§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 3.43 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Reginald Maudling)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I have it in Command from the Queen to acquaint the House that Her Majesty, having been informed of the purport of the Bill, has consented to place Her prerogative and interest, so far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.
The task of moving this Second Reading is a very happy legacy from my predecessor, who was in charge of the Colonial Office at the time when the major decisions were taken. This is a very important moment, both in the history of East Africa and in the development of our relations with the peoples of that area. Tanganyika is the first East African territory to obtain independence within the Commonwealth, and it is also the largest of those territories.
This country's connection with Tanganyika has lasted only a little over forty years. I need not rehearse in any detail the circumstances in which we became responsible for the peoples of Tanganyika, and how Tanganyika was one of the first territories to be placed under the trusteeship system of the United Nations, but I am sure that it is right for me, in moving the Second Reading, to pay a tribute to the remarkable work done by servants of the Crown in this territory in the years during which this country has held responsibility.
It is a very fine chapter in our record of administration of overseas territories. It is also a cause of great satisfaction that so many British civil servants and advisers will continue to be available to the Government of Tanganyika after independence, through the signing of an agreement under the Overseas Services Aid Scheme.
987 At this stage, we should also pay tribute to those people outside this country who have worked for the welfare of Tanganyika, and particularly to the interest taken in the work of our administration by many other people from the United Nations, especially those who have made up visiting missions to Tanganyika and those who took an interest in the progress of the territory within the Trusteeship Council.
I should like to look briefly at the history of events that have led up to the moving of this Second Reading. There was the very successful conference in Dar-es-Salaam, in March of this year, at which my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House presided, which paved the way for independence. Subsequently, in June, there was another conference in London, following which the date of independence was advanced from 28th December to 9th December, and when, at the same time, it was announced that Her Majesty the Queen would be represented at the independence ceremonies by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. This caused a great deal of pleasure to the peoples of Tanganyika.
The discussions in London which took place in June, which settled the final date of independence, were really on two main points. The first was about the future of the East Africa High Commission, and it is most encouraging that agreement was reached on the continuation of the extremely valuable work of that High Commission in these new circumstances, by the new organisation to be known as the East African Common Services Organisation. I am sure that it is essential that these territories should continue and expand this form of economic co-operation that has been of such value to the peoples who live there.
Also, we should note that the agreement that was reached this summer made possible the participation in the new organisation of the elected representatives of the people of these territories to a greater extent than was true under the East Africa High Commission, so that in taking steps to consolidate the advance made there on the economic side we are also, in a way, developing a possible basis for a wider and more general form of association between 988 these territories. It must be for the people of East Africa to decide the ultimate form in which they work together, but I am certain that the House would feel that the closer they can work together, both politically and economically, the better it will be for everyone in these countries and also for us, and anything that lays the groundwork or the foundation for that position we should welcome.
The other matters discussed at the meetings in the summer were the final details of independence and the question of financial aid after independence. As the House is aware, there was a good deal of discussion on the question of the financial settlement, but the details of the offer finally announced by my predecessor to the House on 4th August, described by Mr. Nyerere as completely satisfactory, recognise the responsibilities of this country and the proper claims of Tanganyika. I am glad that this settlement was reached.
That, briefly, is the background which led us to the point at which we have arrived today. Now we have the Bill which I am presenting. I must apologise for the haste with which we have to deal with the Bill. We do not want to hurry the House on these matters, but it is quite clear that if we are to meet the requirements of the independence date which has been generally agreed it is very important to pass the Bill in all its stages as quickly as possible. I am sure that all hon. Members would agree on that.
Hon. Members will have noticed that the Bill makes provision for Tanganyika to become independent within the Commonwealth. That is very important. The House is aware of the nature of the Commonwealth and the qualifications for membership, and there has been no meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers since the decision was taken to grant independence to Tanganyika.
As the House is aware the national Assembly passed a motion in June which asked us to legislate for Tanganyika's independence and requested the other Governments of the Commonwealth to join Britain in supporting Tanganyika's desire to become a member of the Commonwealth. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has heard from all the Prime Ministers, his colleagues, that their 989 Governments would be ready at the appropriate time to accept Tanganyika as a full member of the Commonwealth as from 9th December.
There is one other point, that is the question of the United Nations. As Tanganyika is a Trust Territory we have to seek the approval of the United Nations for the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement. In April of this year a resolution to this effect was introduced by Cyprus, the newest member of the Commonwealth and was supported unanimously by the General Assembly. There is to be a new resolution to amend the date from 28th December to 9th December. That is proceeding through the United Nations, having been adopted by the Fourth Committee. It is still to be considered by the General Assembly, but I do not think that there can be any question that it will be unanimously approved.
The present Bill follows in general the precedents of other territories achieving independence. It does not, of course, contain the independence constitution. That will appear in an Order in Council, at present in an advanced stage of preparation, of course with the fullest collaboration and consultation with the Tanganyika Government. The Order in Council itself cannot be made until the Act has received the Royal Assent, but it will be laid before the House as soon as it has been made.
Apart from one or two points of drafting, the Bill follows very closely the pattern of previous Bills. Clause I provides for the basic fact of independence by providing that Acts of this Parliament in future will not extend to Tanganyika. Clause 2 deals with the question of citizenship which is rather complicated and it is necessary to carry out our part of the processes determined by Acts to be passed by the Tanganyika Government in determining their own citizenship.
Under Clause 2, anyone who, under the Tanganyika citizenship law, becomes a citizen of Tanganyika will, by virtue of that citizenship also possess the status of a British subject and Commonwealth citizenship. The Clause also covers the withdrawal of citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies from people who become citizens of Tanganyika automatically, if they have no 990 substantial connection with the United Kingdom or its remaining dependencies, but preserves that citizenship in the case of persons who have such a connection. Also, persons who are at present British protected persons by virtue of their connection with Tanganyika will not lose their status as such until they acquire Tanganyikan citizenship. The House will find that these provisions follow closely similar provisions which were approved in the case of Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Clause 3 and the Second Schedule deal with the modification of various United Kingdom enactments which are really consequential. In fact, they are very similar to what has been approved by the House in the past.
Clause 4 is a little different. It is a finance Clause and it is designed for two purposes. There is, first, the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation which the Tanganyika Government have decided to maintain in existence and to use as the major instrument of its agricultural policy. I am sure that we can give some assistance to them in this purpose. We therefore propose that we should relinquish all rights to any former Overseas Food Corporation assets in Tanganyika. Clause 4 contains provisions to that effect. It was also agreed during the discussions on finance to which I referred earlier, to continue the financial aid at present provided under the Act of 1957 until September, 1962, that is the end of the five-year period during which assistance up to a total of £500,000 can be given to the Corporation.
The other purpose of Clause 4 is connected with the East African Common Services Organisation, to which it has been possible to give financial assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act. By the Clause we are making the necessary arrangement to ensure that that aid can be continued under the new organisation which has been made necessary by reason of the independence of Tanganyika.
As I said, the principal purpose of the Bill, which, I am sure, will commend itself to the entire House, is to implement our promise that Tanganyika will achieve her independence on 9th December. It is really a machinery provision for carrying out an act of policy already 991 accepted and welcomed on both sides of the House. If I may, I should like, as I am sure is right on this occasion, to pay a tribute to the many people who have contributed to the extremely happy and satisfactory development in this part of East Africa.
There have been many people from Britain who have laboured in the service of Tanganyika to whom I referred earlier, but I should like to make special mention of Lord Twining, who was Governor from 1949 to 1958, and to Sir Richard Turnbull, the present Governor. I think it particularly satisfactory that the Prime Minister of Tanganyika, himself such an outstanding figure, has asked me to submit Sir Richard Turnbull's name to Her Majesty, when the Bill has received the Royal Assent, to be appointed as the first Governor-General. That is a form of continuity very much to be welcomed.
I have nothing else to say other than that I am sure the entire House wishes Tanganyika, this new nation, and its distinguished Prime Minister and distinguished Leader, Mr. Nyerere, every possible success and prosperity.
§ 3.57 p.m.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I rise with very great pleasure and pride on behalf of my right hon. and hon. Friends to offer our fullest support for the Second Reading and all the other stages of this Bill, which will bring independence to Tanganyika.
If I, as a Welshman, may be permitted to say so, there is something typically English in the way we do these things in the House of Commons. During the ten years since 1955 we have witnessed and taken part in what I think is one of the greatest events in history, the transformation of an Empire into a Commonwealth. At the end of the war, in 1945, there were over 600 million people in the British Empire living under colonial rule. Upon the passing of this Bill that figure will be down to 20 million, and I do not think it too much to hope that even people of my age may live to see the day when the whole Empire will have been transformed into a Commonwealth.
I certainly join in the good wishes to Tanganyika. As the Secretary of State 992 has said, in this Measure we are doing what we have done before so many times in recent years, which is to agree unanimously to the decision required so that a territory may become independent. But we have done something else as well. Tanganyika is one of those countries which came to us as a consequence of the First World War and the formation of the old League of Nations. It was, of course, German East Africa and became our Mandated Territory after the First World War. On the formation of the United Nations it became a Trust Territory. Today, we can say that that trust has been fulfilled. We have done our job and our duty. We have been faithful to our trust and now Tanganyika becomes independent.
I agree with the Secretary of State that Tanganyika is one of the best examples of the ordinary peaceful transition from dependence to independence. It is of real significance as we witness what is still left of the Empire on the way towards independence. When we have solved this problem there are two problems which remain. There is still the problem of what is to happen to the very small countries for whom independence in the full sense of the term can become almost meaningless. My hon. Friends and myself have given some thought to this problem and I should like the House to have a day for the discussion of how we envisage the future of very many small territories, scattered all over the world, which want to be independent. They want to enjoy equal status and to be independent.
That is one problem. The other is the problem of the multi-racial communities. I say to all peoples in East and Central Africa, "You could not do better than to emulate the example of Tanganyika. "Here is a country in which there has been close and continuous co-operation among the races, among Africans, Europeans and Asians. Their leaders have shown a very great example to all the others. If the leaders of these three main communities which we find in so many countries in East and Central Africa follow the example of the Africans, Europeans and Asians in Tanganyika, some day we shall have the pleasure of considering a Bill of this kind for them, also. This is an example to follow.
993 I join the Secretary of State in paying tribute to the two Governors who have played a decisive part in recent years. Lord Twining—Sir Edward Twining as we knew him—and Sir Richard Turn-bull. I was very glad to hear that Sir Richard is to become the first Governor-General. I think that the Governors, the European and Asian leaders and everyone who knows Tanganyika would agree that this afternoon we ought to pay the greatest tribute of all to Julius Nyerere, who has shown such an outstanding example of leadership.
