HC Deb 23 April 1959 vol 604 cc577-8
13. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what official notification he has had from the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland regarding recent measures to allow coloured diplomatic staff to use hotels in Salisbury.

Mr. Alport

None, Sir.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Under-Secretary aware that the Federal Government recently announced that diplomatic representatives in Salisbury, even if coloured, would be able to have special permission to use the hotels, provided that they carried passes with them? Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that this is a depressing commentary on the colour bar in Salisbury? Is it not rather depressing that these special dispensations should be necessary for diplomatic staff? Have any representations been made to allow the dispensation to be extended to Commonwealth Members of Parliament who happen to be coloured?

Mr. Alport

It would not be appropriate for me to comment on this legislation, which at the moment is in the form of a Bill. The hon. Member should, however, study all the details concerning the background of this legislation in the near future, which may help him to understand its significance rather more clearly.

Mr. Wall

Is not this Bill, together with other legislation which is being introduced into the Southern Rhodesian Parliament, indicative of the way that the colour bar is breaking down in Southern Rhodesia?

Mr. Alport

A whole series of Measures has been undertaken, both by the Federal and by the Southern Rhodesian Governments, during recent weeks, which underlines clearly what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Bottomley

Whilst joining in the encouragement to break dawn the colour bar, may I ask whether it is not a fact that Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom do not give that same kind of support? They would be more worthy if they did.

Mr. Alport

These are matters which, as the right hon. Member is well aware, are within the purview of the Governments concerned and should be left there if real solutions are to be achieved with the willing co-operation of all concerned.

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