HC Deb 02 July 1968 vol 767 c1298
47. Mr. David Steel

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether the conference to discuss the future finance of Swaziland will be held prior to the granting of independence on 6th September.

The Minister of Overseas Development (Mr. Reg Prentice)

No, Sir. With the agreement of the Government of Swaziland, it is proposed to hold the conference in the autumn after independence but officials of my Department are having preliminary talks in Swaziland this month.

Mr. Steel

Is this not an unusual step to take? In view of the isolated situation of Swaziland, surely financial arrangements should be known before independence is granted.

Mr. Prentice

This procedure has been followed in a number of recent cases. Aid this year to Swaziland will cover the immediate post-independence period, and talks on aid, which will take place in the autumn, will follow preparation of the development plan of the Swaziland Government for the period ahead.