§ 6.24 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
When I spoke in the debate on 25th November on the Constitution Amendment Bill of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, I promised, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, that an opportunity would be given to debate the Electoral Bill at an appropriate time. The Bill was passed by the Federal Parliament on 9th January, and, under Section 10 (2) it has been reserved for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure. In addition, the African Affairs Board, under powers conferred on it by Section 75 of the Constitution, has asked that the Bill be reserved, since it is, in the view of the Board, a differentiating Measure. The reasons why the Board, by a majority, came to this opinion, together with the views of the Government of the Federation, have been set out in the White Paper, Cmnd. 362, which was isued last Tuesday. We have placed copies of the Bill itself in the Library also.
In the Bill, the Federal Government have had to make provision for the election of two different categories of members. There are the elected members—I shall call them the ordinary members in the course of my speech—who are the members whose numbers were increased by two-thirds, from 26 to 44, by the Constitution Amendment Act. They form one category. There are then nine out of the fifteen members specially charged with the duty of representing African interests. Of these nine, six are elected African members, two from each Territory, who were added by the Constitution Amendment Act when doubling the number of African members originally provided for in the Constitution. Two of the remaining three are elected African members, and the other one is a specially elected European member, all three coming from Southern Rhodesia and previously elected under Regulations made by the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. Thus, in this second category there are altogether eight elected African members and one specially elected European member for whom the Federal electoral law has to provide in the first instance.
1098 In certain circumstances, as hon. Members know, the numbers could change until, eventually, perhaps, special representation could disappear altogether. We discussed that at length in the debate some weeks ago, but, for the present, the Federal Government must provide for the election of members in both categories.
From what I have already said, hon. Members will realise that fully to grasp the effect of the Bill and the provisions it makes requires a quite considerable intellectual exercise. It is a very important piece of legislation, but a very complicated one. I say in passing that I wonder whether some of the people who have come to hasty judgments upon it or the societies which have sent me and my noble Friend resolutions about it have really mastered all its implications or whether they have not been tempted, perhaps, by one or two easy generalisations, into coming to a conclusion which on a closer examination of the facts—as history will later show, I believe—they would not have reached.
The scheme adopted by the Federal Government after prolonged consideration and consultation, which is now incorporated in the Bill, provides for two common rolls known as the general roll and the special roll. No distinction is made between the races. In fact, to ensure that all Africans can register if qualified in other respects, special provision has been made for British-protected persons from the two Northern Territories. This aspect of the matter is one in which I myself, as do many hon. Members, take a particularly keen interest. When I had the pleasure of a fairly lengthy tour in the Federation during the early part of last year, I found at first hand what I already knew, namely, how passionately attached Africans in the Northern Territories are to their status as British protected subjects. Hon. Members will know how firmly Africans in these Territories cling to this protected status. They are unwilling to become Federal citizens because, if they did, they would then also become British subjects, and if they became British subjects they would cease to be British protected persons. The Bill provides that they can register as voters without becoming Federal citizens and while still remaining British protected persons.
1099 In this way the Federal Government have ensured that both rolls are really open on common terms without any distinction of race. I hope that the House will realise the importance of this and will not dismiss it as a trifle. There are many people in the Federation, as I know well, who feel strongly that all voters should be Federal citizens and that unless a person is prepared to become a Federal citizen he should not be a voter. The Federal Government recognise the need to understand the feelings of a protected person, and they have recognised them as important in the Bill. They have agreed that British protected persons, otherwise qualified, despite the fact that they are not Federal citizens, are entitled to register.
The general roll is designed for the election of the ordinary members, and the qualifications have been set at a level intended to ensure that, as far as practicable, only fully responsible voters can take part in those elections. Two sets of alternative qualifications have been prescribed for the roll, one relating to income or property, and the other to education. Those who can satisfy the highest income qualification, that is £720 a year, are simply required to be literate in English, while those who have completed four years of secondary education can qualify with an income of £300 a year. Then there are certain special cases provided for, so that chiefs and also ministers of religion who have completed a prescribed period of training and service are deemed to satisfy the income qualifications for this roll whatever their own personal remuneration may be.
The Federal Government recognise that at the present stage of social and economic development of the Federation, qualifications maintained at a level appropriate for admission to this general roll are certain not to admit Africans in the numbers which would be reasonably required for the election of members specially representative of African interests. For those elections, therefore, they have provided that voters on the special roll shall join with the voters on the general roll. The special roll is a common roll, but the income and educational qualifications are set lower than they are in the general roll. For the special roll, the income required is £150 1100 a year for those who have simple literacy, while those who have completed two years in a secondary school can qualify with £120 a year.
I am sure that all hon. Members who have followed this carefully will realise that the general and special rolls are mutually exclusive. For example, a man with £1,000 a year cannot be registered on both rolls. He cannot cast two votes in two different capacities in the election of a special member. But a man who has improved his financial position can move from the special roll to the general roll and so gain the right to cast a vote not only for the special representatives but also for an ordinary member. Therefore, with the spread of facilities for education and opportunities for well-paid employment, which are growing all the time and going on now at an ever-increasing tempo, more and more Africans can expect to move from the special roll to the general roll without diminution of their influence in the selection of their special representatives, while more and more should also be able to qualify for the special roll for the first time.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
May we be told what is the literacy test? Do the Commissioners make the test on a special form? We have not yet been told.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations will deal with that point at the close of the debate. I knew that that matter would be raised.
Mrs. Irene White (Flint, East)
Why cannot we have some information now? This is worrying a great many of us. It affects almost everybody.
§ Mrs. White rose—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
My hon. Friend and I must be allowed to conduct the debate somewhat in our own way. I have a great deal to say, and towards the end I am afraid that hon. Members will think that I have gone on for a great deal too long. Every point of interest to hon. Members will be covered, but I must claim the right to make my speech in my own way.
1101 The Bill has been reserved for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure under two separate provisions of the Constitution. In the first place, it is provided by Article 10 that to become law a Bill containing provisions of this nature, dealing among other things with qualifications for registration as a voter, requires the votes of two-thirds of the whole Federal Assembly, and a Bill which receives the requisite majority, as this Bill did on 9th January, shall he reserved. Therefore, the Bill would have been reserved in any case. The Bill would have had to be considered by my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations in any event.
The Constitution also provides a procedure whereby the African Affairs Board can ensure that any Bill which is in its view a differentiating Measure, as defined in the Constitution, shall be reserved, but in such cases my noble Friend is furnished with a statement of the Board's reasons for its opinion. Hon. Members will have been able to study the Board's reasons on this occasion in the White Paper.
It is fair to say that the purpose of the reservation in either case is really the same, and the issue which my noble Friend is called upon to decide in making up his mind on the nature of the recommendation to be made to Her Majesty is quite plain. He is concerned, not with the validity or otherwise of the opinion of the Board, but with the merits or otherwise of a Bill passed by the requisite majority in the Federal Parliament. He must, of course, also give very careful consideration to any opinion expressed by the Board, but as we have argued on previous occasions, and as I believe to be right, the mere existence of this opinion does not place any obligation upon him to disallow the Bill. It is from that point of view that I should like to offer a few observations on the reasons given by the Chairman of the Board in his request for reservation.
I need hardly tell the House that I value Sir John Moffat's friendship personally very much indeed. There is no man in Africa for whom I have a higher regard and he, alike for his personal qualities and his great family traditions, is a man to whom everybody will listen with great care and consideration. The first of the grounds which he has given 1102 is that the qualifications for the general roll had been fixed at a level which would permit Europeans in general to qualify, but only the exceptional African. There is, of course, a great deal of truth in that, but that is surely one of the considerations which justify this special representation of African interests provided in the Constitution; and that is the situation which the Federal Government have tried to meet by providing for a special roll for which Africans can qualify in comparable numbers.
The Board's second point is that, compared with the influence that they were able to exert at the previous election, African electors will sustain a serious proportionate loss at the next election. That statement of the Board's is based simply on the fact that, unlike the existing representatives of African interests in the Northern Territories, the four new elected African members will not be returned on a purely racial basis and the proportion of the races on the rolls which will elect them remains uncertain. If that were indeed a valid objection to the Bill, I doubt whether it would ever be possible to take the first step away from the existing racial basis of representation. Yet it is the common roll principle which, in the belief of the Federal Government and of Her Majesty's Government, holds out the only real prospect of a complete and genuine partnership of the races.
The Board really has only described one half of the picture. In calculating the proportionate influence of Africans, we ought to remember that there will be twelve Africans in the Assembly after the next election, whatever the electoral provisions may be, although there were only six before. Now the number of Africans will be doubled while the number of ordinary members of unspecified race has been increased by only two-thirds. That of course, was settled by the previous Measure, the Constitution Amendment Act, but it is relevant, and it ought to be recalled in any comparison of the proportionate influence of Africans in the last election and in the next one.
Secondly, the addition of the special roll voters to those on the ordinary roll in the election of the specially elected European member and the four elected African members from Southern Rhodesia will give the Africans there an enormously increased say in these elections. 1103 That is a very big proportionate gain, and it is one that is frequently overlooked. Even in the two Northern Territories, however, as the Board recommends, there is no change, so far as this Bill is concerned, in the method of returning the four existing Africans.
The method used for electing these members to the first Federal Assembly, however, did not allow many Africans to vote. The numbers of Africans who will be eligible to register on the special roles and to vote for the four newly elected African members runs to thousands, indeed to tens of thousands. So that from the beginning there will be a gain in respect of the numbers of Africans who will have the opportunity to take part in the election of their representatives, and we can expect with confidence these numbers to go on increasing, and substantially increasing, year by year.
The third point of the Board is really a suggestion for compensating this supposed loss of influence, for they note that there is no reciprocal arrangement by which the Africans on the special roll can take part in the election of the additional ordinary members. On this point, I would say that to give the voters on the special roll any other function than the election of special representatives of African interests would have been contrary to the intentions of the Federal Government in providing for such a roll. It would amount to the adoption of a new principle and a new solution for the whole problem. We must here concern ourselves with the solution which has been incorporated in the Bill in the form in which we have it now.
To sum up, the point of view of the Federal Government is that the system proposed in this Bill marks a departure from pure race representation and takes a significant step towards the creation of a common roll which we have generally agreed in this House is an objective at which we should aim in this and in other multi-racial societies. If adopted, the system would have the advantage in Southern Rhodesia that, for the election of the four elected African members and the one European member elected to represent African interests, there would be an electorate which could include between 20,000 and 30,000 instead of 1,000 as at present. I wonder how many of 1104 those societies that have passed resolutions have really grasped that fact?
Secondly, in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland a substantial number of Africans—perhaps between 20,000 and 30,000—will for the first time in history be entitled to direct participation in the election of their representatives to any Assembly or Parliament. In Nyasaland there is clear evidence to show that the qualifications proposed will, when the general and special rolls are combined, allow the Africans to be in a majority at the next election.
In Northern Rhodesia it is possible that the numbers may be roughly equal, though I recognise that estimates differ. But at no point have the Federal Government attempted to swell their estimates in order to try to paint a rosier picture. I recognise that if the estimate of the Federal Minister of Law in Northern Rhodesia is taken, the balance at the next election, though not for subsequent elections, may be 6 to 4 in favour of the European.
Thirdly, the number of Africans who will actually take their seats in the Federal Parliament will be increased from 6 to 12. This has made it possible to include Africans from the Northern Territories who, like their counterparts in Southern Rhodesia, will owe their election to normal democratic processes, and this is done without disturbing the present arrangement by which the Northern Governors designates bodies representative of Africans to select the four African members originally in the Constitution. All these members will have the opportunity of taking part in the day-to-day work of Parliament and of learning by the experience of their own lives what a constitutional democracy means in practice.
Fourthly, and very important, the fact that a minimum of one-fifth of a House will be African must ensure that the major parties in that Parliament pay due regard to the African point of view. What is of equal importance, the public of all races in the Federation will be compelled to hear what elected African politicians are saying on all important issues, and their opinion cannot be suppressed or ignored. We can reasonably argue that the effect of these African members in the Chamber upon their European colleagues will be greater than the influence which 1105 could be exerted on them by what, under other electoral schemes, would be a small minority of their constituents. I believe that is an aspect of these proposals which it is often lost sight of, and one which in the long run may do a great deal for the growth of feeling and spirit of partnership.
Finally, under this Bill British protected persons get the vote to which they have not been entitled either in the Federation or in Northern Rhodesia or in Nyasaland up to now.
It is the responsibility of my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to judge this Bill on its merits. I have tried to set out these merits clearly for the House, because they form the basis upon which it will be the duty of my noble Friend to tender advice to Her Majesty. The view he and Her Majesty's Government have formed is that on its merits this Bill ought to become law in the Federation, and in reaching this opinion I feel sure that he will have strong support in this House and outside.
Unfortunately some critics of the Federal Government's scheme have not been content to look at this Bill on its merits, but have made the suggestion that it involves in some manner or another a breach of faith. I always read the Manchester Guardian because, on all Colonial matters, it takes an enormous amount of trouble and it is thoroughly worth reading. I read recently in it a suggestion that until 1960, when the whole future of the franchise could be thought out again in connection with the general review of the Constitution, the members of the enlarged Assembly should be elected in the same manner as the corresponding members of the present Assembly. This, it was suggested, to quote the Manchester Guardian,would certainly free the British Government from any charge of a breach of the undertaking that no major change in the constitution should be made before 1960.I have seen it alleged elsewhere that in 1953 assurances were given that there would be no change in the method of electing African members before 1960.
I hope and believe that I can show that those suggestions are unjustified. I can find no evidence whatever to support the allegation that assurances were given by the Government here or in the Federation 1106 that any additional members to represent African interests would be elected in accordance with the methods set out in Article 13 of the Constitution, nor can I find any evidence that it was there held that any member would always be elected in that way.
