and not merely officials, as has been the case on the west coast—would have meant that by their example, their precept and their teaching, they would have done more to bring forward the Africans amongst whom they lived than had been done for 443 the Africans on the west coast. I should have thought that because these Europeans lived amongst them, the Africans in Central Africa, South Africa or Southern Rhodesia would today have been better prepared to take part in the government of their own affairs than those in Nigeria, the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone. I should have expected that the teaching would have been more direct and more effective. But there it is.
Can there be any doubt that among these Africans in South Africa and Central Afica there is a genuine fear? Even if there were no real ground for that fear, we should have to recognise that it exists, to pay attention to it and to do our best to deal with it; but there can be no doubt whatever that there are genuine grounds for that fear. The very fact of the great trek which has been celebrated recently was sufficient indication of what was happening to those Africans.
We must remember the way in which the Africans have relied upon this Parliament, the Government and this country to give them protection in South Africa, in the same way as we have done in Bechuanaland, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. They have taken refuge in the fact that, over in England, there is the Throne, the Parliament and the people of Britain, who will protect them, and protect them we certainly have done.
Unfortunately, when that protection is handed from this country to those who are there on the spot, they do not, it seems to me, treat the Africans with the same fairness that we in this House do. It is all very well the hon. Member shaking his head, but paper guarantees are no good. What stronger guarantee could we have than was contained in the Order in Council setting up the new State of Southern Rhodesia and giving it self-government? It is a tremendously strong one, but it did not afford protection to the Africans. When we look at the Order in Council of 1923, Clause 28, we find that nothing shall become a law, but that it shall be reserved by the Governorwhereby natives may be subjected or made liable to any conditions, disabilities or restrictions to which persons of European descent are not also subjected or made liable.That was in the Order in Council, and yet Europeans do not have to carry 444 passes, and yet, in 1930, the land was divided so that 70,000 square miles went to about 128,000 Europeans and 50,000 square miles to two million Africans.
Again, a year or two later, there was passed what was called the "Industrial Conciliation Measure," differentiating between the European worker and the African worker, no matter how skilled the latter might be. Once this House has parted with its powers, and has delegated those powers to those who are out there, there is no paper guarantee that can safeguard the rights of Africans as this House would desire. So we are challenged on the spot, and we are told, "You have given us this power; what right have you now got to deny it?"
Therefore, with all these questions in mind, one realises the fears that are confronting these people. I dread this experiment, because that is really what it amounts to. So far as the economic side is concerned, I have always conceded that, economically, federation ought to be of benefit to all this area. It should be, and it is part of my doctrine that it should be, because I believe in pushing out frontiers in order to allow people to trade and move freely within a greater area. Therefore, economically, federation is the pattern.
Supposing that I were prepared to accept this experiment, it still cannot work, either politically or economically, without co-operation, good will and a real desire to do away with all those differences which set people apart, and, still more, do away with all those differences which set certain people above others. If this scheme were framed upon the footing of the great clauses to which this country and the then Government were a party when they signed the Declaration of Human Rights, which certainly draws no distinction between one class and another but treats us all as part of the human race, I should think that we would all welcome federation.
What I now want to say is that I have fears. I hope my fears are mistaken. No doubt, this Bill will receive a Second Reading and will go on to become law. I pray that I am wrong in my present fears, and that the hopes of those who differ from me will be justified.
§ 6.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Bernard Braine (Billericay)
I think the whole House will echo the closing words of the speech of the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Clement Davies). I should like, before moving to my main argument, to comment on the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Smeth-wick (Mr. Gordon Walker), because I do not think that anyone, certainly on this side of the House, will dissent from the wise and statesmanlike words which he used on the issue of the Protectorates.
My right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Kelyingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) rightly said that this was a time for decision; it is also a time for frankness. More trouble is caused in this world by the obscurities of well-meaning people than anything else, and I think that the speech of the right hon. Member for Smethwick has done a notable service in what has already been a high-level debate.
Federation points the only way out of the dreadful dilemma overhanging the whole African continent. I could not help feeling, during the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, how much happier and easier the atmosphere of this place would have been if the right hon. Gentleman had made his wise and moderate counsel, to which we have listened this afternoon, available during the last week, and, as a very humble back bencher, I should like to say to him how delighted I am to see the right hon. Gentleman back.
As I understood his speech, it was to the effect that African fears exist. Nobody denies that they exist, and, therefore, that was a reason for delay, but the right hon. Gentleman did not question whether, in fact, the fears were justifiable. No doubt, it is true that, among native African leaders, there are doubts and fears about the extension of Malanism north of the Union, but I do not think that we should forget that there are also European fears.
There is the fear of people of our own blood and bone, who have established their homes principally in Southern Rhodesia, but also in Northern Rhodesia, that, some time or other, a great black tidal wave will sweep over the country in which they are now living. What we have to do is to resolve the dilemma and find a way out, and this 446 scheme does find a way out. I cannot see any workable alternative to it. I would go so far as to say to the Leader of the Opposition that Africa has many friends in this House and country, but time is not one of them. This scheme gives promise of a great new State in Central Africa, adding immensely to the strategic and economic strength of the Commonwealth, and the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has admitted that there was something in the economic argument.
Indeed, the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery said that the economic arguments for federation were attractive. That is an under-statement. I would say, certainly with reference to the Northern Territories, that the economic arguments are imperative. Throughout our debates on federation too little attention has been paid to that argument.
I have in my possession the Third Interim Report of the Development Coordinating Commission of Southern Rhodesia over which Sir Miles Thomas presided. The Commission started their deliberations almost as soon as the war was over and devoted their attention to the problem of developing Southern Rhodesia. It is interesting to note that in this Interim Report, published in 1949, about three years after the Commission had started work, the Commission said:Your Commission does not presume to pronounce on the pros and cons of the project.They were speaking, of course, of the possibility of federation.
They went on:They will be fully ventilated in other places. What we do respectfully emphasise is the prime necessity for a quick decision to be taken. If the economy of Southern Rhodesia—the largest and most advanced of the three areas—is to be allied to those of the neighbouring territories, a different conception entirely will be necessary in comparison with what will produce optimum results if she stays in isolation.It is perfectly true that this Report was published from the point of view of developing the prospects of Southern Rhodesia, but this argument, which was put forward in 1949, applies with even greater force to the two Northern Territories.
It is quite clear that the development of all three Territories is conditioned by the fulfilment of three basic requirements. 447 They are, first, the extension and coordination of communications, secondly, the proper and economic use of African labour, and, thirdly, the effective conservation of soil and water. Those are the three vital considerations and no single Territory can tackle those problems alone. The Territories are inter-dependent and their whole economy clings to the single railway line which runs from the Copper Belt to the coast of Portugese East Africa.
On Monday the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) poured scorn upon my contention that, as far as the African was concerned we were dealing here with backward communities. The whole object of my introducing this side of the argument is to show that unless we pay attention to the economic factor, unless we are prepared to set in motion economic development of a kind that will expand the wealth of the three Territories, there is no hope whatsoever of raising African living standards and thereby ensuring that the African can enjoy the full, adult political status that all of us, on both sides of the House, desire that he should have.
§ Mr. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
I think the hon. Member would admit that in the Union of South Africa the economic development is greater even than in Southern Rhodesia but that the condition of the Africans, the colour bar, the way in which the Africans are treated as being less than human beings—all these things are more severe in the Union than they are in the Rhodesias.
§ Mr. Braine
Yes, but we are not dealing with the Union of South Africa. There is an important distinction. We are dealing here with the Rhodesias. What is the alternative?
§ Mr. Braine
No doubt the right hon. Gentleman can give us a whole host of views on the subject and I hope that he will have the good fortune to be called later.
The alternative, assuming that there is no federation, is that Southern Rhodesia would decide to go her own way. She would develop in her own way in spite of the limitations imposed upon her. The two Northern Territories would stagnate. Here we have three land-locked Terri- 448 tories dependent upon the same outlet to the sea and no one territory can develop fully without the material cooperation of the other.
The greatest prospect of all from Central African Federation is that these Territories will be enabled to provide a world which is crying out for raw materials, particularly minerals, with the fruits of their soil. These Territories are rich in copper, coal, mica, asbestos and a whole range of other minerals for which the world is crying out. But development does not only mean the exploitation of minerals for the benefit of the rest of the world. The populations of the two Northern Territories are expanding at a prodigious rate and are outrunning the means of their own subsistence.
In 1949, an Inter-Territorial Hydro-Electric Power Commission was appointed by the Central African Council to investigate hydro-electric projects in the area. The Commission reported early in 1951 in favour of the construction of a dam and power station at the Kariba Gorge, on the Zambesi River. That project would supply electricity to enable both Northern and Southern Rhodesia to develop all manner of production, to provide fertilisers for African soil, and to promote a whole range of industrial developments which are essential if the African is to be drawn into a European economy and if he is to be given proper status and to be allowed to feel that he is part of this new, growing Rhodesia.
It is interesting to observe, also, that in Northern Rhodesia the Commission considered a second scheme, to generate power from the Kafue River, a tributary of the Zambesi. No decision has been reached as to which scheme should be started first, precisely because nobody has responsibility for so deciding. The Inter-Territorial Commission has now been dissolved and these two worth-while schemes, at least one of which must be put into operation if there is to be economic development of Central Africa, are being held up.
Until we have federation it will be impossible to resolve such questions as the provision of a west coast port for the Rhodesias and the harnessing of the waters of the Zambesi. If our motive is to speed economic development so that it 449 is possible to reduce the difference between communities and to raise the status of the primitive African community which is striving for a place in the sun, the only way to achieve that result is by intensive economic development which will provide wealth, which, in turn, will supply the educational, social and public health requirements which we all wish to see provided. It is the only way in which it can be done.
I repeat what I said earlier. Africans have many friends in this House but time is not one of them. But I feel that this matter is so urgent that if we do not go forward now, and we lose the opportunity which is presented to us, great disaster will come to both black and white in Central Africa. For that reason I support the Bill.
§ 6.41 p.m.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
The hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Braine) asked what it was that the Africans feared and whether their fears were justified. Apart from anything else they fear being handed over, as regards many of their activities, to dictatorship by the local white population. The local white population may be benevolent dictators but if the Bill goes through they are to be given, in many respects, dictatorial powers. That is one thing.
§ Mr. Braine
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman wishes to be honest with the House. I would remind him that there are safeguards, and that the whole scheme has to be revised in not fewer than seven years and not more than 10 years. How can he say, therefore, that the fears are based upon anything of a tangible character?
§ Mr. Dugdale
As regards safeguards, I have the words of no less an authority than Sir Godfrey Huggins, who described the African Affairs Board as "Gilbert and Sullivan without the music."
§ Mr. Dugdale
As regards the other point raised by the hon. Member, alteration in the Constitution after a certain period, no such alteration can take place without the consent of the local white settlers, who have a majority in both Legislative Councils. It is folly to think there can be any hope of the Africans 450 suddenly, at the end of five or 10 years, getting an improvement in their political situation. They cannot get it without the consent of the local white population. If these agree that there shall be more Africans, that is all right, and there will be an alteration in the Constitution; but if they do not agree, nothing that we on this side of the House can do in 10 years' time will be of any avail. Naturally, they fear, and have every reason to fear, these things.
The Leader of the Opposition asked why there was such haste. I would echo his words. Why is it that we are considering a Bill of this character, such a short Bill, in such a short time? Is it that, as in the case of the Transport Bill, the Government's masters outside have set a time-limit and have said that the Bill has to go through in a certain time? It looks like it. Why is this such a very short Bill? We are not setting up a new county borough, but a new country with millions of inhabitants; yet look at the Bill. Look at the main Clause. It says:… provide for the establishment of a Federal Government, a Federal Legislature, an African Affairs Board, a Federal Supreme Court and such other Federal authorities as may appear to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient.It reads like a woman's shopping list more than a Bill, like a collection of things put together without any argument or organisation at all. It is an insult to the House that a Bill of this character should be brought before it.
Let us compare the India Bill of 1935. India is indeed a much bigger country and had greater problems than Central Africa, but that was a Bill of 321 Clauses and 10 Schedules, and the Second Reading alone occupied four days. What is the difference? The main difference is that the India Bill gave more power to an Asiatic people and this Bill gives more power to the settlers over an African population. The India Bill was certainly introduced by a Conservative Government, but it was opposed by a very large number of Conservatives, including the present Prime Minister, who took a great deal of trouble in putting down Amendments. I notice that he does not even consider it worth while to attend the discussion of this Bill, which is handing power over large numbers of Africans to the local white population. 451 He does not take the trouble to be present during any part of the debate.
Then the hon. Member for Billericay talked about the economic benefits. I am sorry that he is not in his place because there are one or two points I would like to counter. We are always being told about the great economic benefits that will come when federation is brought in, and of all the economic benefits which do not come because there is no federation. Can he tell us of the construction of a single railway or road that has been held up? Can the Undersecretary tell us honestly that the hon. Member for Billericay is correct when he says that the Kariba Gorge scheme was held up because federation had not taken place? It is pure folly to say that there could not be co-operation between those countries if they desired, without federation. There are certain people at the head of two of the countries concerned who do not want economic co-operation unless they can get political power. That is why there has not been co-operation in the past.
