HC Deb 13 June 1961 vol 642 cc171-2
2. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if full self-government will be extended to the Leeward and Windward Islands before independence is recognised for the West Indian Federation in 1962.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Hugh Fraser)

This is one of the many questions which is being considered at the conference which opened at Lancaster House on 31st May, and which is still going on.

Mr. Brockway

As the Federation, we all hope, will attain independence next year, is it not desirable that these two groups of islands should at least have some experience of self-government before independence? Is it not also desirable that economic aid should be given to enable self-government to be effected?

Mr. Fraser

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his proposals. These are precisely the sort of points we are discussing at the conference now. It is quite clear that there will be independence for these islands at the latest at precisely the same moment as independence for the other territories.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Is it not a fair and reasonable principle that all the various units of the West Indies which are entering into an independent Federa- tion should enter into it from exactly the same stage of self-government?

Mr. Fraser

That is also a point which I shall bear in mind, but we are discussing these very points at the conference.

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