When this matter was discussed in the Northern Rhodesian Legislative Council, during the debate on the prior resolution required by Article 98 of the Constitution for the introduction of a Constitution Bill, no African member mentioned any question of assurances, nor for that matter did any African speaker take exception to the fact that the change proposed involved a departure from the principle embodied in Article 13 whereby all African representative members were elected by Africans.
In the corresponding debate in Nyasaland, objection was certainly taken to the fact that African representative members would not in future be selected exclusively by Africans, but there was no mention of any previous assurances. Had there been any misunderstanding of the position in the minds of the African spokesmen, I cannot believe that some reference would not have been made to this matter on one or both of those occasions.
There is another argument which has been used recently and which, I believe, to be equally misconceived. It was put at some length and forcibly by Sir John Moffat, Chairman of the African Affairs Board, on the Second Reading of the Electoral Bill, and it has been repeated in this country by critics of the Bill. Sir John Moffat stated that the Constitution was a bargain among the three Territorial Governments, the United Kingdom Government and European and African representatives at the Federation Conference, when it was first agreed. He goes on to argue that the bargain could be abrogated only when the parties to it met again and decided to substitute something better—at the 1960 conference.
I played some part in the earlier part of those discussions as Minister of State for the Colonies. Alas, I was not able to see them through, because I was transferred to an appointment elsewhere. However, I wholly accept Sir John Moffat's argument that the Constitution is a bargain. But what was the bargain 1107 at which the parties arrived during the 1953 constitutional talks? The bargain was the Constitution itself, the whole Constitution from Article 1 to Article 99.
Article 99 is the Article which provides for the 1960 review conference, but Article 98, which is equally part of the bargain, provides that the Constitution can be amended, even in the major matter of the division of powers between the Federal and Territorial Governments, provided certain conditions are complied with. In the case of the Constitution Amendment Bill, those conditions were complied with. The three Territorial Governments who were parties to the original bargain passed resolutions saying that they had no objection to the introduction of that Bill.
Therefore, not only is it not true to say that the United Kingdom Government undertook not to make any major changes in the Constitution, but it is plain on the face of the Constitution itself that they agreed that, provided certain conditions were fulfilled, the Constitution could be amended. The allegation that Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, by giving their approval to an alteration in the electoral system, would be committing a breach of faith has no foundation in fact, and I hope that it will not be repeated in the course of the debate.
I have referred to the resolutions which were passed in the three Territorial Legislatures before the Constitution Amendment Bill could be introduced in the Federal Assembly. Some hon. Members may have asked themselves whether I or Her Majesty's Government were in any way committed before I told the Governors of the Protectorates that I had no objection to the passage of these resolutions in their respective Legislative Councils and whether the discussions which my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and I had with Sir Roy Welensky in April resulted in any sort of understanding which could prejudge the issues on which these two Federal Bills had been reserved for signification of Her Majesty's pleasure.
The House has known since the discussions with the Federal Prime Minister in April last that Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government were 1108 agreed on the necessity for enlarging the Federal House. I do not think that anyone will dispute that need. Among those who criticise the Bill, I have found general agreement that the Federal House certainly needs enlargement. Certainly there were discussions about the franchise with Sir Roy, but they were discussions and not decisions. Her Majesty's Government made it clear that if there were to be new franchise proposals they hoped that British protected persons would be given the vote. There were useful exchanges of views on other aspects of the franchise also, but the franchise arrangements as a whole are, of course, the responsibility of the Federal Government.
That responsibility is laid upon them by the Constitution. Her Majesty's Government are brought in by the Constitution for a decision only at the final stage. The appropriate time for comment by Her Majesty's Government is when the proposals have been framed and debated in the Federal Parliament and referred, as they have now been referred, to the Secretary of State for signification of Her Majesty's pleasure.
Everyone carried out his constitutional function. The African Affairs Board has perfectly properly put its views forward that in some respects this is a differentiating Measure. The fact that my noble Friend has found, after full consideration, that on balance the Bill is desirable does not lessen in any way the valuable part which the African Affairs Board has to play in the Constitution.
There is one other matter of very great importance to which reference was made previously and about which I want to say something. That is the constitutional development in the two Northern Territories. Here, of course, I have a very great personal responsibility. For a long time I have taken a considerable interest in this matter, as have right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, and I discussed this matter a number of times in the territories themselves in the early stages of these talks.
I know that some anxiety has been expressed because no account has yet been given of progress in this matter. As I told the House on 25th November, consultations are going on, and I can understand the eager interest with which the result of those consultations is awaited. 1109 If there is any anxiety, I hope that I can assuage it. The impression may have got about that the constitutional development of the Protectorates will be held back in some way. I cannot say that there has been no waiting to see what the Federal proposals would be. There would have been plenty of critics if each of the Governors of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland had come out with a scheme without waiting to see what possibility there was, for instance, that the qualifications used for the Federal franchise could be used in some way in the territories, although not necessarily in the same way as in the Federal arrangements.
However, the timetable has been settled not by that consideration but, in the case of Northern Rhodesia, by the Legislative Council. A year ago, a Motion was accepted the effect of which was that the Council was to receive a report before the end of March. Obviously, I cannot forecast what stage will have been reached by then, but I can say with confidence that I have no reason to think that hon. Members most interested in this matter will be disappointed with the result. If the consultations in Nyasaland are not equally far advanced, I can certainly say that they are in no way being held back by the existence of federation.
My predecessor, Lord Chandos, described the problem in Nyasaland as searching "for something unusual and exotic" to solve the need in what is still a transitional period. That work is still proceeding, and I hope before long to be able to say something about the progress made.
In conclusion, I should like to say to the House that I believe that this Bill will prove to be an important step in the growth of partnership. I agree with the Federal Government that a common roll system, in which members of all races participate in the election of all Members, will be of the greatest value in encouraging political discussion in the Federal Assembly and the country at large and to be based on party political lines and not on racial lines. This must conduce to partnership in the real sense, whereas if we pursued only communal representation this would only lead to the separation of the races.
I hope that all those who have had some doubts about this Bill will have found in my rather lengthy explanation 1110 the answers to some of their fears, and that the House will give unanimous support to this brave attempt in the field of partnership.
§ 7.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Creech Jones (Wakefield)
I think all of us are obliged to the Government for affording the House the opportunity of discussing the Electoral Bill of Central Africa. I think the Secretary of State has given us a fair exposition of the Bill, but I must say that I deplore the fact that the Government have reached their decision to recommend this Bill for the signature of the Sovereign before the debate in this House has taken place. The Secretary of State, on behalf of the Government, has completely identified himself both with the Bill and with the Federal Government, and I think that is most unfortunate.
I do not wish this evening to exploit party political feeling, but I do want, on behalf of the Labour benches, to demonstrate clearly with arguments that, instead of this Bill being a brave attempt, as the Secretary of State described it, to establish the principle of partnership, it is in our judgment the negation of partnership. Its practical effects are discriminatory, and, if the signature of the Sovereign is given to it, it will intensify bitter feeling in Africa which will undermine still further African confidence in Britain, in the Federation and in the work of the African Affairs Board. For these reasons, I want to advance arguments to support those assertions.
It is quite true that, technically, the Bill is not a constitutional Bill. This Parliament left it to the Federal Government to enact a Measure concerned with the franchise, provided, of course, that there was the requisite majority in the House of Assembly, and provided too, that the signature of the Secretary of State in London was forthcoming. Parliament here surrendered its own power in regard to this very important political Measure, but this Parliament still has a genuine interest, not only in the Constitution of the Federation, but in the position and the welfare of protected persons inside the Federation.
It was we who put the principle of partnership in the preamble of the Constitution. We emphasised the protected status of the inhabitants of at least two of the three territories involved, and we 1111 made an attempt to write into that Constitution certain safeguards on behalf of the African populations in these territories.
It is vitally important that we should appreciate the significance of the Bill to the African people, because it sets the pattern of African participation in the political life of Central Africa for a very long time to come. It is a pity that we could not wait for the general discussion of experience under the Constitution before the Bill was introduced.
There is one other thing I want to say by way of introduction to my criticism of the Bill. Whatever may be the difficulties of Ministers in Central Africa, and it is a situation created by the imposition of Federation on Central Africa, we as Members of Parliament here cannot in this matter be subject to political blackmail respecting the pattern of African development or the place of the African in the political life of Central Africa. The Constitution Amendment Bill left us a few months ago very uneasy. We felt that the African Affairs Boards had been treated in a somewhat shabby way. We thought, too, that the House of Assembly would now prove to be dominated by racial interests, particularly European, and we felt very unhappy about the changed way in which Africans were to be elected or selected for the additional seats arising out of the enlarged House of Assembly.
We now know what the electoral arrangements are to be for the election and selection of the new House. May I put it to the Secretary of State that those of us who are critical of the Bill are not so indolent as not to read its contents? The societies with which we are associated are not so profoundly ignorant as to pass judgment upon something without having some knowledge of wht they are proposing.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I certainly did not have in mind any society to which the right hon. Gentleman is attached, but if he could sometimes look through my postbag he would find bodies the existence of which he probably does not know about, and which, I am quite certain, have never attempted to master the intricacies of this Bill, but yet are quite dogmatic about It That is all I wanted to say.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
I suggest that it is frequently one of the tricks of debate to suggest that one's opponents know little or nothing about the problem with which they are concerned.
Let us examine the Bill. Let us remember that there are roughly 7 million Africans, two-thirds of whom are protected persons, living in their own countries—countries which have not been subject to conquest by this country. As compared with the 7 million Africans there are 275,000 Europeans—roughly one twenty-fifth of the number of Africans. The Europeans inhabiting the three territories are there primarily for the purpose of making a livelihood. Many of them have no roots in the country, although they have been conceded political power. In the case of two of the three territories, many of them entered knowing full well that the territories enjoyed protected status. The government of those States must therefore be a question for determination by this Parliament.
The Secretary of State takes the view that it is a good conception of partnership to give the Europeans, whose numbers are only one twenty-fifth of the African population, 42 out of the 57 seats in the House of Representatives and, in addition, to give them full control without a seat to Africans in the Cabinet of the Federation. This European minority is put in permanent possession of government. On the general roll for election to the House of Assembly there will be 81,000 Europeans and, possibly, 2,500 Africans. That is what we are told to accept as partnership.
How is the right to be placed on the general roll secured? First, we must bear in mind that the average income of the European is £1,100 per year and that of the African in employment £70 per year. A person is eligible for registration upon the general roll if he receives £720 per year and is literate; £480 a year and has completed a primary course of education, or £300 a year and has had four years of secondary education. With those qualifications a person can become one of the 81,000 who have the right to vote.
It is obvious that in the present state of African development the imposition of such qualifications and conditions makes it virtually impossible for Africans 1113 to qualify for the general roll and thus have the right to vote in the election of 42 of the members in this small Chamber. They are too poor, and they are not sufficiently educated. They cannot hope to achieve the qualifications now required for admittance to the general roll.
The Federal Government admit this lack of balance and inequality, and shelter behind the argument that with the passage of time the practical effect must be for Africans to influence the elections and possibly secure the election of African Members, although it is admitted that the vast majority of the people on the general roll are at present Europeans. The Federal Government say, "The Africans must wait for the economic development of the country." If they are to do that they will have to wait for an indefinite period.
How can we ever hope for fast progress by the Africans towards the attainment of the high standard of qualification needed for the general roll when they are repressed by segregation principles, colour bars, the denial of trade union rights, and a whole series of other discriminatory clauses, and have poor facilities for education? Sir Roy Welensky, and Lord Malvern before him, made it perfectly plain to the Africans—and certainly to the Europeans—that it was very unlikely that the Africans would assume any definite place in the political life of the country for 100 years.
In the meantime, the European community has possession of the machinery of government. Political ascendancy in the political life of Central Africa is established. The Africans have no influence whatsoever in the election of the ordinary Members. No elected European need pay the slightest attention to African opinion. Europeans dominate the general roll, and the Africans are virtually nowhere. Upon this basis an African will never sit in the Federal Parliament as the representative of a constituency in Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia or Southern Rhodesia.
Democracy is an excellent thing for the Europeans, but it presumably cannot work for those people who are under their subjection. But that is not all. The Secretary of State has not mentioned that at present an African in Southern Rhodesia may qualify for the roll if he is in receipt of £240 a year. As a result 1114 of the proposals, however, such an African will have to be in receipt of £300 a year. Before these proposals, an African British subject in Northern Rhodesia could qualify for the election roll if he were in receipt of an income of £200; as a result of the proposal he will qualify only if he has an income of £300 a year. The African is therefore in a very much worse position in relation to the ordinary roll.
In justification of these proposals, we have been told that although the Africans have not done so well in the Federal arrangements they are in a good position in regard to the territorial Governments. I am glad that the Secretary of State announced that before long the Constitutions of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland will be overhauled and that we need not be unduly apprehensive about the result of that review. The Government have been very slow in achieving these vitally important changes.
In excusing this Bill the Government cannot argue that the Africans have little or no interest in Federation affairs. After all, the Federation Government are responsible for the economic development of the Territory and for the standard of life enjoyed by the people there. A number of public services come under their direction. Therefore, their policy is as vital to the interests of the Africans as to the Europeans. It is silly even to suggest that it does not matter over much about the Federation Government; that we shall look after the Africans by representation on the territorial Governments, but we need not worry regarding the Federation because the Federation is not so vitally concerned with African interests.
The Federation Parliament holds the key to future changes in the franchise. It should not be forgotten when considering a Chamber where the largest element comes from Southern Rhodesia, that it was in Southern Rhodesia that the qualifications for the franchise were raised only a few years ago in such a way as to make it almost prohibitive for the Africans to engage in the political life of the Colony. I submit that a constitutional and electoral set-up such as this is, in practice, neither partnership nor non-discriminatory.