I do not want to dwell on the economic problems. I have spoken about them before. I want to say a word about partnership. I welcome, as I think everybody must, the statement of the Colonial Secretary about the new university. It is the first piece of light that we have had on an otherwise very dark scene. It is an excellent thing that he should be able to make that announcement. I welcome, too, the speech made recently by Sir Godfrey Huggins. I have had occasion very frequently in the past to criticise Sir Godfrey Huggins's speeches, but I welcome the one in which he was reported in "The Times" newspaper in these words:It was hoped it would be possible to remove or modify some of the discriminatory legislation for Africans who had become civilised, and a committee was examining the position.I hope that that committee will report quickly, and that something will be done.
If the Bill goes through, Sir Godfrey Huggins will be victorious. He will be powerful. I hope he will also be generous, because on his generosity depends in no small measure the future of that country. Many hon. Members may have 452 read a very fine book called "Cry, The Beloved Country," the preface of which mentioned two men. One was Mr. Hofmeyr, who had done more to help to solve inter-racial problems than anybody else in South Africa. The other was Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. who could do more. Sir Godfrey Huggins is in the position today of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer: he could do more. The question is: will he?
Has the Minister who is to reply to the debate, seen the interesting letter in the "Observer," quoting from the original Bill introduced as long ago as 1883, in which the Indian Charter was laid down? It states:No native of India or natural-born subject of Her Majesty shall be disabled from holding any place, office or employment by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent or colour.It is 70 years since that principle was laid down for India. Would it not be possible today to lay it down for the new Rhodesian Federation? If it were possible, it would be a very great move in the right direction, something that would follow on the new university scheme and which would give tangible proof that the new rulers were determined that there should be no colour bar, but equality for all regardless of race.
Last Friday we had a debate on the general question of the colour bar, and the most remarkable thing about it was that although there were divisions of opinion as to the method, there was unanimity of opinion on both sides of the House as to the means, which were, as stated in the Motion moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Fenner Brockway):That this House, recognising that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood, declares its opposition to all discriminatory practices based upon colour throughout the British colonies, protectorates and trusteeship territories. …The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary said that he agreed with that. I should like to know whether Sir Godfrey Huggins agrees with it and whether he will state publicly that he does. If he does so, then it might do much to remove African misgiving today. As the right hon. and 453 learned Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party said, we all hope that if this scheme is brought in it will succeed and will bring prosperity and happiness to the African people.
I hope that those of us who are gravely disturbed at these proposals will be proved to be wrong and that this new country will succeed. I wish it every success and hope that there will be a real partnership between the races. That is what I hope, but I fear that, instead, we are today witnessing the opening scenes of a terrible tragedy that begins in haste and hope, but will end in frustration, in bitterness and despair.
§ 6.54 p.m.
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett (Reading, North)
It is rather a pity that the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), with whom I have crossed swords before on this issue, should have chosen today to depart from the extremely high level and constructive nature which this debate has so far taken. During his remarks he had the effrontery to say that he was echoing his leader's words. We all heard both speeches, and if he can say that his speech echoed the words of his leader this afternoon, then he must have a very curious notion about the meaning of the word "echo."
But I do not think we need take the right hon. Gentleman's remarks very seriously, because he has at least been consistent on one point throughout the various debates on this subject—that he is quite clearly opposed to federation. For him, it is not merely a matter of timing. He has told us today about the colour bar, and so on, but I do not believe that in his heart he is genuinely in favour of federation in the same way as are not only the Leader of the Opposition, but a large number of hon. Members opposite who have contributed to these debates. He holds a rather lonely position when it comes to the people who have contributed to these debates during the last few months.
§ Mr. J. Dugdale
I am certainly in favour of federation if it can be brought about through a general system of partnership, but not if it means white domination over Africans, and if it is imposed against the will of the Africans.
§ Mr. Bennett
If the right hon. Gentleman is genuinely in favour of federation 454 I can only say that from the most careful scrutiny of his speeches I cannot find a single sentence uttered by him on this topic which has not been destructive—
§ Mr. Bennett
—and bitter, as I am reminded by my hon. Friend. If the right hon. Gentleman really wishes to see the colour bar and other matters which we all abhor disappear, I can only suggest that his contributions to our debates are calculated to produce the exact opposite and to bring about further strife.
Without wasting further time on that particular effort, I will now turn to the more serious aspect of whether we are justified at this time in pressing ahead with this scheme. Hon. Members know how deeply I feel on this issue, having lived in Africa and having a small measure of personal responsibility in view of my time there, in trying to make up my mind on this point. I think it is generally agreed that the old idea about our being the schoolmaster of the territories which we rule and reign over throughout the world is now by general consent being altered to one of trusteeship. If we can quite fairly judge this issue from the point of view of a trustee then, I think, that is the manner in which we should decide our future course of action.
I am not so much concerned today about the economic arguments put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Braine) this afternoon, because the vast majority of us are convinced that they are good arguments. But if one is a trustee, one has a beneficiary, and it is not merely a matter of seeing whether his particular trust is likely to go up or down in value. One also has to have regard to the wider issues involved.
So, if it can be said that the black African fears and anxieties are not justified, then I think we are entitled to go ahead in our capacity as trustees, taking into account such opposition as exists, but not allowing it to be the decisive factor regarding whether we finally say yea or nay to this scheme. The overwhelming consideration should be whether the anxieties that are being expressed, not only in this House but in some churches 455 and throughout parts of Africa, are likely to be justified in the event.
A whole series of anxieties has been expressed both by many Africans and by some people in this country belonging to the Liberal, Labour and Conservative Parties as to whether, in fact, we are taking away any of the responsibilities which belong to the territorial Governments. I refer particularly to land tenure to which the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) specifically referred earlier today. It has been said repeatedly—I hope it will not be necessary to keep on saying it—that land tenure is one of the things which causes so much fear in the African mind in connection with the scheme for federation and yet it seems necessary continually to bring up this question, although it has been put into the Constitution that land tenure is preserved to the territorial Governments.
§ Mr. C. Davies
I only used that as an illustration when I reminded the House that in the Order in Council which set up the Southern Rhodesian Parliament it was specifically stated that there should be no distinction between the African and the European to the detriment of the African, but that it was of no use whatsoever in stopping the Southern Rhodesian Parliament.
§ Mr. Bennett
I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman that my remarks were not directed specifically to himself on this point. I was not suggesting that he was not giving it as an illustration. But it would be a bad thing if any words of his could be interpreted as meaning that anybody in this House seriously thought that this scheme might interfere with land tenure. If we are agreed on that, then we are on common ground on that point. As a matter of fact, the functions of the three territorial Governments, specifically the two about which we are worrying today, are not, in fact, impaired by any of the points which directly reflect on African interests, and I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman admitted that in the course of his remarks. Where direct black African interests are affected the functions of the territorial Governments are left alone.
Another general fear which has been expressed is that this scheme would mean 456 some decline in the present political and free status of the Africans in that area. That is an even deeper and more profound issue for us to consider. If one examines it that argument, too, is shown to be quite false. In this scheme there is not a single Clause—in either the constitution or the Bill we are considering —which takes away one jot or tittle of the political power which the native African enjoys in those Territories today. That is absolutely clear.
Another aspect of the present fears with regard to the rights of the native Africans is seen if we look at the Legislatures of the three countries. We have heard quite a lot of criticism about the fact that out of the 36 Members of the future Federal Parliament only six will be black Africans. It has been pointed out by some that this is a ridiculously small proportion, because twenty-nine thirtieths—I have calculated this while listening to the debate—are black and yet their representation in the House to be will be only one-sixth.
Most of us would not agree that one can arrive at a proper representation in Parliament purely by counting heads in primitive territories. It will be appreciated that one must give a rather more careful consideration than that in the case of people in a certain stage of primitive development. But even if it were right to do that, there is no one on the benches opposite who has the right to criticise and say that one-sixth is far too small a proportion in view of the fact that twenty-nine thirtieths of the population are black.
For let us in this connection look at the record of the past Labour Government. I do not blame them, because in the primitive state of the territories to which I shall refer I believe that their action was quite right. In 1948, the Labour Government fixed the minimum number of black and white members in the Northern Rhodesian Parliament and Legislative Council. They fixed the number of black members as two, out of 23. That is one-twelfth, to the nearest main fraction. If it is true that one-sixth is too small in this Federal case it seems rather a shame that hon. Members opposite did not complain when the black proportion for Northern Rhodesia was fixed at one-twelfth. Moreover, the proportion of black to white in Northern Rhodesia is 457 overwhelmingly more strong than in Southern Rhodesia or in the Federation as a whole. There the proportion of black people is forty-four forty-fifths and yet the late Government thought that one-twelfth was a sufficient representation for the black people on the Legislative Council.
Then there is the case of Nyasaland. There the proportion of black people is five hundred and ninety-nine six-hundredths, and yet, once more, the late Government thought that two-nineteenths —or one-tenth—was a suitable proportion for the black representation.
I produce these figures only to show that it is utterly ridiculous to attempt to settle this question by the mere counting of heads. Above all it is not fair for hon. Members opposite to argue on the basis that the black representation is too small when we consider the record of their Government over the last six years.
§ Sir Leslie Plummer (Deptford)
I have followed the hon. Gentleman's mathematics with some interest, and no doubt he has made his point, but does he not agree that there were more black representatives in the Northern Rhodesian Parliament than in that of Southern Rhodesia, where there were none at all?
§ Mr. Bennett
I am glad that the hon. Gentleman intervened: he has now made my next point.
Far from this Federal scheme indicating a retreat on behalf of the black interests in these countries, it is an advance. In future, the proportion will be one-sixth, which is more than it has ever been in the Southern Rhodesian Parliaments. If the hon. Member is anxious about the black interests he should be pleased, because under this scheme they will have a better representation than ever before.
It is fair to say that we are not removing a single power which is now possessed and administered by native Africans. All we are doing is transferring a certain number of powers, now exercised by this House and by Whitehall, to the white European population on the spot. We have a good precedent for this. All we are doing is to give certain powers to an elected House over there—a House which is elected in the main by the white population in all three Territories and which will continue to be so elected under 458 the Federal scheme until the primitive people achieve a greater degree of development.
In 1948, the Labour Government handed over to an unofficially elected majority of white members in the Northern Rhodesian Parliament powers which had previously been exercised by Whitehall. Today, we are doing just the same thing in respect of these three Territories. Why, then, should there be all this moaning about interference?
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I was hoping that the hon. Member would correctly state what was done. He has only partly done so. Certain powers were given to the European elected members, but substantial reserve powers were left in the hands of the Government and, through the Government, the Secretary of State. The hon. Member should mention that fact.
§ Mr. Bennett
I should certainly have mentioned it, but I had no thought of repeating a point upon which I had no thought of being challenged by hon. Members opposite, because, of course, similarly, powers are reserved under the federal scheme. When the right hon. Gentleman was putting through a federal scheme, in the early stages, before his attitude was modified by time and other causes, he took great care—for which I admired him—to ensure that substantial reserve powers remained with this country. I think he would agree that the bulk of those reserve powers are still maintained under the federal scheme.
§ Mr. Griffiths indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Bennett
If there is a dispute then I am content the lawyers will interpret the effect of the scheme. If what I have said is correct—that all we are doing is transferring powers which are now possessed by Whitehall to locally elected white European members and not taking powers from the Africans—the only way in which it can be said that that change represents a constitutional decline in the position of the black Africans is by imputing to ourselves a higher degree of responsibility, care and protection for the native African than that of the whites on the spot. That is a fairly serious charge to make against our kinsmen overseas, but that is what the Opposition's case must be. 459 It cannot be that we are taking away certain powers from the black Africans. It can only be that we are transferring powers now possessed by England to British subjects over there who cannot be trusted as much as we can.
§ Sir R. Acland
The white people on the spot—that is the terrifying thing— have an economic vested interest in the low wage economy which we have not. It is not because we are morally better than they, but we are to some extent free from the very powerful subconscious pressures that that state of affairs brings to bear on the white settler population out there.
§ Mr. Bennett
I really have not the time to argue that, although I should be prepared to if I had, but I do not accept for a moment that their sense of responsibility is likely to be affected more than ours by economic causes. If it is to be said that they have an economic interest in the low wage structure to produce goods more cheaply, I would ask the hon. Gentleman, what about us in Malaya, where we earn more dollars than anywhere else? Is it to be said that we shall oppose advances in Malaya because we have an economic advantage in a low wage structure in Malaya? I really cannot follow that line of argument now, which I think is a rather individual one.
I want to say a word about the question of the settlers, for I feel very deeply upon it, as I have lived many years among those people. It is really not fair of us constantly to make these charges about the "white settlers." Who are these so-called "settlers "? I have often wanted a definition from hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite of the term "settler." This vague term seems to denote'a sort of man who is supposed to be so much less capable of looking after the interests of his country than we are.
For how many generations does a family have to live in a land before a generation need no longer be called "settlers"? Does a family have to live 460 in a land for one generation, two generations or three generations? When does a settler become a responsible person able to conduct his country's affairs in a legislative council without incurring the bias against settlers that there seems to be among hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite? Perhaps one day we shall have an answer from them about when a settler ceases to be a settler and becomes a responsible person in his country's public affairs. Perhaps it will be helpful when we do.
It is a very curious bias that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to have against settlers, particularly a curious thing in them. I wonder what they would say if it were to be said by anyone on this side that no one could be a responsible Member of this House and capable of taking a part in looking after England's affairs unless his family had lived for two or three or four or five generations in England?
