HC Deb 12 November 1953 vol 520 cc1116-7
8. Mr. Hale

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will make a statement on recent events in the area of the Central African Federation including the emergence of a party committed to a policy of apartheid.

Mr. J. Foster

For a reply to the general part of his Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement on progress in establishing the Federation which I made on 22nd October. It would not be proper for me to comment on the policies of any of the parties contesting the forthcoming elections.

Mr. Hale

Would it not? Will the Under-Secretary bear in mind that it is the policy of the Government, apparently, to take political action where extremist parties of one kind arise, and is there not just as much menace from Fascism as from Communism? Is not a situation arising, from the speeches made yesterday, when a serious position is developing in Northern Rhodesia and one of a kind which would have prevented us giving Federation had it arisen 12 months ago?

Mr. Foster

The parallel does not obtain.

Mr. J. Griffiths

In view of the fact that the policy now being advocated by the Confederate Party is a complete breach of all the pledges made in the House when we discussed Federation, are the Government considering what action they will take in the event of that party winning power?

Mr. Foster

No, Sir.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that all parties in this country agree that Central African Federation would only be justified if the policy of racial partnership became a reality?

Mr. Foster

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Griffiths

Is it, then, the view of the Government that although it was pledged and agreed here that the only policy we would support in Central Africa was one of partnership, the Government do not propose to say anything about the policies now being advocated by this party?

Mr. Foster

No, Sir. The election programme of a party in an independent country must be for that country, and not for Her Majesty's Government, to comment upon.