HC Deb 23 June 1954 vol 529 cc412-3
27. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what machinery he has set up for the purpose of discussions with the Governments of Belgium, France and Portugal regarding methods of colonial administration in African territories south of the Sahara.

Mr. Lyttelton

I would refer the hon. Member to Cmd. 9066, which contains the text of the agreement for the establishment of the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara (C.C.T.A.). This agreement was signed in London on 18th January this year.

Mr. Johnson

Is it not a fact that these discussions are mainly meetings of civil servants on purely technical matters? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that hon. Members of this House have something to learn from the methods of other Parliaments in other parts of Africa? Would he not think of something on the lines of a Council of Africa, not quite the same as but on the lines of the Council of Europe, where we could meet back benchers from other Parliaments at Lisbon, Brussels and Paris?

Mr. Lyttelton

I think not. The fact remains that the political set-up of, say, the French African colonies is so widely different from ours that I do not think that any political liaison is at all possible. We have other means besides the one I mentioned of exchanging views constantly over matters of administration.