Perhaps the House will allow me to recall the first time that I met him. It was only seven years ago and that fact is significant. It was the last occasion on which I was in Tanganyika. The then Governor, Sir Edwin Twining, now Lord Twining, said to me, "I want you to meet a young man, a teacher, who has just entered politics. If I am not mistaken he is destined to play a vital role in the future of this country. "He added that, to be typically British, he had invited him to have a cup of tea with me. That was the first time I met him and from that first moment I was deeply impressed by his personality, his graciousness, his ability and integrity.
I have met Mr. Nyerere many times since and have followed his career with very great interest. Lord Twining was not mistaken. The young teacher whom I met seven years ago in Dar-es-Salaam, I shall Shortly be able to salute as the first Prime Minister of his nation. I am sure that we would all want to show to him our deep appreciation of his leadership and to offer him the very best wishes in taking office as Prime Minister of his country.
This is the end of one era and the beginning of another. While we have all been joining in felicitations we ought to give a moment to the realisation of the burden we are placing upon the people of Tanganyika. Think of the burden which this young Prime Minister, the Government and the people, will have to carry. Here is a vast country, four times the size of these islands, with a population of under 10 million and half the country is uninhabitable. It still has to be tamed and brought under cultivation when we have found the answer to the tsetse fly. I wish that we 994 could devote a tithe of the money which we are spending on trying to go to the moon to making life better for people on this earth. Think what can be done when we have conquered the tsetse fly and brought the whole of this vast territory with its unknown wealth into cultivation and made it open and ready for human habitation.
This is a tremendous burden. As has been said, it is a great revolution. We sometimes talk about this great revolution as the rise of nationalism, but it is a rise of expectation. They will expect a higher standard of life. They will expect their political independence to be clothed with rising standards. What a job they have before them, confronted as they are in Tanganyika with man's ancient enemies, poverty, hunger and disease, in some respects at their worst. I hope that we shall all think, and say that we think, in wishing them well in obtaining independence, that our interest in them will not cease from that day but will continue and increase.
It is our privilege and duty, and in our own interests, to see that these countries which come forth into nationhood and which we endow with our Parliamentary institutions and, I hope, with the spirit of our democracy, shall become truly founded on strong foundations so that they can prosper and succeed. I am very glad that the East African High Commission and the Colonial Development Corporation are to continue their work. I thought it very short-sighted policy to take away CD. and W. assistance from the countries which need it so badly. The least we could do would be to say that for a period of ten years we should continue to help them in these ways.
These countries, Tanganyika in particular, are confronted with this tremendous job of taming their countries and building up their standard of life. It is sad to think that almost on the eve of attaining independence they are corn-fronted with famine in some of their provinces. In three of the Central Provinces and some Provinces in Tanganyika remote from Dar-es-Salaam there is famine because for two years the rains have failed. There are close upon half a million people who have come near to starvation. From the evidence 995 so far available, starvation has only just been warded off.
We all join in paying tribute to the United States of America, which has sent generous gifts of food, maize and dried milk, and helped considerably in preventing what could have been a calamity on the eve of the celebration of independence. This, however, has placed a tremendous burden on the country merely in the task of distributing the food which has come from the United States of America to Dar-es-Salaam to the peoples who are in such desperate need. Distribution costs will amount to £¼million and other emergency work f¾million. The whole emergency will cost the Government of Tanganyika anything between £1 million and £2 million.
I make a plea to the Secretary of State and the Government in which I am sure all hon. Members on both sides of the House will join. Do not let us, at this moment of celebration, be mean and allow this poor country to carry this great burden by itself. We—representatives from every party in the House— have approached the Secretary of State on this matter. He was very kind to receive us at short notice and we placed the position before him. It is true that the financial arrangements were reasonably satisfactory. I am not saying that there was any kind of claim made, but this is more than a claim. Let us make it a fine gesture.
We generally send a tribute to an emergent country and it takes a tangible form. Let us send this tribute to Tanganyika. If this work is to cost Tanganyika £1 million in distribution and emergency work of all kinds, let it come out of funds made available partly by us as the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Are we to say to this small country that we cannot help? I hope that I carry the whole House with me in this. In reply to a Question by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) yesterday, the Secretary of State was good enough to say that he will consider the matter. We all hope that he will consider the representations we have made.
I hope that before we celebrate Tanganyika's independence day, on 9th December, the Colonial Secretary will say that the Government have again 996 considered this question and have decided, as a further token of our good will and good wishes, to make a substantial contribution towards the cost of this emergency.
Let us start them off in this way. We know that although starvation has been avoided the people who have lived through this misfortune will never be the same again. Anybody who knows anything about these things knows that an experience of this kind leaves its mark on the physique,, the vitality and the virility of the people. What we should be doing is to speed up the development of the social services, in particular, to wipe out the effects of this famine as quickly as possible. It would be wrong for the House simply to pass the Bill and to wish Tanganyika well without bringing to the notice of the country the grim facts which Tanganyika faces on the eve of independence.
I join the Secretary of State in saying to the Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Tanganyika,"We wish you well. We give our pledge that all that it is within our power to do to help you will be done freely, because it is a privilege to help you build the fine nation which you deserve in Tanganyika".
§ 4.12 p.m.
§ Sir Roland Robinson (Blackpool, South)
I rise briefly to support the Bill and to join hon. Members on both sides of the House in giving our good wishes to Tanganyika, so soon to be independent. All those hon. Members who have had the good fortune to visit that country like the country and like its people. There are few among new countries which have built up such a reservoir of good will here and throughout the free world among people who are interested in the future of the emerging territories.
I agree with the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) that Tanganyika is a very fine example of the orderly way to independence. It has been an example in the past, and in my belief, with the leadership which it has today, it will continue to be an example in the future. Tanganyika has been a fortunate country in many ways. Perhaps one of the outstanding points is that its own people get on well with each other and that the country is free from 997 tribal jealousies and rivalries of the kind to be found in other countries.
Moreover, Tanganyika has a small and cosmopolitan European population who mix easily and who have set up no kind of colour bar at all. When I was last in Tanganyika I found that one of the most pleasing features which I found anywhere in Africa.
The third point is that since the end of the First World War Tanganyika has had a very devoted Civil Service, the members of which in a way were also very cosmopolitan, because when we took over the administration from the Germans the civil servants were recruited from all over the Colonies, and they brought with them a wealth of varied experience. It is right to express the hope at this time that those who have done so much to serve Tanganyika will have a happy future and will be properly looked after by our own Government and by all who are in a position to give them some help.
If we look at the history of our administration in Tanganyika we find that we have been fortunate to have so many distinguished men of good will who have helped. I go as far back as the very distinguished Colonial Governor, Sir Donald Cameron. It is not often realised that Sir Philip Mitchell, before he went on to Kenya, rendered great service to Tanganyika, or that it was the late Sir Charles Dundas, who, as a district officer, was the man to provide the inspiration to get going the great coffee industry in the Moshi area.
On the private side, Sir William Lead gave leadership and was for nearly fifteen years the leader of the unofficial members of the Legislative Assembly. At the same time, he was one of the great pioneers of the sisal industry. Men like that have played a great part with their energy, industry and good will in helping the people of Tanganyika. Lord Twining was Governor for an unprecedented period of nearly nine years and did a wonderful job.
Tanganyika is particularly fortunate in being served at the moment by Sir Richard Turnbull as Governor, and to have leadership on the African side from Mr. Julius Nyerere. All of those who know him believe that he is one of the great African statesmen and we 998 have the greatest confidence in any country led by a man like that. The right hon. Member for Llanelly referred to the financial question. It is good that at this time there is a man with such keen financial acumen as Sir Ernest Vaisey to handle the financial affairs.
The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the famine and of the need to help Tanganyika at this stage, and I think that he will have the ready response from both sides of the House. It is one of the most important things for this country that we should remember that we have a duty to help the newly emerging countries in the early days of their independence. Following the Tanganyika famine, in my opinion such help is more than ever necessary at this time. I do not suggest to the Government exactly how it should be done. The point is that we believe that help should be given and the help will be thrice blessed if it is given quickly.
Tanganyika must have a good future, because there have been years of preparation from devoted men of great capacity. In my opinion, it is now in good hands. In the course of time no doubt there will be great temptations offered to the leadership out there, with conferences all over the world, but it seems to me that in these new countries the real opportunity for greatness lies at home. There is a great challenge in Tanganyika. The leader who improves the lot of his people will earn the gratitude of generations to come. I believe that that is the way to greatness. Apart from Tanganyika itself, there are wider challenges. Mr. Nyerere has also given a lead on the subject of East African Federation. There are such opportunities to achieve something big, and it would be well at this stage to say that in his efforts in that direction he has the good will of this House.
Tanganyika has a background of friendliness and toleration. Its capital is Dar es Salaam. Dares Salaam is the Arabic name for"haven of peace". It was the haven of peace to which the Arab dhows from the Persian Gulf brought their cargoes of dates, rice and Eastern rugs in exchange for the mangrove poles from the Rufigi Delta. I express the hope that in the political world Tanganyika will remain a haven of peace. I join hon. Members from 999 both sides of the House in wishing that great country well in the new life which lies before it.
§ 4.19 p.m.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
I should like to join with other Members both in welcoming the Bill and in paying tribute to the many people to whom tribute has already been paid today, particularly to our administrators. I want especially to pay a tribute to Lord Twining, in spite of the fact that at one time we played a game of billiard fives together and he knocked me right across the floor.
I want to remind the House that this is a remarkable achievement. Only eleven years ago, when I was in Tanganyika, the situation was very different. In spite of what the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson) said about the situation today—and he was quite correct about that—eleven years ago there definitely was a colour bar and there were all kinds of difficulties in the way of Africans and Europeans meeting, as I myself experienced.
Today, not only is there no colour bar and not only are there happy relationships between Africans and Europeans, but Africans are in charge of the Government and will soon have a majority party in a Parliament which includes all races. This is a remarkable achievement. I remember that it was only about eleven years ago that my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) made it possible for Africans to serve on the bench as justices of the peace. Today, they are in a majority on the Legislative Council! All this has been done without any bitterness, without any Mau Mau, without any discriminatory laws, and without any of the troubles which we have experienced in other parts of East and Central Africa. My right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly may have mentioned him, but there is one person to whom I should like to pay very great tribute—not only Mr. Nyerere, but the present Leader of the House of Commons. If it had not been for what he has done, the outcome might not have been nearly so rapid and happy as it has been. I also think that the manner in which Mr. Nyerere has conducted him- 1000 self and his nation in such a short time to independence is a remarkable example to all people throughout the rest of the Commonwealth.
I want to add a few remarks to what my right hon. Friend said about the help that we can give Tanganyika now. It is not a happy thought that at the moment of independence Tanganyika should be faced with a famine—a famine which is still going on now and which will apparently reach its peak in February, 1962, at which time 500,000 people will be receiving emergency feeding rations. This is a terrible thought. I doubt whether anyone in this Chamber can visualise it. I certainly cannot. I admit that I have never been in a famine country. It is appalling to think that this should be going on at this moment when we are sitting here well-fed, comfortable and away from this grievous trouble.