We are told that the Africans are being introduced to political life. At the 1115 moment it is alleged that they are immature and inexperienced. What is their place in this introduction to political life in the Federation? As the Secretary of State reminded us, the Constitution provides for twelve African seats. Four of these seats are filled by direct election by Africans and now instead of two, as was previously the case, eight of the seats are to be filled by Africans on a special roll, plus all the Europeans and a few Africans who may have been put on the general roll. This means that eight of the twelve African representatives—we must remember there are only to be twelve African representatives—are elected by a combination of voters from the general and the special rolls.
That means that eight out of twelve seats will be occupied by Africans who are not necessarily the direct representatives of those Africans who are on the special roll. They are responsible not only to Africans, but also to Europeans. This means that these representatives will always be looking over their shoulder because they are responsible to European electors as well as to the African voters. Let us examine the special roll. It lays down that if an African or anybody else receives £150 a year and is literate, or if he receives £120 a year and has had two years' secondary education, he may be put on the special roll. That roll also contains those protected persons who can fulfil these qualifications.
It has not been disputed that when the attempt was made to win Africans over to the cause of Federation they were told that they would elect their own spokesmen who would sit in the Parliament of the Federation. The principle of communal representation was written into the Constitution, and at least four of the Africans were directly elected by Africans and represent only the Africans. But now, as I have already said, at least eight of the Africans will not be fully representative of the Africans. They are also representatives of the Europeans. Even those African seats will be eliminated altogether as—should it ever happen—Africans are elected on the ordinary roll. Africans who have voted on the special roll for the seats which will be eliminated because Africans have been returned on the ordinary roll will become disfranchised.
1116 It should be noted that even to get on this special roll the qualification includes the ability to speak, read, write and comprehend the English language. Every native African must learn the English language and speak it, write it and comprehend it in order to get on the roll. His vernacular does not matter at all. He has to learn English. I suggest that to debar a man in his own country from the right to play a part in the political life of that country merely because he cannot speak a foreign or a second language is absolutely monstrous. I am sure that were such conditions imposed on us, this House would not tolerate it for a moment. But that is the qualification, and we do not know how many Africans will qualify for the special roll.
The Secretary of State seemed unable to say who was to apply the test. The Government of the Federation will apply the test to see which Africans shall go on the register. Their registering office will do that. Again, I suggest, that is a preposterous proposition.
We are asked to believe that this Measure is generous because protected persons for the first time have the right to vote. If the Secretary of State for the Colonies will turn up the records of his own office, he will discover that when I happened to hold his office it was one of my purposes that, when the process of political evolution in Northern Rhodesia had been completed, protected Africans should enjoy the vote. There is hardly a Protectorate in Africa or elsewhere where the rights of citizenship are not enjoyed. Therefore, we were doing nothing exceptional or preposterous. The whole of the West Coast of Africa is protected territory. Do we deny Africans the right to vote? Why make such a virtue of it in Central Africa?
Moreover, the Federal Government admitted that it was inevitable that the vote should be given to the Africans in the Northern Territories. They said that it would be unfair to differentiate between Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I have said before to the Under-Secretary of State that it really fills me with indignation when I think that we can concede political rights to Europeans who come into a territory temporarily for a livelihood, with no intention of making their roots in the territory, and yet we deny it to the 1117 people whose country it is, and whose home and livelihood are there.
We concede it to the European merely because of the colour of his skin, although he is only a temporary occupant of the place knowing that he has come into a protected territory. What is the good of talking about this wonderful privilege of allowing protected persons to vote? It just makes nonsense.
We are accused of perpetuating the communal principle. This is very odd. The leader writer of The Times, in a somewhat pontifical way, says that the Bill makes for integration rather than segregation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] That appears to be the view also of some Government supporters. No one dislikes communal representation more than myself, but let us examine the effects in Central Africa. First of all, the Africans are denied admission to the general roll. They cannot qualify. It is impossible for them for eternity ever to get there. The whole political machine is in the control of Europeans, possibly again for ever.
Is it not desirable, therefore, that the principle of communal representation during this stage of the political evolution of Central Africa should be emphasised? Must we seek to run away from the right of Africans who are denied the normal privileges of political expression? Must we run away by saying, "No, you must take your chance with the Europeans, although we know that that chance is hopelessly remote"? Moreover, what is the position of the Central African Federation political machine? It is a machine which serves certain communal interests, and they are European.
If it is wise and proper for the Europeans to be in possession of government, then it is right and proper for communal representation to be conceded to the Africans. They have to fight legislation on segregation, colour bars, industrial rights, limited education, and so on. If they have to fight those things in order to secure the abolition of all this discrimination, it becomes important that they should be able to express their voice strongly and effectively in the House of Assembly. Therefore, this argument about communal representation and that we seek to perpetuate it, is nonsense in this stage of political evolution.
1118 What is really behind all this? The Government tell us that it is important that political control should be in civilised and responsible hands. That seems to be the nub of the Federal Government's case. Civilisation is equated with white supremacy. If one is an African, one is uncivilised, one is irresponsible. That is the logic of the argument.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
They are ludicrous ideas which, it seems, the Secretary of State, by the policy of the Government, is upholding.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North-West)
The right hon. Member is just pouring out hatred against the Europeans.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
I am pouring out no hatred to Europeans or anyone else. It is just nonsense to say that. If the White Paper published by the Federal Government is read, what I have said will be seen to be quite true. The purpose of the Bill is to retain the Government in civilised and responsible hands; that is to say that Europeans are civilised and Africans are uncivilised. I suppose that civilisation and responsibility are equated with colour bars, pass laws, restricted education, segregation and all the other things which afflict the Administration and the policies in Central Africa.
Indeed, I suppose it is civilisation which says to Africans, "African Members of Parliament, if you wish to sleep or dine you have to get six miles away from the House of Assembly." It is a preposterous thing. I suppose that the men who tended Livingstone and who took his body to the coast when he died, were uncivilised. Do we apply these tests to the Europeans in regard to civilisation and responsibility? Of course we do not. This was the old cry of the decadent reactionaries of our own country when the people of this country were struggling for political reform.
We always understood and quoted the phrase of the previous Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Chandos, that the African Affairs Board was an impregnable safeguard for the Africans, but I suppose that the Board cannot assume any great importance so long as it is left in the dark when policies are made 1119 between Salisbury and London. It can bring no redress in respect of discriminatory practices if it is continuously ignored. If it finds a Bill is differentiating, judging from the two last experiences, the Secretary of State upholds the Federal Government as against the African Affairs Board. Again, partnership is made synonymous with European ascendancy and supremacy.
The second point I make is that the election of Africans to remain protected persons is indeed very touching. They still have a pathetic faith in the protective power of Britain and are not prepared to accept the offer, which was recently made in the Nationality Bill, of becoming British citizens as citizens of the Federation. That suspicion, that distrust, speaks volumes. We know that the Africans are not happy about the Federation, which was imposed upon them. Hoping that perhaps the African Affairs Board was at least some safeguard, they have now become steadily disillusioned with the whole policy of Federation and are themselves at this moment agitating for complete dismemberment in 1960.
I am certain that the Government here will not be in office in 1960 when this difficult problem of the future of the Federation has to be decided, but I warn the House that this Measure is but one factor in the increasing bitterness of feeling by Africans in regard to Federation. In 1960 we shall be faced with a most serious problem, a crisis which will affect not only Africa, but the Commonwealth as a whole. African confidence is being destroyed. A letter in the Manchester Guardian this morning, signed by African students from many countries in Africa—potential leaders of African opinion in the days to come—gives ample evidence of how that confidence is being destroyed.
§ Sir Ian Fraser (Morecambe and Lonsdale)
Did not the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), who is sitting beside the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), start this Federation job?
§ Mr. Creech Jones
That has absolutely nothing to do with the problem under discussion at the moment. If the hon. Gentleman wants an answer, let me tell him that in the thirties, although I 1120 suppose it is all forgotten by hon. Members opposite, a Royal Commission was sent out to Central Africa to inquire into the possibilities of Federation and amalgamation. That Royal Commission recommended that no such steps should be taken. In any case, the question was terribly alive back in the thirties and the Royal Commission reported, I think in 1939, against it. So it has nothing to do with this. The seed of Federation was planted long before the Labour Government came to power. [Laughter.] Do not laugh; it is a statement of fact. I hope right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite know a little of the history of the problems they are expected to handle.
It is no good asking that we should rely on the good sense of the Europeans in the days to come. Power corrupts; that is evident in the crisis in Southern Rhodesia of the last week or so. It is evidenced in the whole story of the Union of South Africa in recent years. We cannot trust people to do things which are our responsibility. Therefore, I think it unfortunate that we have had no indication from the Government as to the lines along which Africans should go in the Federation. Nor have we had any indication as to what the Government conceive should be the political objective of the Federation. Are they prepared to give encouragement to the idea of the establishment of political democracy, or do they want what they call multi-racial Government—multi-racial Government for partnership, which is a perfectly meaningless term.
I am not pleading at this stage for universal suffrage, nor am I pleading for a fully-fledged Parliamentary democracy, but I say that the future of Central Africa is dependent on the full co-operation of the people there. It is equally important to the European as to the African that there should be understanding, friendship and good will between the peoples. I ask the Government, even at this late stage, to reconsider the Bill. Although it makes limited concessions to a limited number of Africans, in the main the Bill fetters on the Africans a form of Government which for generations to come they can never break. Therefore, it is important that we should ask the Federal Government to take this matter back and reconsider it. We ask the Government to 1121 recommend that the next election in the Federation shall be on the old basis so that the whole question can come into review at the 1960 conference.
I am concerned about the future of Central Africa, about the welfare of the Africans there as well as the development of European civilisation. I suggest that political arrangements of this kind are discriminatory and defeat the very purpose we have declared in the Preamble of the Constitution, partnership between the races.
§ 7.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
If the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) believes that the term "partnership" is a meaningless one, I hope he will agree that the future of the Federation depends on co-operation between European and African in that territory. I believe that the speech he has just delivered, more than anything else will damage the widespread liberal feeling which exists among Europeans in the Federation.
I say that for three main reasons. First, the right hon. Member gave the impression that he takes his stand on numbers and is of the opinion that because the Africans are large in numbers they must have control without any form of qualification. The right hon. Member certainly gave me to understand that he considered that a large number of Europeans had no roots in that territory, but he knows perfectly well that a vast number of Europeans regard Rhodesia as their home and their children's home. He also gave me the impression in the middle of his speech that he believes in the continuance of communal representation. For those three reasons he will have done much damage to liberal European opinion, on which so much depends in the future.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
I said I regarded communal representation as important and necessary in this stage of the political evolution of Central Africa. I said that large numbers of Europeans have not got their roots permanently in the country. That is perfectly true in the vast mining areas of Northern Rhodesia.
§ Mr. Wall
The right hon. Gentleman will find that the vast number of British subjects, as opposed to Afrikaner, in the territory consider that country to be their home, and their children's home.
1122 We really must regard the situation as it actually is. The right hon. Gentleman knows that 70 or 80 years ago cities like Salisbury and Bulawayo did not exist, and that the economy and progress of the Federation have depended on the Europeans. He knows, too, how much that has done to improve the standard of living of all races. He knows that there is plenty of good will among the Europeans and belief in partnership, but I do not disguise that there is also fear when they see the mass of Africans and know what would happen to the Federation if European control was swamped.
On the African side, there is a number of educated Africans who can stand as equals with any Europeans in the Federation, but the mass of Africans are still fiddled with witchcraft. They are in their tribal state, and lack education, and until they can be educated and brought to reasonable standards the right hon. Gentleman cannot expect the Europeans to risk the whole of their future, and the future of the Africans themselves.
I believe that a great disservice that has been done to the Africans has been done by their so-called friends, who tell them that what is needed is the vote; that what really matters is the franchise. I say that what really matters is the raising of their present standards of living. What we want to do, I hope, is to encourage the economy of the Federation so that the Africans can have an ever-rising standard of living.
As they get that, plus education, plus welfare, and plus health service, they will be in a position, as everyone in this House, I am sure, would wish to see, to exercise—as they will have to and wish to—an increasing control over the affairs of that multi-racial State—
§ Mr. John Stonehouse (Wednesbury)
Would the hon. Member agree, then, that the African workers must be given every opportunity to engage in skilled jobs?
§ Mr. Wall
There is excellent technical education, though to a limited degree, in the Federation. Schools such as Hodgson and Doubashawa are producing skilled craftsmen, but in limited numbers. I should like to see the introduction of an apprenticeship system; indeed, a start has been made last year in Nyasaland.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
Then will the hon. Gentleman explain why it is that, in the Federation, an African cannot be a skilled railway worker or hold a rank higher than that of cleaner, although, in the neighbouring Belgian Congo, Africans have been found perfectly well fitted for the job, and are doing the job?
§ Mr. Wall
Certainly, I would say that some European trade unions in the Federation are examples of, possibly, the most reactionary European opinion out there. But I believe that that will alter in the next few years.
If I may, I will now turn to the Electoral Bill, now before the House. The Federal Government have produced a memorandum on this Measure, which most hon. Members will have had. The key to the whole Bill is in paragraph 18 of the memorandum, which reads:Whatever view may be taken of the question as to whether the Bill is a differentiating measure, the issue is now the merits of the Bill as a whole: whether its beneficial features do not vastly outweigh the differentiation aspect.I go a certain way with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield in believing that certain aspects of the Bill are differentiating, but I also believe that its merits far outweigh its demerits. I believe that it will help the African to make his voice heard more and more effectively in Federation affairs. It doubles the number of African seats in the Federation Parliament. It introduces a common roll in the Northern Territory. And what, to me, has not been emphasised sufficiently is that, after this Bill becomes law, 56,000 Africans will have a say in the political future of the Federation, whereas only 1,000 have that say today—
§ Mr. J. Johnson
What the hon. Gentleman is saying is that over 50,000 Africans will have a say in electing, at the most, five or six Africans. Will he justify the fact that such a small number have to go to the top tier and help to elect the 44 Europeans? That is the crux of the whole question.