There are some hon. Members, not a few opposite, whose families have not been in this country nearly as long as the families of friends of mine in Southern Rhodesia have lived out there. I am not going to develop this line of argument, but I think that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen ought to be careful, who suggest that certain people are irresponsible and incapable of conducting affairs if their families have not lived for such and such a time in a country.
My right hon. Friend made a most urgent appeal, echoed by the Leader of the Opposition, that now that the scheme has gone through and been approved by the House, by a majority that is convincing in view of the very small difference between us in numbers, that we should all work towards making this Federation scheme a success. As a humble back bencher I would add my voice to that appeal for support to be given to the plan so that it may be a success. It is. first of all, in the national interest. I think we are all agreed about that, for it is for the economic and political advancement of those Territories.
It would be tragic if our conflicts here, on this or any other matter, were to affect our policy there. That would lead to fresh outbreaks of trouble. It would be fatal if we were to allow differences that have obtained here to affect our policy 461 there. We try to keep foreign affairs out of party political controversy. Recently, very regrettably, colonial affairs have become involved in our party disputes. I am sure that all of us who have the interests of the Commonwealth at heart will agree that it would be a tragic and fatal thing if in our colonial policy we were to say, or it seemed to others that we were saying, "If and when a Labour Government come to power we shall do great things for the African population, and when the Conservative Party are in power we shall do great things to sustain the white population." That could lead to the most appalling trouble.
I can assure hon. Gentlemen that there is a grave danger that that will occur. Those of us interested in this subject have seen in the newspapers, letters and articles which give rise to this anxiety. If and when they come into office, right hon. Gentlemen opposite will have seriously to consider this constitutional position. I do not want a Labour Government to be embarrassed—I really mean this—by a whole series of miniature Boston Tea Parties, if and when there is another Labour Government.
Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite really must not give the impression that they will do in a matter of this sort what they say they will do in domestic policy, that is, undo what their predecessors in office have done. If now they talk about irresponsible settlers, then, if and when they become the Government again, they may find it very awkward to deal with those people they now abuse.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
This is my first intervention in the many debates that have taken place on this question. I am very grateful that I have caught your eye, Mr. Speaker, because I hope to give not only my own point of view but the registered point of view of thousands of people in Scotland.
Lanarkshire, from which I come, has had long associations with the continent of Africa. David Livingstone came from Blantyre, a man who is revered, and to whom we have a national memorial in his old home in that village. He is revered not only in Lanarkshire, but revered and loved in Africa, too.
I wanted to refresh my memory a little on the work of that man, and I went to 462 the Library of the House and I found what I think is his latest biography, a book called "Livingstone the Liberator." I discovered that his mother's family hailed from Shotts, which the writer describes as being… a parish in the bleak uplands of Lanarkshire in the midst of Covenanting country.I have lived in that parish all my life, and it is a part of the constituency which I have the honour to represent in this House. It may be bleak upland country. I do not contradict that at all, but there is not anything bleak or cold about the people who live there or those who lived there before them. They are warm hearted, generous people, and they have within them the spirit of the old Covenanting days. That, I say to the Undersecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, is a spirit that abhors injustice, or even seeming injustice, wherever injustice is perpetrated.
David Livingstone, through his life, showed that he had that spirit to the full. He demonstrated it in his own words, and I want to quote them:In the flow of love that Christianity inspires, I resolved to devote my life to the alleviation of human misery.I found in the book I referred to a passage in which the writer was describing the work of David Livingstone. I would ask the Under-Secretary of State to pay attention. He may think that what I have said so far has very little relevance to the Bill—
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)
I assure the hon. Lady that I am paying attention. I could quote what she said. She said that David Livingstone had in full the spirit of justice. She said that he had resolved to devote his life to the alleviation of human misery. I am paying attention.
§ Miss Herbison
I am very grateful indeed. It seems as though the Undersecretary is fortunate in being able to pay attention and carry on a conversation at the same time.
§ Miss Herbison
I just say that the hon. and learned Gentleman is very fortunate indeed. I want to quote now a passage from this book. It says:The slave trader was pushing in from east and west. The whites in the south were year 463 by year absorbing more and more of the lands of the native peoples. It was surely Providential that just at this juncture there should have arrived in Africa a man of such dynamic personality, so equipped in mind and body, so understanding of spirit, so completely self-disregarding, so filled with a passion for justice and right.That man and that man's life in Africa had a very great effect indeed. It brought millions of Africans to regard the British people as their friends, to regard the British people as men and women who understood them and whose only desire was to help them along the road to real economic, political and social freedom.
When I read that, I began to contrast that picture of Livingstone's character with what I had come to regard as the personality of our present Colonial Secretary. I am very glad indeed today that the Colonial Secretary behaved as a statesman, that he was so different today from what he was on Monday, that he was so different today from what he has been, time and time again in this House when this serious question has been discussed. When questions from these benches have been asked to obtain clarification of this problem, I say that, with almost the exception of today, he has appeared to me haughty and arrogant. I felt that a man who could be haughty and arrogant with a man like my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) was not the type of man to have the future of these millions of Africans almost in his hands.
It is because of that, that I am so grateful today that the Colonial Secretary has appeared in a different light. When I looked at this book and found that it was called, "Livingstone the Liberator," I felt until this afternoon—and I think I have still to be proved wrong in what will follow—that in my wildest imaginings I could not think of a book being published in 50 or 100 years' time which would have for its title, "Lyttelton the Liberator."
In Scotland, I do not think that I have ever found at any time since I have been interested in the affairs of this nation and of wider affairs such great interest evinced by so many people as has been evinced over this question of African federation. There have been meetings in our four cities—meetings that have been crowded—and there had been meetings in many of our towns and villages.
464 In Glasgow, a meeting against federation was held and there was an attendance of 1,500 people. In that same city, a meeting was held by those who believe in federation and, although the hall could hold 600, there were present, including the platform party, 13 people. I want the Minister to realise—and perhaps he does realise—that these meetings have not been politically inspired—not one of them. The main impetus has come from the churches in Scotland and it has come particularly from the Church of Scotland itself. Many presbyteries have passed resolutions, and Members of Parliament and possibly the Colonial Secretary have been given copies of those resolutions.
At the beginning of this week, the Presbytery of Perth had a meeting and sent on a resolution which they passed against federation. In this morning's "Glasgow Herald," I read a report of the meeting of the Presbytery of Aberdeen—I think that it must have been held last night—and there again they spoke and decided against federation at this time. Those people in the Church who have supported this movement against federation at the present time have not been supporting it merely from sentiment.
Opinion is not uninformed opinion in the Scottish church. They have had at their presbytery meetings and they have had in the Church of Scotland the benefit of men who have given a long period of their lives in service in Africa. So the opinions they are expressing and the opinions they have tried to bring to the notice of Members of this House and of the Government are opinions based on the knowledge of men and women who have worked amongst Africans, and who know that it is a bad thing indeed today for the Government to hurry through this Bill for federation.
Yesterday I, the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) and the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade), of a different political party, along with the Rev. Galbraith from a Glasgow church, who has spent many years in Africa, went to the Palace with a petition signed by almost 27,000 Scottish people, men and women of all political opinions and, perhaps, some of them of no political opinions.
That petition was not accepted at the Palace gates but the Secretary of State for Scotland very graciously accepted it 465 and promised to see that it got to the right quarter. I want to emphasise that the signatures were not got through political inspiration, and that among them are the names of men and women who support the party opposite. But they are the signatures of men and women who realise the grave dangers that may come if federation is carried through as the Government propose.
In Command Paper 8233, paragraph 35 states:We have constantly borne in mind that whatever is proposed must be designed not only to promote the well-being of the territories and their inhabitants but also to be acceptable to the inhabitants and to the Governments and Legislatures concerned.That seems to me the most crucial issue facing this House today, because that is the one promise given in this Command Paper to the Africans that we would not go forward with federation until the inhabitants found it acceptable.
The Bill and what flows from the two Command Papers 8753 and 8754 have completely ignored the promise. Surely it is natural that the Africans should be suspicious and resentful when they find this most crucial promise broken by the Government. They must feel that their desires have been simply ignored, and they will naturally be suspicious of any guarantees given by the Government. The Secretary of State said that they were massive safeguards. We believe the safeguards have been whittled down, but, the specific promise having been broken, even if the safeguards are massive, the Africans have the right to believe that the safeguards about which the Secretary of State speaks and which are in black and white in various White Papers may be broken as the promise was.
The Secretary of State on Monday emphasised that the protectorate status of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia is specifically preserved. But what could have been more specific than the words which I quoted from the original White Paper issued by the Labour Government? In "The Times" of 14th April there was an article which said that the "Die Transvaler," the South African Nationalist newspaper, referred to the British standpoint that protectorates could not be incorporated in the Union unless and until native opinion is in favour of it. The Minister stressed the specific safeguards on Monday. The article added 466 that if the British Government proceeded with federation in the north against the will of non-Europeans the argument would no longer be valid.
I am trying to show the real fear in the minds and hearts of the Africans and their natural suspicion about the further safeguards which are promised in view of the breaking of the promise that federation would not take place if they did not support it.
§ Mr. Niall Macpherson (Dumfries)
Will the hon. Lady give the exact reference of the promise which she says was given?
§ Miss Herbison
I do not know whether the hon. Member was in the Chamber when I began my speech. However, the reference is paragraph 35 of Command Paper 8233. It could not be more specifically stated than it is there.
§ Miss Herbison
A promise was definitely given in that White Paper and it was given by my right hon. Friend who was then Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Even at this late stage the Government would be wise to delay the Measure. It has been suggested in various quarters that we may have delayed long enough, that no matter how long we delay, the Africans will not change their minds, that they are conservative in their outlook and that delay would not bring any benefits. The history of Africa over the last 50 years has disproved that the Africans are conservative. During the last 50 years the Africans have changed their way of life almost completely.
We find that Africans on the whole speak the language of the industrial areas to which they go rather than the language which belonged to their former areas. Africans have gone to work underground in conditions which could not be more different from their previous conditions. They have accepted an economy based on money instead of barter. They have accepted Christianity, and now a form of nationalism which was not thought of even a few years ago. All this proves that the Africans are not 467 so conservative as many people have tried to prove but are a virile, progressive and adventurous people who can adapt their way of life to the circumstances of Africa.
It is because I feel this so strongly that I urge the Government even at this late stage to delay these proposals so that time may be allowed, as my right hon. Friend said earlier, to show the Africans what we really mean by partnership. We must show the Africans specific things, not promises in White Papers but real action; we must show them that we believe in a real partnership. If we had time to do that, ultimately the Africans would support federation. Like most of my hon. Friends, I am not against federation. I believe that great economic good—and from economic good, social good—can come from federation, but even economic good will not come from it if we have not the willing co-operation of the Africans. A letter in "The Times" today shows that very clearly indeed.
I was delighted when the Secretary of State told us about the university which people of all races will attend, but I was perturbed when I read the Command Paper showing the distribution of expenditure to discover the amount of money which is to be allocated to education. Having been a teacher before I became a Member of Parliament, one of the first things I tried to find was what would happen about the education of the Africans. I found that under the distribution the Federal Government would have £2,000 to spend on African education. I hope I am wrong. I am raising this question and I am willing to say that I am not very sure about it. But here I find £2,000, and I understand that the Federal Government is to be responsible for higher education for everybody in the Federal Territory.
I find also the amounts which have to be given to the three States for education which is not higher education, but when I add the four sums of money together I find that it is much less than is being allocated for non-African education under this distribution of expenditure. There are a far greater number of African children than white children, but a far lesser sum allocated in this distribution of expenditure for the education of 468 the African children. I hope that I have been mistaken in this, and perhaps the Minister will be able to show when he comes to reply that I have been mistaken.
I would say finally to the Minister that our Queen became Queen when she was in Africa. It seemed to me that that was a splendid opportunity for this Government to show to the Africans that she was in very truth their Queen. But I am sorry that the Government have not allowed this idea to become a reality. They seem to have been determined to make the Africans—and I am dealing with all debates that have taken place— think that they cannot trust us, and I am sorry that that has happened.
I appeal to the Secretary of State. The churches in Africa have built up a feeling of friendship and loyalty to this country. David Livingstone's body was carried from the one end of Africa to the other by the natives. It took them 10 months to do it, but they did it because they knew he desired to be brought home to his own country, and he was given an honourable burial in the Abbey here. He and many people since in the Church and, indeed, some of our white settlers have brought glory to this country. My plea is that that glory, that friendship and that loyalty will not be dissipated by hurrying through the House this Federation Bill.
§ 7.44 p.m.
§ Mr. M. Philips Price (Gloucestershire, West)
I think the Government are right in proceeding with this Measure and I regret to have to disagree with many of my hon. Friends on this side of the House. I recognise that they have very sincere and conscientious feelings on this matter, and I only ask them to believe that I and others also on this side have sincere and conscientious feelings the other way.
My hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) appealed both eloquently and with great force—I listened to every word she said with great interest—as I did to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, for delay, but I believe that delay will be construed as hesitation, and that hesitation would be misunderstood in Africa. In matters of this kind the Government of the day must lead and they have decided to put through federation. I hope, however, that they will 469 leave no stone unturned to explain by every means in their power the real meaning of federation to the African people.
