HC Deb 15 December 1960 vol 632 cc579-80
12. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps have been taken in the British Cameroons to ensure that the voters understand the implications of the forthcoming plebiscite vote there.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Full statements of the implications of joining either Nigeria or the Cameroon Republic will be put before the voters in the Northern and Southern Cameroons during the next few weeks.

Mr. Tilney

Will that include a decision about what will happen over Commonwealth preference, which is so important, at least to the Southern Cameroons? Does my right hon. Friend agree that our Commonwealth friends in Nigeria will regard that aspect of the problem as very important?

Mr. Macleod

I agree about its importance, but I cannot guarantee that the details about the effect and implications of joining either will include that particular point, but I will see whether it is possible to give publicity to it.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether information will be given to the citizens of the Cameroons as to what exactly will take place following their decision, whether there will be a period during which the Southern Cameroons Government will be in a position to negotiate future arrangements with whichever Territory they decide to join?

Mr. Macleod

We are about to start the second campaign of enlightenment so that people will understand precisely the significance of the choice. The hon. Gentleman will have seen the formula which I worked out with the leaders of the Southern Cameroons some time ago about the Southern Cameroons joining the Cameroon Republic, a formula which seems now to have some general acceptance.

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