HC Deb 30 January 1968 vol 757 cc1073-4
4. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the independence constitution of Swaziland; and the assistance offered before and after independence, by the United Kingdom.

Mr. George Thomas

Any constitutional changes required will be considered at the Swaziland Independence Conference next month. The level of assistance for 1968–69 has recently been discussed with the Minister of Finance, and decisions will be taken shortly. The question of further assistance after independence will be one for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Overseas Development and the Swaziland Government have already been informed that he will in due course be pleased to discuss this with them.

Mr. Wall

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether this constitutional conference will take place in Britain or in Swaziland, and whether the financial talks will be simultaneous with it or will come later?

Mr. Thomas

I believe I am right in suing that the talks will be in London. The question of aid is not usually discussed at the same time as the constitutional talks.

Mr. Judd

Would my hon. Friend not agree that, in this area of excessive racial tension, Britain should do everything possible financially to help the African majority government in Swaziland, as indeed in Botswana, to make a go of it?

Mr. Thomas

As a country we have a very honourable record for helping African governments. I think we can look the world in the face and say that no one does better.

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