I have really no qualification to speak on this subject as one who has been in Africa, like so many other hon. Members in the House, but I was chairman of a sub-committee of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee which inquired into, and took evidence on, the application of science and technology in colonial affairs. That Committee sat last year, and, although I cannot commit my colleagues who sat with me on this unofficial Committee, I can at least speak for myself. I was very much impressed by the evidence I heard on the need for social and economic development in Central Africa, and how much that social and economic development was thwarted by antiquated administrative units.
There are serious problems in Africa, problems of over-population, under-cultivation and the wrong cultivation of land. There are no standards for the rearing of livestock, and all these things need great educational advancement and investment of capital. In order to do this it is absolutely necessary to have viable economic units.
There is also the need for a bold approach, but it is bound to mean risks. My hon. Friends have told us about the risks, which is true, and these risks may involve the future of the African population if they are not handled rightly. But I say that no statesmanlike act can be accomplished without risk. There are two risks as I see it here. The first is that the Africans will be sullen, hostile and unco-operative and that they will prevent the functioning of the new system. Secondly, there is the risk that the white settlers of Southern Rhodesia will perpetuate racial discrimination and so spoil the atmosphere.
As regards the first, I submit that it is difficult to tell what opinion is in Central Africa. Society is still in too primitive a state for it to be possible for a public opinion to be developed as we understand it in this country and in America and in Europe. Africa is even unlike Asia in this respect where we had similar problems. For instance, in India, Pakistan and Ceylon the problem was whether the 470 time was ripe for them to have self-government and independence.
There, they have an ancient civilisation with highly developed languages in which to explain things, whereas in Africa, I understand, in many of the languages it is impossible to find a word which describes "federation." This shows that one cannot argue from the one to the other because the conditions are entirely different. Also, large parts of Central Africa are under a tribal system and the tribal chiefs are notoriously conservative and do not like anything that might in any way undermine their position.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes), who, unfortunately, cannot be here, has put into my hand, and authorised me to read to the House, a telegram which he received from the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia via the High Commissioner, whose opinion he asked in order to find out what opinion was like there among the Africans. This is what it says:I shall be grateful if you would inform him that Africans here were never very perturbed over federation. Some have already offered to stand for Federal Parliament. It is believed that African voters for most part voted for federation. I understand that my broadcast after referendum did much to reassure many who had been misled by frequent misstatements.That shows that opinion is divided and that it is not true to say that the entire body of articulate African opinion is against federation. Possibly the majority of articulate opinion is against it, but a certain section is not and many do not know anything about it.
In a situation of this kind we are trustees and the Africans are our wards. It is the duty of trustees to act in a way that they think will be in the best interests of their wards, and it would be ridiculous to allow the ward to dictate the policy of the trustee.
§ Mr. Price
The second risk is that which has been expressed by my hon. Friends on this side of the House, and no doubt they have their reasons. It is that the European settlers in Southern Rhodesia will continue the policy of racial discrimination. I do not hold the poor opinion that some of my hon. Friends hold of the European settlers in Southern 471 Rhodesia. It is true that Sir Godfrey Huggins has said things in the past which would have been better not said, but no doubt he has his difficulties with white opinion. In the main, I reject the view that the Southern Rhodesian white population is no better than Dr. Malan's Afrikaans on racial questions.
The philosophy of that narrow, Calvanistic Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa is foreign to our own kith and kin who learned our traditions here before going out to Central Africa. I believe the bulk of them realise that the African must ultimately reach equality with the European and not be permanently kept out. I think most reasonable people will realise, when they come to study the question, that the process of educating African opinion must take time. Southern Rhodesian white settlers may think it may take a long time and we here may think it will take a shorter time. There is a difference there of degree and not of kind, but between us and South African Afrikaans there is indeed a great gulf fixed.
Nevertheless, there are inequalities of the two Rhodesias which go a long way to explain some of the African opposition to federation. The worst example is in the territory administered by the Colonial Office and not in Southern Rhodesia. I refer to the state of affairs in the Copper Belt, and I was glad to hear what the Colonial Secretary had to tell us about that.
I put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman last week about what action he could take to reduce the colour bar. Naturally, he said that it cannot be abolished by legislation. It is, however, vital for the right hon. Gentleman to use all the influence he can—and it seems that he is using it now—to eliminate racial discrimination. Nothing will do more to prove groundless the fears of those who oppose federation than the progressive reduction of the colour bar in territories administered by Whitehall. It is the task of statesmanship to see that the economic progress which will come to the country through federation marches hand in hand with the reduction of racial inequalities.
This Bill is necessary to guarantee the economic and social advance of Central Africa. First and foremost primary education is necessary to make it possible 472 to have technical education and, lastly, university education. The trouble is that we cannot get veterinary surgeons to work in those territories among the tribes unless we educate the people of the tribes and get recruits from there, which is almost impossible as things are today
I submit that Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland have not the economic background to make it possible to produce educated people in sufficient time. For that reason the creation of larger units is essential. There is some talk about leaving Nyasaland out of the Federation. That would be disastrous because, according to the figures I have seen, there are only 3,000 whites in the entire territory and a public debt of only £4 million. How can one possibly finance improvements or educational developments under conditions of that kind?
I know it is argued by some of my hon. Friends that the Colonial Development Fund could be used, but that is quite insufficient. About a year ago the "Economist" made an estimate, based on information which apparently it had, that a sum of about £500 million a year needs to be invested in the Colonial Empire and Commonwealth every year. It is all very well to say that we should do that, but the money would have to be found out of savings. If it is not so found, it will lend to inflation. We have either to find that money—or even half of it—out of savings or we have to attract capital from outside. It is our duty as a Colonial Power to do that. We have no right to own those territories if we do not develop them, even if it means stinting ourselves in the process, which it would certainly mean even if we found only half the money ourselves.
§ Mr. Price
This Bill provides measures which are vitally needed for Central Africa. The continent of Africa has many different types of territory, climate and population, and it is wrong to argue that what suits one area suits another. In West Africa there are no white settlers, but there is a comparatively well-to-do 473 peasant population there which has done well on the cultivation of cocoa crops and others. Because education is of a higher standard there, they can go forward rapidly to dominion status, as they are doing.
In North Africa we have an entirely different situation. The people there are in contact with the Arabs. Many of them are partly or entirely Arab and are Mohommedans. They are working under another type of civilisation towards independence and co-operation with the Arab States of the Middle East. In South Africa we have a reversion to a type of Christian philosophy which is, in fact, the very negation of Christianity. In Central Africa we have another type, due to the fact that the climate is suitable to Europeans and due to the fact that the climate makes it difficult for the African to win the produce of the soil as easily as he can on the West Coast. Agricultural conditions over parts of Central Africa are very difficult, as we saw in the groundnut scheme.
The task, surely, in Central Africa, where there is a white population who are largely the means of developing the country's wealth, side by side with a much more primitive type of African, is to advance the African without discouraging the European. It seems to me that federation is the only way in which a political solution can be found, provided the means are there for continual development and the progressive abolition of racial inequality. The West African solution is impossible there yet because things have not developed that far. Unfortunately, it seems that there are some leaders of African opinion who are ignorantly hankering after that now and that is the cause of a great deal of the trouble which has developed. The Government are right not to follow these blind leaders of the blind, but to press on with federation. But let them always keep before their eyes the principle of equal opportunity for both races.
If this Bill goes through I hope that all sections of opinion in this country will combine to make it a success. On this issue we all have conflicting emotions. Let us strive to throw those emotions into the common pool for the good of Central Africa.
§ 8.2 p.m.
§ Captain J. A. L. Duncan (South Angus)
The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Philips Price) has made a brave speech, which is typical of him, following his convictions —which are not the convictions of the majority of his party—and I congratulate him upon it. He mentioned the question of development of these Territories. I rise tonight, after trying hard to do so during the debate on the White Paper and not being called, because I have lived in one of these Territories for some years and I do know the African side of this problem, although it is some years since I was there.
The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West may be interested to know that I was breeding almost pure shorthorn cattle 35 years ago in Northern Rhodesia. If I could do it then, surely the opportunity, and the necessity for making the opportunity, for the Africans to do it ought to be made available if that can be done. I agree with the hon. Member that it cannot be done at present through the financial resources of each Territory; it can only be done by increasing culture and particularly increasing education in agriculture.
The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) made an emotional speech about a former inhabitant of her constituency, David Livingstone. Every Celt responds to a speech from the heart, but I thought she spoilt it by misinterpreting a quotation which she made from the White Paper of March, 1951. That White Paper was a Report of a Conference on Closer Association in Central Africa to His Majesty's Secretary of State, not by His Majesty's Secretary of State. Therefore, the whole burden of the quotation she made was misapplied as it was not a promise by the then Secretary of State but a sentence taken out of a Report of a Conference to the Secretary of State. I will read it once again to make it clear:We have constantly borne in mind …That is, the officials who took part in this Conference.We have constantly borne in mind what whatever is proposed must be designed not only to promote the well-being of the territories and their inhabitants but also to be 475 acceptable to the inhabitants and to the Governments and legislatures concerned.Later, the hon. Lady referred to the advantages of delay, but in the same Report, at the end of paragraph 101, it is stated:We would emphasise once more …They must have done so before, but I have not been able to find it—
§ Captain Duncan
our very real sense of urgency in this problem of bringing the Central African Territories into an effective form of closer association.There was the need in 1951 for urgency in dealing with this problem.
§ Miss Herbison
I am sure the hon. and gallant Member is not accusing me of trying to mislead the House in making this quotation.
§ Miss Herbison
I quite understand that this is a Report of a Conference. It was a Report to the Secretary of State, who at that time was my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). He himself had quoted from this Report because the Government at that time accepted this Report and this part of it. I wish to mention the paragraph which the hon. and gallant Member quoted. Of course all of us feel there is urgency in this matter. I accept the one paragraph; I accept the other. But accepting the second paragraph does not mean hurrying it on in view of so much opposition from Africa.
§ Captain Duncan
I agree that the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) accepted this as a basis for the next step, but I really think the hon. Lady was exaggerating the impression on the minds of Africans if she got the impression that this was interpreted, or could be interpreted, as a promise. That was the only point I was trying to make.
The hon. Lady, if I may use the term, has been getting mixed up with the Church of Scotland lately, I have seen her name reported in the Press as attending various meetings, and the Palace. The burden of my later remarks will be to try to put an answer to the fears which 476 have been expressed by various presbyteries and other people attached to the Church of Scotland.
In passing, I would point out that although the presbyteries in my constituency expressed fears, after a meeting I had with them their fears did not entirely dissolve and they did not feel it necessary to approach me further. I admit the fears were there, at Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth, where resolutions have been passed by Ministers and lay representatives of presbyteries.
What are these fears? I do not put the matter in the same way as the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) put it. I do not believe that those are the real fears, that there will be permanent domination by the whites over the blacks. I do not think that is the right way to look at it. I believe there is some sort of underlying fear that the advancing, moving Africa will not get its chance. We have seen various movements all over Africa, especially since the war. They have their dangers; they have their dangers in the Union of South Africa, in Mau Mau in Kenya and so on.
It seems to me that there are two answers to these fears. One is that we have got to achieve a better system of economy for all the peoples in Africa, so that with the increasing population, the increasing needs of the peoples in Africa can be met from the economic point of view. From the political point of view, the dangers of extremism from the left or from the right must be averted.
From the economic aspect I should like to quote from the Report on Communism by the Church of Scotland issued in May last year. It states what the Church of Scotland was then thinking:To meet this need there is required an enormous effort for the improvement of agriculture in the under developed parts of the world. The pressing need is for the production of more food, but this improvement in agriculture requires a considerable measure of industrialisation and an enormous development in education. Schemes for irrigation, and hydro-electric development, the opening up of new means of transport, the further exploitation of natural resources in order to help pay for capital equipment which must be imported, as well as to provide the amenities of life for the people of the country are all needed. Large numbers of people must be trained as technicians, teachers, doctors, and agricultural experts in order that these schemes may be efficiently operated once they are instituted. In all these regards it is obvious that these lands urgently require the help of the West.477 That is a quotation from the Report of the Church of Scotland by the Commission on Communism, dealing with the dangers of Communism unless this economic development takes place. As has already been said, this development cannot take place with the limited resources available at present in these territories.
Let me take another aspect of the opposition of the Church of Scotland. They say that African opinion is unanimously against it. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies said that there was undoubtedly a small section of vocal intelligencia in opposition. But the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West said that a large number of these people are still in tribal societies. Their system of life is most primitive.
Where I used to live—I was not an official, I was a farmer—the most primitive kind of life went on in the villages. There was no machinery. The cultivation of the crops was done by women with a hoe; there was not even a plough or an ox. These people, who form the majority in Northern Rhodesia, cannot be expected to understand the intricate system of a constitution such as is in this White Paper. It is wrong to say that African opinion is against the scheme. I say that there is no such thing as African opinion, and what little opinion there is cannot really count in the balance of argument.
The Church of Scotland also fear whether we in this House and the British people in this country, acting as trustees, are going to play fair, whether the safeguards existing in the present constitutions of the territories will be continued, and whether conditions for the Africans in the future will be advanced or retarded. I will not go into great detail on this. The details are all in Cmd. 8754. I appeal to the ministers of the Church of Scotland who have not read this scheme to do so. Whenever I have had an opportunity of reading the scheme and explaining it to them, so far as I could make out, their opposition dissolved. A constitution is a difficult thing to understand. It is difficult for us to understand, but for people outside it is even more difficult.
