HC Deb 04 March 1959 vol 601 cc519-84

7.3 p.m.

Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)

I beg to move, That this House regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government to protest to the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at their action in designating the honourable Member for Wednesbury a prohibited immigrant; and declares that the entry of a citizen of the United Kingdom into a British Protectorate should not be subject to the veto of the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Motion clearly falls into two parts. First of all, we regret that the Government did not do what we believe was their duty, namely, protest at the serving on my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) of the order that he should leave the Federation Territories. To get the matter into perspective, I should like to say that initially my hon. Friend was informed on Saturday that he must leave Northern Rhodesia forthwith. When this information reached me on Saturday afternoon, I telephoned to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies who was at once good enough to take the matter up. He telephoned back to me at ten o'clock on Saturday night to say that my hon. Friend would be allowed to remain in Northern Rhodesia until his tour had been completed but that he would not have permission to go on to Nyasaland.

At that time, there was no declaration of emergency in Nyasaland and there was not, and there is not today, a declaration of emergency in Northern Rhodesia. Why my hon. Friend was asked to leave we are not certain, except that in the Daily Telegraph today five main reasons are given. It is said that The fact that no textual reference is made to Mr. Stonehouse's statement is probably due to their appearing rather innocuous to the British public out of their context". That is the first reason given.

I have not seen a complete report of what my hon. Friend said. I can only go on the newspaper reports of what he said. I am bound to say from the pieces that have appeared here, whether in context or out of context, that all of it seems innocuous. Indeed, the way in which the account of his speech was 'written up in the Rhodesia Herald called forth a protest from a reputable and well-known journalist in the Federation. Mr. Clyde Sanger. I do not know whether he still is, but he certainly was, on the editorial staff of the Central African Examiner, the other half of the Economist. He felt obliged to write to the editor of the Rhodesia Herald in these terms: To suggest that Mr. Stonehouse's behaviour at Highfield was that of a 'pedlar of mischief' who spoke 'fiery words' to 'inflame his listeners' is nonsense—and dangerous nonsense …". He goes on to reproduce at some length what he took down of what my hon. Friend said.

He says: The burden of Mr. Stonehouse's speech was that the British Labour Party had won for the working man his rights after a century's struggle, and was therefore concerned that other peoples should also win their rights to human standards of living … I leave out some other adulatory references to the programme of our party. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am quite ready to read them if hon. Members opposite wish. [HON. MEMBERS: "Read them."]I will read them.

Mr. Sanger goes on to say that my hon. Friend said that: the next Labour Government was pledged to put £160 million towards fighting ignorance and poverty in the colonies every year, but Congress and other Nationalist organisations would forfeit the sympathy of the Labour Party if they used violence—and over and over again with considerable courage he condemned the use of violence. [HON. MEMBERS: "Cheer that."] I am not surprised if it sounds innocuous.

Then my hon. Friend went on, and this is a direct quotation from a journalist present: So you must work for your rights in peace and then you will be much more likely to have the rest of the world behind you. Your slogan should be: 'Work hard, educate yourselves, and organise'. Use the right way, and you will win. If you use the wrong way you will be giving the most powerful weapons to those people who do not want to achieve the same things as you do. I ask you to have pride in your country. Hold your heads high and behave as though the country belonged to you. This is the context of the quotation.

He went on: If you behave in a way that you are ashamed of, you cannot be surprised if people who are now your friends do not become ashamed of you. This is a speech that was made by my hon. Friend and which is the first reason for issuing a deportation order against him. Is there any hon. Member on either side of the House who would say that this was peddling mischief, speaking fiery words, or inflaming his listeners?

Mr. Sanger goes on to give other quotations, but I can assure the House that this is a fair reproduction of the burden of my hon. Friend's speech. What effect it had, apart from that on the Rhodesia Herald, is shown by the African Daily News. I take this from the Central African Examiner: … the impression left with Africans was very different. That is to say, he was not trying to make trouble and lasting harm. The quotation continues: A correspondent to the African Daily News wrote: Mr. Stonehouse did not turn out to be the racially-feeling rouser many expected him to be… Whenever one thought he would go out of his course and denounce the European in order to give his hearers what they wanted, his obvious political acumen acted as a welcome guide'. That was the effect on an African correspondent who heard the speech, and when one reads what was said, and then considers that a deportation order was issued against my hon. Friend on that basis, one wonders whether the discretion enjoined upon my hon. Friend's speeches should not also be enjoined upon the Federal Government's actions.

The other things said by the Daily Telegraph are these: The fact that no textual reference is made to Mr. Stonehouse's statements is probably due to their appearing rather innocuous to the British public out of their context … The authorities consider such a statement "— that is, "Hold your heads high, this country belongs to you"— … to a crowd of thousands at a meeting organised by the African National Congress and attended by its leaders, as most dangerous. Honestly I do not see how anybody reading the whole of that speech could get that impression from it. The Daily Telegraph went on to say that the authorities— … complain that he flouted regulations well known to him … by going into houses in the African quarters at Highfield … without going through the formality of advising the authorities. I have referred to the fact that the African Members of the Federal House unfortunately have to live in a separate reservation in this society, which is a multi-racial society, and if my hon. Friend wishes to see an African Member of Parliament he must, if he wishes to visit him at home, go into an African reservation known as Highfield, which a number of us here have been to see.

The next point made by the Daily Telegraph is that he: … deliberately created an incident by taking two Congress leaders with him into Meikle's Hotel in Salisbury, where the colour bar is at its sharpest, while he could easily have taken them into another first-class hotel … The final point made is that: It was also taken amiss that at the mass African meeting which Mr. Stonehouse addressed, his interpreters were Mr. Nyandoro, Congress Secretary-General, and Mr. Chickereme, Acting President. Such men, it is felt, can be relied on to make his statements as inflammatory as possible. There is nothing nearly as inflammatory in my hon. Friend's statements as there is in the action taken by the Federal Government in these circumstances.

I am sure the Government must realise —they know this—that it is precisely because of the fact that there is a colour bar in Salisbury that people cannot go into an hotel, and it is precisely the fact that the African Federal Members of Parliament have to live in a separate reservation which causes the fear in Nyasaland that this kind of behaviour will be common there. It does not exist in Nyasaland at the moment. I am sure that this is the reason for much of the trouble lying behind the Nyasaland dispute at the present time.

I fully agree that discretion is needed in the present tense situation that is building up in the Federation. But, if I may say so, discretion is needed on both sides. I say to the Government that when they knew what was happening out there —and they knew by means of a private telephone conversation from me to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies —they should have taken the Federal authorities quietly on one side and told them of the consequences of what they were doing, instead of compromising with evil, if I may so put it, by getting a compromise that if my hon. Friend was allowed to finish his tour in Northern Rhodesia, the Government would not mind if he was not allowed to go to Nyasaland.

It is no use trying to make that kind of compromise in these circumstances. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas) will make the legal case and other parts of the case when he winds up the discussion tonight. I am no lawyer but I simply cannot believe that the House intended to draft a piece of legislation which would make it impossible for British citizens—whether they are miners or postmen earning their living, whether they are Members of Parliament or Ministers of the Crown—to be allowed into the Federal Territories only at the discretion of the Federal authorities. If that is the legal position, and the Attorney-General advises that it is such, I say to the Government that they must take up this matter at the earliest possible opportunity in order to get it put right.

It would be an intolerable situation, for example, considering the troubles there have been, if some Members of Parliament, or indeed Ministers who might be appointed by a future Government, who were not persona grata with the Federal authorities, had to have their admissibility into the Federation determined in territories that are British Protectorates. I have read the statement which sets out clearly a complicated position, and I am grateful to the Commonwealth Relations Office for putting it out. I say that, whatever the legal consequences may be, I am sure the House will feel that there is something here which must be put right.

Our major consideration in all this is the future. This situation about immigration has been building up. I have looked up today a number of cases in which the Federal authorities have refused admission to British journalists, writers or other people during the last two years. This is the first time it has happened to a Member of Parliament who has gone there basically for a body called Christian Action, which has financed his venture in order that he should prepare for them, as far as he can, an account of the state of opinion in the territories, and bring it back. I believe that to be a perfectly legitimate operation for a Member of this House to undertake.

As I say, what we are mainly concerned with here is the future. We have had discussions about this today because —and I know hon. Gentlemen opposite will believe this—there is no one here who wants to see the situation in Nyasaland deteriorate and degenerate into violence and bloodshed. I say now what I omitted to say last night, because the debate was arranged very hurriedly. I say to all my African friends with all the force I can command, "Do not resort to violence. Use constitutional means as far and as long as you can." Of course, if people are imprisoned, if the leaders are imprisoned, it is difficult to use constitutional means.

This is where I want to make a proposition to the Government. I have been authorised to say the following to the Government tonight, and I put it to them with all seriousness and with the hope that it can be accepted. We on this side of the House would be prepared to co-operate with the Government in the appointment of a Parliamentary mission to go to Nyasaland at the earliest possible date, the sooner the better, in order to investigate the background to the present disturbances. We believe that this would give the people of Nyasaland the reassurance they so urgently desire that they are still under the protection of the British Parliament. Such a mission would naturally report back to this House at the earliest possible moment.

I do not ask that this particular form of words should be accepted, but I wish to make this offer to the Government now. If they will accept the spirit of what I am saying and the sincerity which underlies it on this side of the House, then we would hope that it would lessen tension in the Federation by our not voting tonight. We would not divide the House if such an offer were taken up, in the hope that by showing to the people of Nyasaland that the British Parliament was going to investigate the background to these disturbances, they would feel that there was a hope that their case could be put and their views known, and that the British Parliament would endeavour to see that justice was done.

Mr. A. G. Bottomley (Rochester and Chatham)

I beg to second the Motion.

7.20 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)

As the Leader of the House made clear on Monday, the fact that any Member is declared a prohibited immigrant to a British overseas territory must cause anxiety to all of us, particularly where Parliament retains certain direct responsibilities which the House can discharge wisely and responsibly only if, at any rate, some of its Members have a proper first-hand understanding of the conditions in those Territories.

Before I deal with the serious charge against the Government which is contained in the Motion, it might he helpful if I tried to outline the facts relative to the visit of the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) to East and Central Africa, so far as they are known to me.

I think that the House as a whole will regret the fact that the hon. Member is unable to be present here today. It was suggested earlier today, when you, Mr. Speaker, were considering a question of Privilege, that the hon. Member was prevented, by the action of the Federal Government, from reaching London in time to attend this debate.

When the commercial flight to Blantyre, leaving Lusaka Airport at seven o'clock yesterday morning, was cancelled, on account of the state of emergency, Central African Airways offered to provide an Apache aircraft to take him to Salisbury to catch the connection from Johannesburg to London which passes through Salisbury. In addition, the Government of Northern Rhodesia offered him two motor cars, one of them a spare in case the one he was travelling in broke down, to drive him to Salisbury.

By accepting either of those offers, the hon. Member for Wednesbury could, subject to the inevitable vagaries of air transport, have reached London in time for this debate. He apparently chose, however, to leave Northern Rhodesia for Dar-es-Salaam rather than return to Salisbury so as to be available here this evening.

A week before leaving the United Kingdom, the hon. Member rang up my private secretary and asked whether would assist him to obtain official hospitality in the Federation and to meet leading personalities, including the Prime Minister, Sir Roy Welensky. I am, as I hope at least some hon. Members know, only too anxious to assist them to get first-hand knowledge of the countries in relation to which the Commonwealth Relations Office has special responsibilities, but, of course, I cannot order our representatives abroad to provide hospitality.

However, I think that all Members will agree that our representatives are extremely generous in the help which they afford to individual Members whenever they may happen to be present in the part of the territory with which they are concerned. On this occasion, I cabled the High Commissioner asking him to help the hon. Member to obtain the interviews he wanted and I advised the hon. Member to call on the High Commissioner as soon as he arrived in Salisbury.

I understood at that time that he was on a fact-finding tour, but I was not aware until tonight, that it was in any way connected with Christian Action, as the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said. Certainly, the hon. Member did not inform me that he was also a representative of a newspaper, or that he intended to address political meetings in Southern Rhodesia organised by the African Congress.

It was only at a later stage that my attention was drawn to an announcement in Reynolds News of 15th February, which ran: John Stonehouse Investigates. John Stonehouse, M.P. flew to Nairobi yesterday to make an on-the-spot investigation for Reynolds News. His reports on conditions in Africa will be exclusive to Reynolds News.

Hon. Members

What is wrong with that?

Mr. Alport

There is nothing wrong in that.

