HC Deb 08 November 1960 vol 629 cc824-5
39. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is the intention of the Uganda Government to hold elections on a national basis for a new Legislative Council early in 1961.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Wall

While welcoming that brief reply from my right hon. Friend, may I ask him whether he is aware that there is a body of opinion in Uganda which feels, because of the small number of registrations in Buganda and the opposition of the Kabaka's Government, that the central Government will not have the courage to go ahead with the elections?

Mr. Macleod

If there is that feeling I should have thought that my reply, which although certainly brief is at least clear, would dispel that illusion.

Sir P. Agnew

Has my right hon. Friend taken full account of the fact that the Commission which is to be set up to study how best to link the Government of the four kingdoms, whose integrity is secured by treaty with this country, with a central Government in territorial Uganda, may not have reported by that date, and would it not be better to see how we are going to discharge our treaty obligations to those kingdoms first before conferring fresh powers on an expanded all-Uganda Legislature?

Mr. Macleod

I think this is an extraordinarily difficult problem of judgment. For myself, I have alway felt that if the Relationships Commission—I hope to announce its membership within a few days—were to report before the election, we would immediately have pressures for the Report to be implemented before the election and we would never get to the point of having Protectorate-wide elections. Although I recognise the difficulty of the situation, I believe the right policy is to have early next year Protectorate-wide elections, to have shortly after that the Report of the Relationships Commission, and then at one conference to take together the constitutional future of the Protectorate and the Report of the Relationships Commission. I believe that is the best answer.

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