The safeguards can be listed very briefly as follows: First, it is a federal 478 constitution and not an amalgamation. That surely is important. Secondly, in the preamble to the White Paper it is distinctly laid down that the three Territories are the rightful home of all lawful inhabitants and that Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland shall continue under the special protection of Her Majesty.
So far as land is concerned, in paragraph 4 of the scheme it is quite clearly laid down that any fears about the transfer or alienation of land are groundless. There is a special provision at the end of paragraph 4 to the effect that no power of compulsory acquisition of land for federal purposes shall be used in relation to any land for the purpose of settling immigrants thereon.
One of my hon. Friends has already dealt with African representation in some detail. There are six African members actually in the new Assembly. That is a change from the original White Paper. There are three Europeans specially concerned with African interests. There are elected members, but there is no reason why, in the fullness of time, as the Africans themselves become qualified to vote, there should not be more in certain constituencies. There is no restriction on the 26 members that they should all be white, and there is no reason why, in due course, further African members should not be elected on an equal basis with the white members.
Then there is the African Affairs Board. That is very important, and I do not think it has been made enough of in these debates. It appears to me that the African Affairs Board have complete control over any federation legislature which can possibly affect the Africans. Paragraph 59 states:It will be the particular function of the Board to draw attention to any Bill introduced into the Federal Assemblyin which African interests are known or inferred. If there is any part of it which differentiates against African interest at all, it is immediately classed as a differentiating Measure and cannot be passed by the Legislative Assembly, but has to be referred to this Parliament for final approval. The passing of a Bill cannot go any further without reference to this Parliament.
I cannot go into all the details, but the Constitution itself cannot be amended 479 without a majority of two-thirds on an affirmative vote. A constitutional Bill cannot be assented to by the Governor-General. It has to be sent home for this Parliament to make a final decision. On those grounds of safeguards we have, it seems to me, done everything possible to safeguard the existing position of the African and have made tentative and most progressive steps to advance African interests.
I do not think that it has been before noticed that this is the centenary year of the birth of Mr. Cecil Rhodes. It is appropriate that we should be taking this further step in the history of the Rhodesias in this year. Cecil Rhodes had great ideas and was one of the greatest men Africa has ever known. He had great views about the part that British people could play in the development of Africa and his single-minded determination did untold good to Africa. He made his money there but he spent it for the good of Africa. His policy was not that of a colour bar, but equal rights for all civilised men.
If that cry could go out over the Rhodesias once again I believe it would prove the answer to many of the fears which have been expressed; equal rights for civilised men and not all this talk about colour bars, domination and so on. Let us base our equality on culture and not on the colour of our skins. Federation is a step forward in this policy and one about which I believe the people of this country may be proud. As one who was a settler, if that is the right word to use, and if it is not too unpopular with right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, I would say that in my time I have seen immense developments in Africa particularly in the Rhodesias.
We have exploited national resources but there are many resources in these Territories left to exploit. In my experience we have not exploited the native, but the resources. I think it wrong that we white men in this country should decry the white men in Rhodesia. They are not different from us. They are the same people, and they are our own kith and kin. I was one out there, and now I am the same man here. I see no reason for this differentiation between the white man out there and those at home. It is most unfair to suggest as did the hon. 480 Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland) that the white men out there are exploiting the cheap labour of the natives and that the white men here do not exploit cheap white labour. Were it not for the trade union movement which has been built up here in the past, white men would be exploiting white labour in this country. It is exactly the same thing, there is no difference at all.
I personally, and other hon. Members on this side of the House, have always supported the trade union movement as the best means of avoiding the exploitation of labour. I have never objected to the policy of trade union representatives visiting the Colonies and helping real trade union development in those countries. That perhaps is a matter which the new Federation could develop.
The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) ended his speech by hoping for the best but fearing for the worst. I am sorry he has left the Chamber. I regard him as an old man who has lost his courage, and I would appeal to him, as a Liberal and a Progressive, whose party has had such progressive views in the past, not to lose his vision. I would appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite not to lose this vision of empire which we have had in the past and which we must carry into the future if we are to maintain ourselves and do our best as the trustees of these people.
§ 8.27 p.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
I do not think I have lost my courage, and the hon. and gallant Member for Angus, South (Captain Duncan) will find those of us on this side of the House in the same camp with the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) whom the hon. and gallant Member regards as getting old and lacking courage.
This is the sixth and last stage of this two-year debate on Central African Federation and it has been one of the best. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies set the tone of today's debate. I only wish, and I hope I shall not appear churlish when I say it, that he had spoken in the same manner on former occasions.
I have listened to all these debates. I have listened to the Minister and to my 481 right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). The more I have listened and studied the White Papers and the plans taking shape for this future State in Central Africa the more I am convinced that it is simply old-fashioned capitalism plus a benevolent autocracy. It seems to me that all would be well if the African would only do what he is told, until perhaps he is better educated and has learned to do what he thinks better for himself.
When I hear speeches outside this House by people such as Mr. Van Eeyden, Sir Godfrey Huggins, Mr. Greenfield, Mr. Stockill, and others, the main motivation of the white African—not the white settler, the white African—in Central Africa appears to be to get away from what he alleges to be the domination of the Colonial Office. I hope that the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs will repudiate some of the wilder statements which have been made by leaders of the white Africans in Central Africa.
I do not wish to go over the whole argument of whether federation is a good or a bad thing. I think it is a good thing economically and I did not need the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Braine) to convert me to the economic advantages of federation, but must we federate to get this economic development? Without political federation the Copper Belt of Northern Rhodesia will next year turn out something like £100 million worth of base copper, so that the argument that we must federate politically to get economic development does not hold water when we get down to the facts.
We are told that federation is a good thing for the African, but that he does not quite know what is good for him. I have heard hon. Members opposite and white Africans say that the African is conservative—not 100 per cent. but almost 1,000 per cent. conservative, with a small "c"; that in the 1920s he did not like schools, he did not like white teachers, he did not like hospitals, with their white tiles and smell of ether—he was a little scared of them—but now he dashes to the hospital if he wants a gargle when he has the slightest suspicion of a cold.
We are told that in the old days he was suspicious of the white man's scientific farming, but that now we have "good farming badges" and the Africans are as keen as mustard to farm. We are told 482 that they did not like education, they did not like our modern methods of farming, they did not like the white man's help, they were suspicious of all these things and that, in the same way, they are suspicious of this political development but they will shake down and in a few years' time, if not earlier, will be quite happy. That is what we are told. But I wonder whether this is quite the same sort of thing.
When I see letters like that from the Bishop of Nyasaland this morning, and when I get other letters from people out there, I wonder whether it is as simple as all that and whether, if it does not come to a show-down, if it is not a matter of making a choice for or against federation, the Africans, even though it may be that only 500,000 out of six million are articulate and politically conscious in this sense, will not follow their own leaders and people of their own pigmentation of skin instead of following the while population who, after all, are aliens, despite the fact that many have been there for generations.
I also enter this caveat: that there is developing a wider Pan-African consciousness just as we have a wider Pan-Arab consciousness from Casablanca to Basra. We have certainly the Pan-African consciousness; they are thinking as Africans and not as people from Nyasaland or from the Gold Coast. When something happens in Enugu it has repercussions in the Orange Free State: if something happens to people in Uganda it is read about and talked about in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia.
I believe that the old type of colonialism is doomed not only there but at the bar of public opinion in the United Nations and elsewhere, and I would emphasise that we on this side of the House do not oppose federation merely because the Africans object to it. It is not fair to say that we object merely because the Africans do not like it. Hon. Members on these benches are often put in a most difficult position by the Government; we are almost spiritually blackmailed because they say, "If you oppose federation you are fomenting discontent in Africa, you are building up the opposition and are doing a disservice not only to the Government but also to the Africans."
If we sincerely believe that there are inadequate safeguards in this constitu- 483 tion, if we honestly believe that there is a solid body of African opinion which is scared and anxious, it is our duty to speak on the lines which I am following tonight and it is not for the Government to say to us, "You are cads. You are not playing the game. You ought to keep your mouths shut and let federation get going. Let us have a chance to work out what both sides say is economically a good thing."
Why do I say that I feel that this Constitution does not do what it might do? We have often had it said on the other side of the House, and by the Minister himself, that in matters of what one might call the everyday life of the African, that is, his day-by-day activities, he will not be affected by this particular legislation. I have been going down the "Exclusive and concurrent lists," in pages 10 to 13 of Cmd. 8754, and, as a result, after studying this statement that the Territorial Legislatures control these aspects of African life which most closely concern the individual, I do not think it is borne out at all.
Let me take the question of defence. Item 2 opens up the possibility of the conscription of civilian Africans on European farms, as enforced in Northern Rhodesia during, and for six months after the last war. Item 5—citizenship—is connected with the African's right to be a voter, and to be able to influence his daily life by democratic means. Items 18 and 19, relate to railways and the questions of fares and conditions of travelling. Then there are items 27 and 30, concerning water works and higher education. All matters most closely concerned with the day-to-day life of parents and children in Africa and I was most happy today to hear the Secretary of State tell us about this matter of higher education being multi-racial.
It is a wonderful thing, but I would plead with the right hon. Gentleman to use his best efforts to influence his colleagues out there in the matter of secondary education as well. At schools like St. Joseph's Convent, at Dar-es-Salaam, there are mixed races, and it is quite possible to have at secondary school level, whites and blacks together in school, certainly from the ages of 15, 16 or 17 ownards.
484 I would also ask the Secretary of State about trade unions, and, particularly, the item about federal trade unions, which, I understand, was safeguarded when the Australians received their Federal Constitution, but which, as far as I know has not been done here. There has been no further clarification regarding federal trade unions, though it is stated in the Report that legislation on the unions and upon industrial conciliation remains a Territorial matter.
What is to happen if, shall we say, a well educated senior official, African, of course, in the Northern Rhodesian posts and telegraphs goes to work in Salisbury? I do not know whether the Whitley Council might discuss it. but that Northern Rhodesian African cannot join up with his Southern Rhodesian kinsfolk in joining a federal union. I would ask the Secretary of State, or whoever will wind up the debate, to give us some assurances about these Northern Rhodesians or Nyasalanders who go into Southern Rhodesia, where there are no legal trade unions.
Lastly, may I reinforce the plea of my right hon. Friend the Member for Smeth-wick in this matter of having concrete evidence and facts and deeds before us in the coming months which will give some measure of reassurance to the Africans? I think it was the right hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) who said that by their deeds we shall know them, and I beg of the Secretary of State that he will use all the powers he can to suggest legislation out there in this matter of the colour bar. I know that legislation will not eliminate the colour bar, but it certainly will set national standards out there by which the people must live.
This new federal government should not give public funds to any schools which are not multi-racial. I also suggest that the Secretary of State should not have any public funds given to hospitals which are not multi-racial. Civil Service posts should be open to competition all over this new federal State. Although the right hon. Gentleman may not be able to do this officially, he might also intimate to white European officials out there that it would not be a good thing if they became members, or remained members, of one-race clubs and that they should mix much more 485 in clubs with a multi-racial clientele. Racial discrimination should be made illegal.
It is a disgrace to British people that all these things persist as they do. They merely encourage in the African mind the suspicion that the Britisher is indulging in hypocrisy when he talks about equality, partnership and the implementation of new ideas. We on this side of the House originally put forward the Federation scheme, but we always said that we would consult the Africans and that we would not implement it without their consent.
§ Mr. Johnson
That is why we on this side boggle at this imposition upon the African people. There is a heavy burden upon the white populations of Africa at this moment. The White Man's Burden in capital letters is now in actual being and I find it difficult to speculate upon the judgment of history on what will happen in the coming months or years.
I oppose this imposition because when I look at the behaviour of Europeans in the Union and in Kenya and many parts of Central Africa I sincerely believe that the white population in that environment have not the moral stamina to safeguard the interests of the African people at the moment. In saying that I am choosing my words carefully.
I plead therefore for some delay until the Africans are more capable of standing on their own feet, until they feel less suspicious of this federation scheme and until they can hold their own in a future multi-racial State in South Africa.
§ 8.44 p.m.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North)
If the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) will forgive me I shall not attempt to follow him too far owing to lack of time. I cannot agree with him that it was the view put forward from the start by the Labour Party that they would not bring in federation without the consent of Africans as a whole. I understood that they would introduce federation only on the basis of consultation. I always assumed that I was correct in taking that as the view of the Labour Party.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
Perhaps I went too far. What I thought I said, or what I intended to say, was that we support this federation scheme, that we were in favour of federation, and that we would have consultations with the Africans, but we had reservations about imposition without the consent and co-operation of Africans themselves.
§ Mr. Harris
I always assumed that the view which I have just stated was the view of the Labour Party, but I shall not take that argument too far now.
As to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, I think that the reference he made to the university was one that brought pleasure to all of us, and particularly the reference to its basis being that all races should be on equal terms. On Monday the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) said that if the Colonial Secretary would only make a statement of that kind the right hon. Gentleman would certainly satisfy him. Having seen some of the battles involving the hon. Member for Dudley, I am glad to learn that at last he is satisfied. The university is, of course, one of the practical benefits that will arise from federation itself. It is one of which we must all be very pleased.