I am informed by Sir Eldred Hitchcock, who, as some hon. Members know, was at one time President of the East African Sisal Growers' Association, whose headquarters is at Dar-es-Salaam, that he answered an advertisement in the "agony" column of The Times on 8th January which read as follows: Kenya, Tanganyika, Rhodesia—Director of independent economic and commercial research organisation making extensive tour February invites discussion of further assignments. As a result of a reply, he received a letter signed "John Stonehouse, M.P." which outlined his wide range of business interests and invited him, that is, Sir Eldred, if he wished to make use of his services, to reply to the House of Commons.

No fair-minded person would criticise the hon. Member for undertaking a tour which combined an interesting journalistic assignment with some private enterprise, but I think that the House—

Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)

They all do it.

Mr. Alport

If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to continue my argument, he will see the point.

I think that the House will consider that it somewhat detracts from the impression given by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen earlier this week that the hon. Member for Wednesbury was in the Federation in pursuance of his duties as a Member of this House. I feel certain that all hon. Members will agree that it does not justify the hon. Member writing in Reynolds News, on 1st March: I am continuing my tour—which I emphasise is officially arranged—until I receive advice from London. Anyone reading that would have assumed, whether the hon. Member intended it or not, that his tour was officially sponsored.

It seems to me that this has a serious implication for us all. If the Commonwealth Relations Office, the Colonial Office, or the Foreign Office, by arranging for the normal courtesies and facilities for hon. Members travelling abroad, are to find themselves portrayed as giving official sponsorship for the Member's visit and thereby, by implication, for his activities, I can only say that it will obviously make it more difficult for Departments and representatives to give their assistance in future.

It is unnecessary for me to emphasise the acute embarrassment which situations like this can create for Governors of Territories and High Commissioners. The hon. Member for Wednesbury mentioned an invitation from the Governor of Nyasaland, both in his telegram to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House and in his Press statement at Dar-es-Salaam. The Colonial Secretary, in the same way as myself, tried to give the hon. Member all the help that he could, but an invitation from a Governor does not give an official standing to a visit by any Member of Parliament. It is merely an informal courtesy which is extended to Members of Parliament on many occasions and in many parts of the world.

All I can say is that I would have thought that as the hon. Member has had this close contact with official representatives overseas, it would have been wise and proper for him to seek and to take the advice which those representatives gave him.

When the hon. Member reached Salisbury, the High Commissioner was able to tell him that as a result of a personal approach which he, the High Commissioner, had made to Sir Roy Welensky, an interview had been arranged. On learning that the hon. Member proposed to address a meeting of the African National Congress, at Harare, near Salisbury, the High Commissioner attempted to dissuade him on the ground that in the existing situation of Southern Rhodesia it would be a most imprudent thing to do. The hon. Member said, however, that he had come at the invitation of Congress and could not cancel his engagement to speak.

What the hon. Member said in his two-hour speech at the meeting at Harare is not really relevant, because, although some of his statements offended leading members of the Opposition in the Federation—[HON. MEMBERS: "Which Opposition?"—the Opposition in the Federation—the Dominion Party and others—it does not follow that the Government of the Federation necessarily take their cue from the Opposition, any more than we do in this country. In fact, the Prime Minister of the Federation has made it clear that whatever may have been the grounds for deciding to declare the hon. Member a prohibited immigrant it was not necessarily the content of his speech.

The Prime Minister has made a full statement, which has been published, and which hon. Members can see, for I shall be pleased to give it to them at any time. It is significant that, within a matter of hours of the hon. Member making this speech to the African Congress, this organisation was declared an illegal organisation in Southern Rhodesia. Although I do not suggest for a moment that there was any connection between the two events it shows the extreme imprudence of the hon. Member on that occasion.

The House will be aware—as the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East has made clear—that during the hon. Member's stay in Southern Rhodesia there appeared to be occasions when, either deliberately or through ignorance, he appeared to ignore the authorities. It was not, however, until he reached Northern Rhodesia that he was interviewed by the Federal Chief Immigration Officer and asked to leave the Federation at short notice. The Chief Immigration Officer disclosed to him that he had powers to enforce his departure as a result of an order issued by the Federal Legislature, passed under powers granted by this Parliament in the Constitution of the Federation.

I gave the Government's view of the relative legal positions of the Federation and the United Kingdom in this matter earlier this week. As the hon. Member has kindly said, the position has been set out very clearly in the Paper circulated for the benefit of the House earlier today. Any other legal points will be dealt with by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General later. As soon as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House learnt that the hon. Member for Wednesbury had been or was to be declared a prohibited immigrant, my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations instructed the High Commissioner to the Federation to make inquiries. As a result of this, we were informed that the hon. Member was to be allowed to complete his tour of Northern Rhodesia.

Here, I may say straight away that this was before the approach made by the hon. Member, as I understand it, to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies—although, as I said on Monday, in existing circumstances the visit to Nyasaland was not a practice- ability. The reason for this was that in the highly inflammable situation developing in that territory it would have been most inadvisable to add to the preoccupations of the security forces the further duty of providing for the protection of an individual who had already shown himself to be unwilling to accept the prudent advice given to him by those in close touch with the situation.

As a result of a telegram sent by the hon. Member to the Leader of the House and to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Governor of Northern Rhodesia conveyed to him a message from the Colonial Secretary in which he said: I very much hope you will decide to return here and not attempt to visit Nyasaland. This will not, of course, in any way prejudice any rights you may feel you have to raise the matter on your return. The Governor did his utmost to persuade him to accept what he, the Governor, knew to be the legal and constitutional position of the Federation by leaving immediately he had completed his Northern Rhodesian visit. Further, he offered the hon. Member the services of the Attorney-General to advise him on the legal position.

The hon. Member likewise sent a message to the Leader of the Opposition on 28th February. As a result of this it is reasonable to suppose that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, or somebody acting on his behalf, gave the hon. Member for Wednesbury some advice as to the way in which he should conduct himself. I think that the House is entitled to know what this advice was.

Mr. Hugh Gaitskell (Leeds, South)

I do not know why the Under-Secretary of State should be so pompous about it. The facts are very well known. We told him that we thought he should come back in time for the debate.

Mr. Alport

The hon. Member apparently took no more notice of the advice given him by the Leader of his party than he did of the other advice he received. I should like to know whether, in the advice that the right hon. Gentleman gave him, lie told him to ignore the advice of the Governor of Northern Rhodesia and the advice of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and whether he gave him any advice with regard to his attitude to the authority of the Federation acting in accordance with powers devolved on them by this Parliament.

If they gave no advice in these circumstances it seems to me that the responsibilities of the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues on the Front Bench opposite are very serious in this matter. Their lack of advice has enabled a position to arise in which the Opposition have placed themselves behind the actions of a private individual visiting the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, and in those circumstances there is no doubt that this situation results very largely from the lack of leadership of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition.

As soon as my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations had been informed of the incidents which took place at Lusaka Airport yesterday he instructed the High Commissioner to make further inquiries of the Federal Government. I submit to the House that until full information was available it would not have been in accordance with practice to lodge a protest with the Federal authorities, particularly in view of the legal position with regard to the respective rights and powers of the Parliaments of the Federation and the United Kingdom.

I would say, before I conclude, that the Government have clearly recognised, right from the start, that whatever view may be taken of the activities of the hon. Member an important issue is involved concerning the capacity of this Parliament, and the Government in the United Kingdom, to fulfil their responsibilities to the two. Protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It is obviously essential that we should be assured that there was no intention of the Federal Government, under the powers which they possess under the Constitution, to exclude from the Federation any person travelling to or travelling in the Federation on official business, with the authority of or in the service of the Parliament of the United Kingdom or of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.

On the instructions of my noble Friend, the High Commissioner in Salisbury today asked the Prime Minister of the Federation to give an assurance in these specific terms. As we fully ex- petted, I learnt from the High Commissioner an hour or so ago that the Federal Prime Minister has gladly given the assurance for which we asked.

I suggest to the House that the right course now is to await the return of the hon. Member for Wednesbury and to hear his point of view. In the meantime, I hope that the House will reject the Motion and, by so doing, ensure that the terms of censure which it contains are placed firmly on the shoulders of the occupants of the Front Bench opposite who, by their lack of leadership and discretion, have done so much to create the unfortunate situation which now exists.

7.41 p.m.

Mr. Hugh Gaitskell (Leeds, South)

I had not intended to intervene in the debate, but in the course of his inadequate and foolish speech the Under-Secretary of State made no reference at all to the very serious and constructive suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) at the end of his speech, namely, that a Parliamentary commission should be sent out as soon as possible to Nyasaland to investigate the background of the present disturbances, a suggestion which was made in the hope that it will assuage the situation there and be for the benefit of the peoples of Central Africa and the future of the Commonwealth. Furthermore, my hon. Friend has indicated that should Her Majesty's Government be willing tonight to accept this proposal in principle, we shall not divide the House.

This is a serious proposal, and I am surprised that not one word was said about it by the hon. Member. Nevertheless, I would ask that other more senior members of the Government—the Leader of the House and the Colonial Secretary—will give very serious consideration to the proposal before the debate is wound up and that the Attorney-General, who I understand is to reply, will give us the Government's opinion.

7.43 p.m.

Mr. Dingle Foot (Ipswich)

I shall refer in a moment to the speech of the Under-Secretary, but I would first say a word in support of the suggestion which has come from my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan).

There is an almost exact precedent for the course which is now proposed. In 1948 there were very serious disturbances in the Gold Coast. On that occasion, a state of emergency was proclaimed. On that occasion, also, very serious allegations were made in terms extremely similar to those which we heard from the Front Bench yesterday. There was the allegation that political leaders had been engaged in a conspiracy for widespread assassination. On that occasion, a commission was sent out—the Watson Commission. The political leaders who had been arrested under the emergency powers—they included the present Prime Minister—had the opportunity of appearing and being represented before the Commission.

The remarkable thing was that on that occasion the colonial Government did not adduce one single shred of evidence in support of their allegations that assassination was being planned on a great scale or, indeed, on any scale. It would be worth while knowing whether history is likely to repeat itself. That Commission represented an extremely important landmark in the history of the Gold Coast. The constitutional progress of the Gold Coast into the independent State of Ghana stemmed largely from the Watson inquiry. Therefore, I suggest that we ought to follow that precedent on this occasion.

I want to say a few words about the speech that we have heard, a speech entirely unworthy of the occasion. Scarcely at any point did the hon. Gentleman address himself to the terms of the Motion or to the issues raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East. Instead of that, he made an entirely uncalled for attack upon my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse), an attack which I think I may say was received with anger and resentment by every hon. Member on this side of the House.

It is said against him that my hon. Friend went there to represent, among other things, Christian Action. Is there any conceivable reason why he should not? It was said that while he was there he was engaged to write articles for a newspaper which has always taken a great interest in African affairs. That has happened over and over again when hon. Members have visited foreign and colonial territories. It has never before been questioned. It is said that my hon. Friend was combining some business assignment with his fact-finding mission as a Member of Parliament. That is something which has happened over and over again to hon. Members in all parts of the House. Indeed, there are many of us who would not be able to make such journeys if we were not able to combine visits as Members of Parliament with professional or business assignments. There was no foundation whatever for the criticism which was made.

Mr. Alport

The hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Foot) has missed the point, as he seems to have missed so many points in this debate so far. As the hon. and learned Gentleman will see when he reads HANSARD tomorrow, the point that I was making was that when an hon. Member goes abroad in these circumstances he does not go abroad on an official visit.

Mr. Foot

I am not concerned with whether my hon. Friend was on an official visit. The phrase may not have been well chosen. The hon. Gentleman said in his speech that my hon. Friend had been engaged in these other assignments at the same time as he was carrying out his duties as a Member of Parliament. That is something which has happened over and over again, and it is something which will no doubt happen many times in the future, and it is not a ground of criticism at all.

I want to come to the matters with which the hon. Gentleman very carefully did not deal, and those are the main issues which are raised by the Motion. In this debate, we are not really concerned with the question whether the Federal Government acted within their legal powers. We are not concerned on this occasion, though we may be on some other, with the more technical issue whether there was here a breach of Privilege.

What we are concerned about, and what the hon. Gentleman entirely fails to realise, is the far wider and more important question of the rights of this House and the rights of hon. Members of this House in relation to colonial and dependant territories. In recent weeks, there has been a good deal of argument, in Bournemouth and elsewhere, about the proper functions of Members of Parliament. I should think that there would be agreement in all parts of the House that we do not sit here as delegates or merely as the representatives of our own constituencies. The functions of Members of Parliament were laid down by Chief Justice Coke over 300 years ago when he said: And it is to be observed, though one be chosen for one particular county or borough, yet when he is returned and sits in Parliament he serveth for the whole realm. The same doctrine was expressed a century later by Blackstone, when he said: Every Member, though chosen by one particular district, when elected and returned, serves for the whole realm. For the end of his coming hither is not particular, but general; not barely to advantage his constituents, but the common wealth. These definitions of the functions of Members of Parliament are just as valid today as they were three centuries ago, but there is this difference—that nowadays the realm for which we all have a responsibility to serve includes not merely this island but all the territories for which we have legislative responsibility, and for the administration of which Ministers are supposed, however inadequately, to answer.

