HC Deb 02 February 1961 vol 633 cc1179-80
38. Mr. Tilney

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he will admit to the sterling area the Cameroun Republic or any territory joining that Republic.

Mr. Barber

The Cameroun Republic is a member of the French franc monetary area. Her Majesty's Government are not aware that it has any intention of applying for membership of the sterling area.

As regards a territory joining the Cameroun Republic, I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the Northern and Southern Cameroons. If so, we must await the outcome of the plebiscite on 11th February.

Mr. Tilney

Considering that the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies stated in this House this week that, whatever the result of the plebiscite, £3 million of the British taxpayers' money, through the Colonial Development Corporation, would be spent in that country even though it may opt to be a foreign State, does not my hon. Friend think that steps should be taken to show that it does not pay to turn on one's Commonwealth friends, such as Nigeria, and also that we prefer to support the sterling area rather than the franc zone?

Mr. Barber

I think that these are matters for the political parties concerned, but I can tell my hon. Friend that if the Cameroons elect to join the Federation of Nigeria they will certainly remain within the sterling area.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Will not the Minister bear in mind that if we show that we give aid without strings to the people of the Cameroons it will do our reputation nothing but good?

Mr. Barber

That is outside the ambit of the Question.

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