The right hon. Member for Waltham-stow, West (Mr. Attlee), in his very excellent speech which interested us all, referred to his information that the chiefs were hardening against federation. That is not the view received by many of us on this side of the House, and I doubt whether it is correct to say that. Even so, any delay caused by some of the intentions of the Labour Party in this matter would only bring about further hardening of the views of the chiefs.
Reference was made by the same right hon. Gentleman and by the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) to the desire to break down certain elements of the colour bar. I agree with them very fully, as did the hon. Member for Rugby when he made his point. All of us hope that steps can be taken more quickly in that direction.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
Would the hon. Member support an Amendment to that effect?
§ Mr. Harris
It would depend entirely upon the Amendment. I can assure the hon. Member that that is my very sincere view, but I would like to see what the Amendment was.
The atmosphere of this debate has been encouraging to all of us, particularly at this late stage. I am sorry that the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. J. Dugdale) did not quite enter into that spirit and atmosphere. Unfortunately, his words sometimes have repercussions in Central Africa and in Africa as a whole, and I hope sometimes he might reconsider more carefully the views he endeavours to put over so strongly. We must bear in mind that there are very good people in Africa who have done a great deal to help the Africans.
§ Mr. Harris
I confess that the right hon. Gentleman always conveys the impression to me that there is nobody who is good in Africa among the white settlers. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] That was a fair comment on the views which I have always assumed to be given expression to by the right hon. Gentleman.
My interest is with East Africa rather than with Central Africa. Nevertheless, the issues arising in Central African Federation are closely connected with and will certainly have a strong bearing on the problems of East Africa. I recall the words of Sir Philip Mitchell, a former Governor of Kenya, who forecast that the countries of East Africa would ultimately unite in federation. He may be correct in that prophecy. All of us therefore hope very sincerely that the federation of Central Africa will prove to be the success that we wish. It has been said on many occasions that these three Territories cannot live in isolation; nothing could be more true than that statement. We have also heard of the economic benefits of federation.
What are we trying to achieve by Central African Federation? Those who wish for federation are trying to enlarge and strengthen that part of the Empire which, because of lack of co-ordination, is at the present moment a comparatively unimportant part of the world. They want to see in the Central African Ter- 488 ritories more population and the area become more highly developed, so that the immense natural resources in that part of our Empire can be realised for the benefit of all mankind.
Looking back into history, it is fair to say that as the British Empire has progressed it has adapted itself to the ever-altering circumstances, and where the Colonies, in particular, have started off in a small way it has only been by a process of joining these Territories together that co-operation has brought about the Dominions of which we are all so proud. It cannot be suggested that these changes will not continue. We are even now seeing the truth of that statement in the case of the coming federation of the British West Indies.
When we try to bring these Territories together considerable difficulties are bound to arise with people having such varied views. From what I have seen and learned I firmly believe that it is only with European guidance that the African, generally, will go forward. He needs European leadership and the benefit of the teaching of the skilled European immigrants.
This scheme envisages the creation of a contented, prosperous and progressive African community having, at the same time, the benefit of European leadership. Those who envisage self-government for the black Africans as only a future possibility are the greatest enemies of the happy, successful and prosperous future that may lie ahead. Those who have studied the African problems recognise that Europeans and Africans, as people, must be complementary in development if this community is going to prosper. We must go forward in partnership, but we must also recognise that European leadership plays a vital role, and will continue to do so for some years to come.
Many people have suggested that the scheme does not give sufficient safeguards to the Africans. In my own contacts with Europeans in Africa I have found that they have gone out of their way to help black Africans whenever they possibly can. This federal scheme is no exception to that general attitude. It is the opinion of our Government that the scheme provides the fullest safeguards for African interests, and having studied it carefully I feel that that is a correct statement of the position.
489 The main concern of the black Africans has always been for the security of tenure of their lands. In this respect I submit that the scheme provides them with exactly the same security as they enjoy at present. We are told that African opinion is against this scheme. I am one to those who, from personal contact with the Africans, feel that it is quite unrealistic to pretend that it is possible to consult large numbers of black Africans at present in order to get their considered opinion whether they are for or against the details of such a complicated scheme as federation.
Anyone who know the Territories intimately realise that it is quite unreal to suggest that many Africans have been able to come to conclusions about this scheme, based on considered detailed proposals. Views have been expressed by certain individual Africans—many of them rather short-sighted—who, in some cases, do not want to realise the long-term benefits that federation will bring. Furthermore, some of them visualise an Africa dominated by blacks. They feel that federation would not help them in their personal ambitions.
In the past the Africans have looked to our Government to advise them as to what is best for their future. As this House has decided that federation is right for the future prosperity of Central Africa, and I do not think there is any real dispute in principle between the two sides of the House on that point, I maintain that it is the responsibility of this House to put the decision into effect so that we may, in the long run, prove by deeds the benefits that the black Africans will receive through federation.
The African himself did not ask our people in the first place to go to Africa. Our pioneers went there, as the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) reminded us, and under the leadership of those pioneers the Territories have gradually been developed until the present day. In the same way as our forefathers were prepared to give that leadership our present House of Commons should be prepared to continue to give that leadership.
Do not let us deny the fact, that we have seen in Kenya, for instance, that when we try to get the views of certain Africans there are those who by threats and physical action are prepared to try 490 to influence the views that Africans themselves wish to express. Those who know Africa cannot deny that certain African leaders, particularly in the towns, and even under African chiefs, are often influenced in this matter. Threats have been used to induce the black African population not to accept federation.
I agree with what many of my hon. Friends have said, that it is not correct to say that all Africans would be opposed to federation if they knew the facts about it. If I had time I could give evidence of that. Certainly some of the African leaders who are trying to influence uninformed African opinion wish to reject federation, but there are others who are bound to say that all these three Territories cannot continue to live in isolation. I have studied the facts carefully, and I am quite convinced myself that there has not been any lack of endeavour on the part of the Government or the Europeans in the three Territories to try to explain federation and all that it means to the Africans.
It is indeed unfortunate that there may be a feeling in Central Africa that we in this House, the people of this country, are not really united behind the general proposals for Central African Federation. Anyone who has studied the matter knows that federation means nothing but partnership, a partnership of the Territories and of all the peoples. It is only in that way that Central Africa will be able to go ahead and play is part prosperously in the world. It is vital that we should not start federation by creating any dissention, that we should start by trying to assist wherever we possibly can, remembering what this means to all the peoples of all the races in Central Africa and, no doubt, eventually to East Africa and to the African continent as a whole.
I know how the lives of our people in the Empire are closely affected by arguments in this House. I have always sincerely hoped that colonial affairs could be kept above party politics. It would indeed be unfortunate if it were felt that there was any major difference of opinion between the two main parties in this House about Central African Federation. After all, it was originally the idea of the Socialist Party, and we have gone on to implement those proposals. Arguments on detail have followed, but these 491 arguments are over and Central African Federation is due to be implemented. Let us all combine in trying to make it a success beyond any doubt.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
As the Secretary of State indicated in his opening speech today this is the sixth debate that we have had upon this question during the last two years. I feel that I am under an obligation to the House to ask for its indulgence, because they are about to listen to the sixth speech I have made upon this subject.
May I begin by offering my welcome, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Attlee) did, to two announcements made by the Secretary of State at the beginning of this debate. First, although it is still subject to whatever the Federal Government and Federal Parliament may decide, some of the leaders in Central Africa have indicated that it is their desire and determination to make the university which is to be established in Central Africa a multiracial university. We welcome that whole-heartedly. Secondly, may I join him in commending the action of the company to which he referred which has written to its European employees through the European Mineworkers' Union to seek their agreement to a round table conference in order to settle this problem of the industrial colour bar in the Copper Belt.
As hon. Gentlemen well know, I used whatever influence I had with my own trade union, the National Union of Mine-workers, to invite to this country representatives of both the European and the African Mineworkers' Union so that we might be able to begin to bring about a better understanding between two trade unions representing miners, working in the same mines, but one having an agreement which provides a barrier to the advancement of the other. I hope that the invitation which has been sent out will be accepted by the European Mine-workers' Union and that a conference will follow, and that out of this there will come an agreement between the miners, irrespective of their colour, to establish a new solidarity and a new understanding.
I do not propose to deploy the arguments that have been deployed before, 492 but I would reaffirm what has been my view from the very beginning—that the closer association of these three Territories in a political federation could have two very great advantages. First of all, when we think of economic development in these Territories we must realise that economic development means not only the provision of new capital and the provision of new material resources, because economic development does not take place in a vacuum. It depends, in the last analysis, upon the men who use the machines, who hew the coal and extract the copper.
Let all of us remember that there is no economic development possible for these Territories without African labour and African help. Indeed—and the right hon. Gentleman knows it is true—the Copper Belt would stop tomorrow if the African stopped working. We have to realise, therefore, that economic development, if it is to succeed, as we hope it will, depends upon the mood and attitude of the Africans towards it as much as anything else. If we had a sullen, resentful African population, economic development would be retarded.
Secondly, the political advantage of linking these two countries together, so it was urged upon me and I see the force of it, has its implications as well in that it is desirable and necessary to provide in Central Africa a territory which would look to this country for its inspiration and its leadership in its political development; in other words, a barrier to what is happening further south. There can only be such a barrier if the racial policy pursued in those territories stands out in sharp and complete contrast to the racial policy being pursued further south. For this reason we began the discussion of the problem and consideration of the proposals and, as the Secretary of State has said, we have discussed them on six occasions.
I do not propose this evening to discuss the Bill in detail. I want to say a word about our further consideration of it. It is a short Bill, but there is a lot in it. It is an enabling Bill. When it has received the Royal Assent there will be only one further stage in this House and that will be consideration of the Order in Council embodying the constitution of the new Federation. When the affirmative Resolution comes before both Houses for approval or disapproval, all we can then 493 do is to debate it and vote for or against it. Today's debate provides us with one opportunity of considering some of the details of the Bill, which are of immense importance, upon the Second Reading, on which we shall divide tonight.
I hope that, in consultation with the Leader of the House, the Secretary of State will arrange for us to have ample opportunity to discuss the Bill in Committee. I hope that suggestion will commend itself to both sides of the House. It seems to me the Bill is eminently of the kind which can best be considered in a Standing Committee, for there are so many details and they are of such enormous importance. There are many changes of all kinds which we have to make in existing legislation and ordinances and we owe it to ourselves and to the people of Africa to study in very great detail the Bill and its implications and the changes which it enables Parliament to make.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
Might I be sure about this before I discuss it with my right hon. Friend? I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should suggest that on a Measure which, on his own admission, covers such a wide field we should limit the number of hon. Members who can address themselves to the details. However, I will put his suggestion to my right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I have made the recommendation that the Bill should go to a Standing Committee because we have seen just recently what can happen to a Bill which is committed to a Committee of the whole House. Drawing on our recent experience, I felt that that was advisable. I am offering my own suggestion that it is desirable that the Bill should be referred to a Standing Committee, and I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has undertaken to discuss the matter with the Leader of the House.
There are two major matters which we have to decide tonight. One is whether we approve or disapprove the scheme embodied in the White Paper. If we vote for the Second Reading we approve the scheme as it stands in the White Paper. The second matter that we have to decide is whether we approve or disapprove the action of the Government in proceeding with the proposal at this stage notwithstanding the opposition to the 494 scheme in Central Africa. It is to these two matters that I wish to devote myself.
I would begin consideration of this scheme by a few words about policy in multi-racial communities. I am sure that the Secretary of State and anyone else who has held the high office which he holds now, looking over the whole field of the British Commonwealth and Empire, would agree that this problem of the future of the multi-racial communities is the most difficult, most complex, and, at the same time, the most important that faces us anywhere. I believe we ought to get clear what is the policy we are to pursue in these multi-racial communities, because we generally find that in these communities there is an indigenous population in varying stages of development, but all of them at a lower stage of development than the immigrant population who have settled there.
The major problem that concerns us is the relationship between whites and blacks in Africa. We get it in various forms and various colours in other parts. We have it in Kenya, in Tanganyika, and in Central Africa. The British Commonwealth now offers the last chance for a decent settlement of one of the world's most urgent problems. In Africa, there is only this chance; elsewhere, I believe that the chance has been lost.
When we have two peoples at different levels of development it is inevitable that in the transition stage the partnership between them should be that of a junior and a senior partner. For obvious reasons, the senior partner is the white partner and the junior partner is the black partner. In those circumstances, what are our obligations and our duties? The essence of colonial government is that we have special responsibility towards the weaker partner. We must recognise the contribution the other makes, but unless we recognise that we have such a special responsibility to the weaker partner and that we ought not to surrender it to anybody else, then we are fundamentally giving up the central responsibility of a Colonial Power.
Secondly, we must insure that the weaker partner gets the fullest opportunity of development, economically, socially, and politically. During this transition period, when there is a stronger 495 and a weaker partner, it is essential that ultimate authority must rest with Her Majesty's Government in this country until we have established a position in which equality between the races has been placed on a sound footing. That is the test to which we have to apply to every colonial Constitution, and it is one that we must apply here.
Here is my first reason why I am joining my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition—whose opening speech this afternoon we on this side of the House greatly welcome, and I am particularly grateful that he intervened in this debate and gave us the benefit of his ripe wisdom and experience—in saying that we cannot vote for the Second Reading. I believe that the scheme now before us has been so changed that the safeguards are weakened not only in Central Africa, but the safeguards to be given to Her Majesty's Government have been weakened as well.