What are Her Majesty's Government doing? I know that there is a delegation here now and that the right hon. Gentleman will make up his mind later about what he will do. However, it is interesting to consider what has already been done. The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which is a private and not a Government organisation, has given £30,000 for seed. This is what a private organisation can do. As my right hon. Friend said, the United States Government have given large quantities of maize, which only needs to be distributed. The costs of distribution are immense and the Tanganyika Government do not want to have to face these costs.
May I crave the indulgence of the House for a few moments while I read a letter which I think has great importance? It is a letter which should be put on record, from the Prime Minister of Tanganyika to Mr. Betts, who has recently been out to Tanganyika representing the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Mr. Nyerere writes:It is our teeling that the seriousness of this situation is not adequately known in Britain or elsewhere. In fact, in one Province alone almost 300,000 people are on famine relief and the situation is likely to deteriorate still further before the new crop can be harvested next year.My Government did appeal to Her Majesty's Government in Britain for assistance towards the cost of distributing the maize which was generously supplied free at Tanganyika port by the American Government, but our 1001 request was turned down, 1 can only believe because the full seriousness of the situation was not realised. The cost of the emergency food distribution alone is now estimated at £250,000. The additional cost of emergency works designed to maintain the principle of self-help and to provide a minimum income for those in want will be at least a further £750,000. These are charges which we have to meet as a first priority and even with this expenditure we are well aware that there is a serious risk of great malnutrition in the affected areas.Obviously, we must spend this money to stop our people from starving, but I am sure you will understand the serious strain this puts upon our resources. The Government revenue this year will only be about £21 million and extra expenditure of this magnitude must inevitably therefore seriously disrupt our development programme, which itself is already too small.I have troubled the House with this letter, because it is a serious one, written by a man whom we all admire, who is the Prime Minister of a country which is about to become independent. I hope that the Secretary of State will give this matter further consideration and will be able to announce later that we can give some help of the kind Mr. Nyerere would like us to give.
After all, we have given help to other places. Why is it, for instance, that Kenya can have help? Why can Kenya have far more help than Tanganyika? Why is it, for example, that Swaziland can have 46s. a head, plus a loan of 40s. a head, while the total amount given to Tanganyika in settlement under the Bill, if we exclude retirement pensions paid to civil servants, is 6s. per head per year for three years, plus a loan of 3s. per head per year. This is not a very large sum of money. I am subject to correction; I may be wrong, but I understand that is the total if the amount given by way of retirement pensions to civil servants is excluded. It is not a very large sum compared with the sums given to Swaziland and other countries.
The fact that Tanganyika has had such a peaceful accession to independence should weigh with us and make us want to give more rather than less help. Other countries have had a less peaceful route to independence, but they have received more money. I hope that Tanganyika will be rewarded for her peacefulness by being given the money she needs to help her people in their time of distress.
Having said that, like others I welcome the Bill. I welcome also the tre- 1002 mendous tribute it pays to our colonial administration that we should manage to have a country coming to independence in such a happy state of mind, without bitterness, and with respect, indeed love, for the British people.
§ 4.28 p.m.
§ Mr. Henry Clark (Antrim, North)
Hon. Members on both sides of the House will welcome the Bill, because it sets the seal on probably the speediest and quietest move that any country has ever made from the colonial state to independence.
While 1 heartily welcome the Bill and I do not want to strike a discordant note, I cannot help having mixed feelings on the subject. It is inevitable that on nearly all questions concerning Africa today we have feelings on two entirely different levels. We must consider the problem of Africa in the world as it is today and then, despite ourselves and despite any logic, we must consider the problems in a spirit of unpractical nostalgia, thinking of what we would like to have seen happen.
The fact that Tanganyika has come to her independence so speedily and easily is in itself some tribute to our trusteeship of the country, which was honestly and well carried out. I am exceedingly proud of the small part that I played in it.
But a feeling which is experienced by anyone who has worked at any job and then left it is that we could have done a great deal more. We could have done hundreds of things if only we had had a little more time. I cannot help feeling regret that Tanganyika has not been able to move towards independence at a slightly slower pace, as that great country Nigeria was able to in the 1950s. However, we know that that sort of thing is not possible in the 1960s.
While I am speaking of our administration and of our having, I believe, carried it out well, I should like to say that the civil servants whom we sent out to Tanganyika are being looked after well. I spent some weeks in Tanganyika this summer and saw the staff associations. Even they had very few complaints to make, which is a remarkable thing for a staff association.
1003 But there are Government servants who have worked very well for us who are not covered by any staff association. They are people who cannot go to their homes in some other country, but will remain in Tanganyika. I speak particularly of the chiefs and the native authorities, not the great chiefs of whom one immediately thinks—such as Fundikira, Humbi, Adam Sapi, Mwami Theresa Ntare, Ambuje Mataka—but the smaller men, the jumbes and liwalis. They are people who, inevitably, during the last five years, have had a stigma as being stooges and supporters of the Government. But I believe that when the history of Tanganyika is written it will be seen that they not only served Her Majesty's Government well, but also served Tanganyika very well indeed.
I am afraid that many of these people, whom I know and like so much, will in the years to come find themselves thrust out, find themselves exceedingly poor, and find that all that they knew before and all that they looked forward to in the past has been taken from them. I feel that the best interests of those people should be represented to Mr. Nyerere and his Government by Her Majesty's Government and that every possible step should be taken to ensure that the servants of the British Government who will remain in Tanganyika are looked after and cared for and are not thrust away as being just stooges of colonialism. There are hundreds of them all over Tanganyika, and I do not think that we shall have done right by Tanganyika if we do not remember them on this occasion.
There is one other problem relating to Tanganyika in which I believe Her Majesty's Government can be of some assistance. This concerns Tanganyika's most awkward neighbour. I say this with the authority of many important people in Tanganyika behind it. I refer to Portuguese East Africa—Mozambique. We have heard a great deal about Angola because it happens to be more in the news. I feel that in Africa today Portuguese East Africa is a much greater menace than Angola.
Angola is, by various circumstances, almost isolated from other countries, but Portuguese East Africa lies in the very heart of all those countries of Africa 1004 where we British feel that we may have served Africa a little. It borders Nyasa-land, Swaziland and Tanganyika. If we had an eruption in Portuguese East Africa as we had in Angola, a great deal would be done to destroy the good will which has been created between the races which live in Africa.
The Portuguese are extremely fond on occasions of referring to themselves as our oldest allies. I am never very clear how this works out historically, but if that phrase means anything I feel that we must use every influence that we have with the Portuguese Government to make them see the light. I do not want to bring a party issue into this, but I have never for a moment supported the suggestions put forward from the other side of the House for various moves against Portugal when she was having an extremely difficult time in Portugal It is never a very good time to nudge somebody in the back when he is having a fight.
However, I feel that now peace has returned to Angola, and now the time is ripe for reform, we should use every influence we have with the Portuguese Government to ensure that reforms are introduced before the bomb goes off in Portuguese East Africa. If the Portuguese Government go on in their present course, and the minor reforms last August are almost worthless, the bomb will go off In Portuguese East Africa, and much of the good work that we have done in Africa will be destroyed.
I add my support to the plea made by the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) for a gift to be made to Tanganyika on her independence to assist her in her famine problem. It has been the policy within the Colonial Empire for a very long time that each country should look after its own disasters as far as it is able, but when a disaster reaches the level of being extraordinary it can then look to this country for assistance.
We can all think easily of Colonies which have had extraordinary disasters. We had Mauritius with its hurricanes. Recently, we have had the British Honduras disaster. Those are dramatic, and they reach the headlines at once. Tanganyika's famine is just as disastrous and just as extraordinary as Mauritius's cyclone or British Honduras's hurricane 1005 "Hattie", but it has come much more slowly. The rains failed for two years, and we have a possibility of about one in five of failure of the rains again next year. We must not base all our calculations on the arrival of good rains next January. The famine came only five years after the last disastrous famine in the Central Province of Tanganyika— at a time when the local treasuries had used up all their financial resources and when the people were already to some extent emaciated—permanently emaciated, as we have heard—by the previous famine.
We must not forget our duties as a colonial Power. I have never thought 'that"colonial"in the sense of our standing with Tanganyika was a dirty word. We have responsibilities right up to 9th December of this year, and I feel that if we are to live up to them we must give Tanganyika some assistance, because if we do not, the development plan, which we subscribed to early in August, will very probably be sabtotaged.
Perhaps one of the happiest facets of Tanganyika's becoming fully independent is that the ablest and most moderate statesman Africa has yet produced will be launched on the counsels of the world. I think that one can pay special tribute to Mr. Nyerere, because nobody anywhere in Africa has had the opportunity to cash in on the cult of personality more than he has and resisted the temptation.
When I was in Dares Salaam, in August, the question was being discussed of a medal for the school children during the independence celebration. There was continually from the Prime Minister's office a flat "No; Mr. Nyerere's head is not to appear on the medal. "Eventually, a British civil servant went to Mr. Nyerere and said, "You know perfectly well—if you do not, I am assuring you of it now —that every man, woman and child of every race in Tanganyika wants your head to appear on the independence medal. Will you agree to it?"
I believe that Mr. Nyerere has now agreed to it, but it was under very severe protest, and I do not think that we shall be seeing his head upon the stamps and coins of Tanganyika. Nor do I think that we shall have a statue of Mr. Nyerere ready for blowing up for some time yet in Dar es Salaam.
1006 Like other hon. Members on both sides of the House, I welcome the Bill and wish the people of Tanganyika the very best of good fortune in the years ahead.
§ 4.40 p.m.
§ Mr. John Taylor (West Lothian)
Thus quietly, thus unobtrusively and thus un-dramatically we perform an act this afternoon to give legislative effect to the creation of a new nation. This is a very great important event. The 9th of December will see the birth of a new country— a day of massive importance to Tanganyika and its 10 million people, who, for the first time in history, are being welded together into one great independent State reaching from the fastnesses of Kilimanjaro to the shores of Lake Nyasa and from the borders of the Congo to the Indian Ocean.
The birth of a nation is an event of world importance at any time, but the birth of this particular nation is of very special importance at this time in this place and in the Continent of Africa. It will be a free nation following the path of political democracy and that alone is a heart-warming thing in this day and age. It will be a non-racial nation and that is setting a great example to the other emergent African nations.
It is the declared policy of its Prime Minister, Mr. Julius Nyerere, whom I regard as the greatest African of them all, to create a country where Africans, Asians and Europeans can live and work together in harmony. If I can remember his actual words on this theme, he said:It does not matter what is the colour of a man's skin or the shape of his nose. It is what the man is that matters to us.We are fortunate that Tanganyika is blessed to have a man of his calibre and his philosophy leading his countrymen into its first year of nationhood.
