HC Deb 02 August 1956 vol 557 c1585
34. Mr. Brockway

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what action has been taken by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom under Clauses 27 to 32 of the Letters Patent for the Constitution of Southern Rhodesia and under the instruction to the Governor passed under Royal Sign Manual &c, dated 1st December, 1923, paragraph 6, with regard to discriminatory legislation and amendments to the Land Appointment Act of 1930.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Commander Allan Noble)

Laws passed by the Legislature of Southern Rhodesia which apply to Africans provisions different from those applied to persons of European descent, or which amend the Land Apportionment Act, contain a Section suspending their operation until the Sovereign's pleasure has been signified. The Government of Southern Rhodesia invariably consult the Secretary of State before introducing legislation of this kind and it has never been necessary to advise the exercise of the power of disallowance.

Mr. Brockway

I thank the hon. and gallant Gentleman for that answer. Does it imply that Her Majesty's Government have never found reason to intervene in the cases of racial discrimination and land distribution in Southern Rhodesia?

Commander Noble

The fact that consultations invariably take place before discriminatory legislation is introduced shows that the Southern Rhodesian Government recognise that safeguards still exist. I can assure the House that the procedure for prior consultations between the Southern Rhodesian Government and Her Majesty's Government provides a full safeguard against any legislation which would be injurious to the interests of the African population.