Let us see what has happened. I will go over them shortly, and we can discuss them in detail again. Originally, it was proposed that there should be in the Executive a Minister responsible to the Secretary of State. I should like to say in a few words why it was important that there should be a Minister who would be held responsible within the Cabinet for the safeguarding of African interests, and who would be answerable to the Secretary of State.
I will tell the right hon. Gentleman why I believe that concentrating upon personal responsibility to a Minister is of great importance in the context of the Africa of today. It is because paper safeguards in Africa are debased currency. Who trusts them in Africa any longer? Does anybody here trust them now, having regard to the way in which even entrenched Clauses have been removed? Therefore, I believed it was essential that there should be a personal responsibility to the Secretary of State. A change was made and the Minister disappeared. That was the first change.
The second change that was made was in the authority and powers of the African Affairs Board by the substitution of one word for another. I remember that when in a previous debate I emphasised that the change from "detrimental" to 496 "differential" was important, I was told that I was pedantic. I want to give one example of what may happen in the future and to make an appeal to the Government.
One of the first great and important tasks of the Federal Parliament will be to discuss, and eventually to adopt, a Federal electoral law for the inhabitants of this new Federation. Suppose the Federal Parliament decides to lay down an income test for the franchise, and suppose it says that no one can have the franchise unless he or she has an income of £250 per annum? They will lay that down for everyone. It will say that a European must have £250 income per annum; it will say that an African must have £250 income per annum. It will not be differential between Europeans and Africans, but who can deny that it will be detrimental to Africans because of their economic conditions? In my view, therefore, these two changes have weakened the safeguards and weakened the hold of Her Majesty's Government, because now there is no person whom Ministers can hold responsible for seeing that the safeguards are adequately carried out, not only in the letter but in the spirit as well.
There is a new provision which I hope we shall have an opportunity of discussing later in greater detail. That is the provision made on the future amendment of the Constitution. At this stage it is inevitable—I accept it—that there should be a stronger partner and a weaker partner and that there should be disparity between the legislative councils and the executive councils. But that disparity should get smaller and smaller and they should reach out towards equality. It is important that the Government and Parliament of this country should have the authority to ensure that the political advancement of the African people is permitted to develop progressively.
Now I come to the review. It is true that the Constitution provides that within no fewer than seven and no more than nine years after the date it comes into operation there shall be a review. There will be a conference of the Governments, of Her Majesty's Government, of the Federal Government, and of the other Governments in Central Africa. If they can agree upon changes in the Federal Constitution, including changes in its 497 racial composition, very well. Those changes can be put into operation because they are agreed.
Let us assume, however, that there is a dispute between Her Majesty's Government and the Governments in Central Africa. Let us assume that we think that African representation ought to be not only increased, but proportionately increased to European representation. Suppose that is not accepted in Central Africa. I ask hon. Members to bear in mind that we are giving a Second Reading to the policy of the White Paper this evening. Once we agree to this and it becomes the constitution in operation, when the review takes place in seven, eight, or nine years' time any change in the racial composition of the Federal Legislature will be conditional on the existing Federal Parliament having a two-thirds majority.
I say, therefore, that we are here surrendering, except by agreement with the others, our authority and our right and in my view our duty is to ensure that there is a progressive political development of the African people. For those reasons the changes, which, I think, are of very great importance, so weaken the safeguards and so impair the authority of Her Majesty's Government to keep under review and under their authority this future Federal Government that I could not agree to the Bill being given a Second Reading.
I come to another matter, and the Secretary of State was right in saying that it is the major question. Are we to go on with the scheme in the face of African opposition? I wish to make my position clear on this point. When I made the first statement in November, 1950, and again when I made the second statement in June, 1951, I said that we would consult African opinion and, having consulted it, we would take it fully into account.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) dealt with one aspect of this matter this evening. The words which I used, I used on advice. This is not the first time they have been used and I expect it is not the last time they will be used. We have said that on these matters that we shall consult African opinion, that we shall take it fully into account. What is important about this stage is that so far 498 as I know this is the first time that the meaning we attach to those words has been put to the test. I beg hon. Members to realise what they mean. None of us has said that in any of these matters any change of this kind is conditional on the consent of everyone, but we used this phrase. My right hon. Friend dealt with one aspect. Let us remember that this is exactly the phrase we used about the Protectorates in the South, that when we are asked to transfer them to another authority we shall consult the opinion of the Africans and take their opinion fully into account.
African opinion has been consulted. We know what it is. There can be no dispute about that now. I regret very much that the opportunity for further testing it was rejected on Monday, when we put forward our proposals. They were put forward quite sincerely. It was a reply to the Petition that they should be heard. This House should have said, "We will listen to them, hear them, and sift their evidence. We will test their opinion; we will take it into account." If African opinion is changing there is all the more reason why our Motion should have been accepted on Monday, because that would have been revealed.
I consulted that opinion, and took it into account. There was then universal opposition; there is still. I beg the House to realise what we are sending out as a message to Africa and elsewhere. My hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) quoted an article in a South African newspaper indicating that one of their leading men had said that if this is what we mean by consulting and taking into account native opinion, this is the interpretation that they would expect us to put upon the phrase sometime when they ask for the transfer of the Protectorates. I pledged myself. I know that hon. Members opposite think that I was wrong and made a mistake. They are entitled to think that. But I said to the House that I would take fully into account and, taking fully into account, I have come to the conclusion that I could not vote for the Second Reading of this Bill.
Someone said the other day that the great continent of Africa is now the only uncommitted continent in the world. 499 Spreading through Africa and everywhere is the growth of what, for lack of a better name, we call nationalism—the revolt against a dependent status, reaching out towards national consciousness, conscious that they are Africans. They are still there. They have still got their tribal loyalties, as we have in this country; but believe me, no one can go to Africa without being conscious that there is emerging and growing rapidly a new dynamic force, a consciousness that they are not only Ibos, Yorubas and Kikuyu, but Africans. They are singing of their Motherland. This nationalism is developing. Look at the history of this kingdom; look at the history of Europe and of the world. Let us learn the lesson of history.
There are two attitudes that we can take. We can seek to thwart this nationalism and drive it back. I commend hon. Members to read the articles in "The Times" yesterday and today. Let me quote from memory one sentence which said that at present in Africa, where there are white communities and black peoples, the white people hold the keys to power. In the end, it says, if there is a conflict the Africans will win. Who wants a conflict? Who wants the Africans to win or the white people to win? We have a very great chance indeed—the last chance—of saying that we can build a multi-racial democracy based on racial unity and racial equality.
I wish that I could vote for this scheme, but I cannot. I have given the reasons why. If, in spite of everything, the scheme goes through in its present form, I can only hope that in Central Africa there will be found among white people and black people men, and women, too, who will come together and realise that if they allow the situation to develop into a conflict for racial supremacy they will all lose; Africa will lose. For reasons that I have already indicated, I shall ask my hon. Friends to vote against the Second Reading. Having said that, let me add that if the Bill goes through this will be a challenge to all the people in Africa. I hope that they will be equal to the challenge.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) has referred to a chance to create a multiracial society. We believe that federation will provide that chance; and I propose in the few minutes at my disposal to give the House some reasons why we believe that federation will provide this great chance of creating a multi-racial society.
The two outstanding events in this debate have been the announcements by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies about the university and about the action to be taken with regard to the colour bar in the Copper Belt in Northern Rhodesia. Hon. Members on both sides of the House have united in wishing well to both these movements and commending both actions. Another outstanding event was the hope expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly, and the pledge given by him and by the Leader of the Opposition, that if this scheme goes through everyone will work to make it a success. It is in the best traditions of our Parliamentary democracy, that in the case of a big issue such as this, which affects the lives of millions of people overseas, we shall seek to make it a success once the scheme has been approved.
The Leader of the Opposition opposed this Bill and asked his hon. Friends to vote against it on the ground that he was anxious that the introduction of this scheme should be delayed. One of his points was that the safeguards for the Africans had been whittled down. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly also spoke in that way. Let me first deal with what is, so to speak, the negative aspect of this criticism. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly said there were three aspects of the safeguards which, in his view, had been weakened; that Clauses have been introduced which were positively harmful from that point of view.
The first was the "cuckoo Minister.' The argument of the right hon. Gentleman was that he wanted a Minister in the Federation Cabinet responsible for African affairs and responsible to the Secretary of State. I will not set out all the arguments in detail, because we have. 501 avoided that in this debate, but I would remind the House that the existence of this "cuckoo Minister" has been described by my right hon. Friend as a complete constitutional travesty and abnormality. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), who has often been quoted in this connection, said it was quite unworkable.
§ Mr. Dugdale indicated assent.
§ Mr. Foster
I see the right hon. Gentleman nods his head. The quotation is probably in the minds of all of us. The view of Her Majesty's Government on the abolition of the "cuckoo Minister" is that it is an improvement in the safeguards for the Africans. Far from agreeing with the right hon. Gentleman that it weakens the safeguards, in our view it increases them, because it means that the Federation Cabinet will work in a more constitutional way and will not have this extraneous Minister, who is not supposed to resign or change if the political complex changes, and whose function would be both anomalous and ineffective.
The second point taken by the right hon. Gentleman was the old debate on the word "differentiating." I hope that tonight I shall be allowed to develop this argument. In the four speeches I have made previously I have never been allowed to get out more than 10 consecutive words on the subject—[Interruption.] I appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite, and especially to the hon. Member for Welling-borough (Mr. Lindgren) who has been responsible for interrupting me and for putting me off my stride. Perhaps I am easily put off my stride and that is why he does it. I should like to be allowed to develop this argument for the first time but in the fifth speech I am making on federation.
The right hon. Member for Llanelly argued that by altering the word "detrimental "to" differentiating" we have weakened the safeguard, and he gave an instance of something which would be detrimental without being differentiating. I think I have stated his argument fairly. I humbly believe this point to be misconceived because, under the scheme, a differentiating Measure is defined as a Measure which is disadvantageous to Africans or will be disadvantageous in its practical effect. I assume that the House 502 will be with me when I say that the word "disadvantageous "and the word" detrimental" are equal and synonymous; I think that must be so.
What the present scheme does—and we think it is a drafting improvement —is exactly what the right hon. Gentleman wants; but it does it more effectively in law. It says that where there is a Measure which is differentiating and which fulfils the conditions of the example which the right hon. Gentleman gave— namely, it applies equally to Africans and to Europeans—but, owing to conditions outside, in its practical effect it is detrimental or disadvantageous—the word used in the scheme is "disadvantageous" —then the African Affairs Board enter on their functions.
§ Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas (Leicester, North-East)
Would the hon. and learned Gentleman mind reading the definition? If he is relying upon the words of the definition it is important to have them.
§ Mr. Foster
I had hoped that the House would follow what I have said. It always sounds rather dull in legalese, It 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.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
What about the case of the 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.
§ Mr. Foster
It is quite clear that the qualifying wordswhich will in its practical application have such an effectdo apply to the substance of such a Bill. The property qualification affects both Europeans and Africans but it would have "disabilities disadvantageous" to the Africans. In other words, the provision means exactly what the right hon. and learned Gentleman sought in his example; if we have a property qualifi- 503 cation of £x, it applies equally to Africans and Europeans, but if there are conditons—namely, that most Africans do not have as much money as Europeans—which make it disadvantageous to Africans, then this proposal comes into effect.
There is nothing in this point. If I am right, hon. Members opposite should agree that there is nothing in it. If I am wrong in what I say, then I will agree that there is something in their point; but I hope that for the first time they understand what I have been trying to say. In my submission it is quite clear from the legal language that the practical effect does not mean a qualification of £200. It means that where the practical effect of the substance of the Bill is to impose disadvantages on the Africans, which on the face of it would not exist, this provision is applied. That is my submission, and I think that perhaps I have shaken the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Foster
Those were the first two points which the right hon. Gentleman made, when he said that we had introduced alterations or new Clauses which were not safeguards for the Africans.
The third point to which he alluded was the review, and his argument there was that the review Clause, which comes at the end of the draft Federal Scheme, was worded in such a way that, unless all four Governments agreed, the political advancement of the Africans would not be possible. We do not change from that position; and we would regard it as quite improper and not in accordance with the whole scheme, idea and principle of federation, if it was provided that, if the Governments disagreed, the United Kingdom could impose upon those Governments certain provisions which would tend to give either Africans or Europeans certain advantages or restrictions which were not agreed to by the other Governments.
On that we are entirely at issue with the right hon. Gentleman, but I want the House to understand what the issue is. The right hon. Gentleman is saying that, 504 if it came about at the review after seven or nine years that there was a difference between Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and any one or all of these Governments, the United Kingdom should be entitled to impose their own view on these other three Governments, presumably by Act of Parliament.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The hon. and learned Gentleman is referring to consultation between Governments, but the Constitution provides that, even if the four Governments agree it would not come into being unless a two-thirds majority of the Federal Parliament, as set up under this scheme, is obtained.
