HC Deb 24 November 1959 vol 614 cc182-3
27. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies which were the Africans whose opinions were taken into account by the Governor of Nyasaland before recommending the names of the African members of the Monckton Commission.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Apart from the opportunities of sounding African opinion which come naturally to the Governor in the course of public business, he has had discussions on general constitutional matters with representatives of African opinion in Nyasaland. He, naturally, took into account the general views expressed in those discussions before making to me his specific recommendations for membership of the Monckton Commission.

Mrs. Castle

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer quite frankly and straightforwardly the question whether, in recommending the people to go on the Commission who are supposed to represent the African point of view, the Governor did or did not have talks and consultations with the Malawi Congress Party and other political organisations, to which the right hon. Gentleman himself has referred in the House today as examples showing the existence of African democracy?

Mr. Macleod

Certainly, on this point the Governor did see Mr. Orton Chirwa, the leader of the Malawi Party and, as I say, other leaders of African opinion in Nyasaland.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether any one of these political parties representative of Africans in Nyasaland was given an opportunity to nominate people for the Commission?

Mr. Macleod

No, Sir, there was no question of nomination from that point of view. The names, of course, were to be announced. I think that they are to be announced today by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. But, of course, recommendations are put forward by the Governors of these Territories to me and to the Government in this country.