HC Deb 23 February 1955 vol 537 c1269
33. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement explaining the delay in the implementation of the federation of the West Indies, indicating, in particular, what obstacles now remain to be overcome.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

I outlined the next steps in my statement on 2nd February. These could not be taken until all the legislatures concerned had accepted the federal plan in general.

Mr. Hughes

Is it a fact that a conference on this subject will take place next week, and, if that is so, can the Minister say what the agenda will be, who will attend, which Colonies will attend and who the representatives will be?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

There has already been an announcement to the effect that my noble Friend Lord Lloyd, the Undersecretary of State, who is at the moment in the West Indies, will be presiding over the conference on the control of movement of persons between member territories of the proposed federation, and this conference, which will open in Trinidad on 13th March and will last until 18th March, will deal with a very important aspect of the proposed federal plan.

Mr. Alport

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether British Guiana and British Honduras will be represented, at any rate by observers, at this conference?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As the announcement made clear, this conference is at this stage limited to proposed members of the federation. As to later accessions to the federation, I dealt with that point in the statement which I made on 2nd February.