HC Deb 26 February 1957 vol 565 cc1041-2
49. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Prime Minister if he has considered the effect upon Commonwealth opinion of his choice of Bermuda for his meeting with President Eisenhower in view of the widespread racial discrimination practised there; and if he will suggest an alteration of the venue.

50. Mr. M. Stewart

asked the Prime Minister if he will suggest a reconsideration of the venue of Bermuda as a meeting place between himself and President Eisenhower in view of the racial discrimination which is practised in the Colony.

51. Mrs. Castle

asked the Prime Minister in which buildings in Bermuda he is to hold his talks with President Eisenhower next month.

The Prime Minister

Bermuda was selected on the suggestion of President Eisenhower, and well suits the convenience of both sides. I believe that the country and the Commonwealth will be gratified that these meetings are to take place on British soil. I do not propose any alteration in the arrangements. The meetings will take place in the Mid-Ocean Club.

Mr. Robinson

The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the main point of the Question, which has to deal with racial discrimination. Does he not agree that that is an idea which is wholly alien to everything that the Commonwealth stands for, and would he not have been better advised to have chosen almost any other island in the West Indies?

The Prime Minister

I think that the hon. Gentleman is misinformed. I am told that there is no right or privilege controlled by law which is not equally available to all Bermudians.

Mr. Stewart

Will the Prime Minister take the opportunity of his visit to Bermuda to see how far the information which he has received is correct?

The Prime Minister

I am certain that it is correct, but I will be very glad to make sure that it is.

Mr. F. M. Bennett

Is the Prime Minister aware that I know the island extremely well and that I am satisfied that race relations in Bermuda are singularly and exceptionally happy? Is it not rather a shame to try to foment trouble where none exists?