HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 c1075
25. Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will initiate talks with the French Government about the administration of the New Hebrides; and, in particular, if he will put forward proposals for constitutional advance for the inhabitants.

Mr. Fisher

As I said in my reply on 19th February to my hon. Friend, no proposals for constitutional advance have as yet been formulated. Until they are it would be premature to initiate talks with the French Government.

Mr. Channon

Does not my hon. Friend have any proposals for the constitutional advance of this Condominium? If not, why not? Can he deny the rumours that in fact President de Gaulle proposes to reside there in due course rather than at St. Helena?

Mr. Fisher

I did form certain impressions during my recent visit to the Pacific Colonies as to the sort of changes which might suitably be contemplated, but they will need a little consideration here and it would then be necessary to discuss them with the French.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the hon. Gentleman try to do something for the Old Hebrides while he is at this?

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Would this Condominium be protected by the British independent deterrent, by the French independent deterrent, or by both?