I think that this debate will serve a very useful purpose if it emphasises what Ministers very often tend to forget, and that is that the responsibility for all that goes on in these territories is ours. It belongs to this House of Commons, and that needs to be a good deal more fully realised than it is. How often does it happen at Question Time, when we on this side of the House seek to raise some question involving personal freedom or human rights in a Colonial Territory, for example, imprisonment in Kenya for many years without trial, or deportation without any judicial process, that we are told that this is a matter simply for the authorities on the spot and that the Colonial Secretary or the Under-Secretary will not intervene? They are entitled to have regard to the advice they receive, but when, in effect, as they so often do, they wash their hands of the whole matter and leave it to the entirely unfettered discretion of those on the spot, that is merely an abdication of responsibility, an abdication which takes place week after week at the Treasury Bench. But that is merely a digression.

It seems to me of the utmost importance tonight that we should assert our responsibility for the dependent territories, whether they be Colonies or Protectorates. It is of particular importance at this moment in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, because there can be no possible question that one of the motives still uppermost in the minds of the Africans of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and, no doubt, of Southern Rhodesia as well, is the fear that in 1960 they are going to be handed over to the Federal Government.

When I was in Salisbury as long as three years ago, I read some of the speeches which were being made in the Federal Assembly by Lord Malvern and others. We had references to the possibility of a Boston tea party, and Lord Malvern himself—Sir Godfrey Huggins, as he was then—getting up in the Assembly and referring to the all-important words in the preamble to the Constitution about going forward to self-government when all the inhabitants so desired, and expressing the view that that was merely a form of words which had no binding legal effect.

We have been told in this House in the last few days more than once that the assurances given in 1953 still hold good. We have been told that the Government stand by the words of the preamble of the Constitution. What we have never been told is how the desires of the inhabitants of these territories are going to be ascertained, and the fact that we have not been told that is, as I believe, one of the main contributory factors to the unrest in all these territories today.

Further, no one doubts that we are faced with an extremely difficult and dangerous situation, and it is more desirable than ever before that hon. Members in this House should seize every opportunity that may be open to them to visit these territories and form their own firsthand impressions. There are a good many hon. Members, both on the other side of the House and on this, who have had the opportunity to visit West Africa, East Africa or Central Africa, or maybe all three parts of Africa, during recent years. I think they would all agree that there is all the difference in the world between trying to study a situation from text-books and newspaper reports and forming one's own impressions when one goes to visit scenes so utterly different from anything which exists in this country. We all know the difficulty of obtaining precise and up-to-date information.

I can remember, as can many of my hon. Friends, I think, the African representatives who came here at the time when federation was being discussed. They came from Northern Rhodesia and from Nyasaland, and there are a number of us here who had the privilege of assisting them in those days to try to put their case before the British public. That was a tremendous effort on their part, and it was accomplished only because many thousands of Africans scraped up whatever small sums they could afford to enable their spokesmen to come here and express their fears about federation. That cannot happen very often, and because it cannot happen very often it is more than ever important that hon. Members of this House themselves should visit the territories and visit them as frequently as can possibly be managed.

What is the position? If any hon. Member of this House visits either of these territories in order to discover for himself what is happening, is he liable to be refused admission or to be turned out after arrival merely at the whim of the Federal Government? That is the question which we want to put tonight, and it is a question which the Under-Secretary did not attempt to answer. We ask him: Are we to understand that no representations and no protests will issue from Her Majesty's Government in this country? If that be so, we arrive at this situation. A Member of this House, in the exercise of his Parliamentary duties, whether or not he combines it with any other occupation, may freely visit Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika or Zanzibar if he has obtained a permit. That is a mere formality, and no one suggests that it would be refused. But as soon as he goes a little further and arrives at the forbidding frontiers of Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland, where he has precisely the same degree of Parliamentary responsibility, he is entirely at the mercy of the Federal Government.

We were given an assurance, which I am bound to say did not appeal very much to me, that if somebody went on something like an official visit the necessary facilities would be granted. This is the distinction which the Under-Secretary sought to draw on Monday, when he said that my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury was merely on a private visit. I am bound to say that this is a distinction which I, for one, entirely fail to understand. It would be an extremely dangerous thing. [An HON. MEMBER: "It is Russian."] One of my hon. Friends says "It is Russian." It would be an extremely dangerous thing for this House if it were to be laid down that if hon. Members go on some officially sponsored mission, such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association or the Inter-Parliamentary Union, or whatever it may be, then facilities may be provided, but that if they go in any other way, or if, for example, they go at their own expense and not at the public expense, we should not give them any similar facilities. Is this distinction to be drawn between an hon. Member who goes under official auspices and an hon. Member who goes simply because he wants to discharge his Parliamentary duties and to find out what is going on?

We on this side of the House are extremely concerned about the treatment of our hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury, largely because he is not the only person who has been declared a prohibited immigrant in the Federation in the last few years. As we have been reminded, there has been a series of such people. There was the case of Mr. Basil Davidson, who was declared a prohibited immigrant in Central Africa and, by a singular coincidence, was declared a prohibited immigrant at the same time in the East African Territories, too. There was Mr. A. E. Lewis, who was appointed Secretary to the Northern Rhodesian European Mine Workers' Union. He was not allowed to take up his appointment; he was a prohibited immigrant.

There was Miss Rosalind Ainsley, the correspondent of Africa South. She went to Central Africa and committed the indiscretion of staying with an African household, and she was declared a prohibited immigrant. Only last summer there was Commander Fox Pitt, who had spent the greater part of his life in the Federation. For about 20 years he was a district provincial commissioner inside the Federation. Last summer he, too, was told that he might not return to revisit any part of the Federation. The only thing which could be said against him was that he was an opponent of the federal scheme throughout. There are also some of the arrests which have taken place recently and for which no explanation has been furnished, such as that of Mr. Clutton-Brock.

The case of my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury is therefore only the climax. When we look at the whole history of the last three or four years in relation to the use of immigration powers in the Federation, it is impossible to avoid the suspicion that the Federal Government are using their powers in an entirely arbitrary manner against anyone of whose political views they disapprove. This is in no way a personal issue. Naturally, we on this side of the House resent that one of our colleagues should be treated with obvious and gross discourtesy. But this is a question which affects the whole House of Commons and, indeed, Parliament.

I put two question a moment ago. Let me make them abundantly clear. May we have precise and specific answers? First, is it the view of Her Majesty's Government that whether a British Member of Parliament may visit Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland should depend upon the unfettered discretion of the Federal Government in Salisbury? If this is not their view, what steps do they propose to take to preserve the rights of British Members of Parliament in relation to these territories? I hope that we shall have answers to those questions.

8.4 p.m.

Sir Patrick Spens (Kensington, South)

I listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Foot). I know that he is a better constitutional lawyer than I am, but I disagree entirely with practically everything he said about the legal rights of the Federation and the way in which they have exercised them.

In as much as there is the possibility of a question of Privilege being raised, it would be improper for me in any way to discuss the actions or words of the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse). I might have to do that in another capacity as a member of the Committee of Privileges at a later date, and it would therefore be improper for me to say anything about them this afternoon. I therefore do not propose to do so.

I shall deal with the Motion of censure which, as the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) pointed out, can be divided into two parts, and, if I may, I want to deal first with the second part of it. This asks the House to declare that the entry of a citizen of the United Kingdom into a British Protectorate should not be subject to the veto of the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Replying to the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich, I assert that this is subject to the veto of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, because this Parliament has given them that power. They have it as a matter of law, as has been very clearly explained in the Paper which we have all had. It is also clearly indicated in a letter in The Times this morning from a lawyer learned on these subjects. It had been pointed out that the phrase in this Constitution has been taken from the Australian Constitution and that it has been held by a High Court in Australia that everything which the Federation has done is within these powers which we have given.

Mr. H. Hynd (Accrington)

But that is Australia.

Sir P. Spens

That does not matter. All these constitutions have certain common forms, and this is one which runs through a great many constitutions which we have given to Colonies on their road to independence and when they have become completely independent units. I do not think that there is the slightest doubt about what these powers mean.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman attach any importance to the fact that Australia is a Dominion and therefore has certain rights under the British Nationality Act, 1948, which do not belong to any Protectorate or Colony?

Sir P. Spens

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) is an excellent lawyer, too, and he knows quite well that on the construction of the words and what the powers mean, the decisions of an Australian High Court deserve all the respect of English lawyers when we come to construe them. I do not think that there is the slightest doubt but that, under the powers which we have given them, the Federation have the right to veto or declare a prohibited immigrant any citizen who goes to that country.

The concession which they have made, which was announced this afternoon, is merely that if a Minister or a Member of Parliament or some other official is sent on a deputation by the authority of this country and by arrangement with them, nothing of that sort would happen. I think that there is no question whatever that it would not have happened in any circumstances, but we have an undertaking from them to reinforce that view.

What that part of the Motion means is that the House is trying to go back on the powers which we gave in the Federal Constitution. It is a very serious constitutional matter that the House should be sitting for the third occasion condemning the Government of the Federation for the way in which they exercise powers which we ourselves have delegated to them.

That is what we are doing and, having had a good deal of experience of criticisms from the House of Commons of overseas Governments, I cannot over-emphasise the resentment which is being felt by the Government of the Federation and all those who are helping in the administration. The danger is that they will be saying, "The British Parliament gave us these powers and trusted us to exercise them, but the moment we exercise them in a way, on political lines, of which one party does not approve, or indeed of which the whole House may not approve, we must be stopped from having those powers to exercise."

This is what the Opposition are doing. They are demanding back the powers which we gave the Federation in 1953. Certainly the Motion cannot possibly be a good one for the House to pass, because it is absolutely contrary to the legal position. In those circumstances, there is no justification whatever for the second part of the Motion.

I turn to the first part of the Motion. When I asked a question on Monday, I suggested that it was out of order for us to discuss in the House the way in which a Government of a subordinate unit in the Commonwealth exercised powers given to it. That obviously goes too far. It is quite true that we cannot ask direct questions, because no Minister is responsible for the actions of an independent Government of a subordinate unit. On the other hand, it has been the immemorial practice of the House that when any British citizen, either in a foreign country or in any part of the Commonwealth, is in trouble the House finds a way to debate the matter and to do its best to try to solve the difficulty that has occurred.

When we question in the House the action of an independent sovereign power, it is a very serious constitutional matter and one that ought only to be entered into with grave responsibility. Erskine May says, quite rightly, that in debating the matter no objectionable phrases should ever be used. The speech made today by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East was a much more responsible one than the speech that we heard from him earlier in the week.

Mr. H. Hynd

It met with no response whatever.

Sir P. Spens

I have no doubt at all that it was very much appreciated by everybody that he addressed the House today in that tone, as opposed to the tone in which he addressed it in his earlier speech. I at any rate very much appreciated the change and realised that the Opposition now grasp how very serious it is to rise in wrath against an independent Administration. It is a serious matter for us even to suggest censure indirectly. If the Motion of Censure is passed, we are passing a Motion of censure against the administration of the Federation.

Mr. S. Silverman

Why should we not?

Sir P. Spens

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne asks why we should not. We give an independent power to a country. Then the hon. Member says, "Why should we not criticise the way they operate?"

Mr. S. Silverman

What is the right hon. and learned Gentleman getting so indignant about? We give powers to many people. We give powers to judges, magistrates, peace officers and Ministers. It does not remove from us the power, and in proper cases the right, to complain of the way they use the powers.

Sir P. Spens

I said earlier that from time immemorial we have had the right, in proper cases, to discuss these matters, but only in proper cases and only in language and with the responsibility which is worthy of this Parliament, and not in the way in which this question has been discussed during the last few days.

Mr. S. Silverman

The right hon. and learned Gentleman, no doubt quite unconsciously, has shifted his ground. He might be perfectly entitled, if he thinks proper, to criticise the Motion which my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) moved, because of the language used, or criticise his speech if he does not think it was a good one, but that is not what the right hon. and learned Gentleman was saying before. What he was saying before was that, when one has given powers, one must not criticise the persons to whom one has given those powers for the way in which they exercise them. That is a proposition which is an abnegation of the rights of the House of Commons.

Sir P. Spens

I very carefully and expressly denied any such doctrine. The House has the right to criticise administration, even in a foreign independent country, if a British citizen is affected. There is no question about that, but it is a right which has to be exercised with very great responsibility. What I was saying to the House, and I repeat it, was that if the first part of the Motion of Censure is passed it will be regarded in the Federation as a vote of censure on the administration of the Federation by the Federal Government. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne sees no objection to that. There is no reason why we should not do it at a proper time and if it can be done with safety to everybody concerned; but at this time, when the Government of the Federation are dealing with a situation which we know is desperately serious, I suggest to hon. Members that we ought to hesitate long before we go to the length to which the Motion asks us to go today. That is the point I am on. It is the time, the occasion and the situation in Nyasaland.

