HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1659-60
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. fain Macleod)

I will, with permission, make a short statement on the date of Tanganyika's independence.

As the House is aware, the date of Tanganyika's independence has been announced as 28th December, 1961. The Prime Minister of Tanganyika has represented to me that this date could prove inconvenient, particularly for representatives and guests from abroad, and I am glad to inform the House that by agreement between Her Majesty's Government and the Tanganyika Government it has proved possible to advance the date to 9th December. Accordingly, Her Majesty's Government will propose to the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the autumn, that the Trusteeship Agreement be terminated at the earlier date.

I am further very glad to be able to inform the House that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to be her representative at the independence celebrations in Tanganyika.

His Royal Highness will go to Tanganyika immediately after the Queen's visit to the Gambia.

Mr. Marquand

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we on this side of the House warmly welcome the appointment of the Duke of Edinburgh as Her Majesty's representative as a recognition of the high importance of this very happy occasion? Is he further aware that we are glad that a mutually convenient date has been agreed? May I assume that at a later date an announcement will be made about representation of this Parliament at the celebrations?

Mr. Macleod

I join with the right hon. Gentleman in expressing pleasure at the appointment by Her Majesty the Queen of His Royal Highness to be present in Tanganyika. It is possible because of the Royal visit to Africa at that time, and it will give great pleasure to the Prime Minister and the people of Tanganyika that it should be so.

On the other matter, an appropriate announcement will be made later.