HC Deb 26 June 1958 vol 590 cc597-8
40. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in view of the small number of Somalis at present occupying or qualifying for senior posts in the Secretariat, Treasury, Judicial or Public Works departments, he will take steps to investigate the methods used to enable Somalis in Italian Somaliland to occupy responsible Government positions.

Mr. Profumo

The Governor is setting up a Commission to make recommendations for a programme whereby officers recruited from abroad can be progressively replaced by Somali officers without injustice to individuals or undue loss of efficiency. The Commission will no doubt take into account any relevant experience of other territories.

Mr. Rankin

Does the hon. Gentleman recollect that in reply to me on 16th June his right hon. Friend stated that at present three Somalis held senior posts in the Government and nineteen were under training? Does he regard that as a very creditable achievement by his Government after seven years in power, in view of the fact that in less than two years Italian Somaliland will have full self-government? Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that the recommendations to which he has referred will result in a speedier and more comprehensive advance?

Mr. Profumo

The hon. Gentleman ought to make these generalised remarks more in relation to the context concerned. The figures have to be judged against the context of the small size of the public service in the Protectorate.

As to the second part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, I hope that he will await the outcome of the recommendations.

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