Instead of arguing, let me plead with hon. Members. After all, I know something about administration in places where there are a few white people amongst millions of coloured people. In times of crisis what is said in the House of Commons is liable to add to the danger of all those wretched people who are trying to administer these territories an our behalf. I do not mean the businessmen or money-making persons. I mean the people who are administering—the isolated assistant commissioners, the isolated commissioners, the isolated farmers, magistrates and people of that sort. What is said in the House may result in the most desperate events for people of that sort, not only those of our own race, because many of them are not British. Many of them belong to the countries in which they operate.

I beg the House of Commons to realise that at a moment like this, when terrible things may happen and have already happened—and worse may happen in the near future—we ought to hesitate long before either directly or by implication we blame those who are trying to tackle the situation.

8.17 p.m.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)

The right hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) was at cross-purposes with his own Front Bench, and I also thought that at times he was at cross-purposes with himself. He certainly contradicted his own arguments more than once during the course of his remarks, but he kept returning to the point that we had given powers to the Federal Government—free and independent powers, he kept repeating—and we ought not to take them back.

If it were clearly established that we had given powers to the extent which the hon. Gentleman says we have, to the extent that hon. Members from the House can be excluded from the Federation, and, in particular, from those parts of the Federation which are under the protection of the House, I believe that there would be in this country a very strong demand that that state of affairs should be altered, as we say in our Motion tonight.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations recognised that, by the very important remarks he made at the very end of his speech. Having attacked our Motion all the way through, he then went on to recognise the validity of it by saying that the High Commissioner in the Federation had approached Sir Roy Welensky for an undertaking that no hon. Member of the House would be refused entry into the Federation on Parliamentary business.

One thing that the hon. Gentleman has done by that admission is to give us our whole case. He has admitted that he has constitutional rights to approach Sir Roy Welensky for assurances of the kind for which we are asking in the Motion.

Mr. Alport

Perhaps I may help the hon. Lady: official business of Parliament.

Mrs. Castle

I am coming to that.

This is the distinction which profoundly alarms us and ought to alarm every hon. Member, because this is a direct attack upon the independent status of Members of the House. It is an attempt to make every back bencher in this House a creature of the Government and subject to their patronage, bound hand and foot by the shackles of official permission and official authorisation. It is this distinction, which the hon. Gentleman has just made, which shows the difference between the party opposite and us on this issue. This is the kernel of our battle tonight.

We say that the Under-Secretary has admitted that there was nothing wrong in his approaching Sir Roy Welensky for an undertaking of the right of access for an hon. Member of this House, but that he is not prepared, and was not prepared, to do it on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stone-house). He is only prepared to make an approach on behalf of Members of Parliament approved by him and whose actions can be controlled by the Government.

Sir Spencer Summers (Aylesbury)

What the hon. Lady has, perhaps, failed to realise is that if the undertaking or protection which she seeks to be afforded to all hon. Members, because they are hon. Members, were to be granted, it would enable a Member to go there and to say and do anything he pleased, regardless of the consequences, knowing that he was fully protected.

Mrs. Castle

The first essential of freedom is that one is entitled to do something of which authority disapproves, otherwise we have the Soviet system, and there is then nothing to which we can object in the Soviet Union. The proud boast that we make in this country is that we are not only allowed to say what Stalin says we may say, but that we are allowed to say something of which he disapproves. The whole essence of the rights of hon. Members of this House in relation to the conditions inside the Federation is that those Members shall have the same protection by Her Majesty's Government and Her representatives overseas whether or not they say something of which the Government here disapprove and of which Sir Roy Welensky disapproves.

Let us consider a little more closely what is the official business of Parliament. It was absolutely contemptible of the hon. Gentleman to try to draw this typical Tory red herring over the scene by suggesting that my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury had had the cool nerve to combine a visit of Parliamentary inquiry with journalistic work and with some private business. How does the hon. Gentleman imagine that an hon. Member of the House can travel the Commonwealth unless he combines his visit with some other activity?

Is the doctrine of the Conservative Government that it is only permissible for hon. Members of this House to keep in close touch with what is going on in the Commonwealth and in our Colonial Territories if either they have been handpicked for an official visit and go under official tutelage, with the official red carpet laid down and all the visits carefully organised by Government House, or, alternatively, if they have private means, as hon. Members opposite have, to pay their own fare? How, otherwise, are Members of Parliament without private means to go? Of course they must combine their visit with writing for a newspaper or with private business.

Has the Commonwealth Relations Office never given official facilities to Conservative Members of this House who have been in the Commonwealth on private business?

Mr. Alport

We have given help to any Member, of any party, who has come to ask us for assistance, but that help does not constitute, in the case of any Member, the official sponsorship of his visit. That is the point I was making throughout my speech, as the hon. Lady will see if she reads it tomorrow.

Mrs. Castle

If an hon. Member from the Government side of the House decides to go into a Commonwealth country and to charge his fare to his business expense account, as many hon. Members opposite do, does he never get the assistance of Government House and free Government hospitality and proceed to make visits and inquiries as a Member of this House with all the rights of an hon. Member of this House? Hon. Members from the Government side have asked hon. Members from this side to pair with them on such occasions and have even arranged sometimes to take them with them.

Let us stop all this hypocrisy. A Member of Parliament, because he is also engaged in some other activity, cannot divorce himself of his rights of a Member of Parliament. He does not divest himself of them like a piece of clothing. All that this boils down to is that the rights of this House are to be guaranteed by the Government only to Members of whose political views they approve.

Hon. Members


Mrs. Castle

Does the Under-Secretary of State imagine that if a Conservative Member had gone to Southern Rhodesia for private business interests and, in the course of that visit, had made a speech to Europeans in Salisbury, saying that in his view Dominion status should be granted to them in 1960, the Government would have said that he should be declared a prohibited immigrant for stirring up trouble? There is one law for the Government side of the House and one for this side, just as in the Federation there is at the moment one law for white and one law for black. Distinctions are being drawn along these lines.

When the hon. Gentleman says that he is trying to get undertakings from Sir Roy Welensky, he must realise the serious danger in which every hon. Member of the House is now placed as the result of the Government's failure to fight for my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury. I paid a visit to Southern Rhodesia and the Federation about a year ago. In the course of that visit, I did not address any meetings of Africans. I was not asked to do so. I did nothing but make visits arranged for me by the High Commissioner and with the help of Sir Roy Welensky, all the usual visits, the Kariba Dam, and so on, in an attempt to learn as much as I could in a short time.

I did one thing, however, that got me blackguarded throughout Southern Rhodesia. That was that I took two fellow Members of Parliament from the Commonwealth to dine with me in Meikle's Hotel, in Salisbury, the crime consisting of the fact that the skin of one of those Members of Parliament was black. As a result, I am informed that in the last Federal election campaign the Dominion Party got its biggest cheer at election meetings when it said that if it was returned to power the first thing that it would do would be to declare me a prohibited immigrant. That is the situation we have reached, and which Her Majesty's Government are conniving at it. We must face the fact that they are prepared to throw away the rights of hon. Members.

I must clear up one statement that the hon. Gentleman made about my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury. The hon. Gentleman made great play of the fact that my hon. Friend had no complaint to make about his inability to get to this House in time for tonight's debate, as facilities were offered to him to go home. The Under-Secretary went on to say that when the plane to Blantyre was cancelled my hon. Friend was offered facilities by the Governor to get to Salisbury.

During my telephone conversation with my hon. Friend this morning, he informed me that the Governor had asked him to go to Salisbury, but that he had made this suggestion on Monday afternoon. When my hon. Friend went to the Lusaka Airport yesterday morning to catch the plane to Blantyre, he was unaware—because nobody up to then had told him so—that the plane had been cancelled.

When he arrived at Lusaka Airport he was unaware, first, that the plane had been cancelled, and, secondly, that a state of emergency had been declared in Nyasaland. It was not until 6.30 yesterday morning that either of those facts were known to him. The hon. Gentleman has, therefore, given a misleading impression. It was on the previous day, on the Monday, that it was suggested to my hon. Friend that he should go to Salisbury.

I have here, in a transcript of the whole conversation with my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury, my hon. Friend's reply. He said: I said I was not prepared—get this point clear—to travel to Salisbury because in the event of travelling to Salisbury, where 400 people had been arrested, including one European, I was not clear about my own personal position in Salisbury. In other words, my hon. Friend had no confidence that this Government would protect him, any more than Guy Clutton-Brock was protected from the absolutely fantastic behaviour of the Southern Rhodesian Government.

It was for that reason that when it was suggested on the Monday that my hon. Friend should go to Salisbury, he refused. My hon. Friend told me on the telephone this morning that at that time—and this is what is very obscure about the situation—and at no other time, had the Governor of Nyasaland ever withdrawn his official invitation to visit Nyasaland. At no point had he ever received any instructions from Her Majesty's Government, or from the Governor of Nyasaland or of Northern Rhodesia, that he should leave the territory—

Mr. Alport

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Lady again, but she has just used a term that the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) used—"official invitation". I am not aware that there was any official invitation, although there was an informal invitation from the Governor to stay with him if he went. I would also tell the hon. Lady that I have been assured that the offer that had been made by the Northern Rhodesian authorities to get him to Salisbury was available to him if he had wished to take advantage of it.

Mrs. Castle

Which of them, and when?

Mr. Alport

I refer to transport.

Mrs. Castle

That was on the Monday, when he was unaware of any state of emergency in Nyasaland; unaware that the plane to Blantyre had been cancelled. His invitation from Sir Robert Armitage had not been withdrawn, and he told me that on the Monday evening the Daily Herald correspondent in Blantyre had told him that the Governor of Nyasaland had just made a statement saying that full official facilities would be avail- able to him in Nyasaland. The argument was still going on on the Monday—

Mr. F. M. Bennett (Torquay)

Is the hon. Lady's argument now that her hon. Friend was going to Blantyre to pursue his planned activities? I understood her to say earlier that he was going there only to come to England. What was his intention?

Mrs. Castle

Blantyre was the way back to England. That is the point. At that stage, there had been no kind of bar on his movement to Nyasaland, and at no stage had it been made clear to him that he could not go there. Therefore, I submit that this suggestion that offers were made to him to get him to Salisbury when it was known that the plane to Blantyre was cancelled, is incorrect. The two took place at separate points of time.

Mr. Alport

indicated dissent.

Mrs. Castle

The hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but does he deny the crucial fact that it was because of his realising, as he did at 6.30 yesterday morning, that the plane was not flying to Blantyre, that my hon. Friend asked to be allowed to see the Governor of Northern Rhodesia, to ask him to make alternative arrangements to get him back to England?

But he was not allowed to see him. He appealed to the police of the Northern Rhodesia Territory to protect him against the Federal immigration officials and enable him to see the Governor. This request was refused. It was because this new information had come into his possession about the situation in Nyasaland that he was unable to return. Therefore, we have once again been misled by Government statements to this House.

I challenge the hon. Gentleman. Is he saying that at 6.30 yesterday morning my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury was allowed to see the Governor of Northern Rhodesia?

Mr. Alport

What I said to the hon. Lady was, and I say it again, that when the hon. Member arrived at Lusaka Airport he was offered alternative means of transport to Salisbury at 6.30, or whatever the time was yesterday morning.

Mrs. Castle

I challenge that, because it is the opposite of what my hon. Friend told me on the telephone this morning and of which I have a full verbal transcript.

I say once again that one of the difficulties that we are in in this House is that we are constantly being given answers by the Government which do not tally with our own first-hand information. Time and again the Government have based their case on inaccuracies and misstatements of fact. I say to the hon. Gentleman that these are the words of the hon. Member for Wednesbury and that by making this statement here today the hon. Gentleman is, in fact, accusing him of not telling the truth at a time when he has been prevented from coming here to defend himself.

The point is this. Why was my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury, as the result of one speech in Southern Rhodesia, the calmest place in the whole Federation, declared a prohibited immigrant throughout the whole of that territory and denied the protection and assistance of the British Government? We now know why, because the hon. Gentleman has given us the doctrine again tonight. It is only people of whose movements the Government officially approve that they are going to defend, and it is because of that that our Motion is fully justified.

8.37 p.m.

Mr. F. M. Bennett (Torquay)

The speech of the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) contained so many misinterpretations, either mistaken or deliberate, of what my hon. Friend said in opening this debate that it is probably better that they should be dealt with in the course of one's speech rather than have specific attention paid to them.

