HC Deb 08 February 1962 vol 653 cc604-5
17. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Nyasaland Government will cooperate with the Federal Government's hydro-electric scheme at Nkula Falls; and what benefits the scheme is expected to bring in Nyasaland.

Mr. Maudling

Discussions have been taking place between the Federal and Nyasaland Governments and final decisions on the project have yet to be reached. Apart from the increased power supply for development schemes that the hydro-electric station would provide, the barrage upstream would regulate the level of Lake Nyasa with benefit to navigation, tourism and lakeshore dwellers. It would also facilitate irrigation projects and assist riverside dwellers in the Shire Valley.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that Dr. Banda, the Minister of Local Government and Natural Resources, has said that he would rather the Nyasaland people starved to death than had the benefit of Federal funds for the purpose of constructing this dam?

Mr. Maudling

I do not think that I am called upon to comment on statements of that character by individuals. I very much regret that there should be a dispute about this very valuable project. As I said, discussions are going on between the Federal Government and the Nyasaland Government and I hope that they will produce results.