HC Deb 07 February 1961 vol 634 c193
7. Mr. Marquand

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what further representations he has received from Opposition parties in Sierra Leone concerning the desirability of holding elections in that country before it attains independence.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I have received telegrams from Mr. Wallace Johnson and a copy of a resolution passed by a meeting of the All Peoples Congress on 1st January in support of the holding of a general election before independence.

Mr. Marquand

Is the Minister aware that when I was in Sierra Leone recently a great deal of propaganda was going on to the effect that if there were no elections before independence the present Government in Sierra Leone would see that there were no elections afterwards? Is he further aware that I found little or no foundation for that propaganda? Is that his impression also?

Mr. Macleod

It is a difficult question to answer. I cannot give an undertaking that General Elections will be held after Independence. That would not be my place, nor would it be the place of anybody in this country. But, like the right hon. Member, I have no reason whatever to doubt that General Elections will be held. The agreement not to hold them before independence was part of the Lancaster House agreement, and there was only one dissentient from it.

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