Further to what my right hon. Friend and other hon. Members have said about the advisability—the almost moral obligation we have—to help Tanganyika immediately and urgently in its present disaster, I wonder what it would have cost Britain had there not been a man of the calibre of Mr. Nyerere in charge? It may have cost us many millions of pounds in keeping insurrection within bounds.
1007 We have seen Tanganyika's progress to independence rapidly and peacefully with the negotiations conducted in amity and this has been due, in great measure, not only to those distinguished Europeans and Britons who have been mentioned this afternoon, particularly by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson), but also in equally great measure to the genius and leadership of Mr. Julius Nyerere.
Mr. Nyerere and his able corps of Ministers certainly have many problems, especially that of establishing an element of industrial activity into Tanganyika's economy. The immediate problem is the recovery from the devastating drought and famine of this year. Although the country faces these massive problems, I believe that it will be free from the problems of internal conflict which have so pitifully affected progress in Central Africa.
Politically, Tanganyika will be a united nation. I had the great personal pleasure last year of meeting and addressing the hon. Members of the Legislative Council—the Parliament of Tanganyika—and in all too brief a visit I made many friends of three races and a dozen creeds. I had the privilege of attending the opening of Parliament there, just over a year ago—'the Parliament which had the duty of preparing for complete independence.
It was a satisfying and moving experience to see the hon. Members conducting their Parliamentary business on the procedural model of this Mother of Parliaments. Most of them were newly-elected hon. Members with no previous experience of Parliamentary or even local government administration. It was satisfying because the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Sharpies), the Fourth Clerk at the Table and myself had been lecturing to the hon. Members of the Tanganyika Parliament for two weeks in an endeavour to acquaint them with all our well-tried methods, to inform them of our many mistakes so that they might avoid them, and of our methods of procedure and practice.
Accordingly, with every hon. Member of this House, I extend my good wishes to the new nation, wishing it good fortune, success and peaceful progress to 1008 real and lasting prosperity. I salute the new nation of Tanganyika. Long may it flourish.
§ 4.46 p.m.
§ Miss Joan Vickers (Plymouth, Devon-port)
When I first went to Tanganyika, in 1951, I thought that it would be interesting to find out something about the country. I discovered that the name "Tanganyika" means "Mixing place". It is well named, because I suppose that of all the African States this is the one in which people mix extremely easily and freely.
I also took the opportunity of reading Livingstone's "Voyages", because it is interesting to realise that probably our grandparents knew Livingstone and were thrilled with his voyages. I can assure hon. Members that his name is very much alive today, especially in the area of Tabora. I thought that I would mention this because we owe a great deal to the explorations of Livingstone, his influence in the stopping of slavery, and it shows what tremendous progress has been made in such a short time since this man made his original voyages.
I must pay tribute to Julius Nyerere, for he is the most modest and least self-seeking politician I have ever met. I also pay tribute not only to Lord Twining, but to Lady Twining, who was a doctor in her own right, and did a tremendous amount of work, especially on behalf of women throughout Tanganyika. I also had the pleasure of attending the National Assembly—and here I think that we must be grateful to Mr. Speaker Abdul Karimjee, who is presiding over the Parliament there in a most expert manner. When one considers that although he comes from a very old Asian family, and is not an African, it is all the more credit to the people of this country. It shows how well people can mix, considering that he is in this position and is so well respected.
Since the early days of the Legislative Council I am glad to see that the right of women has been recognised, to take part in Parliamentary affairs. I believe that the last election resulted in the National Assembly having seven women representing all races. In this, I pay tribute to the Tanganyika Council of Women, which, through its women's clubs and organisations throughout the country, 1009 has done a lot to train women. One of the failings in so many African countries is that women are left educationally behind the men and have not been able to play an equal part. This has had many poor results because if a woman cannot share the same interests a man may go elsewhere, perhaps to undesirable clubs and meetings, which may not be beneficial for the family.
We should also remember Mr. Williamson and the fact that he has given great prosperity to Tanganyika after a great many years of privation and service in the discovery of the diamond mines. In this context, I must mention Mr. Chopra, who had sufficient faith in him to help him financially and who, I gather, has retired to Switzerland.
No mention has been made in this debate so far of the trade unions of Tanganyika. They have been fortunate in having 39 trade unions there, with over 65,000 members, and I hope that these will grow to strength. They have been formed on the right lines and they work as trade unions should do, instead of as occurs in so many countries where they have become rather like secret societies. I wish them good luck in their work in the future.
One of the interesting things about Tanganyika is the success of community development. Of all African territories that I have had the opportunity of visiting, community development is more understood in Tanganyika than in any other. One must give credit to Mr. Kawawa for this. He has done much, through the formation of community centres, for the training of people, particularly in adult education, and I hope that whatever happens there will be sufficient money to enable this work to be carried on.
Voluntary work in Tanganyika has been outstanding. I went there on behalf of the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. At Tabora, there is the best scheme for training blind Africans—what is known as a Shamba scheme—in any country in Africa. The Government are so interested in this training that they have taken over this centre as a training centre of their own, and I commend that as the way things should be done. Organisation should be started by voluntary bodies in the 1010 United Kingdom and then taken over by the Government.
At the recent conference at Arusha I was interested to find that under the guidance of Mr. Fundikira, who is the chief of Tabora, and has been an agricultural officer, there was set up a committee concerned with the necessary preservation of wild life. This will be beneficial to Tanganyika and to the future of the tourist trade. I gather that the Prime Minister himself is interested in this scheme.
I hope that Her Majesty's Government will not neglect to help the small but very enthusiastic navy. When I went there in 1957 there was only one ship, H.M.S. "Rosalind", but now there are two or three. The navy provides very good training, and I hope that it will get help from Her Majesty's Government in the future.
One of the things that have helped Tanganyika so much has been the lack of tribal tension. People live completely different lives there. I have had an opportunity of visiting Lindi, in the south, seeing the problems of people from Portuguese East Africa coming over to Lindi, trying to get work and being settled on the land, and then going north to Bukoba and seeing the different way in which people live there. When they meet they manage to do so without the tribal tensions that one finds in so many other countries.
I should like also to comment on the fact that there is freedom of worship. This is particularly very important, particularly as there are a great many church schools which have given considerable aid in the education of the population, and, we hope, will continue to do so.
I also want to mention the police. The police in Tanganyika have rendered outstanding service to their country. Only a short time ago, when 400 cattle were stolen from the Masai, the way in which the police acted and stopped a possible riot between the Masai and the Sukama was wonderful. This was watched by a member of the Fifth United Nations Mission, who expressed his admiration. When one remembers that from time to time there has been difficulty in Dares Salaam with the unemployed, one realises that one of the 1011 strongest hopes for the future is that there is such a loyal police force there.
The co-operative societies, particularly the coffee co-operatives, have done a great deal to help the prosperity of the country. I hope that we shall still be able to advise them and have more people from Tanganyika trained in this technique in this country because I believe that the co-operative system is beneficial to Tanganyika.
Finally, I should like to refer to the famine and to consider how we can help. When one comes of age or, as in this case, obtains independence, it is usual to make certain presents. I suggest to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary that we might persuade the Commonwealth to make some presents to Tanganyika on this occasion. I do not necessarily mean money presents or loans of money, so much as actual gifts.
I suggest that Canada might give wheat, New Zealand milk products, Australia meat, wheat or both, Malaya rice and Nigeria red palm oil. I feel that if gifts from the Commonwealth countries could be made immediately so that they are available on Independence Day, 9th December, it would be of great help to the country and would also be a concrete means of expressing our good wishes for the future.
With those few words I should like to add my good wishes to the people of this country which, I hope, will grow in prosperity and will enjoy a happy and lasting independence.
§ 4.56 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Skeffington (Hayes and Harlington)
As one who, like the hon. Lady the Member for Plymouth, Devon-port (Miss Vickers), has had an opportunity of visiting the territory on several occasions, I should like to express my pleasure and satisfaction that Tanganyika has reached this important stage in its constitutional development to full nationhood.
The Secretary of State, in introducing the Bill, apart from saying that this is now the largest territory left to achieve independence—it is, after all, only a little smaller than Nigeria—made the point that it was the first East African country to achieve independence. He might have said also that it is one of the few coun- 1012 tries that have reached this stage so astonishingly quickly without an intervening period of unrest and violence and without the chief characters emerging from hiding or from gaol. This is a distinction to which we cannot always point in the history of African development.
I believe that this fortunate state of affairs is due to three circumstances. I should like, first, to emphasise that the attention given to this very backward territory by the Labour Government of 1945–50 was undoubtedly one of the decisive factors which have made this present constitutional development possible. The Overseas Food Corporation Scheme, with which my hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer) was so much more closely connected than I am, and who has so much more knowledge, placed this territory on the map.
I am glad to quote, in support of this contention, the words of the former Governor of Tanganyika, Lord Twining, who said to me that groundnuts put Tanganyika on the map. So much party propaganda was made about that scheme that I think this fact ought to be registered. The scheme was not only responsible for introducing capital on a scale hitherto undreamed of by Tanganyika, but it also introduced skilled personnel some of whom stayed in the territory afterwards and have helped in its development.
The scheme had various difficulties. There was then, as now, a shortage of rain. This happens sometimes in Africa, although some hon. Members at the time seemed to think that this was a peculiar circumstance devised by the incompetence of the Labour Government. But there were other difficulties at the time. The scheme may have been pushed through too quickly, but we were then facing what appeared then to be a desperate shortage of fats throughout the world, and I think that the Government were wise to take the decisions that they did.
All I can say is that I felt great pleasure when, a few years ago, I stood by the new deep-water harbour at Mikindani built under the scheme, a place which previously, I think, had only two claims to fame, one, that it was the scene of the romantic novel The Blue 1013 Lagoon;the other, that it was the place where Livingstone left Africa. A few years ago, I was able to stand there and see this great deep-water harbour, with ships of up to 10,000 tons taking away the produce of the territory, of the forests, for instance, which, previously, were quite unexploited because there was no means of carrying the timber away. Food crops come rolling down the 120 miles of new railway line from Nachingwa, where, in the year I was there, 1957, more than £250,000 worth of agricultural produce was raised from an area which hitherto was semi-desert.
These are great achievements, and I am glad to think that the attention given to the territory by the Labour Government has produced those results. I am sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House today are glad of the continuing success of the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation which took over the three schemes in Tanganyika of the Overseas Food Corporation. Of course, the original scheme not only introduced capital and personnel and built harbours, roads and railways, but, of course, it created schools and hospitals, all of which have been of tremendous benefit. I believe that it was one of the most important historical acts in this part of Africa.
