HC Deb 07 February 1961 vol 634 cc184-5
27. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to invest public money through the Colonial Development Corporation in Territories that decide to leave the Commonwealth.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Under the terms of its statute, the Colonial Development Corporation may not invest in new projects in Territories which have become independent; but, whether or not a Territory which has become independent remains within the Commonwealth, the Colonial Development Corporation may complete investments approved before independence.

Mr. Tilney

However much we may wish to help all under-developed countries, is not this new policy surprising? For instance, was there an escape clause in the agreement with,the Cameroon Development Corporation, as it must have been known that a vote would be taken? Is it not rather surprising that we should help what may be a foreign country and deny the C.D.C. operations in a Commonwealth Territory?

Mr. Macleod

This is a difficult problem, but the C.D.C. has to operate commercially and it would certainly face very heavy losses indeed if it had to withdraw from projects owing to political change in a Territory. I should like notice of the question whether there was a clause in the agreement.