§ Mr. Foster
That is not so. As I see it, the review Clause is for the four Governments to decide on what alterations in the Constitution there should be. The four Governments are, so to speak, looking at the Constitution from outside, and trying to decide between themselves by agreement which of the clauses of the Constitution should be altered or not, and, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman is not correct in saying that the review Clause is itself subject to a two-thirds majority in the Legislature
It may be that the expression "with the consent of the Governments" may be subject to whatever rules they have made. I agree on that, but, from the point of view of the review Clause, all these four Governments are outside the Constitution, are looking at it from the outside and are deciding whether by agreement they can reach this concord as to the alterations in the provisions of the Constitution. [Interruption.] I find it difficult to speak when the hon. and learned Gentleman keeps muttering.
§ Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas
Of course, the Central African Government will have a majority in the Central African Federation. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman contemplate that, by Act of Parliament in this country, we should carry out what the four Governments had agreed without a two-thirds majority in the Central African Federation? That is the first point. The second point, which is the practical point, is that, of course, the Central African Federation Government will not agree without having such a majority in the Central African Federation.
§ Mr. Foster
I do not think the last point is true. There is no evidence to indicate that. On the first point, I agree that, if all the four Governments agreed, something involving a necessary United Kingdom Act will eventuate. [Interruption.] I do hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will not interrupt too much. I have listened to the debate for seven hours today, and nobody has been interrupted until this moment. It is very difficult to deal with interruptions all round, and I seem to be the unfortunate victim every time I get up on this well-worn subject.
Now for the positive side. I said that I would deal first with the negative aspect of the right hon. Gentleman's objections to our safeguards, when he was saying that what we were doing was weakening rather than strengthening them—I have dealt, firstly, with the question of the "cuckoo Minister" and, secondly with the question of differentiation. Thirdly, the safeguards have also been strengthened, by the freezing of the Legislative List, to which my right hon. Friend alluded in such detail in the last debate but one. and, fourthly, by the Clause relating to lands.
It may not be within the recollection of the House that whilst there was already a very strong safeguard about lands in the scheme as originally proposed in the conference in April, 1952, as a result of the last conference of January, 1953, the new scheme has yet a further Clause. It was not really legally necessary, but it was designed to give confidence to the Africans by providing that the federal subjects should not be used to acquire land indiscriminately on the pretext that these federal subjects, for instance, required the whole land of the Colony in order to satisfy the item about immigration. Therefore, on the first part of the case made by the Leader of the Opposition and his right hon. Friend about safeguards, we argue that those safeguards have been strengthened for the reasons which I have just given.
The second main objection made by the two right hon. Gentlemen was the matter of African opposition. There again we will not set out the arguments in detail. The Leader of the Opposition stated that the African was anxious to give his views and he regretted the fact that the African had not been allowed to produce his 506 opposition to the scheme. The right hon. Gentleman quite fairly added that he understood the arguments about the opportunities which had been given to the African at the conferences and so on.
Summarising what was said in the debate last Monday, the view of Her Majesty's Government is that not only have the Africans been given a full opportunity but that if we had carried the Motion to which the right hon. Gentleman for Llanelly alluded, it would only have resulted in a number of chiefs who would have nothing to do with federation coming before a Select Committee and saying, "We will not discuss federation. We will have nothing to do with it." That would be no opportunity of testing the views of Africans—views which have been tested in other ways and of which evidence has been brought before this House.
We say that delay in federation would be the negation of the very things of which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly spoke. We believe that federation is the opportunity for Africans and that if we have a delay it would play into the hands of extremists, both black and white. The extremists which the Leader of the Opposition mentioned in his article would increase in stature. We believe that both sides would feel that they had scored a victory and that the bad aspects of African nationalism would be increased. I pray in aid the right hon. Gentleman's article in which he described those in favour of federation as liberal persons who looked ahead.
It seems to us that the two very important announcements made by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary are already the first fruits of federation. The opportunity of creating a multi-racial university is already the result of the fact that federation is on its way. There is the same thing with the European mine-workers.
Let us look at the other opportunities of political advancement in federation. In Southern Rhodesia, for the first time, two Africans will become Members of the Parliament, of the Central Legislature. They have not had members so far, and that is a great step forward. In the Northern Territories, the existence of a Common Roll will provide an opportunity for Africans to advance. I 507 believe that the Common Roll is a better solution in the long run than the communal solution for Africans in the Legislative Assembly. It may take some time, and the timing of it is a matter of opinion, but I believe the future is with the Common Roll, which is the great idea of Sir Godfrey Huggins.
I was very glad that both the Leader of the Opposition and the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) paid tributes to the liberal ideas of Sir Godfrey Huggins, and both right hon. Gentlemen drew attention to the article in "The Times" in support of the various points which they brought forward. I would like the House to notice that the writer of that article came down on the side of federation after pointing out the dangers and the responsibilities which we all feel, and the risks which we all agree are being taken. After, if not in the middle of the passage which was quoted by the Leader of the Opposition, the writer said:The importance of Central African Federation is that it gives them one more chance to do this.He was referring to whether African politicians would learn proper politics and could retain the hold over their supporters to do what was necessary even if it was unpopular. That was one part of the argument on which the writer was addressing his plea, and the other was whether the European settlers could realise that, to a large extent, their refusal to recognise realities had made the success of a movement like Mau Mau, and whether they would hence-force listen to their more moderate leaders. Both sides were appealed to by the writer. In the end he came down for federation, on the ground that it would provide more opportunity for advancement.
The right hon. Gentleman alluded to the connection between political and economic advancement. I put it in a slightly different way. I say that the conditions for political advancement are in the Federal Scheme, but there will not be any political advancement unless there is economic advancement. By creating conditions in which a larger amount of capital will be drawn into the area and so provide the lifeblood to improve the economic conditions, the scheme provides 508 means by which the inhabitants of the Territory will be able to advance economically, Europeans and Africans alike. Therefore, given these conditions of economic and political advancement together, federation holds out the best hope for the advancement which both sides of the House want.
Perhaps I may now turn aside to deal with particular points raised by the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) and the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson). The hon. Lady asked the position about education. She will find, if she looks at the distribution of income, that the small sum mentioned in regard to federal education is small because it is nominal and that the education to which she referred is a territorial subject. Perhaps we can go into that further at another time. I suggest that the hon. Lady looks at the question on those lines to see if I am right or wrong.
I am sorry I was absent from the House when the hon. Member for Rugby asked his question. The subject of trade unions, when conciliation as regards the relationship of the Federal employee to the Federal Government is involved, is an exclusive matter for the Federal Legislature.
Going back to the main thread of my argument, we believe that federation provides an opportunity for a great multiracial partnership. On Monday I ended the debate by quoting some words of Sir Godfrey Huggins. I do not think I can do any better now than to quote some different words of his which show that liberal-mindedness—to which right hon. and hon. Members opposite have alluded —is one of his outstanding characteristics. On the eve of the referendum poll he said:Let us show the world that we can create a great multi-racial state where the interest of all is to see that the civilised way of life is a common standard, and where opportunity to advance in the economic and political sphere becomes a common heritage to those who can demonstrate their fitness for such advance, and so be an outstanding example of what our British genius can do.The other quotation is in relation to the African Affairs Board. He said:Some Africans consider that the African Affairs Board and the other safeguards are valueless in the light of what has happened in other places. But do not forget that the 509 safeguards in the Federal Constitution can only be changed with the consent of all parties including the United Kingdom Government.In conclusion, I very much regret that the right hon. Member for Llanelly adduced the argument that if we bring in federation it will provide an argument for the Union Government to found a claim upon the Territories. As I hope hon. Members will read in HANSARD, that argument was answered quite con-
§ clusively and devastatingly by the right hon. Member for Smethwick. I commend this Bill to the House for the reason that it is a great constitutional experiment—an experiment of great imaginativeness and a great tribute to the political good sense of the British people.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 247: Noes, 221.513
|Division No 169.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Fell, A.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Finlay, Graeme||McCallum, Major D.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Fisher, Nigel||MeCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.|
|Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.||Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Ford, Mrs. Patricia||McKibbin, A. J.|
|Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)||Foster, John||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Fraser, Sir lan (Morecambe & Lonsdale)||Maclean, Fitzroy|
|Baker, P. A. D.||Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)||MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)|
|Baldock, L.-Cmdr. J. M.||Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)||Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Garner-Evans, E. R.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)|
|Banks, Col. C.||Godber, J. B.||Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)|
|Barber, Anthony||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.||Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)|
|Baxter, A. B.||Gough, C. F. H.||Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.|
|Beach, Maj. Hicks||Gower, H. R.||Markham, Major S. F.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Graham, Sir Fergus||Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Gridley, Sir Arnold||Marshall, Sir Sidney (Sutton)|
|Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Maude, Angus|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Maydon, Lt,-Comdr. S. L. C.|
|Bennett, William (Woodside)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Medlicott, Brig. F.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Harden, J. R. E.||Mellor, Sir John|
|Birch, Nigel||Hare, Hon. J. H.||Molson, A. H. E.|
|Black, C. W.||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)||Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter|
|Bossom, A. C.||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)||Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)||Hay, John||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)||Heald, Sir Lionel||Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)|
|Browne, Jack (Govan)||Heath, Edward||Noble, Cmdr, A.H.P.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.||Higgs, J. M. C.||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Bullard, D. G.||Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Odey, G. W.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Hirst, Geoffrey||O'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.|
|Campbell, Sir David||Horobin, I. M.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Carr, Robert||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Channon, H.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Osborne, C.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Partridge, E.|
|Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)||Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L.||Hulchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Cole, Norman||Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Colegate, W. A.||Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert||Jones, A. (Hall Green)||Pilkinston, Capt. R. A.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Keeling, Sir Edward||Pitman, I. J.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Kerr, H.W.||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Crouch, R. F.||Lambton, Viscount||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Rayner, Brig. R.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Leather, E. H. C.||Redmayne, M.|
|Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Deedes, W. F.||Lindsay, Martin||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Digby, S. Wingfield||Linstead, H. N.||Roberts, Peter (Heeley)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Llewellyn, D. T.||Robertson, Sir David|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Donner, P. W.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Low, A. R. W.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)||Russell, R. S.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.|
|Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)|
|Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)||Walker-Smith, D. C.|
|Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Studholme, H. G.||Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)|
|Scott, R. Donald||Summers, G. S.||Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)|
|Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Sutcliffe, Sir Harold||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Shepherd, William||Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)||Watkinson, H. A.|
|Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)|
|Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)||Teeling, W.||Wellwood, W.|
|Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)|
|Snadden, W. McN.||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Soames, Capt. C.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)|
|Spearman, A. C. M.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Speir, R. M.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)||Wills, G.|
|Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)||Thornton Kemsley, Col. C. N.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)||Touche, Sir Gordon||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard||Turton, R. H.||York, C.|
|Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Storey, S.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)||Mr. Drewe nd Mr. Kaberry.|
|Acland, Sir Richard||Glanville, James||Mellish, R. J.|
|Adams, Richard||Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)||Messer, F.|
|Albu, A. H.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)||Grey, C. F.||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Monslow, W.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J mes (Llanelly)||Moody, A. S.|
|Baird, J.||Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.|
|Balfour, A.||Hale, Leslie||Morley, R.|
|Bence, C. R.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)|
|Benn, Hon. Wedgwood||Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)|
|Benson, G.||Hamilton, W. W.||Mort, D, L.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hargreaves, A.||Moyle, A.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)||Murray, J. D.|
|Blackburn, F.||Hastings, S.||Nally, W.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hayman, F. H.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Boardman, H.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.|
|Bowen, E. R.||Herbison, Miss M.||O'Brien, T.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Holman, P.||Orbach, M.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)||Oswald, T.|
|Brook, Dryden (Halifax)||Houghton, Douglas||Padley, W. E.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hoy, J. H.||Paget, R. T.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hubbard, T. F.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Burke, W. A.||Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Pannell, Charles|
|Carmichael, J.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Champion, A. J.||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Parker, J.|
|Clunie, J.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Paton, J.|
|Collick, P. H.||Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)||Plummer Sir Leslie|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Popplewell, E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Janner, B.||Porter, G.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)|
|Crosland, C. A. R.||Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Pryde, D. J.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Jones, David (Hartlepool)||Rankin, John|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Reid, William (Camlachie)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Rhodes, H.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Richards, R.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kenyon, C.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Deer, G.||King, Dr. H. M.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Delargy, H. J.||Kinley, J.||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Shackleton, E. A. A.|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Driberg, T. E. N.||Lewis, Arthur||Short, E. W.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)||Lindgren, G. S.||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Edelman, M.||McGhee, H. G.||Silverman, Julius (Erdington)|
|Edwards, John (Brighouse)||McGovern, J.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||McInnes, J.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W)||McLeavy, F.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)|
|Fernyhough, E.||McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Fienburgh, W.||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Finch, H. J.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Foot, M. M.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfieid, E.)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Forman, J. C.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Stross, Dr. Barnett|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Manuel, A. C.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Freeman, John (Watford)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Mason, Roy||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Mayhew, C. P.||Taylor, Rt. Hon Robert (Morpeth)|
|Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)||Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)|
|Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)||Wells, William (Walsall)||Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)|
|Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)||West, D. G.||Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)|
|Thorneycrofl, Harry (Clayton)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Thornton, E.||Wheeldon, W. E.||Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)|
|Timmons, J.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Turner-Samuels, M.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Wyatt, W. L.|
|Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Viant, S. P.||Wigg, George|
|Wallace, H. W.||Wilkins, W. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Watkins, T. E.||Williams, David (Neath)||M. Pearson and|
|Weitzman, D.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)||Mr. Arthur Allen.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Studholme.]
§ Committee upon Monday next.