HC Deb 02 July 1968 vol 767 c1284
14. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about constitutional progress in Tonga.

Mr. Whitlock

Under the new Treaty of Friendship, signed in Tonga on 30th May, and still to be ratified, Tonga has full responsibility for its own internal affairs, except for certain defence purposes. Save as provided for under the Treaty, the Constitution, and any constitutional change, is the responsibility of the Tonga Government.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Is the Undersecretary aware that after close on 90 years of treaties of friendship between these two countries this is a very satisfactory step forward? Is the hon. Gentleman further aware that if it should happen that Tonga applies to join the Commonwealth or the South Pacific Commission there will be a warm welcome for Tonga, not only in the House, but throughout the Commonwealth?

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