HC Deb 09 March 1961 vol 636 c666
22. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been drawn to a statement made by the chairman of the Maltese Constitution Commission in a broadcast to Malta on 10th October, 1960, to the effect that the Commission's terms of reference excluded the question of immediate independence for Malta which had been ruled out of its sphere of consideration; and whether this statement was made with his approval.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The broadcast did not go outside the Commission's terms of reference and my approval was not required.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Minister aware that on 10th October Sir Hilary Blood made a statement on the wireless to the people of Malta in which he said: I know that demands have been made in certain quarters for immediate independence for Malta, but our terms of reference obviously preclude us from dealing with this claim in any way. It is ruled out of our sphere of operations…"? Does the Minister recall that he himself stated in the House in July last that the Commission could not deal with defence, foreign affairs, undertakings with respect to public services, police, and human rights generally, which would cover a whole multitude of sins?

Mr. Macleod

The hon. Gentleman has followed a Press statement put out by the Maltese Labour Party which stopped at a comma in what Sir Hilary Blood said. Perhaps I can continue it until the full-stop: …though, as Lord Perth said, also on the occasion that I have referred to, the appointment of the Commission does not rule out self-determination for all time".

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