HC Deb 24 February 1954 vol 524 cc399-400
48. Mrs. White

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what protests have been made by representative organisations in Nigeria against the proposed regionalisation of the judiciary and civil service.

Mr. Lyttelton

A protest by the joint committee of the staff sides of the National Whitley Council II, and the National Industrial Whitley Council against the proposed regionalisation of the public service was considered by the Lagos conference. The conference also had before it a memorandum by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in which he drew attention to the objections which he and the other judges saw to the proposals put forward at the London conference for the regionalisation of the judiciary. The conference decided, however, to adhere to the proposals of the London conference on both these matters. The Nigerian Bar Association had also passed a resolution of protest against the proposed regionalisation of the judiciary.

Mrs. White

Is the right hon. Gentleman completely satisfied that members of the public service will be fully protected from any kind of direct or indirect political pressure in regions where one political party is very much in the ascendancy?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Lady says "the public service," which is not in the Question. If she meant the judiciary, it is equally true that although they are regionalised they are completely insulated from any political influence. I would draw attention to the fact that the smallest region in Nigeria is about as large as the largest Colony elsewhere. Both the public service and the judiciary are completely insulated from political influence.