The second factor which has been of importance in development has been the visiting missions from the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. Territorial Governments were not always pleased with what the missions said, whom they saw, and how they reported, and, to be quite frank, I think that the missions sometimes were not altogether fair. This was true of the visiting mission of 1954. Generally speaking, however, I think that, by concentrating the attention of experts and observers from all over the world on the territory, the missions kept administrators on their toes, gave opportunities for people to make appeals if they felt they were being unfairly treated, and, in the result, whether intended or not I do not know, many developments took place during the past ten years which might well not have taken place but for the kind of very close investigation given to the territory by the United Nations.
The results of those two factors, the work of the visiting missions and the 1014 development schemes of 1945-50 were, of course, in striking contrast to what happened in the territory between the wars. Tanganyika was then a backward territory. Its future was uncertain. The best overseas civil servants preferred not to go there because they did not know what would happen. There were then even some hon. Members of this House—I do not think there are any now—who advocated that the territory should go back to Germany. I am certain that the two big changes since the war to which I have referred helped a great deal to bring the country to the position it now occupies.
The third circumstance which, undoubtedly, has led to advance in Tanganyika is the character and personality of the leader of the African people in Tanganyika, Julius Nyerere. There have already been references to this and it would be superfluous if I were to add anything except to say that I believe that he is a man of great vision and great imagination, a man who has always had a very clear conception of the sort of State he wanted and believed was possible in the territory—an independent State within the Commonwealth based on the model of our British parliamentary democracy. I believe that that vision is capable of being realised. Mr. Nyerere has shown that himself in the actions he has taken, and I believe that Tanganyika and the Commonwealth are fortunate in having such a personality.
As hon. Members have said, it is a great pity that our celebrations at this time should be put in the shadow by the famine which has affected Tanganyika, particularly the Central Province. It is very unfortunate that at this particular time the new Government should have to face a crisis of such magnitude. I understand that, according to the report of the special investigator sent by the Oxford Famine Relief Committee, already 300,000 persons are existing on emergency rations. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale), who spoke earlier in the debate, said Chat it was likely that, by February, half a million people would be involved. My own information is that, perhaps, by December there will be half a million people on emergency rations.
1015 The situation is very serious indeed. I am informed that the rations just about keep a person alive, but not much more. There will have to be further help. One cannot look forward to any natural automatic easing of the situation. Again, there has been a lack of rain over a long period which has been responsible for the reduction in crops. I understand that the other factor is a nasty parasite called the army worm. The name may be rather a comical one, but the effect of the parasite is very unfortunate. These two factors together have brought about a catastrophic fall in the quantity of the crops and also, I understand, cattle have been affected. According to the information which I have and information which was given* to the Oxford Committee, about 500,000 cattle are likely to die before the end of the year. This will mean a permanent reduction in the resources of a very considerable part of the territory, with very damaging consequences in future years.
The Tanganyika Government have already set up a fund of £150,000 to help in the distribution of maize, some of which has been given by the United States, but it is certain that more help is required. I was a little surprised that the Secretary of State, in introducing the Bill, did not refer to this matter at all. I take it that we shall hear something shortly from the Under-Secretary.
The last time that we discussed Tanganyika, we had to criticise the Government because they had just announced certain cuts in their financial provisions. There has been an improvement since then, but we must really press, as hon. Members have done, for help to be given to Tanganyika now in what is a disaster of the first magnitude. Failure to give adequate help might put in jeopardy all the progress so far registered in Tanganyika. African citizens, like anyone else, are bound to judge by results, and, if there is a prolonged period of starvation and misery, this could lead to all sorts of unfortunate consequences, which I need not elaborate to the House.
I express great joy and appreciation that there are in this State none of the racial problems commonly associated with other African territories. From the very first, not only Julius Nyerere but the Tanganyika African National Union 1016 have looked, and have asked their members to look, upon all who live, work and wish to remain in Tanganyika not as Europeans, Africans, Asians, or Arabs, but as Tanganyikans. This is the happiest augury for the future. It is based on solid achievement in the past. Julius Nyerere himself was the leader of all the races in opposition and he is now head of a Government of all the races, which gives us great hope for the future.
I hope that all the Europeans who are able to stay on in Tanganyika in the public services will do so. Obviously, Tanganyika must push ahead with the promotion of Africans to positions of responsibility. I was glad to read that, in the period ended June, 1961, the number of Africans in important positions was increased from 300 to over 600, a considerable advance, and I am sure that the House is glad to note that the first provincial African education officer has been appointed in Tanga Province. We wish him well, and we hope that this appointment will be succeeded by many others.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister himself has said—and everyone who knows the territory realises this—that for some years to come Tanganyika will require all the help and advice that skilled personnel in all the services can give. I hope that people will stay on. I believe that there is a future for them in this territory, a future probably brighter than anywhere else. The territorial Government are determined to treat them as well as they possibly can in the circumstances.
I echo what was said by the hon. Lady the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Miss Vickers) about the co-operative movement. The co-operative movement in Tanganyika is responsible for one-fifth of the country's exports. It represents a way of life which Africans understand and appreciate because they can take part in it and feel that they are not being exploited. Not only do we have in the co-operative movement established people of long experience in the producer societies, but there are many new successful co-operative developments taking place today. I know that it is the intention of the territorial Government to improve methods of production wherever they can.
1017 I should like to say how glad I am that this country, in such a short time, has reached independence and to join hon. Members in wishing the people and Government of Tanganyika all success in the future.
§ 5.10 p.m.
§ Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)
The hon. Member for Hayes and Har-lington (Mr. Skeffington) and other hon. Members have welcomed the Bill. Indeed, some hon. Members have waxed lyrical about it and about the future of Tanganyika. I fear that I propose to strike a more discordant note, because I am overwhelmingly impressed by the immense risk in the gamble that we are taking on the intelligence, industry and ability of one man, Mr. Julius Nyerere. If he succeeds in this gamble, I am sure that Tanganyika can play a useful part in the Commonwealth. But if he blunders, then millions of people for whom we are now responsible may well slip back into the quiet but not very serene life that they once knew, unhampered by Western civilisation.
In approaching independence, Tanganyika is in saome respects helped by its own weaknesses. We have heard many tributes to the energy and ability of the British civil servants who have done their duty in the Territory. My hon. Friend the Member for Antrim, North (Mr. H. Clark) is included in that number. It cannot be said that in the past Tanganyika has been an over-administered Territory, nor that the central administration has reached a very high level of sophistication. Therefore, Tanganyika is not faced with the problem of administrative disruption which may very well hamper Kenya when independence comes to that country in the not too distant future, because the superstructure of administration can no longer be supported.
Then there is the question of the economy. We have heard evidence this afternoon, and I have seen it recently with my own eyes, of the calamities that can happen when the economy is disrupted by drought. I have recently been in the Northern Province of Tanganyika. I join with others in hoping that we can make a generous gesture and bear the cost of the distribution of the food that has been so generously contributed by the American Government. It is a fact 1018 that when calamity comes the Tanganyika economy which is weak, cannot stand the strain which is put upon it.
On the other hand, there are certain advantages to a country when it is approaching the threshold of independence in having a suspect type of economy. In Kenya, which is also on the threshold of independence and where there has been much more development in the European and African parts of the economy, there is, I believe, a very grave danger of economic collapse. The experts on economic affairs in Kenya tell me that they expect that, on achieving independence, the Kenyan economy will sink back to the level of the Tanganyika economy, which is about two-thirds of the level in Kenya. I do not think that the Tanganyikan economy can collapse because it is too close to the ground. Therefore, this threat, which is very real in other parts of East Africa, is not present in Tanganyika to the same extent.
Perhaps the greatest advantage that Tanganyika has in moving towards independence so quickly is shown by the fact that Jomo Kenyatta has recently been addressing a meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in this Palace of Westminster. The affairs of Kenya have been torn by tribal dissension. In Tanganyika, through no virtue of its own but by the chance of nature, this chaotic tribal confrontation does not happen. It seems that, with a minimum of good judgment and good luck, tribal conflict there can be avoided.
In Tanganyika there is no heritage of racial bitterness of the sort that has done so much damage in Kenya. Whereas there are a number of members of Jomo Kenyatta's K.A.N.U. party whose political thinking even at this moment goes no further than a study of the entrails of goats, there is in Mr. Nyerere's party a genuine effort to build more than a facade of multi-racial co-operation.
Against this, there is the question of education. Professor Arthur Lewis, who is by no means a reactionary, has estimated that if a society is to contain within itself the power to progress and to grow, 10 per cent. of the members of every generation must have a secondary education. Eighteen months 1019 ago I was talking in Dar es Salaam to the Director of Education of Tanganyika. The statistics were frightening, and they showed how far Tanganyika is from the achievement of 10 per cent, of any generation of her people, let alone every generation, with a secondary education. It is this gap between the educational poverty of the country and the minimum standard laid down by Professor Lewis which can only be offset by Mr. Nyerere's great talents. Perhaps it will come off, perhaps it will not.
We all know that this Bill has been framed by the present Leader of the House. I do not believe that these are bridge players' odds. I have a nasty suspicion that, in our desire to liquidate as quickly as we can the remaining British territorial possessions in East Africa, the true interests of the people concerned have taken second place.
There is one other reason why I do not give this Bill a very warm welcome. It is that I regret that the period of time between the granting of full internal self-government and complete independence has been so short. In other parts of the Commonwealth, in Ghana and in the West Indies, this period has covered years. Now it is to be compressed into a matter of months. This may be all right in Tanganyika itself, but Tanganyika is setting a precedent for the rest of East Africa. It has already set the precedent for Uganda and, undoubtedly, will set the precedent for Kenya itself.
I am convinced that in those other territories, where there is much greater tribal friction and a very real danger of tribal civil war, an extended period of full internal self-government is absolutely essential if we are to avoid catastrophe. Because the Tanganyikan precedent is entirely in the opposite direction I am extremely sad.
While there is much to welcome in the Bill, I believe that it makes slightly more possible the outbreak of real violence in Uganda and makes infinitely more possible the outbreak of real chaos in Kenya.
§ 5.22 p.m.
§ Mr. John Stonehouse (Wednesbury)
Less than a hundred years ago British public opinion was electrified by the 1020 terrible reports of the slave trade in Tanganyika. At that time that country was being depopulated at the rate of tens of thousands a year by the slave traders who had gone into the interior from Dares Salaam and who were using Zanzibar as their headquarters. It was partly as a result of this House setting up a Select Committee in 1871 to investigate the slave trade that the British public began to take an interest in doing something constructive for that part of the world.
Now, less than a hundred years afterwards, we in this House welcome, with, perhaps, just one exception—the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) —the independence of this vast territory which had its very heart, its very soul and its very body torn out for something like four hundred years from the 15th century to the middle of the 19th century. We and the rest of the world have a debt to repay to Tanganyika for the damage done.
It is really remarkable that, despite that background, Tanganyika has in the last few years been able to make such exceptional progress. I join with my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) in paying tribute to the Labour Administration and to the work done by my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) during that Administration. I also wish to pay tribute to Conservative Colonial Secretaries who have been realistically facing up to the facts as far as Tanganyika is concerned and who have helped her to reach the stage at which she has arrived today.