§ Mr. Wall
I hope to deal with that point later, but what I am now saying is that, though there are demerits in the Bill at the moment, only 1,000 Africans have a vote, and when the Bill is passed 56,000 Africans will have a vote. Therefore, one must, at least, admit that that 1124 is progress, even if one does not think that the progress is fast enough.
I will deal now with the point put forward by the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Johnson). Could this Bill have been a better one? I believe that it could, but I also believe that some of the arguments advanced against it are fallacious. The point that the Africans control only four seats was proved wrong in the debate we had here on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill. We know that two new members from Nyasaland will be elected by a majority of African votes. We know that the two from Northern Rhodesia will probably be elected on an equality of votes at the next Election, but by a preponderance of African votes at the following one. We also know that, in Southern Rhodesia, four members will be elected by 28,000 more African votes than at the last election. Surely that gives the Africans a much better voice in political affairs.
I should like to get this right on the record. The numbers in Northern Rhodesia are purely conjectural, as was emphasised again and again in the Federal debates. When the figures were given by the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations in our previous debate, I was so much puzzled that I wrote to his Department, asking on what they were based. I received a note from the Under-Secretary which said that the figure he had used was a purely wild guess.
§ Mr. Wall
I think that the hon. Lady will agree that all the figures we are using on the electoral question are, to a certain degree, guesswork, but my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary made it quite clear, and repeated today what he said previously, that in Northern Rhodesia the balance between the European voter and the African voter in the election of these two new African members will very probably he equal at the next election, with African predominance in the election following. That has been repeated time and time again, and I am prepared to take it as a fact—provided that the Africans and indeed the Europeans bother to vote. One hopes that they will do much better than was the case in Kenya.
Another argument advanced against this Bill is that neither the special nor 1125 the general roll is a common roll. Well, those rolls are only a start. We are starting legislation that will not mature properly for some ten years or so but, as a start, and using approximate figures again, we have on the general roll some 1,500 Africans, mainly chiefs and the like, with special qualifications, and a certain number of the richer and better-educated Africans. At least, we have both Europeans and Africans on the general roll.
Again, I have been told, that there will be a number of Europeans, probably about 400, who will not qualify for the general roll and may qualify only for the special roll. Therefore, even on the lower roll, we have to a certain, although a limited, degree, a common roll. There is, therefore, introduced the principle—which I believe hon. Members on both sides will support very strongly—of a common roll in the Federation where there is not one today.
I come now to two other criticisms that have been levelled against this Measure. First, it is said that the qualification of £720 per annum is too high. That was done deliberately, with an eye to the future. If the economy of the Federation increases, and the standard of living of the Africans increases, as we hope it will in the future, many Africans will reach that qualification and will vote on the general roll. But if the qualification is lowered now, the roll could well be swamped by Africans in the immediate future, which, I suggest, would be to the detriment of the whole Federation.
§ Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr Tydvil)
Will the hon. Gentleman explain why this monetary or income qualification should obtrude into the matter of giving political freedom to the Africans?
§ Mr. Wall
It is not only monetary, as the hon. Gentleman says. It is also educational. If one takes the educational qualification with the monetary qualification and makes certain additions for chiefs and the like there will be a reasonable degree of intelligent and educated Africans—if they have made money they are intelligent—who will have a say in the future of the country.
I agree with the criticism made about the European on the general roll also voting on the special roll. I agree that it is a great pity. I would much rather 1126 see the adoption of the Southern Rhodesian system, where, once an African is qualified either on the general or special roll, he then votes for African or European members. The House must recognise that that system could not be adopted while there were Federal members elected specially to represent African interests.
I would rather see, if constitutionally possible, that system abolished and the Southern Rhodesian system adopted; but even in those circumstances there has to be a safeguard, which is that when the special roll reaches 20 per cent. of the general roll it will be closed. Many in the Federation feel that the general roll will increase so fast due to European immigration, improved education, and the earning capacity of the African, that the point when the special roll reaches 20 per cent. will not be reached for many years to come. I believe that that is a better way than the one the Federal Government have chosen.
The Bill could be assumed to be differentiating, but its assets far outweigh its defects. That is the reason why I would support it. I would like to put a point to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State about the position of the African Affairs Board. Will he emphasise once again the point made by the Secretary of State, that it has fulfilled its duty? It has indicated its disappointment with the Bill and ensured that it will be given wide publicity and wide debate. This question of franchise has been debated twice in the House of Commons, has appeared in the Press, and has been debated widely in the Federation.
That is the function of the African Affairs Board. It is not its function to say that legislation shall or shall not be passed. It would be an abrogation of the duty of government, either by the Federal Government or by this House, if the African Affairs Board were given the power to say that a Measure was differentiating and, therefore, should not be passed. Hon. Members opposite would agree that that would be a negation of government. I would like my hon. Friend to emphasise that the Board has done its job and has earned the respect of all sides, both in this House and in the Federation. I hope he will make it clear that its prestige in this 1127 House and in this country is higher than it ever was before.
May I deal briefly with the reason why one cannot hope to get a more liberal franchise at present. The reason is fear of electoral defeat by the Government of the Federation and of a more reactionary European party taking over. That is a very justifiable fear. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield referred to certain recent happenings in Southern Rhodesia. It was felt, perhaps, in some parts that the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia might be going a little too fast in his liberal policy. I am sorry that Mr. Todd has resigned but I believe that Southern Rhodesia has found an excellent compromise, and that hon. Members on both sides would wish the new Prime Minister, Sir Edgar Whitehead, well, particularly having studied the balance in his Cabinet, which looks as though the Liberal tradition of Mr. Todd will be continued.
It would be very dangerous if one overthrew this Bill because one hoped to get something more liberal. I do not think that it is possible to get anything more liberal at present.
What does the Opposition propose to do? We have heard a great deal from them in opposition to the Bill. We have not heard one suggestion as to what they would do if they were in power. Would they go back to the old franchise?
§ Mr. Creech Jones
It is not the duty of this House to suggest what the electoral arrangements in Central Africa should be. Our duty is fulfilled so far as we pass judgment on what they do and try to suggest to the Secretary of State whether he should approve or not approve. It is not for us to do the constructive thinking, although it does not follow that we have not done it. If the Federal Government would like to have the benefit of our thought in this matter we can easily supply it.
§ Mr. Wall
Let me accept the right hon. Gentleman's statement at its value. He is saying, "We do not like this Bill. Therefore, if we were in government, we would not allow it." What situation would he then create? The House has passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, but has rejected the franchise. What is the position of the Federal Government 1128 or the Federal Prime Minister? There is only one alternative, and that is to go to the country; and if he does that it will have to be on an anti-Westminster ticket that would set up a chain reaction which would have disastrous consequences for future relations between this country and the Federal Government and for the whole future of the Federation. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman, on reflection, would not advocate such a course.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
This is a completely impossible position. What the hon. Gentleman is saying is that if we wish to curb, change or alter the Acts of Parliament in Salisbury we are being politically blackmailed, the suggestion being that they will then go to the country and there will be an Afrikaner or Dominion Party Government in the place of the present Federal Government. What a shocking thing.
§ Mr. Wall
The hon. Gentleman has to take facts as they are and the world as it is. If we were to reject the Bill what would be the possible reaction of the Federal Government? Could they bring in a more liberal franchise? I doubt it. If they could, I would give my support. I believe that the only possibility left to the Prime Minister would be to go to the country. The result of that election inevitably would be that the new Government would be more reactionary than the present one.
I would like to refer to another key paragraph in the Federal Government's memorandum. Paragraph 23 reads:The system offers a workable solution within the framework of existing constitutional arrangements to the twin problems of preserving political control in civilised and responsible hands and of associating the emergent African with the processes of government".The Federation, particularly Southern Rhodesia, is growing up. It has been built on partnership and I believe that both the Europeans and Africans in the Federation believe in partnership. Our duty here is to do as much as we can to help them in encouraging that feeling. We have to be careful not to interfere too directly, because we would then only encourage the reactionary element in both races and be helping the extremists.
I hope that the Bill will become law because it represents an advance of the Africans, although it may not be as great 1129 an advance as hon. Members on both sides had hoped. I hope that we shall then hear no more about Federal politics and Federal franchise until 1960. The House can then get down to considering how then can best help the Federation in the economic difficulties that lie ahead—with the price of copper under £200 when it was over £400—so as to raise the standard of the African people and give them the housing, welfare and education that they need.
§ 8.9 p.m.
§ Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)
Before the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) dealt with figures and began to analyse them, he made a very interesting and illuminating statement which showed very clearly to us his attitude of mind and his outlook upon these matters. He belittled the franchise; he said, "Why talk about things like that? What really matters is the standard of life". I tell the hon. Gentleman that, spiritually and mentally, he belongs to pre-1832. We on this side of the House realise that the standard of life would be kept low and a distinction would be drawn between one man and another unless there were the franchise.
§ Mr. Davies
I am pointing out to the hon. Gentleman that, if he will but look at history, especially the history of this country, he will see that we did not improve the standard of life or education or attain the Welfare State until we had the franchise. Really, carrying the hon. Gentleman's argument to its logical conclusion, he would not even give these people a Constitution at all. He would say that they would be very much better off if they took their guidance from him and not among themselves.
Matters of detail and the answer to the speech made by the Secretary of State have been so fully and effectively dealt with by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) that I am anxious to know what the reply is to be. If I may say so, I have never heard the right hon. Member for Wakefield make 1130 a more effective speech than he did tonight.
This is a vital Bill. Outwardly, it refers only to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, but the fact is that today any legislation for any part of Africa affects all Africa, not just the particular part. All Africa today is watching. In a very short time, depending upon who is in office, the House will be asked to deal with legislation relating to neighbouring States, for the Federation is adjacent to many other parts of Africa which have yet to be dealt with. Uganda, Kenya, Bechuanaland, across to the West Coast perhaps to Sierra Leone, Gambia and the rest—they will be watching what happens with regard to the Federation.
Not merely will they watch what we said we were doing and what were our words, but they will watch what happened after we had given the Constitution. It is not necessary for us merely to be fair; it is necessary also for us to give the impression to Africa that we mean to be fair. Africans will judge us by their view of what we do and not by our interpretation of any particular Act of Parliament.
In what he said when he referred to the last two Articles in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Order in Council, it may be that the Secretary of State gave—and it may be that the House has given itself in the past—the true legal interpretation of those few provisions, but what is far more important is what Africans believed they were getting when those Articles were written. They must not be disappointed either by what the Government do or by the interpretation which may be put upon these matters by the House.
I want to confine myself tonight to one matter only, namely, the action taken by the African Affairs Board and its report. Before I actually come to that, I will remind the House of exactly what is the power of the African Affairs Board and what are the functions which it performs. These matters are set out in Article 71 of the Constitution:It shall be the particular function of the Board to draw attention to any Bill introduced in the Federal Assembly or any instrument which has the force of law and is made in exercise of any power conferred by a law of the Federal Legislature if that Bill or instrument is in their opinion a differentiating measure.1131 In the opinion of the majority of members of the African Affairs Board, this is a differentiating measure. What is meant by the expression a "differentiating measure" is defined in the second part of Article 71:In this article and in the subsequent provisions of this Chapter of this Constitution, the expression 'differentiating measure' means a Bill or instrument by which Africans are subjected or made liable to any conditions, restrictions or disabilities disadvantageous to them to which Europeans are not also subjected or made liable, or a Bill or instrument which will in its practical application have such an effect.The African Affairs Board has decided just that; it has decided that this is a Measure disadvantageous to Africans within the Federation. However much hon. Members opposite may analyse the figures or whatever hopes they may express as to what may be the voting power later on, the African Affairs Board pinpoints now the fact thatThe proportion of voters' control of members of the Federal House is being altered from 29 to 4 in the old House to 49 to 4 in the new House. These figures disregard"—and the Board goes on to explain how members may be elected not by Africans alone but by Europeans plus Africans, with an overwhelming majority of Europeans. The Board points out that this arrangement is disadvantageous to Africans as compared with Europeans, and that is the really important point.
As I said before, all Africa is watching. I cannot do better, in discussing this particular point, than quote from what was said in the House on 6th May, 1953, when we were debating this very matter. A speech had been made by Mr. Lyttelton, as he was then, and he was followed by the Leader of the Opposition, then Mr. Attlee, who said:This is very important, because I found one of the difficulties in talking with Africans was their distrust of paper safeguards, and the reason for that was what the Malan Government were doing with regard to the Entrenched Clauses. This brings us to the point that we all realise. We are dealing here with a problem not merely of certain parts of Africa but the broad African problem in relation to the African people and the Europeans.I cannot stress too much the importance of what has been done in South Africa, because this does carry, as everybody knows right throughout the Continent. That may be the difficulty of talking of safeguards, because they say, 'What is the good of safeguards if they 1132 can be disregarded?' There is, I think, another unfortunate circumstance arising out of the course of events. If we look at it from the point of view of the Africans, there is a great contrast between the African whose opinion is not taken and the European whose opinion is taken in a plebiscite."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th May, 1953; Vol. 515, c. 422–3.]In that vein, one can read further extracts which also are very effective.
This is what I am pointing out to the Government today. Here is an opinion by the very Board which they announced to the Africans, and, of course, to the House, as the protection for Africans against any future change which may affect their rights. It may be said that this is not a Constitution Bill, but it affects the rights of Africans in the Constitution as voters. Here is the very body which the Government proudly announced from that Box would safeguard the interests of Africans, saying, by a majority, "We are of opinion that this Measure is disadvantageous to Africans, and we therefore ask that certain action be taken with regard to it." I should have thought that such a thing was vital.
I say again that all Africa will be watching. How much regard will Africans be able to give to safeguards which are paper safegaurds? How much better would it be to maintain the proud tradition of this old country and say, "We have given our word, and we will carry it out whatever the consequences." Instead of that they are saying, "Oh, well, we are improving in this way and that."
