HC Deb 19 May 1960 vol 623 cc1482-3
38. Mr. Emery

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will designate a suitable town within the Bechuanaland Protectorate as the capital, so that the capital may lie within the borders of the Protectorate.

Mr. R. Thompson

Whilst there would be some advantage in having the headquarters of the Bechuanaland Protectorate Administration located inside the Protectorate, a move would also involve some disadvantage, in particular substantial capital expenditure and higher recurrent expenditure than at present. My noble Friend considers that other objects deserve a higher priority.

Mr. Emery

I again thank my hon. Friend for his reply, but may I ask whether he realises that this is the only country in the world where in fact the headquarters of the Government are outside their own territory, and that there are certain people living in the territory who are in fact emigrants who are not allowed into South Africa and therefore cannot go to the capital of their own country?

Mr. Thompson

I appreciate the force of my hon. Friend's contention. As I have said, a move would undoubtedly have advantages, but the Government have inherited the present position which arises from past history, and we have to consider the matter in the light of the finance available to undertake various desirable projects, and the Protectorate needs every penny it can get at this time for economic development, improved education, and health services.