HC Deb 09 July 1959 vol 608 cc1560-2
45. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement regarding the responsibilities and duties he has allotted to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in respect of British territories and protectorates in Africa.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies deals with all the territories in Africa for which Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are responsible, except Southern Rhodesia and, so far as they come within the responsibility of the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and except also Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland.

Mr. Donnelly

In thanking the Prime Minister for that reply, may I ask him whether the House is to understand that the Secretary of State is charged with the responsibility of seeing that no more men are beaten to death at Hola?

Mr. Woodburn

Further to that point, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into how these responsibilities are being discharged? For instance, his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary can tell him how much the Scottish Church has been disturbed by what seems to be the inability of the Secretary of State under existing legislation to give protection to British citizens in certain parts of our protected territories.

The Prime Minister

It seems to me that the position is fairly clear. There are what have always been known as the High Commission Territories. There are the territories which are purely Colonial Territories—Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and the Somaliland Protectorate. There are, since Parliament legislated, territories which in some respects are under the Colonial Secretary and in other respects are dealt with by the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations—that is to say, the territories within the Federation of Central Africa. The question whether in another Administration some reorganisation of these very onerous duties ought to be undertaken has been raised by the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) and other hon. Members. I will certainly give consideration to the matter in the next Administration.

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