As I listened to most of the speeches made this afternoon by hon. Members opposite, I was struck by the fact that almost all of them appear to have been converted to Labour Party ideas. We heard tributes paid to the trade unions, to the co-operative societies and to Mr. Julius Nyerere, that great Socialist who leads a great Socialist party in the Tanganyika African National Union. It is a very fine thing indeed that Conservative hon. Members have the courage and the honesty to admit that these ideals have played such a great part in the development of Tanganyika.
1021 What a contrast this is with the situation that has existed for many years in Kenya where a Conservative Government encouraged a white minority of only some 70,000 odd to entertain ideas of domination of the territory. What a contrast it is to the situation now existing in the Rhodesias where, even now, the Conservative Government are encouraging a tiny white minority representing less than 4 per cent. of the total population to have ideas of overwhelming political control.
Let the Conservative Party really learn from the lessons of Tanganyika. Do not let us have any humbug in the speeches congratulating her on independence. Let them realise that it is the political experiment of one man, one vote, the ideal of complete non-racial equality, which has brought about this remarkable situation there. If we had had a situation of fancy franchises delaying constitutional advance—which we have had in Kenya, and particularly in Northern Rhodesia —this situation in Tanganyika would not have been reached today. It is because—and I pay tribute to them—Conservative Ministers have had the courage to take a leap forward and allow real progress towards non-racial democracy that we have reached this situation.
I remember only a few years ago hon. Members opposite pouring cold water and scorn on the idea of one man, one vote. Political democracy in Tanganyika, as in other countries, is a catalyst which can help overcome the terrible effects of degradation and backwardness. I think that this in Tanganyika will enable this great nation to go ahead united.
If there had been delay, as it was suggested by the hon. Member for Beckenham there should have been, it is quite likely that this great experiment would not have succeeded. Suspicions would have been raised, doubts would have been cast and enmities taken up which would have taken a much longer time to eradicate than to build up. Of course, the Prime Minister of Tanganyika is a remarkable man. He is one of the outstanding men of this generation. But he has had a remarkable party with which to work. The Socialist Tanganyika African National Union is really a remarkable organisation. It was created only in 1954, and yet within seven years it 1022 is taking over the government of an independent nation which will play its full part within the Commonwealth.
I pay tribute not only to Mr. Nyerere but also to some of his lieutenants. For instance, there is Mr. Oscar Kambona, a man who could have gone into a career and made a lot of money. He spent many years going to the villages, to the hinterland, spreading the gospel of political advance when it was not a popular thing to do. Let us remember that at that time some of the colonial civil servants were doing their best to undermine the development of T.A.N.U. because they were suspicious of any organisation and suspicious of men like Kambona, who put the interests of his country before himself. There were men like Paul Bomani, a co-operator who, in face of official obstruction, developed that great Victoria federation of co-operatives, that great co-operators' organisation which has transformed what was a backward area into a prosperous part of Tanganyika and which in one year has produoed 200,000 bales of cotton. It is an enterprise which is almost completely owned by its own members who, through Socialist co-operative methods, are learning the best way to develop their country. Then there are the older examples, such as the Bukoba Co-operative Union, led by a man who is now one of the prominent Ministers in Mr. Nyerere's Administration. Also the K.N.C.U. around the mountain of Kilimanjaro is one of the oldest examples of cooperative success. It is only through such methods of co-operative development that the whole people of Tanganyika can be drawn together now in this great task of building up the standards of 10 million people who have been denied opportunities in the past.
What can we do to help them? It is not good enough just to say nice things about Tanganyika on reaching its independence. I support entirely what my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly and other hon. Members have said about the need to provide assistance during this terrible period of famine. Let us, however, remember that this is not a short-term problem. The problem of starvation and malnutrition is always facing a country like Tanganyika with limited resources which have not been developed by any means to the full.
1023 Therefore, even after we have given aid to meet the famine, I hope that we will be imaginative enough to work out with the new Government of the independent Tanganyika a scheme for large-scale economic assistance spread over the next seven years. I would put the amount required for this at no less than £250 million. The country needs a vast amount spent on the development of railways, roads, communications and hydro-electric and irrigation schemes. The great Rufiji scheme, for instance, could be developed if sufficient money was available. Then, there are the industrial developments that go with the building up of the agricultural base of the economy. It is only by developing Tanganyika, by investing such large sums of money, that the rest of the world can pay the debt that we owe to Tanganyika for the terrible evils done to it through 400 or 500 years of the slave trade. I hope that co-operative techniques can be, as, I believe, they will be, a great part of that development.
I echo the hopes of the hon. Lady the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Miss Vickers) that during these years ahead there will be close contact between the organisations in Tanganyika like the co-operatives and the trade unions and our own co-operative and trade union organisations, because a very great deal can be obtained for both sides by such friendly contact. I echo the good wishes which have been expressed and wish the Government and people of Tanganyika all great progress that they deserve in the future.
§ 5.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Julian Snow (Lichfield and Tam-worth)
I gather from listening to the debate and looking round that I am one of three hon. Members of this House who have actually worked in Tanganyika as opposed to paying sporadic visits. That does not give me any particular right, however, to speak about Tanganyika with a great fund of knowledge. My recollections go back a little further than those of the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) and of my hon. Friend the Member for Dept-ford (Sir L. Plummer), who will shortly, I trust, catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, for the ex tremely important contribution which he can make to the debate.
1024 When I first went to Tanganyika, it was under the Governorship of Sir Donald Cameron, to whom reference has already been made this afternoon by the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson). Sir Donald himself was a pupil of Lugard. I remember that during the 1929–30 period, he was starting the institution of the indirect rule principle, which, I believe, laid the foundation for the relatively racially and tribally uninhibited atmosphere which has always existed in Tanganyika. In those years, which were not so very long after the Great War, memories were still fairly clear about the German occupation of the country. I remember the more simple-minded settler elements there talking with some nostalgia about the often brutal and often simple rule by the Germans—rule by the Kiboko, I think, they used to call it—the Rhino hide whip.
There was hostility to the general political and social attitude of Sir Donald. One remembers thankfully that his policy succeeded in suppressing that hostility and in achieving the atmosphere which I remember in that territory. The House will bear with me if I appear to be a little bit anecdotal, but I believe that today we are considering the final stage of a political situation which had its origin in the great statesmanship of Sir Donald in those days. I felt that I should say that, because I had a great affection for his personal kindness to me when I was a young man and the recollection of what he taught me in those days.
Other names have been omitted from the debate this afternoon. Reference was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) to natural tribulations such as the tsetse fly. I remember Swinnerton, at Shin-yanga, hastening to get back to that area for the tsetse season. Nobody who has ever experienced the tsetse would want to get back to subject himself to the attentions of that fly.
It was in Tanganyika and in Dares Salaam in 1930 that the first African was ever brought into consultation by the Legislative Council. His name, I believe, was Martin Kayamba. I do not know what has happened to him now.
To bring myself more up to date, there are two matters which, possibly, the 1025 Minister might remember in his further communications with Mr. Nyerere. My right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly talked at great length, as other hon. Members have subsequently done, about the economic troubles which face Tanganyika, such as the famine. Tanganyika—under-capitalised, under-populated and a vast area—will have this sort of trouble for a long time. There is seasonal disruption of the road services. There is almost automatic seasonal disruption of the railway system, involving large capital cost. I do not feel particularly shy about introducing a controversial note, but I remember that when the Gold Coast was beginning to achieve independence and developing into Ghana, we had from the Conservative benches demands that all colonial development and welfare financial aid should be stopped because independence was being given. I hope not only that we consider the current famine problems of Tanganyika, but that we will bear in mind that inevitably this poorer country will have need of financial aid. It is something to which we must look forward.
Tributes have been paid validly this afternoon to the lack of inter-racial difficulties. It is within the knowledge of the House that the wholesale and retail distribution trade of Tanganyika is almost exclusively in the hands of Indians. Unless Mr. Nyerere is extremely careful, that could develop into a problem. I hope that agencies which are at the disposal of the Government will be used to try to attract Tanganyikans to this country or to other countries of Europe to learn business, commerce and the requirements of distribution, so that they can have a greater hand in the problems of the village and the small townships, which now are largely in the hands of the Indians.
So that my words cannot be misconstrued, may I say this. I, for one, pay the greatest possible tribute to the Indian community in Tanganyika. They went into scruffy, dirty, little, remote corners of the country at a time when nobody else would go and they fulfilled a most useful function. They have been honourable citizens of the territory. Many have fled from India to avoid caste restrictions. They went into a new territory where there were no comforts 1026 and where their own civilisation was completely missing, yet they stuck it out over the decades and have achieved a distribution of goods which is truly remarkable.
It is difficult to find something new to say at this point of the debate about welcoming this step. I was sorry that I detected in speeches from the Conservative benches the old traditional Conservative feeling that we are going too fast. What we are doing today is a great tribute. We are providing an example of speedy reconciliation with our own colonial social and political attitudes and the legitimate desires of people to rule themselves as they want. I am delighted to be able to participate in this debate.
§ 5.40 p.m.
§ Sir Leslie Plummer (Deptford)
I want to take this opportunity of adding my voice to the general welcome that has been given on both sides of the House to this Bill. It is a rare occasion when both sides are united in welcoming a Measure of any kind. It is a rare occasion when both sides are praising one particular member of the Government, in short, the Leader of the House. It is a rare occasion when we have only one Cassandra-like speech, such as the mean and ungenerous speech that we heard from the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart), who, I regret to say, is not in his place at the moment. I hope that it will not go out from this House that his speech represented the informed and overwhelming opinion of this House of Commons.
One of the dangers that we are in is that of creating, as it were, the cult of personality. I think that we stand in great danger if we say,"This is going to be all right in the long run because the Prime Minister of Tanganyika is an outstanding man."I believe, with my hon. Friend the Member for Wednes-bury (Mr. Stonehouse), that the Prime Minister has been extremely fortunate in having behind him a united party of determined men who have given him the support he needs, and did need. The Prime Minister of Tanganyika, Mr. Nyerere, will, I hope, continue to get the support of all hon. and right hon. Members of this House because he will need it. We have to be prepared to help him 1027 and to lift him up if and when he stumbles. I think that it is likely that he will stumble for reasons which are not his fault. When I read the stories and first got information of the famine now threatening the Central Province of Tanganyika, I said to myself, "My golly, this is where I came in".
In 1948, when I first went to Tanganyika to take over the groundnut scheme on behalf of the Overseas Food Corporation, as its Chairman, I was taken to the Bomas and shown the famine storage silos which had been built and which were then full, for the reason that there had been famine in the late 1940s and it was the determination of the Government that not again would starvation hit the Central Province but that there would be adequate grain stocks.
