HC Deb 10 May 1954 vol 527 cc837-8
21. Mr. Alport

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Mr. Burnett, the British representative on the Sudanisation Committee, has withdrawn.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Mr. Burnett has not withdrawn from the Sudanisation Committee. When the Committee proposed to discuss the Sudanisation of the judiciary, the independent position of which is specially safeguarded under the Self-Government Statute, Mr. Burnett expressed the view that this was not a subject within the competence of the Sudanisation Committee, which is concerned with the Sudanisation of Government posts which may affect the free and neutral atmosphere required for self-determination.

When the rest of the Committee persisted in discussing this matter, Mr. Burnett said he could not take part in discussions on this issue. We have informed Mr. Burnett that we approve of his attitude. There can be no doubt the Sudanisation of the judiciary is not within the Committee's terms of reference. The future of the judiciary must depend on arrangements made between the Sudanese Council of Ministers and the judges themselves, subject, of course, to the terms of the Self-Government Statute.

Mr. Alport

Is this view accepted by the Council of Ministers of the Sudanese Government?

Mr. Lloyd

So far as I am aware, that matter has not yet been formally discussed.

Mr. E. Wakefield

What will be the attitude of Her Majesty's Government to decisions of the Sudanisation Committee with regard to the judiciary?

Mr. Lloyd

I have indicated that we regard this matter as ultra vires the Sudanisation Committee and, therefore, do not regard any decisions of that Committee on this subject as of any effect whatever.