In the first place, on the legal aspect about which we heard a good deal the other day and shall probably hear more this evening, and in view of the White Paper put before us, I think that most of us are at least agreed that the Federation was legally empowered to do what, in fact, it did do. There may be some difference about that, but I think that is now the generally accepted view of the House.

One point I should like my hon. Friend to answer when he winds up, is the statement by the hon. Member for Wednes- bury (Mr. Stonehouse) to the effect that the police in Northern Rhodesia failed in their duty because they did not come to his aid to protect him at the airport from forced emigration.

As I understand the position, it is in the relevant Order in Council under the relevant Act that the territorial police, in the case of a legal judgment, must in fact help to enforce it in the territories and that in the case of an executive or administrative action by the Federal authority must not under any circumstances hinder or block the action of the Federal Government in any of the three territories. I think that is the position. I should like my right hon. and learned Friend to deal with that point because it is one of the strong objections made by the hon. Member for Wednesbury which seems, at least, to deserve an answer. I think that the answer is not satisfactory from his point of view, but I should like confirmation on that point.

If we are satisfied that the Federation has been right in law so far as British citizens generally are concerned, is there any reason why an exception should be made in the case of a Member of this House? I concede at once that, whatever the theoretical law may be, a good case can obviously be made out for the practical desirability of a Member of the House of Commons being able to go to those territories for which the House is still responsible, but I follow that by saying that one must, in that context, consider, first, the purposes for which the Member goes, secondly, the background of his visit, and thirdly, whether he behaves with a sense of responsibility when he is there.

Dealing with the last point first, the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn said that it was for Members of Parliament, when they went abroad, to have exactly the same freedom as they have in this country to say what they liked even if it offended the local authorities. That is not a doctrine which we can, with any sense of responsibility, accept. [Interruption.] It applies to everybody. I am not making any party point here. If we delegate authority and functions in the maintenance of law and order to people in an overseas territory, we cannot, in that case, completely ignore the exercise of those functions when those people say that certain things are necessary to safeguard the security of the territories, and simply take the view that because one is a Member of Parliament one is entitled to say what one likes overseas, exericsing any freedom one chooses.

If one follows that doctrine to its conclusion, it means that any Member of the House of Commons—I do not say that the hon. Member for Wednesbury has—could go out and make grossly irresponsible statements and cause bloodshed. I do not think that any hon. Member opposite will seriously follow the hon. Lady in her thesis that we as Members of Parliament are quite entitled to say exactly what we like when we go to other territories where other people are responsible for enforcing law and order.

Mr. S. Silverman


Mr. Bennett

I was very careful to interrupt the hon. Lady only on a question of fact. I want other hon. Members to have the opportunity of speaking, and I should therefore be obliged if I could continue to develop this theme.

Secondly, we should look at the background of the visit itself. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, who opened the debate, was very unfairly criticised afterwards, and what he said about the hon. Member for Wednesbury was misinterpreted. He did not say that any hon. Member, on either side of the House, could not combine business or journalistic activities with other activities when he went abroad. For one thing, many of us could not afford to go otherwise. What he said, as I understood it—I accept it myself and always follow this course of conduct whenever I go to a Commonwealth country, and I have been to a substantial number—was that one is under two duties when one accepts facilities in going abroad.

First, one declares to the Secretary of State or to the Department here what one's purposes are in going. One says quite frankly what one intends to do. Secondly, when one arrives at the other end, one tells the people there to whom one is introduced what one is doing and what one proposes to do. One does not go with any hidden motives. I frequently go to Canada, for instance, and to other territories. I have from time to time, quite properly, gone to the Commonwealth Relations Office and told the Department about it. In fact, one is encouraged to do so. Invariably when I go I say that I am going primarily on a business visit or I am going primarily to prepare to write an article, but that when I go I wish also to take the opportunity to look into this or that. I think that all hon. Members will accept that that is the fair thing to do. Plainly, this is one of the things which the hon. Member for Wednesbury did not, in fact, do.

In the context, it is worth quoting the full remarks of Sir Roy Welensky on this point. The paragraph in his speech reads: The other matter that I wish to refer to is of such importance that I am considering drawing the attention of the Speaker of the House of Commons"— he is referring to his own House— to it, becase this is not the first time that it has happened in recent years. Mr. Stonehouse came to the Federation on what he described as a fact-finding, not a fault-finding, mission, as a Member of the House of Commons, and as such he was given opportunities to meet everyone of any standing in the two Rhodesias, both in the Federal and territorial spheres. As a matter of fact, he is on the record as saying that his programme was arranged in Northern Rhodesia by official circles. Here again is another point about which my hon. Friend complained; this was not arranged by official circles. If one has official facilities when one goes abroad for a variety of purposes, one is not sponsored by official circles, and it is a complete travesty and, indeed, dishonest, to suggest that one is. Sir Roy goes on: The question I believe should be put to the Speaker is whether or not visiting Members of the Commons should not disclose, before they come to the Federation, if they are in fact acting as journalists for a particular newspaper or a particular group of papers in the United Kingdom, because I am satisfied that the facilities which are placed at the disposal of these itinerant politicians would not be extended to the normal newspaperman. That is surely perfectly fair. If one is going as a newspaperman one is under an obligation to explain the fact that one is there partly as a newspaperman. I am sure that the great majority of hon. Members would do so.

Mrs. Castle

When I went there, Sir Roy Welensky was well aware that I was going for a particular newspaper. It made not the slightest difference. Why should it, if one is on business?

Mr. Bennett

Exactly. The hon. Lady has said that she did not need to tell it to him. The whole point is that in contrast Sir Roy Welensky did not know about the hon. Member for Wednesbury.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Bennett

We listened to the hon. Lady's hostile speech with some courtesy. I think that perhaps I should be allowed to continue this quotation.

Mr. S. Silverman


Mr. Bennett

I will not give way again, particularly in the middle of a quotation. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) all too frequently gets in extra speeches in this House by long and tedious interruptions.

The quotation continues: Mr. Stonehouse stated that he would report to the newspaper he was serving only when he had returned to London. In fact, he dispatched home more than one report during his stay. If Sir Roy Welensky is right, we must state quite firmly that apparently the hon. Member for Wednesbury told the Prime Minister of the Federation something which was untrue. That is the only possible construction that can be put upon it.

Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)


Mr. Bennett

I have said that I shall not give way again.

Mr. Johnson

Why not?

Mr. S. Silverman

Some references to the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) are inevitable in a debate of this kind because of the terms of the Motion, but is it not the rule of the House that one must not make a personal attack upon an hon. Member, and certainly not accuse him of dishonesty, in his absence and without giving any notice?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Gordon Touche)

Before attacking an hon. Member, it is customary to give him notice, but in this case it is known that the hon. Member will not be here.

Mr. S. Silverman

Further to that point of order. Whether my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury said something which was not true to Sir Roy Welensky is not, I submit to you, Sir Gordon, in any way material to the Motion before the House. If that charge is to be made, ought it not under our rules to be reserved until my hon. Friend is here to answer it?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett) is perfectly entitled to make that remark. The responsibility for the accuracy of it rests on him.

Mr. Bennett

Exactly, Sir Gordon. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne is now trying to get in an extra speech by way of points of order.

Mr. S. Silverman

On a point of order. I submit to you, Sir Gordon, that you would not have accepted my point of order, or replied to it, if you had thought that there was anything improper about it. The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to usurp the function of the Chair and he should not declare what is in order and what is not.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

We had better get on with the debate.

Mr. Bennett

That is exactly what I did not do, Sir Gordon.

As I said, merely from the point of view of reporting, it is obvious that it is not a matter of making imputations against anyone. If Sir Roy Welensky is right in his speech, the hon. Member he refers to cannot be right, as has been said.

The next thing which we should decide is whether the hon. Member, while he was out there, behaved in a thoroughly responsible fashion. If one goes to another territory and claims to be going on a fact-finding mission, quite apart from what agencies one may represent, business or otherwise, I cannot see that fact finding can include making public speeches. I shall not deal with whether the speeches in question were bad in their content. I thought that the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), in a very restrained and sensible way, if he will forgive the compliment, was perfectly right when he said, in reading the speeches, that there was nothing that could be seen to be offensive in them. Of course, it is not just a matter of content or context in the narrow sense. It is a matter of the atmosphere in which a speech is made.

It was perfectly obvious that an explosive situation was developing in the territories in which he spoke. Any speech that he cared to make at that time obviously would have an audience, and it was clear that he could cause among that audience a degree of unrest. The hon. Member asked for an introduction to an officer of the High Commissioner who advised him not to make a speech to that audience at that time. There is a moral responsibility on hon. Members who have facilities to go abroad to take the advice given to them by those who give them hospitality. I should like again to quote another part of Sir Roy Welensky's very fair remarks.

Mr. J. Johnson

When was that speech made by Sir Roy Welensky?

Mr. Bennett

Strangely enough, in his own capital, Salisbury, yesterday or today, and it has been telegraphed to London.

I have read one point which Sir Roy regarded as important. He says that another aspect is the categorical assertion by Mr. Stonehouse that he intended to refuse to obey the laws of the Federation. Now, irrespective of the correctness or otherwise of the attitude of the Federal Government in deciding to declare Mr. Stonehouse a prohibited immigrant, the Government of the Federation is a duly constituted Government, set up under an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament. Is it therefore right and proper that a Member of the House of Commons should come here and flout the authority of the Government. He is a visitor in a country in which many people of different races have a very high regard for the views of a Member of the House of Commons, and I personally have the gravest doubt that Mr. Stonehouse's declared intention to flout the authority of the Government of the Federation is likely to receive much support from responsible politicians in the United Kingdom, whether of the Conservative or the Socialist Party. Apart from a few hon. Members who have spoken tonight, I am sure that there are many hon. and right hon. Members opposite who do not think that it is responsible for a person who goes abroad deliberately to flout the authority of a country of which he is a guest. When one has returned from such a country one can, if one likes, think or say that one has been treated unfairly, but it is an irresponsible act to flout the authority of the Government of a country where one is a guest.

Sir Roy Welensky added: His example of irresponsibility in this matter is one that would do discredit to some embryonic legislative council, never mind the Mother of Parliaments. It is sad to think that I and most hon. Members must agree that that criticism by Sir Roy Welensky is thoroughly justified.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

Where did my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury flout the Government?

Mr. Bennett

The hon. and learned Member is perfectly free to read the newspapers and the statements made by the hon. Member for Wednesbury in which he categorically said that he intended to disobey and repudiate the authority of the Federal Government and the order for him to leave the territory.

Mr. Walter Monslow (Barrow-in-Furness)


Mr. Bennett

My purpose in producing these points from the speech by Sir Roy Welensky is not to secure party advantage or to attack the hon. Member for Wednesbury. It is to show only that his visit there and the action taken by the Federal Government must be regarded in the light of the fact that he had no special privileges from this House but was there as an ordinary citizen. If that was so and he did not behave himself in a responsible fashion in these circumstances, he had no right to special privileges which are not available to ordinary citizens. It is clear that in those circumstances the Federation was acting perfectly rightly in what it did.

Recently I raised the case of Mr. Shawcross who was excluded from Ghana under rights no greater and no less than those which the Federal Government utilised on this occasion. I am not speaking about the wisdom of the action, but legally the Federal authority had as much right to exclude the hon. Member for Wednesbury as a British citizen as the Government of Ghana had to exclude Mr. Shawcross. [An HON. MEMBER: "But this is a Protectorate."] I say that if the position of the law is as it is deemed to be in this respect, there is no difference between the Federation and a Dominion. If on this occasion the Federation was acting legally, in the case of Ghana it was acting no more and no less legally in getting rid of Mr. Shawcross. Of course, we have yet to hear the two distinguished lawyers make their points at the end of this debate, but I am presuming for the argument that they acted legally, and I am not for the moment talking about wisdom. Why is it that on that occasion we did not have a Motion of censure? Why was my right hon. Friend not asked to deliver protests at that time?

Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

Because it was not a Tory Member of Parliament who was deported.

Mr. Bennett

That is a singularly silly observation. In neither case was a Tory Member of Parliament involved.

The only reason why there was no objection before was because it was not an hon. Gentleman on the benches opposite. That is why his party did not do it. Another point already made in Rhodesia is that in this case it is somebody who is expelled, who is alleged to be on the side of the Africans. In the other case, it was a European who was being ejected by an African Government and therefore no objections were made.

Mr. Monslow

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Bennett

No. Let me add that I do not think any objection should have been made in the case of Mr. Shawcross. As my right hon. and learned Friend who spoke earlier rightly said—

Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)

An objection was made. I made it.

Mr. Bennett

When we in this House criticise the discretion given to independent territories, whether it is Ghana or the Federation or any other country, it does no good; it merely excites hostilities in those countries.

Mr. Brockway

Will the hon. Gentleman be fair to me?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Order. If the hon. Member will not give way, the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) must sit down.