One of the problems had been that in the Southern Province in Tanganyika, the area around Nachingwa, which is the natural granary for the Central Province, was unable to send food up because the roads were in such a shocking condition. I think that I have already told the House that I discovered at one time that in those days the bridges across the rivers were taken in by the Public Works Department at flood tide because they might be swept away. So the bridges that were built so that people could cross the rivers were not there when they were needed and the food could not be brought up.
It was said that this situation would not occur again, but now it has occurred. Why? It is not Mr. Nyerere's fault;it is our fault. We have a harbour at Mikindani which, as my hon. Friend has mentioned, is able to take ships up to 10,000 tons, and which was built by the Overseas Food Corporation. There are roads in Tanganyika which clearly did not exist before the Overseas Food Corporation took over. There are railways in Tanganyika which did not exist before the Overseas Food Corporation came into existence;yet we have this trouble. We have this famine facing 500,000 people or more. It is an example of the hazardous nature of agriculture in Tanganyika which will not be solved by a change of Government or by a change of Prime Minister. We have to 1028 say to Mr. Nyerere, "We are standing behind you over these next formative years to see to it that if you do have these calamities we will help you."
I have sat on the stoep of a mud house in the Central province of Tanganyika watching the rain clouds blow overhead and seeing for the second summer in succession a terrible drought gripping the land. One hon. Member referred to the fact that next year there was a one in five chance that there would be a drought again. I think that this is likely to be true. We cannot rely on the rainfall in the Central Province of Tanganyika, but we can rely on it to a greater extent in the Southern Province. What Mr. Nyerere needs and the people of Tanganyika need is a gigantic influx of capital to build even more railways and roads and even more storage places to enable the risk of famine through drought to be avoided.
I hope that the Government will not say, simply because Tanganyika has achieved its independence,"We wash our hands of Tanganyika."We the people of Great Britain owe a great debt of gratitude to the people of Tanganyika. It was through the low standard of living on which so many of them have existed in the past, and their wretched conditions, that we enjoy our standard of life. I do not think that we can evade our responsibility for what has happened in the past simply by praising Mr. Nyerere now and just welcoming this Bill.
I send my particular good wishes to the men and women who are working in the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation, the body that has taken over the enterprise that was left from the Overseas Food Corporation. I know many of those men and women. I worked with them in the heat, the dust and the wind devils in the generally rigorous conditions of Tanganyika. I remember how they were being assailed by comedians in all parts of this country as being incompetents. These were the engineers and fitters who were working under dreadful conditions to keep the machines going. I remember how soma of the agriculturists were often criticised and the stories told of them that they did not know the difference between fertilisers and cement. I knew that, all the time these fellows were being held up as laughing stocks and criticised, any 1029 criticism would have been better directed against me, because as the Chairman of the Overseas Food Corporation I was, as long as I was Chairman, entirely responsible for everything that happened under that scheme. What I resented above all was these men, who came out of their comfortable homes at the call of the nation to do a rigorous and terribly difficult job, being treated as if they were a pack of layabouts or fools; they were neither. They were hard-working people, and many of them stayed in Tanganyika working for the Tanganyika Corporation and adding to the wealth of the country in the way that they always hoped that they would be able to add to the wealth of that country.
It is to those men and women in particular that I would say, "I hope that your experiences in the last twelve or thirteen years and the efforts which you have made, your devotion to the country, your understanding of the people of the country, will bring the reward which we all seek"—a happy, contented, vigorous and prosperous Tanganyika.
§ 5.50 p.m.
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu (Brigg)
Every one of us for a few minutes wishes to join in giving expression to good will to Tanganyika on this occasion, whether we happen, by reason of our careers, to have been taken to work in the country, whether we have visited it just casually, whether, like my right hon. Friends the Members for Llanelly (Mr. J.Griffiths) and Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), we have been honourably connected with it from afar, whether we have been episodically connected with it, but extremely honourably, like my hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer), or whether, like myself, we have never been to the country at all. Everyone wishes to take his instrument and contribute to the chamber music in rendering a Siegfried idyll from this land to that other land far away, where this event is about to take place.
This has been, as so many hon. Members have said already, the achievement of independence by real statesmanship. It has led really to the almost monolithic party control of Tanganyika, not because there has been suppression of opposition, but because, for the best of reasons, they have achieved unity of opinion. But I 1030 do not think any of us would be unaware of the difficulties which this situation may lead to in the future. I know that it will pose problems. Can democracy survive in these circumstances? Can the rule of law flourish under a monolithic party?
A lot of people are led to assert that our Parliamentary democracy is incapable of export to Africa. I know that many Europeans, even now, are unable to make this system work, and that we ourselves have taken centuries to allow it to evolve to its present condition. I submit to the House that if democracy means that we want to see an exact replica of the Westminster system in some distant country, then there may be something in this criticism;but if, on the other hand, we mean by democracy that it is association with and participation in the government, then, in my submission, in this sense there is a very real chance of this tender part of democracy flourishing even in far-off, distant African lands.
Democracy in this sense, in my submission, is not something foreign to Africa. We hear far too often of chiefs who are looked upon as autocrats and utterly undemocratic people in their ideas, but I have seen something, not in Tanganyika but in other parts of Africa, of the way chieftaincy can work —and in very much separated parts of Africa, right in the south and right on the west;where the chief who presides over his council has to mouth the decision come to by that council, even if it is not his own, and how each one of the members of that council is, in his own right, a chief in some smaller territorial area where he has to do precisely the same thing, just as we, too, mouth what our constituents say, within certain limits which are well known to all Members of this House.
Each one of those members of those councils in the smaller territorial areas is himself a chief in a yet smaller area, so that he, too, has to take into account what his constituents say and to express their views, though they may not be his own, and carry those views on to the higher councils, to the very top council, and to the king or whoever the authority may be. So that democracy in that sense of participation in the government is by no means a strange thing to Africa. Discussion and persuasion have played their part in that democracy since long 1031 before the dawn of history in Africa, and can still continue so to do.
It is perfectly possible that tyranny may be found even under democratic forms of government, and it is equally true that we may find freedom in those African forms of democracy. So that I do not feel that we necessarily ought to be too apprehensive about the tendency in Tanganyika or elsewhere in Africa to form one-party States. We should not be unduly upset by that in itself. There is a great deal else to be looked at before we can say whether or not democracy has a real chance to flourish there, because we can have tyranny flourishing under complete forms of democracy, as I have just said, tyranny which may be by big business or by bribery—whatever form it may take.
In spite of the fears which we may have with regard to this particular tendency in Tanganyika, everybody has paid tribute not only to Julius Nyerere but to his lieutenants who have so ably led their country to its present state, and we can join, in spite of possible fears which we may have, in wishing the Tanganyikans on their independence the very best of good fortune, expressing the hope that the roots of democracy may strike deep in their country so that the rule of law, that hallmark of the worthwhile civilisation, may be established there for lasting good.
§ 5.57 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Creech Jones (Wakefield)
Because of my own association with Tanganyika in days gone by I, too, should like to join in the general chorus of congratulations and good wishes to the territory.
I well remember that when I was trying to persuade the British settlers in Tanganyika that the system of trusteeship would be, in the long run, of some value to them in the national life they were hoping to create, there was some considerable hesitation as to whether this system should be made to apply. It was felt that the territory should not come under the trusteeship system at all, but should be considered purely as a British territory, in much the same way as the Union of South Africa has treated South-West Africa as virtually an appendage of its own national life.
1032 I tried at that time to persuade those who made their representations that we would administer the territory in accordance with the highest standards of British colonial administration, and it is a pleasing thing that, under some degree of supervision of the Trusteeship Council, the country has progressed in the way it has and produced very remarkable results and attained its independence.
There is an extraordinary history of administrators, of those who have given much of their life to the territory. I was very pleased to hear the tribute to Dundas and his work in the coffee area. He certainly helped to create what is probably the largest African co-operative society in the whole of that vast continent. Likewise, I think there was created under private enterprise a model establishment in the Williamson Diamond Mining Company. It is a very pleasing development that the Tanganyikan Government now have a very considerable interest in that company, and that for all practical purposes the mine is virtually a nationalised industry, in association with the Diamond Corporation of South Africa.
My hon. Friend the Member for Dept-ford (Sir L. Plummer) has referred to the groundnuts scheme, which made an enormous contribution to Tanganyika. It was imperative that some experiment should be made to discover whether sub-marginal land could be brought into cultivation to produce foodstuffs for the people. There was a considerable loss in the experiment, nevertheless it made some prominent contributions to the life of the territory. The roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and some of the agricultural work, particularly the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation, have all left their mark on the life of the territory. To that extent the House ought not so frequently to wipe out the contribution which the groundnuts scheme made.
I would hope that the future of Tanganyika is much brighter than it appears at the moment. There is considerable wealth in the territory. Considerable capital expenditure may be involved in the exploitation of some of it, but there is no doubt that there is still great possibility in such exploitation to the advantage of the territory.
*** 1033 I should like to appeal particularly to the Secretary of State about financial arrangements when territories reach their independence. The days following independence are usually days of considerable difficulty in the construction of a great deal of the national life and the creation of national unity, the building up of a sense of national purpose, and the securing of an economic basis on which that national purpose can be sustained. It is, therefore, all the more important that we ourselves should not wash our hands completely of liabilities and obligations into which we have entered.
I urge the Government to review their general attitude towards the attainment of independence and to abandon the pedantic view that independence involves no practical support in terms of grants or loans from this country. It always seemed to me to be a tragedy that colonial development and welfare funds should not be able to contribute certain of its benefits to a territory because that territory had passed the borderline to an independent status. The same applies to the operation of the Colonial Development Corporation.
We have not made adequate provision subsequent to independence for those territories which have been in our trust and which we have nurtured over a period. Because they have wished to attain political independence we have thrust them back into considerable difficulty. Even some of the moral obligations that we entered into have been neglected because we have failed to provide the financial wherewithal to sustain the future development that these territories require. They have not the resources nor can they, in the course of development work, obtain the resources so essential for their ultimate well-being.
I would like to express my very good wishes for the future of this territory. It may be that the Tanganyikans will be prepared for some diminution of their own sovereignty by their association in what was formerly called the High Commission of East Africa. I had a great deal to do with the inauguration of the High Commission and with persuading the people of East Africa to 'adopt this extraordinary conception, which the Governors of East Africa at that time had worked out. We successfully tried to persuade the people to see that cer- 1034 tain common services of the war period should be perpetuated in the days of peace.
Although we may be critical of the structure of the High Commission as it has existed right up to now, nevertheless it was the only kind of structure possible with the political development at that time. Now that the political development of each of the three territories has been moving towards democratic forms, it is right and proper that the Government, as they are doing, should consent to complete revision of the High Commission machinery in order that it might serve better the democratic needs of the three territories. I hope, therefore, that this transformation will come about soon in order that the three territories which are reaching their independence may now co-operate along the lines which they think are to the best interests of their own ultimate well-being.