What these people want is what we were hoping they would have. We were hoping that gradually they would be able to take more and more part within the constitution in the conduct of their own affairs of their own people in their own country. Instead of that they are still being subjected not only to the European majority but, in the opinion of the African Affairs Board, to a worse position than that which appertained when the Order in Council was first debated in this House. I would ask the Government to look at this matter again and not to disappoint not only the Africans in Central Africa but Africans throughout that great continent.
§ 8.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Archer Baldwin (Leominster)
The right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) said that all 1133 Africa was watching. That, I am sorry to say, is perfectly true. They are not only watching; they will read the reports of this debate which will add to the troubles that already exist in East and Central Africa. It is helping the extremists on both sides.
§ Mr. Baldwin
The people who voted against this Measure in the Federal Assembly were the African Congress extremists who want to get universal suffrage and eventually to drive the Europeans out of Central Africa. They combined with three of the Dominion Party who will have apartheid if they have their way.
Other members also voted, including Sir John Moffat, who was referred to in such flattering terms by the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. Baldwin
I have the list of those who voted against the Bill, but I will not read it out now.
What we are doing today is raising all sorts of objections to this Measure which is proposed by liberal-minded Europeans of the Federation. An hon. Member says that that is nonsense. I would remind the House of what has happened in Rhodesia and Central Africa in the last 50 to 60 years. When the Europeans went there the natives had remained undeveloped for anything between 1,000 and 2,000 years. We have brought them along the road to economic development and to an increased standard of life.
I will take up the time of the House for a few minutes to mention a few of the things which have been accomplished in the last 50 years. There are 10,500 African teachers in Southern Rhodesia. Is that not of help to the Africans in Rhodesia? If we wanted to keep them in the ditch should we have developed education as we have done? Three Africans in Nyasaland have posts as education officers with a salary of £1,300 a year. Is that not a development in 50 years amongst Africans who had not developed themselves at all in 2,000 years? In Northern Rhodesia brick-layers, carpenters and storekeepers have reached salaries of £50 a month. New regulations in Southern Rhodesia enable skilled Africans in the engineering industry to earn the top rate of 5s. 4d. an hour, 1134 which is comparable to what the Europeans can earn.
Yet we hear this nonsense talked today that we are not endeavouring to bring the Africans along the road of progress. In the 18 months before Federation the amount spent on the health service in Nyasaland was £248,000, and last year the figure jumped to £662,000. Is that not helping the Africans? There are 400,000 Africans at school in Southern Rhodesia, and efforts are being made to increase the African teaching staff by 1,000 a year. Is that not progress? The people who have done this are the ones who are being condemned here today for what they are doing.
§ Mr. James MacColl (Widnes)
The hon. Gentleman asks whether that is progress. Can he say whether the fact that in the Copper Belt the proportion of Africans receiving any kind of elementary education has dropped is progress?
§ Mr. MacColl
May I try again? In the Copper Belt the proportion of Africans receiving any kind of education at all has dropped from about 50 per cent. to about 30 per cent. Is that progress?
§ Mr. Baldwin
I do not accept that for one moment. The figures I have read out show the progress that the Africans are making in education. I can quote an African.
§ Mr. Baldwin
He is Mr. Matinga. He said it is not true to say that all Africans are against Federation. He is an important member of the Nyasaland African Progressive Association, which is an association that has come into existence in opposition to Congress, whose members are extremists, and this gentleman said that Congress has become a society for individualists instead of applying itself to the needs of the country.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
This really is not good enough. Mr. Matinga is in a one-man party in Nyasaland. He is his own party.
§ Mr. Baldwin
I do not accept that. He is not a one-man party. There is a Progressive Party there, and it is doing a very useful job of work.
1135 What hon. Members are trying to say is that these liberal-minded Europeans who have done so much for the Africans in the last 50 years are endeavouring to keep the Africans subject. What we are doing is driving many of these liberal-minded Europeans to be extremists. We do a very great disservice to Africa by doing that.
We are interfering with legislation passed out there. This House will not indefinitely be permitted to interfere with legislation in Central Africa. Central Africa can stand on its own feet. It is economically viable, and it will not be interfered with by or be subject to the Government in this country. If we proceed as hon. Members on the other side of the House would have us do we shall some day have another Boston tea party. It would not surprise me one little bit.
I quote Lord Malvern in a debate on 8th January in the Federal Assembly. Sir Godfrey Huggins, now Lord Malvern, was the very liberal-minded Premier of Southern Rhodesia for about 23 years, and he brought the Africans along economically and politically. Although any legislation which was passed by the Southern Rhodesian Parliament and which was inimical to the African natives could have been brought to this House, in all those 23 years this House did not have any brought to it at all from Southern Rhodesia. That gives some idea of what the former Sir Godfrey Huggins and his liberal-minded friends have done in Rhodesia.
That is one difference between hon. Members opposite and Lord Malvern, who said that the African must work his passage economically before he advances politically. To hon. Members opposite, everything seems to be an advance politically and not economically. Lord Malvern said in the debate that he was convinced that it would not be possible to put partnership across in the Federal area as long as the Federation's domestic affairs could be discussed in the United Kingdom Parliament. He went on to say:We are working for the day when there will be complete partnership, and that will come by evolution and not revolution.Let me quote the Minister of State, Commonwealth Relations, who made a very successful journey through Central 1136 Africa a short time ago. At the end of a speech in Northern Rhodesia, he said:If only the politicians, having discovered how essential the races are to each other, would leave you alone and allow you to work out your own destiny, socially and economically, then the future of this part of Africa would be assured.He said that Europeans had been in Africa for many years and intended to stay there and that they would not continue to accept interference from the British Government.
I have said that there are many Africans who are not extremists. They realise what the European has done for them. They are reasonable-minded men. I have quoted Matinga. Let me quote Hove, another African member of the Federal Party, who supported the Bill in the Federal Parliament. He said:It was an attempt to solve a difficult situation and it was a compromise.That is the view of a reasonable-minded African who saw what the Bill meant to the African. It is a great increase in the advance of the African to get on to the common roll. As the years go on, more and more Africans will get on that roll, and more and more will the Africans use their strength to see that the legislators are appointed and influenced by their vote.
I will mention another African, the President of the African Association, who joined the Federal Party and who said:By joining the party, my intention is not to placate Europeans and betray Africans.Voting against the Bill, there were five in favour of more representation for Africans. They were joined by the Dominion Party, whose views would be likely to lead to apartheid and all the troubles that have arisen in South Africa.
I deplore some of the remarks which have been made in this debate today. I have listened to many debates in this House on African affairs, but I have never heard such bitter remarks as I have heard today. I have never heard speeches that will do more harm to the relationship between the two principal races in Africa. I can only hope that too much notice will not be taken of what has been said in this House, because I am quite sure that the harm which has been done will take some undoing.
1137 I hope that the Government will pass the Bill and that it will soon become an Act in the Rhodesian Federation. It is a great move in helping the African along the road. I have a very great deal of time for the African. I was in African ten weeks before Federation and I met all sections of Africans and formed a great opinion of many of them as being level-minded, sensible men. During the whole of that time, the only occasion when the delegation out there got into trouble was in Nyasaland, when the African Congress leaders forced their way into our conference with the Nyasaland local people and made things thoroughly unpleasant. I was extremely sorry for that, because my impression in Nyasaland was that the relationship between the European and the African was better than in any of the other territories. It would be a very sad thing for Nyasaland if Congress should be able to force some Government—I do not know which one—to let Nyasaland break away from the Federation.
§ 8.34 p.m.
§ Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)
We have listened to a most extraordinary speech. As I followed the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Baldwin), I began to wonder whether words had begun to lose all their meaning. When the hon. Member told us that the Bill we are discussing was proposed by all the liberal-minded Europeans in the Federation, I wondered when he had last been there. I have just come back from the Federation, and one thing that is quite clear to me is that it is the very liberal-minded Europeans—those who are hoping to make multi-racialism work and who genuinely believe in partnership—who are horrified and distressed by this Bill.
The hon. Member told us about the progress that has been made in the conditions of the Africans, and he has quoted certain educational advances in Southern Rhodesia. I am quite prepared to admit that Mr. Garfield Todd has made some progress there. Does the hon. Member, however, think that Mr. Garfield Todd is a great admirer of this Bill? Is the hon. Member not aware that Mr. Garfield Todd is in trouble, and got into trouble at the very moment when Her Majesty's Government made it perfectly clear during our debates last November on the Constitution Amendment Bill that they 1138 were backing the reactionaries on that Bill?
When the Constitution Amendment Bill went through the House of Commons, those in Mr. Garfield Todd's party who were alarmed at the rate of African advance that was being made in Southern Rhodesia and who had been biding their time came into the open. In a matter of weeks, Mr. Garfield Todd was faced with resignations and a revolt. It is the enlightened European opinion inside the Federation that is still hoping at this late hour that this British Parliament might withdraw its approval of the Bill. They are the ones who are alarmed.
When I was in the Federation, I was impressed by the number of Europeans who have realised the dangerous situation in which they live, and who are waiting and longing for a more courageous lead from some of their own politicians. They believe that Sir Roy Welensky has totally misread the mood of the majority of Europeans in their country and, by trying to be a clever, tricky politician, is throwing away the one chance they have to use the short period of time that remains to them to convince Africans that Europeans in the Federation genuinely believe in partnership.
The hon. Member for Leominster talked about liberal opinion. Is he aware that at the annual synod of the Methodist Church in Northern Rhodesia, on 18th January, a resolution was passed, with record unanimity, deploring the Federal Franchise Bill and opposing the proposal that Dominion status be granted to the Federation in two years' time? One of the ministers at the synod went on record as saying that if the great betrayal was ever likely to be perpetrated of Dominion status being given to the Federation on the basis of this kind of franchise and approach to racial relationship, it would be the duty of the Methodist Church in the Federation to come out in open political opposition to the Government. Those who say that are by no means alone.
The Reverend Andrew Doig of the Church of Scotland and Sir John Moffat stand out as typical of the most enlightened European opinion. Why do people like the Reverend Andrew Doig come over here—and other Europeans talk of coming over here—when it is not an easy matter and it takes money and 1139 time? They are coming almost in despair to try to impress upon the British House of Commons that once again in the Central African Federation we are in danger of perpetrating some of the mistakes which we have made in other parts of the colonial empire, leaving us with another disastrous "too late" on our hands.
Let us make no mistake. When we embark upon an attempt to build multiracial government, we embark upon one of the most tricky political experiments in the history of the world. Colour relationships between black and white are tricky and difficult. They are not to be swept away by a few airy words. There are, of course, suspicions and anxieties on both sides, particularly when these colour relationships are bedevilled by a colonial relationship which is, in itself, dynamite for us to handle.
What, then, should be our duty if we want multi-racialism to work, if we want, as we on this side of the House want, to see for the sake of Africans progress made towards a true democracy in which we believe, on a basis that will enable the European to stay there and make his contribution to what is inevitably an African continent? That is the challenge which faces us.
The African needs the European, but he can never accept him on the basis that his need for the European must permanently deprive him of his democratic rights. So there will be a most tricky transitional period, and in it, when one race fears the other, we must begin by recognising that the minority race, the European race, has got overwhelming safeguards and guarantees today in the political and economic power which it enjoys. Underneath that dominant European minority there is the African mass, which I assure this House is growing increasingly cynical, restive and unhappy. There will be an explosion in the Federation, just as there will be in the Union of South Africa, unless we provide the safety valves.
In that situation, if we ask the African to be patient, as we have done endlessly, it is to him that the safeguards must be given and the guarantees made. The European has got them in plenty. The European has got the money, he has got the vote, he has got the Ministers, 1140 and he has got the ear of Her Majesty's Government. What the African is asking for is a very simple thing. He has said, "Let me have the assurance that the protection of the British House of Commons will not be withdrawn by one iota until I am strong enough to stand up to the Europeans out of my own strength."
There is another thing we must not under-estimate. When Federation was imposed upon the Africans against their will, deep damage was done to the whole concept of Federation. When hon. Gentlemen opposite tell us not to make inflamatory speeches which will do so much harm, I say that the biggest harm to the idea of federation was done from the very beginning by hon. Gentlemen opposite, first by imposing it on the African, and then by over-ruling his deep fears. These fears were represented by the Chief I met in Nyasaland, who had come here in 1953, on pennies raised by his own people, to plead against the imposition of federation. He was not listened to then. He was told that there would be safeguards for him. One of them he was guaranteed was that there would be no change in the Constitution detrimental to his interests if that was opposed by the watchdog we gave him in the African Affairs Board.
I say that, if this Measure is agreed to. I personally do not believe that Federation can live and last; not because of any speeches we on this side make; in fact, on the contrary. I have made many speeches inside the Federation trying, for instance, to argue with my friends the Africans in Nyasaland that they needed every kind of economic strength they could get, and suggesting to them that a more positive policy was to use the place of Nyasaland in the Federation, the place of a dominantly African Protectorate, to try to liberalise the rest of the Federation. I said, "Do not be defeatist and talk about secession. Do not give up. Go on and fight for the conditions which will make Federation tolerable to you."
I shall never forget that evening in the Drande Club. The Colonial Secretary and the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations had been there before me, so we have all been through the mill of the intensive, highly intelligent African cross-examination there. At the 1141 end of it all, I took a simple test. I said, "I have been told that only those of you who are articulate have expressed opinions and that you misrepresent the views of the rest. If we were to give you federation of the kind you would find tolerable, put up your hands if you would still want to secede" Every hand in the room shot up.
I hope that no one will say, as was said to me in the Federation, "You have been listening to a few agitators," One provincial commissioner told me, when I said that I had not met a single educated African in Nyasaland who was in support of federation, that I had been talking only to the one per cent. and that in the villages they were "very primitive" and were not interested in politics. I replied, "I see. You are building your case for federation on illiteracy."