Mr. Brockway

May I put this point of order to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker? The hon. Gentleman has said that when Mr. Shawcross was deported from Ghana no objection was made from this side of the House. I want him, in fairness, to allow me to say—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker


Mr. Brockway

In view of the fact that the statement is untrue, may I ask for your protection, Mr. Deputy-Speaker? May I be allowed to say that on that occasion, as on all occasions, I protested against deportation?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Bennett

When I referred to there being no objection, I was thinking of the Labour Party as the official Opposition.

Mr. David Jones (The Hartlepools)

Come off it.

Mr. Bennett

Of course I was. It is abundantly clear. This Motion is an official Opposition Motion of censure. Whatever the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) may or may not have done, his actions could not be regarded in the same way as the official Motion of censure on this occasion.

Now I turn to the question of aeroplanes for the moment, and whether the hon. Member for Wednesbury could have got back to answer the charges made here. When I first heard the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn this afternoon say that he was only going to Blantyre in order to get to Salisbury to catch a plane back to this country, I was amazed. I lived for some little time in those territories, and to suggest that the best way to get to England is by way of Blantyre and Salisbury is like saying one is going to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

Mr. Wedgwood Benn (Bristol, South-East)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Bennett

No. The hon. Gentleman had a good time with his plane times this afternoon; now I am going to give my schedule. When the hon. Member for Wednesbury arrived at Lusaka at 6.30 in the morning, it is true that he could have caught a plane to Blantyre had it been running, which it was not, and that this would have got him to Blantyre at 11.40. He would then have left Blantyre for Salisbury, assuming that he wanted to take this incredible 600-mile journey instead of the 250-mile direct route, leaving at 1510 hours on aircraft EC507, reaching Salisbury at 1640 hours. The only discrepancy, if he had taken that roundabout way, if the plane had been running, is that the plane from Salisbury for London would have left at 1435 hours and therefore he would have been two hours too late. If he had taken the opportunity to go direct from Lusaka to Salisbury, he could have breakfasted comfortably at Lusaka, while being photographed, and then caught a plane at 0820 reaching Salisbury at 0930 and then catching the Salisbury-London plane arriving in London in time to be here for the debate.

Those are the facts which have been given to me through the airline company's time-table. They are not a matter for dispute, and if I am wrong I will apologise on my behalf and that of the company. I have given the times and numbers of the aeroplanes. If what I have said is correct, it is obvious that the hon. Member could have been here in time to answer the charges, as was said earlier. [HON. MEMBERS: "What charges?"] There is another feature about which we are entitled to be informed.

The only time I interrupted the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn was to ask for this information. I do not want to make this charge unless it is fair. Did the hon. Member for Wednesbury go to Blantyre to come back to England, or was he going to Blantyre to accept an invitation because he did not accept the authority of the Federal Government? He cannot have it both ways. Was he going to Blantyre to assert his rights and stay with the Governor, or to change planes there and come back to England?

The hon. Lady said that whichever it was, he was entitled to do it, but we are entitled to know whether he was on his way back here, or was exercising his right of free speech. Perhaps we can be told which of those courses he was pursuing.

Mr. Benn

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Bennett

No, the hon. Gentleman will not.

I want to conclude on a much wider topic. The last few days have been a genuine tragedy for the future of the Federation. I am not for a moment making a party point, but once again I say how grateful I was to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East that he did much to remove some of my fears about what may take place. Those fears should be above party. In the Rhodesias, as elsewhere, the one thing that upsets people is violent criticism from another country. We all ought to know that. One of the safest ways of making sure that a Government to whose actions one objects stays in power is to do just that. There will already be deep resentment. I do not say whether it is justified or not, but no hon. Member can imagine that other than great harm has been done to our relations with the Federation. If we proceed in this way, there will be serious consequences.

Mr. Monslow

Will the hon. Member give way?

Mr. Bennett

If this vendetta between the party opposite and Sir Roy Welensky, the Southern Rhodesian Government and the Federal Government continues on its present path, one or more of several disasters will occur.

Mr. Monslow

May I make a statement?

Mr. Bennett


Mr. Callaghan


Mr. Bennett

I will give way since I have referred to the hon. Member directly.

Mr. Callaghan

The hon. Member has referred, as did the Colonial Secretary last night, to a vendetta between the Federal Government and the Labour Party. The hon. Member for Leominster (Sir A. Baldwin) did the same thing. I am not aware of any such vendetta. We maintain that there are certain standards of behaviour and conduct which we believe should be observed by Governments overseas. It is our intention to try to see that, so far as possible, they adhere to those standards. If they do, of course there will be no attack, but if they do not we shall pursue them where we think that they are transgressing.

Mr. Bennett

I accept immediately the assurance of the hon. Member that he does not believe that there is a vendetta. I can only say that that is not believed in the Federation, and I do not know who could blame the people there if they believed there was a vendetta when, in the last seventy-two hours in this House, the Prime Minister of the Federation has been referred to as untrustworthy and incapable of leadership, and also accused of being guilty of a deliberate conspiracy to force a showdown. Would any hon. Member think that that sort of language is wise to use about the Prime Minister of a Commonwealth country? Would we like it if a Commonwealth country were to make remarks of that kind about us? It is obvious that the right hon. Gentleman really shares this view because in his speech he made none of the observations which have been such a sorry feature of our debates in the last few days.

If the theme is developed that there is wide distrust of the party opposite on the part of the Federation, it is not by any means scaremongering to say that if they come into office we shall face very serious trouble in our relations with the Federation. I wonder whether hon. Members opposite realise what will be the effect on the peoples they pretend to protect if the Federation breaks up. At present, no less than £4 million goes to Nyasaland from the Federal Government as a contribution towards financing that country, and if the Federation breaks up—

Mr. G. A. Pargiter (Southall)

On a point of order. Are we discussing the economy of Nyasaland or the actions of the Federal Government?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

We are discussing the Motion which is before the House.

Mr. Bennett

Remarks were made earlier about the effects on the Federation, and nobody was called to order. I thought that I was perfectly right in mentioning the matter again.

I am saying that if this disruptive tendency continues to break up the Federation there is no doubt that Nyasaland will suffer, and that Southern Rhodesia will tend to look southwards. I do not know whether anybody believes that that will benefit the African people living in Southern Rhodesia. Similar considerations apply to Northern Rhodesia.

Whatever hon. Members opposite may think, it would be remarkably foolish for us to continue upon a course which could end in disaster, and the responsibility in this matter lies very largely in this country and of it the main part remains very much with the Opposition, who have again recently signally failed to realise it.

9.8 p.m.

Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)

The speech to which we have just listened contained only one mark of distinction. That was that the hon. Member, unlike any other hon. Member opposite, pretended to give some reasons that might conceivably have justified the actions of the Federal Government towards my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse). But what were they? He made a great deal of play with the assertion that my hon. Friend had flouted the law of the Federation. In what respect and at what stage did he do so? It is not suggested that he did it at any point except when he said that he could not accept the order made against him. Up to that point there was no suggestion that he had in the slightest or most technical manner flouted the law of the Federation. It cannot, therefore, be suggested as a reason for the prohibited immigrant order made about him that he had flouted the law, because no question of his having done so in any respect arose until after the declaration that he was a prohibited immigrant had been made.

I stress this point because, starting with the speech of the Under-Secretary of State, we have had a series of attempts to smear the personal character of my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury. That was done because those who were making the speeches knew that they could produce no valid reason to justify the action of the Federal Government.

I will not argue the legalities of the matter because, whatever view may be taken about the legal rights of the Federation, the point remains that if a British subject is travelling even in a foreign country and that country treats him in a manner which, although it may be in accord with its law, is none the less unwise, uncivil, and contrary to the general practice of civilised people, it is considered to be part of the duty of our Government at the very least to make an inquiry and, if necessary, to protest about it. It is complete irrelevance to pretend that the Motion must be regarded primarily as a censure on the authorities in Africa. We are concerned, as we must be, in the first instance with the Government here.

The hon. Member for Wednesbury was prevented from going about his business for no adequate reason at all. If such shadows of reasons as have been produced in this debate had been advanced by any foreign Government as a reason for interfering with the behaviour of a British citizen there would have been indignation in every part of the House. But this time it is a Government with certain racial aspirations with which certain hon. Members opposite have a great deal of sympathy, and the person incommoded is a Labour Member of Parliament. That is why we have had the attitude that we have had tonight.

What conceivable reasons could be alleged? At one time my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury was told that it was necessary for his own safety to get him out of the Federation. But the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies who answered a Private Notice Question on Friday said, with his usual smile, with regard to the cancellation of Lord Perth's visit, that there was no question of there being any risk to safety. So that reason must be written off.

Is it suggested that the hon. Member for Wednesbury behaved in an illegal or improper manner and that that was the cause of the order of deportation? What has been suggested in criticism of his conduct? Does any hon. Member anywhere in the House seriously suggest that the speech which was quoted to us at considerable length by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) could either in intention or in effect have damaged or injured the situation in East Africa? Everyone must have seen that both its intention and its effect wore wholly pacific and wholly desirable. It was also alleged against my hon. Friend that he was in an hotel in company with people with black skins. Do hon. Members opposite regard that as a discreditable action? Do they regard it as an adequate reason for interfering with a British citizen visiting a part of the Commonwealth?

The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett) was no doubt anxious that little time should be given to this side of the House to develop its case and he took up a very great deal of time. Therefore, I propose to make one brief remark more only.

The right hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) took the view that it was proper in this House in certain circumstances to criticise the conduct of individual States, but he also took the view that that ought to be done in temperate language and with a proper sense of timing. Is it suggested anywhere in the House that the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East was other than temperate or magnanimous? The right hon. and learned Gentleman could not have criticised it on that ground.

As to the timing, if it is considered undesirable, with a view to the whole aspect of the African situation—everyone knows how grave it is—that we should vote on this Motion tonight, if that is considered to be had timing, the remedy is in the Government's hands immediately. I was surprised that the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not address a plea to his own Front Bench to accept our very reasonable offer. We do not want, if it can be honourably avoided, to divide the House tonight. We have suggested a method which the Government can adopt to avoid such a decision with credit to themselves and credit to the House. We earnestly hope that in their reply we shall hear that they propose to adopt it.

9.15 p.m.

Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas (Leicester, North-East)

This, of course, is a House of Commons concern. I myself was very glad when the Leader of the House emphasised yesterday that it was clear to him, before he came to the House, that this was obviously a matter of first-class importance to the House of Commons. It is true that the hon. Member involved in this case is a Member from this side of the House—the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse). It is equally true that if by any chance, say, the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) had found himself a prohibited immigrant, we should have been equally concerned about it.

The Motion which we have put before the House falls into two parts. There is the objection to the Government's failure to protest to the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland about designating the hon. Member as a prohibited immigrant, and there is the perfectly general proposition that the entry of a citizen of the United Kingdom into a British Protectorate should not be the subject to the veto of the Federal Government. The position of the hon. Member for Wednesbury is that, while he was in the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia on a visit, he was declared by the Federal Government to be a prohibited immigrant, and was deported by the Federal authorities, as far as I can see, with the agreement of the Northern Rhodesian Government.

The first question which arises here is the authority of the Federal Government to declare the hon. Member a prohibited immigrant. That is not raised directly in the Motion before the House, but the question has been canvassed, and therefore I will refer to it shortly. The question arises whether, under the Constitution of the Federation, the Federal Government have the power to declare the hon. Member a prohibited immigrant. That turns upon the provision in the Constitution that the Federal Government are to have exclusive jurisdiction over immigration into the Federation.

There is in the Constitution no definition of immigration such as we find in quite a number of immigration Acts. Immigration is not a word of art, and we depend therefore, primarily at any rate, upon the dictionary meaning. The dictionary meaning of the word "immigration" is "entrance into a country for the purpose of settling there" Therefore, prima facie, the meaning of the word "immigration" here is confined to entrance into a country for the purpose of settling, which certainly does not cover the hon. Member for Wednesbury.

It is possible, of course, to find circumstances, or indications within a document, which might give a different meaning of immigration, as was found in the case to which the right hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) referred, concerning an Australian Act of Parliament—a different Statute, in different circumstances, with an independent Commonwealth, and without the complication of protected territories. It is quite clear that the sense in which the House understood immigration was, of course, the dictionary sense—the sense of entry into a country for the purpose of settling there.

I am not concerned on this point with the narrow legal question whether the Federation have legally the power to do what it has done. As the Motion shows, I am much more concerned about the action which the Government have taken upon the footing which they have adopted that the Federation have the power to pass the law which they have passed. Nevertheless, I start with the assumption that the understanding of the House when it was dealing with the matter was that immigration was confined to entrance into a country for the purpose of settling there.

