HC Deb 15 April 1958 vol 586 cc12-3
10. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the main political parties with whom the Governor of the Gambia is having informal discussions regarding further constitutional advance in that Colony; and what steps he is taking to see that the Gambian people, particularly those in the Protectorate, are aware of any proposals that may eventually be submitted to Her Majesty's Government and will have full facilities for discussion of these proposals.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Governor has invited the leaders of the Muslim Congress, the United and the Democratic Parties to meet him for informal discussions on their proposals for constitutional change. So far, only the Muslim Congress Party has accepted the invitation. The stage for the submission to me of formal proposals has not been reached, but the hon. Member can be certain that the Gambian people, including those in the Protectorate, through their representatives, will be given all proper facilities for discussion.

Mr. Johnson

Would not the Colonial Secretary agree that the Gambians should follow the course of Sierra Leone and soon move into a state whereby the Executive Council becomes a Cabinet, with some elected members at least being Ministers without Portfolio, and gaining apprenticeship in political life?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

One of the lessons I have certainly learnt in the last four years is the danger of assuming that the problems of one territory are exactly the same as those in another.

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