As a matter of fact, several people who should know told me how wrong he was, people like the missionaries who work day and night in the villages and who are more integrated with the Africans than any politician can be. Every missionary I met throughout the Federation said two things; first, that federation was intolerable to the African on the present terms; and, second, that if the Federal Franchise Bill went through, the last chance of making the African believe that there could be a gradual liberalisation in the Federation and that until then there would be the British House of Commons to act as a safeguard would have gone.
I beg hon. Members tonight just for a moment to put themselves in the skin of the African. I know that some progress is being made, and I am the first to welcome any sign that partnership is becoming a reality. I welcome the breaking down of segregation wherever it may be, whether in the multi-racial university at Salisbury, or anywhere else, but from the speeches we have had from hon. Members opposite tonight we have had an indication of the problem facing us.
We are asked to accept in this Bill an undemocratic principle, and we are told that we have to accept it because there are worse reactionaries waiting behind to take over if we do not. Do hon. Members believe that the Africans do not know that, too? The problem in the Federation, particularly in Southern Rhodesia, is that any progress has to be made by stealth for fear of frightening 1142 the Europeans, but the humiliations to the Africans take place in public and the Africans do not forget.
I shall never forget one Sunday morning in Salisbury when I was going along the main street to post a letter. Along the road there came careering a jeep with a European at the wheel. He wanted to make an illegal U-turn in the wide street, so he pulled in towards a pavement where an African in his Sunday best was enjoying himself on his precious new bicycle. The European drove straight at him until he wobbled almost under the jeep's wheels and the European then leaned out of the window and in my hearing said, "Get out of the way, you black bastard."
I am not pretending that that is representative of every European. [An HON. MEMBER: "Disgraceful."] I agree that it is disgraceful, but the tragedy in the Federation today is that the liberal European does not like that sort of thing and will say to me privately, "All the good work we have tried to do will be undone in a few moments by persons like that", but will not come out into the open to initiate Government policy to insist on overriding the colour bar in the hotels.
There is not very much time left for us to win the confidence of the Africans, and in this piece of legislation we are unfortunately going the other way. We were challenged on what we would do—did we believe in communal representation? I would be the first to agree that it is better to get rid of special representation of the Africans and to move forward to the non-racial representation of the common roll. We are not doing that in this Bill. In the case of 44 seats out of the 59, the members are to be elected on the general roll, which, by the admission of the Colonial Secretary himself this afternoon, will be a European roll. Therefore, it will be racial representation.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)
My right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary is not here at the moment, but I understood him to say that, as is perfectly true, although the African element in the general roll will be small to start with, it would gradually increase and, as a result, it could in no circumstances be regarded as a European roll.
§ Mrs. Castle
We are dealing with the position now, and do not let us forget that the moment an African looks like catching up on the Europeans there is always some new safeguard introduced.
§ Mrs. Castle
We have only to look at the Southern Rhodesian Constitution. The moment an African qualifies, the moment he becomes what the European calls civilised and, therefore, looks like taking his democratic place in their affairs, a new barrier is put up. There is no sign today that the Europeans inside the Federation are prepared to allow the logic of their own definition of democracy to work itself out. The only sign we have got is that they are prepared, and indeed determined, to entrench white supremacy.
Therefore, it is for us to insist, in the name of the British House of Commons, that we here anyway believe in partnership, and that if the Europeans have not by the time 1960 comes won the confidence of the Africans, then it will be quite intolerable to insist on imprisoning a majority of the African people inside a Federation which they hate. The responsibility for making the Africans want federation rests with the Europeans, and the tragedy is that in this Bill we are discussing tonight they have driven one more nail into the coffin of multiracial progress.
When we say that we in the British House of Commons believe in a common roll, that we want non-racial representation and people elected on a non-communal basis, we on this side of the House agree with that, but what is entrenched in this Federal Franchise Bill is a form of common roll which says that Europeans shall vote for Africans but that Africans shall not vote for Europeans. That is, in effect, what we say, and by saying it we bring the whole idea of the common roll and a multi-racial community into contempt.
That is why tonight, if we accept this Bill, we are doing the greatest damage we can to the concept of Federation itself and to the wider concepts of multi-racial partnership, and that will be a great tragedy for Africa.
§ 8.54 p.m.
§ Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)
Hon. Members who have been in this House longer than I have are, I believe, used to hearing violent statements made by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), but I was particularly sorry this evening to find that the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), for whom I have the greatest respect, seemed to take a leaf out of the hon. Lady's book, and to make a speech that will, I think, cause alarm and despondency among moderates throughout British Africa. He made serious charges against the motives and intentions of the Federal Government. Listening to his words, one would not have thought that in Southern Rhodesia a great drive was in progress for 1,000 extra African teachers every year. When this point was made, one hon. Member opposite referred to the Copper Belt in Northern Rhodesia, and pointed out that in that area the proportion of African children receiving primary education was dropping. We know that there are difficulties over education in the Copper Belt, because of the families which are pouring in from all parts of the Federation, but in the rest of the country more African children than ever before are receiving a primary education, and in its report our own Parliamentary delegation agreed that substantial advances were being made in the rest of Northern Rhodesia.
Having listened to the right hon. Member for Wakefield, one would not have thought that the amount of money spent upon the education of Africans in Nyasaland had trebled since Federation—since the time when he was responsible for the expenditure of money upon African education.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
Would it interest the hon. Member to know precisely how it happened that the money flowed into Nyasaland?
§ Mr. Goodhart
It was as a result of Federation, and the increased prosperity of the whole land. Money cannot be spent if one has not got it.
The right hon. Gentleman put his finger on the nub of the problem when, in answer to a provocative remark of my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall), he explained that his reason for not having made any constructive 1145 suggestion himself was that this was a case of a clear choice between the Bill and the status quo. I want to contrast one or two points contained in the Bill with this status quo. We all want to see more Africans on the electoral roll. The Bill vastly increases the number of Africans on the roll. I would have thought that it would be a severely retrograde step to go back.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
Does the hon. Member support this vicious and hypocritical two-tier system, whereby 50,000 Africans vote for five or six African members, but have no voice in the election of the other 44 members?
§ Mr. Goodhart
I want to go into the question of the African constituencies. If we maintained the status quo in Southern Rhodesia we should have a minute percentage of Africans voting for their special African members. Under the system outlined in the Bill, 25 per cent. or 33 per cent. will vote for their special Members. That is an improvement. I am not saying that it is perfect, or good, but it is an improvement, and I challenge any hon. Member opposite to say that it is not.
What was the status quo in Nyasaland on 25th November before my right hon. Friend made his speech? We had the special African members chosen by an electoral college of 21 Africans. Under the new system we shall have an electoral college of over 240 Africans choosing those members who were established before, and we shall have a common roll, with a substantial preponderance of African voters on it for choosing the new members. I suggest that that is a considerable advance from the old position of the members being chosen by 21 people.
In Northern Rhodesia, with the old African members being chosen as they were before, there are two new African members who are to be chosen on a common roll in which we shall have the European and the African electorate roughly in balance. Are we to throw out the whole of this Bill because we object to two members out of the 57 in the new Chamber being chosen by a common electoral roll on which we have, roughly, 50 per cent. Europeans and 50 per cent. Africans?
1146 It could be argued that many Africans will not take up their position on the roll, that they may even be intimidated from so doing. If we do not assume that Africans will take the advantages, one might say the rights, given to them by this Bill, our discussions become completely academic and arid. I believe that there still exists in Africa, in all races, a majority of people who want to see multiracial partnership work. But I fear that on the communal voting rolls these moderate voices are swept aside by the thundering racial hatred. I agree with the right hon. Member for Wakefield that the time has not yet come to abandon communal representation. But surely the time is coming to make some move in experimenting with an elected common roll, and eventually this will be pretty effective in Northern Rhodesia.
We talk about African members of Parliament and suggest they spend their time looking over their shoulders at their electorate. That would appear to be uncomfortable for anyone, but if they do, they will see that half of their electorate, in fact, have African faces.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
Is the hon. Member really happy with the small number of Africans allowed to vote on the top tier for the 44 European seats?
§ Mr. Goodhart
I am not suggesting that I am happy about that, but it will not be improved by preserving the status quo.
It has often been said by hon. Members opposite that we should wait until 1960, until the statutory revision of the Constitution is made. I suggest that this Bill is an experiment. Almost any Bill dealing with Africa is bound to be an experiment. Almost any Bill dealing with the franchise is bound to be an experiment. Here we have the two thrown together in a sort of franchise soufflé. We should give to those who will have the serious task of reviewing the Constitution in 1960 the opportunity of seeing how this bold step forward in African political advancement will work. I hope and pray that it will work well.
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Dingle Foot (Ipswich)
I wish to make three brief points in the few minutes available to me. The first is with reference to the speech of the Secretary of 1147 State. He was at great pains to assure the House that the Bill does not represent a breach of faith with the Africans who came to the constitutional conference in 1953.
The right hon. Gentleman referred to the speech that was made by Sir John Moffat in the Federal Assembly and said that the answer would be found in the provisions of Section 98 of the Constitution. That is not a sufficient reply. It is true that Section 98 is the machinery Clause and provides the machinery whereby constitutional changes can he made, but the fact that that Section is inserted in the Constitution does not in the least mean that no assurances were given and accepted in 1953.
I would remind the House of what was said by Sir John Moffat in the debate in Salisbury:I declare categorically that had the Government disclosed during those discussions that the compromise reached with such effort and concession would be altered by them unilaterally without conferring, they would never have got the agreement. In point of fact, they might never have got the Federation.He went on to say:When this Federation was thrust on an unwilling African population it was the express wish of all the Parties and the Governments at that Federation Conference that the safeguards should be explained to them with regard to the Constitution, and this was done. The African peoples were told in meeting after meeting, of the safeguards which the Constitution contained for them. They were told that they would have their own statesmen in the Federal House, and they were told—mark this well—that they would elect their own spokesmen themselves. We told them these things and we pledged our word that this was so.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I dealt with this in my opening speech, both with the suggestion that certain assurances had been given at the time of the conference and with the suggestion that the Constitution itself prevented any alteration or bound us not to have African members elected by some different system than under Article 13. I have nothing to add to what I said then, which I believe to be the complete answer to what the hon. and learned Member has said.
§ Mr. Foot
The right hon. Gentleman has not met the point. Everybody agrees that there is provision in Section 98 for alterations to the Constitution. We want to know whether assurances were given, 1148 and, if so, what the assurances were. On that point we have had no answer so far from the Government Front Bench.
I would call attention to another aspect, to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) referred in passing, and that is the provisions of Sections 17 and 18 of the Bill, which set up the qualifications for voters on the general roll and the special roll. We have heard a good deal about the income qualification of £720 a year and the rest of it. We have not heard quite so much about what comes before the African ever gets to the income and educational qualifications. We find that in order to have the requisite means and educational qualifications to be registered as a voter a claimantmust have an adequate knowledge of the English language and be able, in his own handwriting, to complete and sign the claim form in accordance with the provisions of this Act.That is to say, two requisites are imposed; first, ability to speak English; and, secondly, literacy. Why on earth are those conditions imposed? They are conditions we do not even seek to impose on electors in this country. I wonder what sort of explosion there would be from hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies if we had such a clause in our legislation.
This House has existed for 700 years, but not until recently have the majority of those who elect us been able to read or write. The great body of those who elected Wilkes for Middlesex and Charles James Fox for Westminster were entirely illiterate, but they knew perfectly well what they were doing. If one goes to West Africa, as I did recently, one may see electors casting their votes quite effectively, although the great majority of them are illiterate. There is no justification for imposing these two tests in addition to all the other qualifications required of the electors.
That is not the only objection to this Bill. There are the various income tests of £720, £400 or £300 plus an educational qualification. We ought to have some explanation of why the income qualification has been raised. In paragraph 9 of the Report of the African Affairs Board we read:In the election of members to the present Federal House voters from Northern Rhodesia could qualify (if British subjects) on an income of £200 per annum plus simple literacy 1149 while those from Southern Rhodesia required £240 per annum plus knowledge of English plus simple literacy. Under this Bill the monetary qualification for individuals of this educational standard is raised to £720 per annum.Before we approve of this Bill, we ought to have some explanation of why there has been this stupendous increase.
There is one other matter to which I desire to call attention. We are concerned here not only with the merits or demerits of this Bill; we are concerned with the effect of this Bill, and particularly with its effect upon African opinion. In the long run, it is African opinion that matters, because a minority of 275,000 people cannot for ever ignore the express wishes of the great majority of 7 million. We all have to bear in mind what is going to happen when the Constitution is reviewed in 1960, or it may be rather sooner than that. There can be no possible doubt what the Federal Government want. They want, as soon as they can get it, a transfer of sovereignty. They want full self-government, or Dominion status, whichever we choose to call it. That brings us right back to what I regard as the most important words of all in the present Constitution, the words in the Preamble, which say:And whereas Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland should continue under the special protection of Her Majesty, to enjoy separate Governments for so long as their respective peoples so desire …Later it refers to the prospect of enabling the Federation, when those inhabitants so desire, to go forward with confidence towards the attainment of full membership of the Commonwealth.
Reference has been made to that in a number of debates, and I know that fresh assurances have been given by Government spokesmen, but what is to be the effect of this Bill? It is declared in the Preamble that we have to have regard to the wishes of the inhabitants. How are those wishes to be expressed, and by whom? Are we to be told in 1960, or maybe earlier or later, that the wishes have been expressed by some of those African representatives who have been elected on the general roll set up by this Measure; that is to say, who have been elected by a European majority?
Therefore, I ask that either in this debate or at some stage we should have two assurances. The first is that when the time comes for the Constitution to 1150 be reviewed the desires of the European minority will not be allowed to outweigh those of the African majority. The second is that the views of African members elected by and responsible to a mainly European electorate will not be deemed to be the views of the African people themselves. We ought to have those assurances, either tonight or in the very near future.