We have heard tonight that the Government themselves have not felt happy about the legal interpretation which has been adopted, on the Attorney-General's advice, of the word "immigration". They themselves have therefore sought to find some modification, by agreement with the Federal Government, of the operation of the full effect of the word "immigration" included in the Constitution.

Let us consider for a moment the effect of the Government's interpretation of the word "immigration". The proposition, as I understand it, is that the Federation, under the Constitution, can take power to themselves to prohibit any entrance into the Federation by anyone who is not domiciled in the Federation. I gather that from the useful document which has been circulated by the Commonwealth Relations Office.

What does that mean? It means that any Member of Parliament can be forbidden entrance into the Federation at the whim of the Federation. That is exactly what has happened in this case. It could apply to any Parliamentary delegation. Without giving any reason for it, the Federal Government can ban the entry of such a delegation into the Federation. It means that any Parliamentary or other inquiry can be forbidden, defeated and banned. All that can be done under the Act passed by the Federal Government under the constitutional power which exists under the Constitution approved by this House.

The Federal Government could go further under the provision which enables them to forbid immigration. They could forbid persons whose presence there is essential to the administration of the territory. They could forbid a Minister from going into the territory. They have not done so by the Act which has been passed in the case of civil servants and servants of the Crown, but under this interpretation of the word "immigration" in the Constitution they have authority to take power to do so. This interpretation means that the Federal Government could stultify our administration of the territories, should they so desire. This is the result of the interpretation which the Attorney-General advises and the Commonwealth Relations Office adopts. It is a ridiculous result which would stultify the operation of the Constitution itself. If that be the true interpretation, then clearly the position is utterly intolerable.

Parliament has a grave responsibility towards the Federation and the territories within the Federation. Indeed, it was an Act of Parliament which established the Constitution. Under the Constitution certain legislation has to be reserved by the Governor-General for Her Majesty's pleasure, which means for the opinion of the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations. Parliament therefore has powers within the Constitution. Other Bills may be assented to by the Governor-General. He may withhold his assent, or he may reserve them for Her Majesty's pleasure. Over and above that, Her Majesty, acting through the Secretary of State, may disallow any law passed by the Federal Government. If there is a law for the amendment of a Constitution and it is objected to by the territorial Legislature or by the African Affairs Board on the ground that it is differentiating legislation, again the matter is reserved for Her Majesty's pleasure and the assent to that has to be given by an Order in Council, which is subject to negative procedure in the Houses of Parliament.

Therefore, within the operation of the Constitution there is a strong direct and indirect Parliamentary responsibility. In 1960, seven to nine years after the establishment of the Constitution, there has to be a conference of delegates from the territories, from the Federation and from the United Kingdom, chosen in the case of the United Kingdom by the Government responsible to the House, in order to review the Constitution.

Therefore, throughout the Constitution we have Parliamentary responsibility. Further than that, we have deep Parliamentary responsibility for the two Protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Preamble to the Constitution, which has been read in the House before, provides: 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. We have responsibility for the Africans, particularly in the Protectorates. The Africans do not have self government. We are responsible for their Government within the territories, not through the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, but through the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Secretary of State for the Colonies is directly answerable to the House for his administration of those territories. Therefore, we are deeply involved in the administration within the Central African Federation. The residual powers, those powers which are not assigned by the Constitution to the central Government, remain in the territorial Governments for whom the House is directly responsible.

We are responsible for law and order within the territories. Therefore, if law and order within the territories break down, we may be faced with a position where British troops have to be sent into those territories to maintain law and order. That would involve British troops at British expense, constituents of our own, being sent there for that purpose.

The whole of this Constitution is ringed around and shot through with Parliamentary responsibility. We cannot carry out Parliamentary responsibility except through Members of Parliament. Members of Parliament must themselves be assured of means by which they can carry out the responsibility which Parliament has. Members of Parliament are not in the position of ordinary individuals in this matter. They have special obligations, special duties and special responsibilities.

Mr. William Yates (The Wrekin)

And Reynolds News.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

The House of Commons, acting through Members of Parliament, is the instrument of democracy for the democratic government of the territories in the Central African Federation. The hon. Member for Wednesbury has, despite all that, been declared a prohibited immigrant, without a murmur, without a protest, without a bleat from the Government. They have acquiesced in his exclusion from the territory and, as I understand it, they even support it. They did not disallow this Act of Parliament under which the Federal Government can exclude any Member of Parliament from the Federation, and they have not protested now that that Act of Parliament has been applied.

The Government have been in correspondence with Sir Roy Welensky and they have agreed a formula which attempts to mitigate in some little way the harsh and unreasonable operation of the interpretation of the Constitution which the Government have adopted.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will my hon. and learned Friend give way?

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

No, I cannot. [Interruption.] I cannot hear everyone at the same time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give him a chance."] That is a fair point. What the Government have said is that it is essential that we should be assured that there is no intention of the Federal Government to exclude persons on official business on the authority of Parliament. We cannot accept this assurance as being at all adequate. This is merely an assurance between the present Federal Government and the present Government of this country. It is given today for the first time, apparently, under pressure of this debate. It does not apply to Members of Parliament going independently into the Federation, even though they are paying for themselves and going purely to find out the position for Parliamentary purposes. [HON. MEMBERS: "And Reynolds News."] This merely provides that those who go with the sanction of the Government shall be exempt from prohibition.

What is valuable to Parliament on these occasions is not the official delegation from the Government. The Government have their own contacts. What is of value to Parliament is to have the independent view of the independent Member, who speaks up in an independent way. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite guffaw at the suggestion.

Mr. Patrick Maitland (Lanark)

Reynolds News.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

They obviously have not met my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman). [HON. MEMBERS: "Give way to him."].

The reports which we have had of the deportation are that my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury was deported on Federal Government orders. It is stated that the Northern Rhodesian Government have agreed to this action and that the Northern Rhodesian police were present to support the federal officers if necessary. I should like to know categorically whether my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury was evicted from the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia with the approval and support of the Government. We were told yesterday that there had been the closest consultation between the Government and the Federation and the territories thoughout this Nyasaland emergency.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations has said that it was not practicable and not appropriate for my hon. Friend to go into Nyasaland because the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs was not going. Why is it not appropriate because the Minister of State is not going there? Why should he not go because the Government decide that the Minister of State shall not go?

We were told officially by the hon. Gentleman this afternoon why the hon. Member for Wednesbury was evicted from the Federation. The reason given—and this is the official reason—was the difficulty of providing protection. Apparently, it was not because of my hon. Friend's speeches, which the Under-Secretary said were not relevant for this purpose, but simply because of the difficulty of providing protection.

Do we really believe that that is so? Protection from whom? Protection from the Africans—from the people with whom hon. Members opposite say the hon. Member for Wednesbury was too friendly? Or protection from the settlers, whom the Government say are so law-abiding? Protection from whom? I give to the Government the same reply as the British Ambassador gave to the Americans over the English Electric contract: "Tell it to the marines—the sailors won't believe it." By this device, of course, the hon. Member is not to be there at the very moment when his presence would be most valuable to this House. It is precisely on such an occasion as this that it is valuable to this House to have an independent view from a Member of this House about it—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Certainly. Perhaps hon. Members opposite are too far to the right to read the Manchester Guardian, and so to have seen the letter in that newspaper from the Rev. Albert C. McAdam, of the Church of Scotland Mission at Blantyre.

One or two passages in the letter illustrate how valuable it would be to have the hon. Member for Wednesbury there at the present time. The writer denies the Federal reports that missions were burnt down and a missionary stoned. He says: The truth is that the police initiated violence and acted irresponsibly throughout. He says: The local official report here on the incident is not just biased—it is blatantly provocative. Later he states: The British Government must intervene and replace Rhodesian troops or Nyasaland is about to take up the newsprint normally devoted to Cyprus. What we are concerned about is that Members of Parliament should be free to go into these territories, see what is, in fact, going on, and report to this House, and to this country, what is the position within the territories for which this House and this country are responsible. The whole difficulty is that we cannot—under this Constitution, with a Federal capacity for excluding anyone the Federal Government wish—ensure that any Member of this House who wishes to go there can go there, provided he abides by the law within that country.

They might forbid the successor to the present Secretary of State for the Colonies going there. They could forbid the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) going there, just as Franco banned my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan). It is exactly the same thing—

Mr. Bevan

Fascists—that is what they are.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

What we are concerned about is that we should have the ability to go to the territories for which we, as a country and as a Parliament, are responsible. We have put forward constructive proposals which we believe will help tremendously in the present situation. Before we decide on the course we shall take we shall await the Government's answer to that proposal, but what the Government are doing in their treatment of the hon. Member for Wednesbury is to betray their obligations to the House and, in their attitude towards the territory, to betray their trust on behalf of the people there.

9.40 p.m.

The Attorney-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)

I think that any lawyer has always found it difficult to combine a clear, logical, legal argument with any kind of political controversy. I cannot congratulate the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Leicestershire, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas) on surmounting that task tonight.

I am replying to this debate to deal with legal points which have been raised by hon. Members. I also wish to reply to the question posed by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff. South-East (Mr. Callaghan). I would say, at the outset, that that question was put without notice of any kind whatsoever. I am not complaining about my position, but I think that it is very unfair to criticise my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations for not having answered immediately, when he made his speech, a question which was put without notice. [Interruption.] I am rather tempted, in view of the interruptions, to postpone my answer to it. I was proposing to answer it now and if I may be allowed to do so I will.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East said that he put forward this proposal in good faith and, of course, we accept that it was put forward in that spirit. We would not rule out, nor would we ignore, any proposal which would enable Parliament to discharge its responsibilities or to be accurately informed. We consider that the obvious next course is, as was recommended in both Houses yesterday, to pursue the original proposal that my noble Friend the Minister of State for the Colonies, Lord Perth, should pay his visit to Nyasaland at such time as the Governor of Nyasaland thinks would he appropriate, following upon his present visit to East Africa, for which he left today.

The suggestion that the hon. Gentleman put forward really relates to last night's debate. It has no connection whatsoever with the subject matter of the Motion which we are discussing today. The hon. Gentleman and the Leader of the Opposition have offered not to vote tonight if that suggestion is accepted. We are not prepared to bargain about this matter at all. We are quite prepared to vote on this Motion and we have no doubt that it will be rejected, as it should be.

Now I would like to come to the actual Motion.

Mr. Gaitskell

Before the right hon. and learned Gentleman sits down, may I say that I deeply regret both what he has said and the way in which he has said it. We put forward this proposal because we honestly believed that it would help to reduce tension in Nyasaland and because it would help the future of the Commonwealth. The Government have rejected it out of hand and my right hon. and hon. Friends will draw their own conclusions from that.

The Attorney-General

I gave way to the right hon. Gentleman. I was not proposing to sit down just at this moment. I am glad to have the right hon. Gentleman's intervention. As I made clear, we do not in any way suggest that this proposal was not put forward in good faith, but we have reached a conclusion about it and the conclusion is the one that I have announced.

Mr. Callaghan

It was stated on the wireless that Lord Perth would not go to Nyasaland before 24th March, which is in three weeks' time. We suggest that the tension which is there now could be reduced if an early decision were taken to send a Parliamentary mission. Why cannot the Attorney-General tell us that the Government would be ready to send such a mission at the earliest possible date, and before 24th March?

The Attorney-General

Views about the consequences of sending a Parliamentary mission at this juncture may differ considerably.

The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Leicester, North-East said last Monday that he did not accept the view of the law put forward by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations. He said then that there were differences of view about the law. I have been waiting with interest to hear what these differences are. After some experience at the Bar, I suppose I ought never to be surprised at the capacity of lawyers to differ about anything, but I must say that the hon. and learned Gentleman surprised me tonight.

I think that the hon. and learned Gentleman will agree with what I am about to say as I trace the matter by stages. Under the Act of 1953, we gave power to Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to devolve such powers and duties as might be thought fit upon the Federal Legislature. Following that, there came the Constitution Order in Council, in respect of which there was an Address in both Houses so that the House had full opportunity of considering it. The hon. and learned Gentleman's argument depends upon the interpretation to be placed upon the word "immigration" in the first part of the Second Schedule to that Constitution.

I entirely disagree with the narrow meaning that he puts upon that word. All through the Commonwealth, throughout foreign countries, and, I think I am right in saying, in nearly all the Colonies, there are laws dealing with immigration which not only deal with persons who intend to settle in those countries. Immigration covers those who go into a country, whether they intend to settle or intend merely to pay a visit. I should have thought that that was clear beyond doubt. The hon. and learned Gentleman built the whole of his argument upon the basis that immigration meant immigration only for the purposes of settlement. I entirely disagree. That is putting far too narrow a view upon it.

When these powers were given, the Federal Legislature obviously had power to legislate for immigration and emigration. The form of their legislature shows that they thought, in my view rightly—no doubt they were advised upon the matter—that their immigration laws could deal with visitors as well as those who wished to settle permanently.

