HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc576-7
31. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recent proposals have been considered for adoption in respect of further constitutional developments in Aden Colony and the Protectorates; and whether these include closer administrative or other association between the two territories.

32. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recent decisions have been taken regarding the future of Aden and the Aden Protectorates; who represented Aden in the discussions beforehand; and what opportunity will be given to the people of Aden, or their elected representatives, to indicate their view of the decisions.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I had talks last week in London with delegations of Ministers from the Federation of Arab Amirates of the South and from Aden Colony.

No decisions were taken about constitutional changes, but it was agreed that there should be discussions in Aden next month, under the Governor's chairmanship, to evolve proposals for a further constitutional advance in the Colony and the establishment of a much closer link between the Federation and the Colony.

Mr. Sorensen

May I ask the Minister whether he does not personally agree that it is highly desirable to find some form of closer association between the 200,000 inhabitants of the Colony and the upwards of 800,000 in the Protectorates, in spite of the differing economies?

Can he also say whether the representatives he met last week are representatives not merely of those in the Federation but of all those in the two Protectorates?

Mr. Macleod

To take the last point first, those whom I met last week were representatives only of the Federation and of the Ministers from the Colony. On the first point, I quite agree that closer association, provided that the peoples themselves desire it, would be a very good thing.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the very critical nature of this area now, he will take steps so that any changes that are made are referred to the Legislature and are referred to the people, so that they may have their support? Is he not aware that there is a feeling that the people he saw in London last week are very restricted in their representative character?

Mr. Macleod

I do not think I could accept that. Certainly, any proposals that we put forward would be in consultation, on the one side, with the Colony, and, on the other side, with representatives of the Federation.

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