HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 cc1070-1
21. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what reply he has received from the High Commissioner in Aden about the intentions of the Aden Government in regard to revising the franchise and holding elections in Aden Colony.

Mr. Fisher

I understand from the High Commissioner that the Aden Government has the revision of the franchise under consideration and hopes to formulate proposals in the next few weeks.

Mr. Thomson

Will the Minister bear in mind that this is still the responsibility of the House of Commons and the British Government? Can he give the House an assurance that there will be a revision of the franchise and that elections will be held before the present year is out?

Mr. Fisher

Yes. The position is, as the hon. Gentleman knows, that we have to hold elections in Aden by the end of this year. There is no intention of bringing in a delaying Order in Council or anything of that sort. However, the terms of the franchise are within the competence of the Aden State Government. Under the Aden Constitution the High Commissioner is bound to act on the advice of the Aden Council of Ministers, so we have not a very direct interest at the moment.