HC Deb 25 October 1960 vol 627 cc2151-2

Monckton Commission Report

The Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland has expressed his view that the Monckton Commission's recommendations in Chapter 16 of their Report go beyond their terms of reference.

2. The terms of reference of the Commission, as agreed between the Governments, were not intended to embrace the question of the dissolution of the Federation, or the secession of any of the component Territories. Her Majesty's Government made it clear that they were unwilling to extend the terms of reference so as to cover this, since they considered that it would not he in accord with the accepted objects of the Federal Constitution Review. This was made clear by the British Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The Federal Prime Minister was therefore justified in assuming that, in view of these terms of reference, the Commission would not recommend secession or the dissolution of the Federation.

3. The Commission have in fact recommended that the Territories should be given a qualified option to secede in certain defined circumstances at some future date. However, they have not recommended the dissolution of the Federation nor that any of the Territories should secede. Their Report strongly stresses the advantages of maintaining a federal association, and examines a number of methods of making this more generally acceptable. It is in this context and with this purpose that the Commission have made their recommendation

4. Whatever view may be taken as to whether this recommendation was within the terms of reference of the Commission, it is clear that the Review Conference must be free to discuss this and any other relevant issue.

11th October, 1960.