§ 9.16 p.m.
§ Mr. A. G. Bottomley (Rochester and Chatham)
We were rather encouraged when, on the Third Reading of the Constitution Amendment Bill, the Colonial Secretary said that the House would have a further opportunity of considering its attitude towards this Electoral Bill. Those high hopes were dashed by the right hon. Gentleman's speech today. There was a marked contrast between his speech and the clear-sighted and forceful speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones).
There are many who are asking, "Now that the Constitution Amendment Bill is law, why should we attempt to veto the franchise Bill?" I would say, first, that this Bill will not, as some think, hold up the elections. It is still possible to hold them by the same procedure as that adopted in 1953. It is possible for the Federal Parliament to pass emergency legislation to enable the elections to take place. Of those authorities that attended the Constitutional Conference, when it was decided to wait until 1960 before considering revision, none, other than the Federal Government, has had an opportunity of making changes, and we see no reason why the Federal Government should be given this opportunity before 1960.
In particular, I ask the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if the Government take the view that the passing of this Bill will stop discussions about the franchise in 1960. I hope that he can answer that. Speaking for this side, I can say that the door will still be left open for discussions about the franchise even though this Measure should be passed.
Many who previously supported the Constitution Amendment Bill did so because they thought that it would strengthen liberal elements in the Federation. I think that recent events have 1151 shown that that is not so. We have had the resignation of one of the most liberal-minded of the Europeans who live in the Federation—the Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister, Mr. Garfield Todd. We were all encouraged when he was succeeded by Sir Edgar Whitehead. Many of us know Sir Edgar, and know that he is a fairly sound and reliable person. We were encouraged, but, like others, I imagine, I was interested to read in the Economist last week:The defeat of Mr. Todd in Southern Rhodesia, even though he has not been succeeded by a reactionary, will increase British doubts over Central African professions of liberal intent.I think that the Economist is absolutely right. Events have caused many of us on this side to be wary about supposed strengthening of the liberal elements in the Federation. Indeed, the decision to amalgamate the United Federal Party with Mr. Todd's old United Rhodesian Party, and align it under Sir Roy Welensky, does not bring any great hopes either. Indeed, it seems that this United Federal Party means a more solid support for the Electoral Bill.
The Federal Government Memorandum on the new electoral system reads:The system offers a workable solution within the framework of existing constitutional arrangements to the twin problems of preserving political control in civilised and responsible hands and of associating the emergent African with the processes of government.By this Electoral Bill, as has been shown, the Africans get far less chance of playing their part. In the present Federal Assembly, the European voters control 29 members and the African voters control four. But after the next election, under the new Bill, the Europeans will control 49 members and the Africans four. I admit that there are eight additional African members who will be elected by the joint voters' roll, but no one can say that they are truly representative.
I think the Secretary of State was a little misleading when he said that the African membership is doubled whereas the European membership is increased by two-thirds. It is true the Europeans have had their two-thirds, but the African membership has not been doubled by changing it from six to twelve but from nine to fifteen. It is not right to say 1152 that the African membership has been doubled. Both have been increased by two-thirds.
We opposed the Constitution Amendment Bill, and we were not alone. Responsible newspapers and many organisations have opposed it. We said at the time that the Electoral Bill would make a fundamental change. We are seeing that change now taking place. This Bill will be a step towards handing over United Kingdom Government control of the Northern Territories. The Colonial Secretary has assured us more than once that this is not so. It is not what is said in the House by Ministers that counts. In the past we have thought that what we say would have a controlling influence, but when it becomes a matter of law, the judges who have to interpret it have ignored what Ministers have said. It is only what is in the Act that counts. We believe that the Constitution Amendment Bill and the Federal Electoral Bill are for the purpose of reducing the number of members chosen to represent African interests. We are not alone in this belief.
The Colonial Secretary has paid tribute, as we all do, to the African Affairs Board. It is agreed by all sides that it is a very responsible body. If we allow this Electoral Bill to go through with the elections on the new basis, does not the Colonial Secretary see that the Board will take a different attitude? The elections will endanger its very character. It will not have the strength and authority that it had before. We are supported in this view by a member of the African Affairs Board. The Reverend Andrew Doig has been sent to this country by a majority of the members of the Board to express its views and to urge the Government not to advise the Queen to give the Royal Assent to the Bill. If Europeans feel this way, how do Africans feel? I have seen, as I imagine many other hon. Members have seen, the comment made by a very trusted, knowledgeable and able African, Mr. Chirwa. What did he have to say in the Second Reading debate in the Federal Parliament on 16th December, 1957?Prior to the Central African Federation, the African placed some faith in the British Government. That faith has withered away now, more particularly since the passing of the Constitution Amendment Bill by a majority of Members of the House of Commons. 1153 Africans have come to the conclusion that they can neither look to Britain nor to the Europeans in Central Africa for justice, and they must look to their own means to get that justice. It is a very dangerous historical moment to which we are drifting in Central Africa".He went on to say:People who are oppressed come to a stage when they say, 'We cannot trust them any longer. We can only trust ourselves', and no amount of military forces behind the Government can stop the spirit of the people from expressing itself.Finally, he said:I think it is clear that the Government is trying to force Africans to resort to means which are unconstitutional so that they can get their rights".Those quotations support the comments made by my hon. Friends who recently had the opportunity of seeing things for themselves in the Federation.
What of the African students in this country, those who will go back and be the future leaders of their people? All the organisations have joined together to protest to the Colonial Secretary against the Bill. Another independent member of the Federal Government, Dr. Alexander Scott, sitting in the Federal House said that he knew of no moderate African in Northern Rhodesia who intended to have anything whatever to do with the Electoral Bill.
We have the opinion of our own colleagues in this House who made their protest. There was a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation, four Members from the Government side and three from the Opposition, which stressed the need to convince the Africans they have a large political stake in the Federation.
They said:This would mean a bold increase in representative Government in the Territories, together with a substantial widening of African influence in the election of members of the Federal Assembly.We are certainly not giving that by supporting the Bill. We in the House of Commons have a responsibility to protect African rights in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. By the Electoral Bill, we are whittling away those rights. We are giving away—I hope I am not using too strong a word—our Colonial responsibilities to a white aristocracy. The Federal Government are being back by the United Kingdom Government, and they will strengthen the forces of reaction 1154 rather than those of progressive Africans. Africans are losing faith.
I was a member of the mission which went to Kenya in 1954, and I was very gratified today to hear the Colonial Secretary refer to new proposals in regard to the future Constitution for Kenya. Those of us on that mission in 1954 proposed such suggestions then. We are now too late. Africans are intransigent, when they might have been accepting these very worthwhile proposals today. I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that, if the African Affairs Board is ignored, Africans in Kenya will have second thoughts about the Council of State which is to be created under the new Kenya Constitution. They will ask, "Is this how our Council of State is to be treated?"
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Both sets of proposals are attempts to get away from purely communal representation and to get on to a common roll basis, which we believe to be the only answer in a multiracial society.
§ Mr. Bottomley
In principle, there is no difference, but in practice, as I am trying to show, there is a fundamental difference. Perhaps the Colonial Secretary will, towards the end of my remarks, consider whether he agrees with my conclusions or not.
The Government should make it clear—and this will encourage the Council of State in Kenya—that the African Affairs Board is an essential organ through which British responsibilities towards Africa are invoked. The Board has been twice overruled. By a veto of the Electoral Bill, the Government could take the opportunity to re-establish the authority of the African Affairs Board. I have read, and I believe it to be true, that it was by arrangement between the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Prime Minister of the Federation that the Electoral Bill came into being, the Constitution Amendment Bill first, and that it was not until subsequently that the African Affairs Board knew anything about it. What the Colonial Secretary appears to have done in this case is not the way to treat responsible authority.
The proposals in the Electoral Bill are for representation and the qualifications 1155 for the vote, but there are two things which have to be done before the proposals become law. One of them is that the United Kingdom Government have to advise the Queen. The other is that the Nyasaland Legislative Council must approve the provisions for the elected members. So far as I know, the Nyasaland Legislative Council has not yet debated these proposals. Because of the special position of Nyasaland the Council has to approve of the franchise provisions before they can apply in that Territory, but the Nyasaland Council is still controlled by officials, officials who are responsible to the Secretary of State.
We are entitled to know what instructions the Secretary of State has given or intends to give to his officials in Nyasaland, and whether he intends to instruct them to vote against the decision of the African members who, according to his own constitutional provisions, are supposed to represent the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Territory.
This Bill, as we on this side of the House see it, is one more step towards domination of those countries by the tiny white minority. We expressed these fears, we said we thought this would be the outcome of Federation, in 1952 and 1953. We were assured by the Government that they had been meticulous to insist upon entrenched safeguards for the African majority. Now we see, within five years, how easily those safeguards can be circumvented. The first two recommendations the African Affairs Board has made are overthrown by the Government here.
As I have said, by this new Electoral Bill the character of the Legislature will be changed, and it will be brought a good deal more under white influence. What about African representation? It is going to be watered down still further by making the majority of the new members answerable in the main to the European electorates. Every step which is being taken is being taken with eyes fixed on 1960, the clear object being to secure dominion status in that year, thus enabling the European community to entrench its privileged position permanently.
Suppose this were to happen. Suppose that Dominion status is granted to the 1156 Federation with these franchise arrangements or something similar to them. What guarantee has the Secretary of State to give to the vast majority of the population, who are Africans, and who at the moment are our wards, that they will ever be able to develop into political maturity? Does not every expression of Federal Government opinion show how unlikely this is going to be?
There are many, particularly on the other side of the House, who think that Lord Malvern and Sir Roy Welensky are very liberal-minded persons. Both of them are on record as saying that their view of partnership is that there can never be more than a half share for Africans, in spite of the fact that the Africans outnumber the Europeans by 30 to 1. I would ask hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, have we forgotten the lesson of South Africa? There we gambled on the liberal instincts of the white population. We have seen the tragic results over the past 50 years. What are the safeguards we are guaranteeing to the Africans to ensure that the tragedy is not repeated in the Federation?
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that he thinks that Campbell-Bannerman and the Liberals were wrong to give South Africa self-government when they did?
§ Mr. Bottomley
I am not suggesting that. I am saying that in giving self-government we should give democratic rights to all the peoples and not to a minority. Is it any wonder that in present circumstances the Africans consider that they are being sold out by Her Majesty's Government? That is the opinion expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) and others.
Only last week, in the Central African Examiner, Mr. Garfield Todd was said to be forced to resign. In saying that, the leading article continued:partnership will be a phrase greeted only with a bitter laugh; a single indictment of European hypocrisy.Mr. Todd has been driven to resign and in the process of resigning he made an important statement. He said:The danger at the present moment is not from extreme liberals, but from minorities who allow fear to sway them to such an extent that the reactionary element may take control of the United Federal Party.1157 If that is the danger now, how much more may it be so in the future, when either the United Federal Party or something worse—the Dominion Party—could hold complete sway over the Federation.
The simple point I am trying to make is that we in this country are at present the trustees for the political advancement of the Africans to lead them to their full democratic rights and we cannot abdicate that responsibility to a minority group, no matter what its race or colour.
The Prime Minister has returned from the Commonwealth. During his visit to Australia, he made what I thought was a very important statement when he said:It is the special task of the British Commonwealth to show, in practice as well as in theory, that the principles of parliamentary democracy still meet the fundamental needs of men.With that statement I agree, as do all my right hon. and hon. Friends and, I hope, hon. Members opposite also. If that is so and we are all in full agreement, let us not forget that the Federation is within the Commonwealth and that according to the Prime Minister's own words the principle of parliamentary democracy should meet its needs.
What is happening in the Federation is not a franchise for democracy, but a franchise for plutocracy. It puts a premium on wealth and confines the right to vote to those with money or with property. This has nothing to do with the principle of Parliamentary democracy. It presupposes that if a person is wealthy, no matter how he acquires his wealth, he has the qualifications to guide the fortunes of a country. Those who are living in humble circumstances, no matter how intelligent or politically conscious they may be or the contribution they are making to the community, are to be denied the democratic right of exercising a vote because they do not have the wealth. This is not the way to build up a healthy democratic state nor to provide for racial partnership.
We on this side of the House accept our obligations. We are quite prepared to assist in the development of this new member of a great Commonwealth, but we consider that qualifications are essential for its establishment. The first is that it must be founded on broad 1158 democratic principles, with the political right of participation in government guaranteed to every citizen regardless of wealth, colour or race. The second qualification is that the establishment of such a State must be approved by the vast majority of its citizens and not simply by a small privileged clique.
We have not been encouraged by the contribution today of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. We hope that the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, when he replies to the debate, will be able to say that he accepts these principles, and, in accepting them, will say that the veto will be applied. If he cannot accept what we propose tonight, I ask him to say how he can reconcile these principles and ideas with the measure of racial discrimination that the Government are forcing through tonight. If they insist upon it, we shall have no alternative but to go into the Division Lobby.
§ 9.40 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)
While I was unable to accept all the arguments put forward by the right hon. Member for Rochester and Chatham (Mr. Bottomley), I think that there will be other hon. Members, at any rate on this side of the House, who appreciated the quiet way in which he approached the subject and the closely reasoned arguments he put forward, which were in marked contrast to the tone and approach of the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), who opened the debate for the Opposition.
My hon. Friends the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) and the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) have already dealt very effectively with some of the points which the right hon. Member for Wakefield advanced, but there are still one or two on which I should like to animadvert even at this late stage of the debate. Eight years ago, when the right hon. Member was Secretary of State for the Colonies, it was not considered that the Africans in Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland had reached a stage of political maturity which allowed them to participate effectively in the process of direct election. Yet the right hon. Member was making claims during his speech, as far as I understood them, for the introduction of an African franchise today, 1159 to be applied to both those territories, far more ambitious than anything which was advanced by any responsible representative of African opinion in the Federation itself.
