HC Deb 10 July 1958 vol 591 cc549-51
2. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the statement in the Kenya Legislative Council by Mr. Wilfrid Havelock, Minister for Local Government in the Kenya Government, to the effect that democracy is not one man, one vote, represents the policy of the Kenya Government.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

In criticising a proposal that a "city manager" type of administration should be introduced in local government, the Minister observed

Mr. Profumo

I could not give an answer without notice. If the right hon. Lady puts the Question on the Order Paper, I will be glad to answer it.

Following is the table:

that in his own view the proper spirit of democracy was better defined as an opportunity for representatives of all sections of the people to have a say than by the slogan "one man, one vote". This seems to me a sound approach.

Mrs. Castle

In a situation when we are trying to put over to the Africans the idea of multi-racial Government and when many of them fear that this is being pressed as an alternative to the prevention of their enjoyment of full democratic rights, does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is very unfortunate that a Minister in the Kenya Government should seem to cast doubts on the validity of the principle of universal suffrage, and will the right hon. Gentleman say that, so far as he is concerned, his objective for Kenya is the operation of full democracy as we understand it in this country?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think the Labour Party document, "Plural Society", which the hon. Lady knows, was quite sensible when it declared that a genuine democracy had not been reached until racial consciousness had withered away. I do not think anyone can say that we have yet reached that stage in East Africa.

Mrs. Castle

Looking to the future, would it not be far wiser and better for all European leaders in these Colonial Territories to say that they fully accept the implications of our colonial policy, which is ultimately towards full self-government?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

This is in danger of getting out of perspective. All Mr. Havelock did was to point out the manifest fact that a system of "one man, one vote" does not by itself constitute democracy and that other features of society are the main test whether or not a country is democratic.

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