HC Deb 25 July 1960 vol 627 cc1068-70
24. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the independent State of Somaliland has now exchanged diplomatic representatives with this country; and how many Somalis in this country have now been classified as aliens.

Mr. R. Allan

The union between Somaliland and Somalia to form the Somali Republic was acclaimed on 1st July and Mr. T. E. Bromley presented his credentials as first British Ambassador to the Republic on that date. The Somali Republic have not yet appointed a diplomatic representative in London.

As regards the second part of the Question, it is impossible to give a precise figure. But we believe that the number of Somalis in the country who, by virtue of the Somaliland Protectorate's attainment of independence, became aliens on 26th June, 1960, is about 1,500.

Mr. Sorensen

Has the hon. Gentleman any idea when the diplomatic representative from the Somali Republic will be appointed to London? Secondly, can the hon. Gentleman say whether any steps are being taken to acquaint Somalis in this country, of whom there are a large number—I think more than 1,500—of their position in the matter so that they may take action to secure either British or Somali citizenship?

Mr. Allan

In reply to the first part of the supplementary question, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, when he attended the independence celebrations, discussed this matter and indicated that we would be very glad to receive a representative as soon as he could be found. I cannot give any date for that.

As for the second part of the supplementary question, it would be better to wait until the representative is appointed so that we can go into the details of informing Somalis in this country.

34. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the present position of the Somaliland Scouts.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

With the attainment of independence by Somaliland on 26th June, control over the Somaliland Scout; passed to the Government of Somaliland. At this time, I should like to say how much their high traditions of loyal and disciplined service have been valued by successive Governments in this country.

Mr. Wall

I am glad to hear my right hon. and learned Friend's tribute, but has his attention been called to the report that the Somaliland Scouts have not been handed over to the new Government of the Republic because it was said that the ex-British Somalis did not have their fair share of Ministerial posts in the now Government? Could he comment on that?

Mr. Lloyd

There is a little uncertainty at the moment as to the extent to which the Act of Union has been consummated, but I gather that someone from Somaliland is the Minister of Defence in the projected Government, so perhaps he will be able to look after the Somaliland Scouts.