Certainly, they were far more advanced than anything that Sir John Moffat would put forward. After all, Sir John Moffat in the debate on Second Reading of the Bill, said:The European demand is for a high standard of education and of wealth to prevent himself being swamped at an election and to retain power, at any rate for a reasonable period, in his own hands and under existing conditions. I believe that that demand is a Justifiable one.I do not believe that any right hon. or hon. Member opposite does anything for the benefit of liberal opinion in the Federation by advancing extreme ideas which could amount only to a radical and sudden transference in the existing balance of political power in that part of the world. I am quite certain that when this debate is read, and, most particularly, the speech of the right hon. Member for Wakefield, there will be many people who regard themselves genuinely and sincerely as liberals in the Federation who will say, "Save us from our friends."
I paraphrase the point made by the right hon. Member, and if I do not give it absolutely correctly I am sure that he will take the opportunity of correcting me, but I understood him to say that it was important that African influence in the Federal Parliament should be increased because, although certain powers over African affairs were retained at a territorial level, economic responsibility was vested in the Federal Parliament, and that because economic policy was of great importance to the African it was important that he should have a say in that policy. But our own colleagues of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation, who went over there a short time ago, made a special point in their report of the economic progress which the territories had made since Federation was introduced.
I cannot see, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman can argue that in those matters which have affected the African's interest and which are being handled by the Federal Parliament on Federal level, the Federal Parliament with its present 1160 composition has fallen down on its responsibility for the economic interest of the African. The truth is, as has been said by my hon. Friends who have supported us this evening, that on the economic side the Federation has made remarkable progress, as regards both Europeans and Africans, during the very short time that it has been in existence.
§ Mr. Creech Jones
I hope the hon. Gentleman does not suggest that I denied that economic progress had been made under the Federation. I accept that economic progress has been made under the Federation, although I do not accept that that progress is due to the existence of the Federation. Further, I did not say that the Africans, merely because they had an economic interest in the working of the Federation, should be there. I am arguing that on the elementary human rights of the African he should be represented in the Federation.
§ Mr. Alport
I can only reply that, as I read the report of our colleagues, they felt that a great deal of credit was due to the fact that the Federation has been able to assist in increasing the economic resources of all the three territories concerned.
The right hon. Gentleman used the old and well-known quotation about power corrupting. I say to him that, in Africa, fear corrupts even more quickly and more drastically, and the kind of thing which he said would send a shudder of fear through the minds of many people who are reasonable, honourable and liberally-minded; people who believe that if, by some chance, the party opposite came into power, the whole of the balance of security in the Federation would be upset.
§ Mr. Stonehouse rose—
§ Mr. Alport
The right hon. Gentleman and I agreed that we would only take 20 minutes each in order that private Members could have as much time as possible in this short debate. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) will allow me to develop my arguments to the best of my ability in the short time available.
One further thing. The right hon. Gentleman said that the pattern of political power which was being brought out 1161 through this Electoral Bill would be impressed on the Federation for generations to come. He knows as well as I do that many matters will be under consideration during the conference of 1960, in which all the five Governments will participate.
Therefore, there is no question of this being a final decision, although I agree with hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House that, now the transitional period of the electoral system has been bridged, there may be strong arguments for trying to ensure that this particular development on a common roll basis proceeds naturally and gradually to develop over the period ahead. It is wrong for the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, to give the impression that something done now will stamp an impression of a pattern of constitutional power and constitutional development indefinitely upon the Federation.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) put forward the argument that, regardless of the merits of the electoral Bill, it was important for us at this time to support the opinion advanced by the African Affairs Board, because unless we did that we would not be encouraging the Africans to have faith in the safeguard which had been established in their interests under the Constitution.
My noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations has a duty, as my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary said, to consider any reference to him of this sort upon its merits. It is interesting that the African Affairs Board's letter refers exclusively to the problems of the Northern Territories. It does not refer in any way to the undoubted advantages which can come through the Electoral Bill to the African community in Southern Rhodesia. It is significant that both the European and the African members of the African Affairs Board representing Southern Rhodesia voted against the majority when it came to a vote on the reservation on this piece of legislation, because they were clear, as it is clear to anyone who studies the Bill on its merits, that it represents a considerable advance for the Southern Rhodesian community.
I make that point because it illustrates that when making this decision my noble Friend has a duty to take into 1162 account all matters which are relative to the merits of this or any piece of legislation referred to him; and, in fact, he is able to do so with a certain objectivity, which is one of the reasons for ensuring that legislation of this sort comes back here to be judged by the United Kingdom Government and the United Kingdom Parliament.
§ Mr. C. Davies
What the African Affairs Board pointed out was that the proportion of Africans elected by Africans—the people trusted by Africans—was four out of 49 as against four out of 29. The effect that that has upon the African mind is something which ought to be taken into consideration.
§ Mr. Alport
That is on the assumption that all the Africans who are to be elected on the additional new special roll are all to be elected on rolls on which there is a majority of Europeans and I would not accept that assumption.
The hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Foot) asked what was the basis for the monetary qualifications incorporated in the Bill. The basis is the Tredgold Report, which is followed precisely and which was the result, as the hon. and learned Member will know, of a very careful investigation by a highly reputable Commission, under no less a person than the Lord Chief Justice himself, into what would be a proper and effective basis for monetary qualifications for the franchise in Rhodesia. The hon. and learned Member has no right to suggest that that was an effort by the Federal Government, for reasons of their own, to increase the monetary qualification in order to exclude as many Africans as possible. That was not the object. It was an attempt by the Federal Government to follow advice given by a most reputable body on this matter.
The hon. and learned Member and the right hon. Member for Rochester and Chatham asked what was the position about prior assent by the United Kingdom Government to proposed legislation. I will try to explain the position as clearly as I can. It has always been the practice that where the Government in the United Kingdom have the right to make a final decision in respect of Southern Rhodesian or Federal legislation, the Government concerned have consulted the United Kingdom Government beforehand about the general principles of the 1163 proposed legislation. The commonsense reason for that is that it is obviously most desirable to avoid initiating legislation which has no hope of being accepted in principle by the United Kingdom right from the start.
The fact that the Government of the United Kingdom indicate that they see no reason why the proposed legislation should not be introduced, with good prospects of receiving eventual approval, does not in any way commit the United Kingdom Government to giving that approval, nor does it mean that they will automatically ignore objections raised against that legislation by the African Affairs Board or, indeed, from any other responsible quarter.
Let me emphasise that this practice is not something new, but one which has been followed by successive Governments for the last thirty years. The African Affairs Board was established to act frankly as a brake on the Federal Government, particularly in the field of the respective legislative rights of the Federation and the territorial Governments. It was not intended to be a brake on the actions or decisions of the United Kingdom Government, or, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies pointed out in our previous debate, to usurp the responsibility which we have reserved for ourselves.
We are not, and we were not at any time, under an obligation always to accept the opinions of the African Affairs Board, but, as I have tried to describe earlier, it has been our duty, as far as
§ possible, to judge these matters in accordance with the wider and long-term view and in accordance with the political situation, as we can see it for ourselves.
§ I realise that some people in this country regard one or other of the alternative franchise systems as being preferable. I realise the sincerity with which the majority of the members of the African Affairs Board hold the opinion that the Electoral Bill is a differentiating Bill. I know that there are many, both here and in the Federation, who wish to see an increase in the pace at which Africans are associated with the exercise of political power, but, as I have said, and as my right hon. Friend said, it is my noble Friend's responsibility to judge this Bill on its merits. He must give full weight to the fact that it has been passed by the appropriate majority in the Federal Parliament, to which we in the United Kingdom have transferred a great measure of responsibility.
A distinguished African journalist said in the African Daily News, a few weeks ago:
The inescapable fact is that a solution for Africa has got to come out of Africa and that of the Federation from the Federation.
We have full faith that the good sense of the Federal Government and the Federal electorate will ensure that a solution to the many difficulties which face that country will come from the Federation itself.
§ Question put, That this House do now adjourn:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 256, Noes 305.1167
|Division No. 41.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Boyd, T. C.||Cullen, Mrs. A.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Darling, George (Hillsborough)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Brockway, A. F.||Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)|
|Anderson, Frank||Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Davies, Harold (Leek)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Burton, Miss F. E.||Deer, G.|
|Baird, J.||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||de Freitas, Geoffrey|
|Balfour, A.||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Delargy, H. J.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Carmichael, J.||Diamond, John|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Cast'e, Mrs. B. A.||Dodds, N. N.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)||Champion, A. J.||Donnelly, D. L.|
|Benson, Sir George||Chapman, W. D.||Dye, S.|
|Beswick, Frank||Chetwynd, G. R.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Clunie, J.||Edelman, M.|
|Blackburn, F.||Coldrick, W.||Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)|
|Boardman, H.||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Cove, W. G.||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Fernyhough, E.|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Cronin, J. D.||Finch, H. J.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Fletcher, Eric|
|Foot, D. M.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||McCann, J.||Ross, William|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd(Car'then)||MacColl, J. E.||Royle, C.|
|Gibson, C. W.||McGhee, H. G.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Gooch, E. G||McGovern, J.||Short, E. W.|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||McInnes, J.||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Greenwood, Anthony||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||McLeavy, Frank||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Grey, C. F.||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mahon, Simon||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Hale, Leslie||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Snow, J. W.|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Hannan, W.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Mason, Roy||Sparks, J. A.|
|Hastings, S.||Mellish, R. J.||Steele, T.|
|Hayman, F. H.||Messer, Sir F.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Healey, Denis||Mikardo, Ian||Storehouse, John|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Mitchison, G. R.||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Monslow, W.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hewitson, Capt. M.||Moody, A. S.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Holman, P.||Mort, D. L.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Holmes, Horace||Moss, R.||Swingler, S. T.|
|Holt, A. F.||Moyle, A.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Houghton, Douglas||Mulley, F. W.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Hubbard, T. F.||O'Brien, Sir Thomas||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Oliver, G. H.||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Oram, A. E.||Timmons, J.|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Orbach, M.||Tomney, F.|
|Hunter, A. E.||Oswald, T.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Owen, W. J.||Usborne, H. C.|
|Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Padley, W. E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Paget, R. T.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Watkins, T. E.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Palmer, A. M. F.||Weitzman, D.|
|Janner, B.||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Pargiter, G. A.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Jeger, George (Goole)||Parker, J.||West, D. G.|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St.Pncs,S.)||Parkin, B. T.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Paton, John||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Johnson, James (Rugby)||Peart, T. F.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Pentland, N.||Wilcook, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Plummer, sir Leslie||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Prentice, R. E.||Willey, Frederick|
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Williams, David (Neath)|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Probert, A. R.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Kenyon, C.||Proctor, W. T.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|King, Dr. H. M.||Randall, H. E.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Lawson, G. M.||Rankin, John||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Ledger, R. J.||Redhead, E. C.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Reeves, J.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Reid, William||Woof, R. E.|
|Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Rhodes, H.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Lewis, Arthur||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Lipton, Marcus||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Logan, D. G.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Pearson|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Baxter, Sir Beverley||Brooman-White, R. C.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Beamish, Col. Tufton||Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Bryan, P.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Burden, F. F. A.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Butcher, Sir Herbert|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bingood, J. C.||Campbell, Sir David|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Bigge-Davison, J. A.||Carr, Robert|
|Ashton, H.||Bishop, F. P.||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Aster, Hon. J. J.||Black, C. W.||Channon, Sir Henry|
|Atkins, H. E.||Body, R. F.||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Bossom, Sir Alfred||Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Cole, Norman|
|Balmel, Lord||Boyle, Sir Edward||Conant, Maj. Sir Roger|
|Barber, Anthony||Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Cooke, Robert|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Cooper, A. E.|
|Barter, John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.|
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)||Partridge, E.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Hyde, Montgomery||Peel, W. J.|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Iremonger, T. L.||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)||Pott, H. P.|
|Deedes, w. F.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Joseph, Sir Keith||Profumo, J. D.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kaberry, D.||Ramsden, J. E.|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Keegan, D.||Redmayne, M.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)|
|Duncan, Sir James||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Duthie, W. S.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Kershaw, J. A.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Kimball, M.||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Elliott, R. W.(Ne'castleupon Tyne, N.)||Kirk, P. M.||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Lagden, G. W.||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Lambton, Viscount||Robertson, Sir David|
|Erroll, F. J.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Fell, A.||Leather, E. H. C.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Leavey, J. A.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Fisher, Nigel||Leburn, W. G.||Russell, R. S.|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Forrest, G.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Shepherd, William|
|Freeth, Denzil||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Gammans, Lady||Llewellyn, D.T.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (Sutton Coldfield)||Soames, Christopher|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Longden, Gilbert||Speir, R. M.|
|Glyn, Col. Richard H.||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Godber, J. B.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Goodhart, Philip||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Gower, H. R.||McAdden, S. J.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||McKibbin, Alan||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Green, A.||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Storey, S.|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Gurden, Harold||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Maddan, Martin||Teeling, W.|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Temple, John M.|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macelesf'd)||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hay, John||Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E.||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Marshall, Douglas||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Mathew, R.||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Maude, Angus||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Mawby, R. L.||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Hesketh, R. F.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr, S. L. C.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Madlicott, Sir Frank||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Moore, Sir Thomas||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Vesper, Rt. Hon. D. F.|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Hope, Lord John||Neave, Airay||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek|
|Hornby, R. P.||Nicholls, Harmar||Wall, Patrick|
|Hornsby-Smith, Mist M. P.||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey (Farnham)||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Nugent, G. R. H.||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Howard, John (Test)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral, J.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Handon, N.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Woollam, John Victor|
|Hurd, A. R.||Osborne, C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh,S.)||Page, R. G.||Mr. Oakshott and Mr. Wills.|