I do not wish to remind the House in detail of the statutory position set out in the Paper which was prepared in a considerable hurry by the Commonwealth Relations Office, and which I hope the House has found helpful. Under the Act, the Governor-General has power to declare a prohibited immigrant a person who, from information received from any Government, is deemed by him to be an undesirable inhabitant of or visitor to the Federation. As I understand, that action was taken by the Governor-General, and I should, perhaps, make it clear that the action was taken by the Governor-General under the Constitution on the advice of the Executive Council. That being so, there is, under the Act, a right to make representations. I understand that the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) did not make any representations at all about the order which had been made against him. He had an opportunity. It may be that the hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that, if he were legislating, something else would be desirable, but that is another matter. He had an opportunity within the limited time of doing so, but I gather that he did not do so.

The legislation passed by the Federal Legislature has obviously, if it is dealing with immigration, to contain powers of removing those who are declared to be prohibited immigrants. The Act, in my view, was clearly within the power delegated by this House to the Federal Legislature and it is primarily a matter—I will come to the question of protest which the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) raised in a moment or two—for the Federal Government to determine how they exercise the powers which they have under that Act. That is the position.

The hon. and learned Member far Leicester, North-East drew attention to the wide scope of the Act. There is a number of persons specified in the Act who cannot be declared to be prohibited persons. The hon. and learned Member is quite right in saying that members of the United Kingdom Parliament are not among that list, he is right in saying that Ministers are not among that list, but it is almost unbelievable that we would require persons to legislate in such a way as to exempt particularly Ministers from the operation of this Section. We have the statement, of which I would remind the House, from Sir Roy Welensky giving that undertaking, that there would be—[An HON. MEMBER: "What has that got to do with it?"] I would have thought that it had quite a lot to do with it.

Mr. Bevan

He is not the Statute.

The Attorney-General

I am not suggesting that he is the Statute. I think that it has quite a lot to do with it, because it makes it clear that there is no risk whatsoever of any Minister or Member of Parliament on official duty being prohibited from going there. [Interruption.] We cannot all speak at the same time. I am trying to deal with the legal position. What seems sense to me—it probably does not seem sense to the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) —

Mr. Bevan


Hon. Members

Sit down.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The Minister has not given way. The Attorney-General.

The Attorney-General

Time is running short and I have quite a lot of ground to cover.

The Motion falls into two parts.

Mr. Bevan

This is ridiculous.

The Attorney-General

I do not accept the right hon. Gentleman's criticism or his ruderies.

The Motion, as has been said, contains two parts. I want to say a word or two about the second part, which applies to the entry of a United Kingdom citizen into any British Protectorate. If one accepts that this law is valid, as I do, then it is a law passed by the Federal Legislature applying to the whole of the Federation, and within that Federation there is Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia. There can be no doubt that this law covers and applies to them. It would be quite exceptional and wholly unusual for us to insist that there should be any particular right for British citizens to enter any particular overseas territory belonging to the Commonwealth or of a colonial character. The immigration laws of these countries apply usually to everyone. There may be exceptions, as there are in this case, but not exceptions based on British nationality or citizenship.

I now turn to the first part of the Motion, which condemns Her Majesty's Government for failing to protest at the hon. Member for Wednesbury being designated as a prohibited immigrant. I would say to the House that if self-government is to mean anything practically it must mean that the country which is governing itself must have power to exclude persons who want to enter that country. Having given power to the Federal Government to exclude visitors to a British Protectorate, we cannot turn round and attack the exercise of that power. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] I take it that it has not been suggested that the hon. Member for Wednesbury was entitled to any special privileges on this visit, or special treatment because he is a Member of the House. I understood that that was the basis.

A Member who travels abroad for reasons connected with journalism, or with business, or for any other private reasons is not entitled to any greater privileges or rights than any other citizen of the United Kingdom. That is my answer to the contention put forward by the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Foot), who suggested that there were some special rights attaching to hon. Members travelling abroad.

Mr. Foot

Not special rights—special obligations.

The Attorney-General

I am grateful to the hon. and learned Member. I would have thought that foremost among those obligations was obedience to the laws of that particular territory. When

the hon. Member for Wednesbury was given notice that he was a prohibited immigrant and when, in accordance with the requirements of the law, it was sought to remove him from the territory, he resisted; and that was certainly flouting the law of that territory.

Mr. Callaghan

He was removed because of his political views.

The Attorney-General

I conclude by saying that whether a person is an undesirable inhabitant or visitor is solely for the Government of the Federation. It is one thing to make inquiries to find out what has happened. It is another thing to lodge a protest. I am sure that the House, if it reflects calmly, will agree that the Government should not lodge a protest with another Government without good and sufficient reasons. The Government made inquiries about the position, but I suggest to the House that there were no reasons here for protesting on the ground of any illegality of treatment or any inhumanity directed to the hon. Member for Wednesbury. It is for that reason that I ask the House to reject the Motion.

Question put:

The House divided:—Ayes 237. Noes 293.

Division No. 55.] AYES [9.59 p.m.
Abse, Leo Champion, A. J. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Ainsley, J. W. Chapman, W. D. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Albu, A. H. Chetwynd, G. R. George, Lady Megan Lloyd(Car'then)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Cliffe, Michael Gibson, C. W.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Clunie, J. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P, C.
Awbery, S. S. Coldrick, W. Greenwood, Anthony
Bacon, Miss Alice Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.
Baird, J. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Grey, C. F.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Cronln, J. D. Grimond, J.
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.) Crossman, R. H. S. Hale, Leslie
Benson, Sir George Cullen, Mrs. A. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Beswick, Frank Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hamilton, W. W.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hannan, W.
Blackburn, F. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)
Blenkinsop, A. Deer, C. Hastings, S.
Blyton, W. R. de Freitas, Geoffrey Hayman, F. H.
Board man, H. Delargy, H. J. Healey, Denis
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Diamond, John Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Dodds, N. N. Herbison, Miss M.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Donnelly, D. L. Hewitson, Capt. M.
Bowles, F. G. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)
Boyd, T. C. Edelman, M. Holman, P.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Holt, A. F.
Brockway, A. F. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Houghton, Douglas
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Howell, Denis (All Saints)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Hoy, J. H.
Burke, W. A. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Burton, Miss F. E. Fernyhough, E. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Finch, H. J. (Bedwellty) Hunter, A. E.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Fitch, A. E. (Wigan) Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Callaghan, L. J. Fletcher, Eric Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Foot, D. M. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Snow, J. W.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Sorensen, R. W.
Janner, B. O'Brien, Sir Thomas Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Oram, A. E. Sparks, J. A.
Jeger, George (Goole) Oswald, T. Spriggs, Leslie
Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St.Pncs, S.) Owen, W. J. Steele, T.
Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Padley, W. E. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Johnson, James (Rugby) Paget, R. T. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Stross,Dr.Barnet(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)
Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Palmer, A. M. F. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Swingler, S. T.
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Pargiter, G. A. Sylvester, G. O.
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Parker, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Kenyon, C. Parkin, B. T. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Peart, T. F. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Ledger, R. J. Pentland, N. Thornton, E.
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Plummer, Sir Leslie Timmons, J.
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Prentice, R. E. Tomney, F.
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Lindgren, G. S. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Usborne, H. C.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Probert, A. R. Viant, S. P.
McAlister, Mrs. Mary Pursey, Cmdr. H. Warbey, W. N.
McCann, J. Randall, H. E. Watkins, T. E.
MacColl, J. E. Rankin, John Weitzman, D.
MacDermot, Niall Redhead, E. C. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
McKay, John (Wallsend) Reeves, J. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
McLeavy, Frank Reid, William Wheeldon, W. E.
MacMillan. M. K. (Western Isles) Reynolds, G. W. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Rhodes, H. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wilkins, W. A.
Mann, Mrs. Jean Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Willey, Frederick
Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Mason, Roy Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Mayhew, C. P. Ross, William Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Mellish, R. J. Royle, C. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Messer, Sir F. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Winterbottom, Richard
Mitchison, G. R. Shurmer, P. L. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Monslow, W. Silverman, Julius (Aston) Woof, R. E.
Moody, A. S. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Morrison, Rt.Hn.Herbert(Lewis'm,S.) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Moss, R. Skeffington, A. M. Zilliacus, K.
Moyle, A. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Mulley, F. W. Slater, J. (Sedgefield) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Pearson.
Agnew, Sir Peter Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Donaldson. Cmdr. C. E. McA.
Aitken, W. T. Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Doughty, C. J. A.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Brooman-White, R. C. du Cann, E. D. L.
Alport, C. J. M. Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Bryan, P. Duncan, Sir James
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Burden, F. F. A. Elliott,R.W.(Ne'castle upon Tyne,N.)
Arbuthnot, John Butcher, Sir Herbert Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
Armstrong, C. W. Butler, Rt. Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden) Errington, Sir Eric
Ashton, H. Campbell, Sir David Erroll, F. J.
Astor, Hon. J. J, Carr, Robert Farey-Jones, F. W.
Baldock, Lt.-Comdr. J. M. Cary, Sir Robert Fell, A.
Baldwin, Sir Archer Channon, H. P. G. Finlay, Graeme
Balniel. Lord Chichester-Clark, R. Fisher, Nigel
Barber, Anthony Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Barlow, Sir John Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Forrest, G.
Barter, John Cole, Norman Fort, R.
Batsford, Brian Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Cooke, Robert Freeth, Denzil
Beamish, Col. Tufton Cooper, A. E. Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Cooper-Key, E. M. Gammans, Lady
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Garner-Evans, E. H.
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Corfield, F. V. Gibson-Watt, D.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Glover, D.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Glyn, Col. Richard H.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Godber, J. B.
Bingham, R. M. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip-Northwood) Goodhart, Philip
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Cunningham, Knox Gough, C. F. H.
Bishop, F. P. Currie, G. B. H. Gower, H. R.
Black, Sir Cyril Dance, J. C. G. Graham, Sir Fergus
Body, R. F. Davidson, Viscountess Grant, Rt. Hon. W. (Woodside)
Bossom, Sir Alfred D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Deedes, W. F. Green, A.
Boyle, Sir Edward de Ferranti, Basil Gresham Cooke, R.
Braine, B. R. Digby, Simon Wingfield Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.
Gurden, Harold Loveys, Walter H. Remnant, Hon. P.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Renton, D. L. M.
Hare, Rt. Hon, J. H. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Ridsdale, J. E.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Robertson, Sir David
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) McAdden, S. J. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Macdonald, Sir Peter Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Roper, Sir Harold
Hay, John McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Russell, R. S.
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) McLean, Nell (Inverness) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Henderson-Stewart, Sir James Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Sharpies, R. C.
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Harold(Bromley) Shepherd, William
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Hinchingbroke, Viscount Maddan, Martin Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Hobson, John (Warwick & Leam'gt'n) Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher
Hope, Lord John Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Hornby, R. P. Markham, Major Sir Frank Speir, R. M.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Marlowe, A. A. H. Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Horobin, Sir Ian Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Marshall, Douglas Stevens, Geoffrey
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Mathew, R. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Mawby, R. L. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Howard, John (Test) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. c. Storey, S.
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Medlicott, Sir Frank Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Studholme, Sir Henry
Hulbert, Sir Norman Moore, Sir Thomas Summers, Sir Spencer
Hurd, Sir Anthony Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Hutchison, Michael Clarke(E'b'gh, S.) Nabarro, G. D. N. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, S.) Nairn, D. L. S. Teeling, W.
Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Neave, Airey Temple, John M.
Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Nicholls, Harmar Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Iremonger, T. L. Nicholson, Sir Godfrey (Farnham) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Noble, Michael (Argyll) Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Nugent, G. R. H. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Oakshott, H. D. Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green) O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Vane, W. M. F.
Joseph, Sir Keith Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Kaberry, D. Orr, Capt. L. P. S, Vickers, Miss Joan
Keegan, D. Orr-Ewing, C. Ian (Hendon, N.) Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
Kerr, Sir Hamilton Osborne, C. Wakefield, Ernest (Derbyshire, W.)
Kershaw, J. A. Page, R. G. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Kimball, M. Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek
Lagden, G. W. Partridge, E. Wall, Patrick
Lambton, Viscount Peel, W. J. Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Pike, Miss Mervyn Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Langford-Holt, J. A. Pitman, I. J. Webster, David
Leather, E. H. C. Pitt, Miss E. M Whitelaw, w. S. I.
Leavey, J. A. Pott, H. P. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Leburn, W. G. Powell, J. Enoch Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Price, David (Eastleigh) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Wood, Hon. R.
Linstead, Sir H. N. Profumo, J. D. Woollan, John Victor
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (Sutton Coldfield) Ramsden, J. E. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Rawlinson, Peter
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Redmayne, M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Longden, Gilbert Rees-Davies, W. R. Mr. Heath and Mr. Legh.