HC Deb 21 July 1960 vol 627 cc712-3
25. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is yet able to announce the terms of reference of the Constitutional Commission on Uganda and give details of its composition.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Not yet, Sir.

Mr. Stonehouse

When the right hon. Gentleman determines the terms of reference, will he include the necessity of maintaining the unity of Uganda and breaking away from the feudal institutions which have too great an influence in that country?

Mr. Macleod

The object of the Commission and its terms of reference will be to study the form of Government most appropriate for a self-governing Uganda. I do not want to prejudice either the terms of reference or the recommendations of the Commission.

Sir P. Agnew

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that Her Majesty's Government have absolute obligations by treaty to the kingdoms situated in Uganda? Will he, on no account, give his countenance to any constitution that will give an elected assembly in the centre power to vary the constitution of any kingdom against the wishes of the monarch and people of that kingdom?

Mr. Macleod

That is a slightly different point, but it is because I have been so concerned with the difficult relations that we know exist between what we can call the traditional elements in Uganda and the others, that I have set up this Constitutional Commission, which does not prejudice the fact that elections are to be held early next year. But it is of great importance that we find the right form of government for Uganda in the future, and it is to this end that the Commission will direct its activities.

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