HC Deb 24 October 1956 vol 558 cc628-9
26. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement regarding the recognition of the independence of the Gold Coast.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I would refer the hon. Member to the dispatches between the Governor of the Gold Coast and myself which were published on 18th September. I have had copies placed in the Library.

Mr. Brockway

Whilst congratulating the right hon. Gentleman on this occasion and, still more, the people of the Gold Coast, may I ask whether it would not be proper that a great constitutional change of this kind should be reported to the House, and there should not merely be dispatches in the Library on a historic occasion when the first African Colony moves towards independence in the Gold Coast? May I also ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will use his influence in the Gold Coast to get the Opposition to accept the Government's proposal for a fifty-fifty conference to smooth out their differences, in order that the Gold Coast may begin independence with agreement?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Whilst thanking the hon. Member for his pleasant references to myself, I must add that I think he has forgotten the statement which I made in the House on 11th May this year envisaging what has in fact developed. As to discussions between the Government and the Opposition, I am glad to say that they have been opened already in the Gold Coast and I hope that they are likely to be conducted well.