I congratulate the Government on bringing forward this Bill so speedily. I hope that the future for Tanganyika is bright. I hope that the pleas made about the famine which has struck the territory will be adequately and handsomely met by the Government. I extend my very best wishes to the Tanganyika Government. I hope that the country will flourish and that the well-being of its people will be sustained.
§ 6.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
I apologise to the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) for missing the beginning of his speech but I am afraid that my absence was unavoidable. I join with him and other hon. Members on both sides of the House in offering congratulations to the Prime Minister of Tanganyika personally and to his great country.
The Bill is yet another vindication of British colonialism. It is a credit to both Tanganyika and this country. It should be pointed out that we took over that country in 1919 and in the following year we established an Executive Council and in 1926 a Legislative Council. That is fairly rapid development. It stands comparison with any other colonial system in Africa. After the Second World War, Africans participated in that Legislature. They are now taking over the complete 1035 government of the country and we wish them well. During the time that Tanganyika has evolved in the normal democratic way of British colonialism the countries of Eastern Europe, Hungary, Poland and the Baltic States, have had a very different history under the advance of Soviet imperialism.
We in the House consider of certain criteria when we decide what should be required of a country which is about to enter into independence and become a sovereign State in the Commonwealth. These criteria were first suggested by Sir John Macpherson, but have often been discussed in the House. One criterion is that the country should have a national Government acceptable to the people, with a common loyalty and an ability to live harmoniously together as one nation. Tanganyika has that, largely thanks to the leadership of Julius Nyerere.
Great tribute has been paid by the House to that outstanding man. His Christian outlook, his modesty and his sense of humour are quite outstanding among the leaders of that great continent. He will be attacked and he will find it difficult as Prime Minister of an independent country to stand up for the rights of the minorities, but those who know him know that he will shoulder that burden and will fight for the rights of all minority races for the future of Tanganyika depends upon the unity of all her peoples and races.
The second criterion is the true development of education to produce a reasonably informed electorate as well as a national leadership. I have already referred to Mr. Nyerere's leadership. It is, perhaps, a good thing to remember that he was a school teacher. I would therefore pay tribute to the wonderful work done by the Christian missions in establishing and encouraging education in Tanganyika. I hope that as the country goes on to independence, the Christian missions will be able to continue their work of educating the people to take their rightful place in their own country.
The third criterion is that of economic self-reliance, with a reasonable standard of living and an expanding economy. As the financial settlement between this country and Tanganyika has already been referred to, I shall not 1036 detain the House on that subject, but I would add my plea to that of hon. Members who have asked for generosity in helping Tanganyika in this time of drought and difficulty. I understand that the crisis point will be reached in January next, when about half a million people will have to be fed. In addition, about 50 per cent. of the animal stock may die from lack of water. That is a great catstrophe in a country that has already enough difficulties to face, and I hope that Her Majesty's Government will be as generous as possible in helping Tanganyika financially in these difficult days.
The last criterion is that the country should have an efficient and, if necessary, an imported Civil Service. When I went to Tanganyika about eighteen months ago I was told that those in authority expected that about 30 per cent. of the expatriate British civil servants would stay on after independence. When I made another visit earlier this year I was told that about 70 per cent. would stay. That shows the confidence of the expatriates in Julius Nyerere. Another reason for their confidence is the Act passed by this House by which we undertook the inducement pay of expatriate civil servants.
I want to put two points about the Civil Service to my right hon. Friend. The first is about locally-recruited civil servants. I understand that people recruited as local officers normally need to have two years' residence in the country. A number of these officers were men who had retired from the British Army and who, having served in East Africa, had the required two years' residence. When they signed their contracts they were not really clear—I suppose that they ought to have been—about the disparity in pay and conditions between established or designated officers and local officers.
This disparity became even greater after the Fleming Report, and it may well be that, because of our recent legislative help, it will be more expensive for the Government of Tanganyika to keep on a European or Asian local civil servant than to maintain the services of an expatriate civil servant from this country. I therefore hope that the Government will study the problem of these local civil servants very carefully.
1037 Many of them would like to stay on and become Tanganyikan citizens, but a number would wish to leave the country and return home to Britain. They are unable to do so until they finish their contract, which may still have two or three years to run. They have very little saved because, as I have said, their pay is well tinder that of the established civil servants;many cannot afford the journey home. That being so, I hope that these men, who have served us and Tanganyika so well—and who are now, in fact, training others to take over their work—will be given generous treatment.
The other problem relates to those members of the High Commission, particularly on the railways, who are serving in Tanganyika. My right hon. Friend has received representations to the effect that they undertook to serve the British Government in the Colonial Dependencies, but will now have to serve an independent nation of the Commonwealth, a fact that was not included in their contract. They have been told that they must give six months' notice of termination of employment. I suggest that it might be better to allow them to exercise their own right of choice. Personally, I have far too much faith in Tanganyika, and in its Prime Minister, to think that there would be an exodus of these civil servants from the railways and other undertakings if this right of choice were given.
However, when considering this problem we must recognise that a man serving in one of the big towns such as Dares Salaam can if he is unhappy have access to those in authority and to the British representatives, but many of these men serve right up country in the bush, and, when they read in their local paper something to the effect of the quotation I am about to make, they are bound to wonder about their future. The quotation is from the Daily Nationof September of this year. It is the report of a speech made by the deputy general secretary of the Tanganyika Railway African Union, and it reads:Warned Mr. Katungutu: ' Our efforts are exhausted. Our members are frustrated, very impatient and are likely to get out of hand after independence'.This report continues:Unless Africans controlled the majority of responsible posts, there could be no peace in the industry after uhuru.1038 That kind of speech makes these men worry as to their security. There is a danger in making six months' notice compulsory that many of them will say, "We cannot take the risk. If we have to wait six months after giving notice we had better give it now. "I ask my right hon. Friend to consider this matter very carefully before Tanganyika finally becomes independent.
I apologise for raising what is, perhaps, a slightly controversial matter, but we in this House have a duty to these civil servants. I believe that their fears are groundless, because I am sure that Tanganyika has a great future as a sovereign member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and I know that all hon. Members wish her well.
§ 6.17 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Hugh Fraser)
I think that the whole House will agree that this afternoon we have had a debate which, for its informativeness and for the warmth of its good wishes to Tanganyika, has been up to our highest traditions;and that the message going out from here will be a welcoming one to Tanganyika and others of our friends overseas. A great variety of points have been raised, and a great variety of experience has been revealed by, among others, the hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer), the hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Snow), and by my hon. Friend the Member for Antrim, North (Mr. H. Clark), who have served for considerable periods in this part of the world.
Nearly every hon. Member has referred to the famine conditions, which are serious in the Northern Province and especially so, perhaps, in the Central Province. As the House will know, the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) was among others who led a deputation asking my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to look into this matter. My right hon. Friend will, of course, look into it further, but it would be only fair to say that any hope of Her Majesty's Government being able immediately to offer anything in the way of funds is not very good; in fact, it is rather remote.
We are now coping with many difficulties elsewhere, and we have just made 1039 quite a large settlement with Tanganyika. The right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) and other hon. Members referred to similar situations in grant-aided territories, and in these territories, for the very reason that they are grant-aided, we shall, naturally, meet our obligations.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
I would point out that the Secretary of State, who received us very kindly, promised to consider our representations, and it was further stated yesterday that those representations were still under consideration. I hope that we do not have to take it now that the Under-Secretary's statement does not mean that his right hon. Friend will flatly turn down those representations.
§ Mr. Fraser
I think that what I said was proper. I do not want to raise any false hopes that this will be an easy thing to do—perhaps that is the best way to put it. Negotiations are going on, but I must make the position quite clear to the House, because it is only fair to do so—
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
Until Tanganyika gets its independence it is a United Nations Trusteeship Territory. Would it not be possible, therefore, to propose that, while it is a United Nations Trusteeship Territory, the United Nations, through one of its funds, should make a contribution to this urgent need?
§ Mr. Fraser
That is a point I should like to look at with my legal advisers, but it should be made clear that the problem is one of distribution. With great generosity, the United States has made the food available. The problem is not so much, therefore, one of shortage of food, but one of distribution. I want to make this point clear, because the idea may go out that there is a total shortage of food.
Various points have been raised by hon. Members. One which stands out clearly is that the assistance of Her Majesty's Government will continue to go to Tanganyika after independence. The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) raised that matter in its widest application. It is fair to point out, however, that independence does mean independence. With independence, a new relationship must be established, 1040 and to continue with CD. and W. and other funds which are of a colonial nature would be incorrect and would not be welcome.
We have not found the final answer, but Mr. Nyerere has expressed his acceptance of our help as being, if not generous, satisfactory, and on a very considerable scale. There are certain things that we can continue to do. First, there is the importance, as hon. Members have pointed out, of the continuation of the co-operation of our Overseas Service in helping Tanganyikans to go forward with the training of their own people in the successful Africanisation or localisation of their Civil Service.
My hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) pointed out some of the technical difficulties involved here, and I hope to deal with these matters in correspondence with him. There are 2,200 expatriates in Tanganyika, and so far only about 20 per cent. have shown that they intend to leave.
Beyond this, there is the important factor of technical aid. My right hon. Friend the Secretary for Technical Cooperation was here during the debate because, in this subject, his Department can be of very considerable assistance to Tanganyika after independence.
The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) talked of the need for future assistance on certain specific objectives, which, I believe, could be met by my right hon. Friend's Department. The hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth talked about the need of training in merchanting and what are to us comparatively simple methods of trading, and so on. Again, my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Technical Co-operation could be of assistance.
Tribute has been paid on both sides to the part played by our colonial servants, from the Governors down to those in the humbler posts. They have made possible the bringing forward of Tanganyika to independence which will finally be attained on 9th December.
My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) and others have doubts about the wisdom of the course which we have pursued in Tanganyika. I am convinced that it was the right course. There must be something of a gamble in these questions, but I am 1041 convinced that, with Mr. Nyerere, with his Ministers and friends and advisers, with Sir Richard Turnbull and Sir Ernest Vaisey and others, Tanganyika will succeed. To say, however, that by achieving independence all answers will be found is equally untrue.
It would be only appropriate to quote the words of Mr. Nyerere himself at the Dares Salaam conference. He said that independence brought new challenges and difficulties, and went on:There is nothing soft, nothing easy ahead of us. We Tanganyikans cannot pat ourselves on our nine million backs and think to ourselves that all is over; since we will make nothing of Tanganyika and will set no example to the world unless it be by renewed efforts and hard work of ourselves and of kindness to others.In that spirit I am sure that the House will accept the Bill and wish the people of Tanganyika well in the times that lie ahead.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House—[Mr. J. E. B. Hill.]
§ Committee Tomorrow.