HC Deb 26 June 1974 vol 875 cc1528-9
2. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider making arrangements to permit official Canadian involvement in the future of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Miss Joan Lestor)

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Mr. Lamont) on 19th June.

Mr. Hardy

Does my hon. Friend not agree that there is a need for economic development in these islands and that it would be reasonable to expect, if that development occurs, that Canadian involvement would need to be considerable? May I ask whether it would not be wise, to avoid exploitation of those now living in these islands, to have formal consultative arrangements with the Canadian Government?

Miss Lestor

I accept what my hon. Friend has said about economic development. It is Government policy that constitutional development in these islands should be in accordance with the wishes of the people there. Subject to this I would welcome any proposals which may be of benefit to the islands.

Mr. Farr

To what extent is the Colonial Development Corporation involved in the islands, and are there any projects in mind for this area which have not been announced?

Miss Lestor

I could not give the hon. Member a detailed answer to that question. If he will write to me I shall be happy to do so.

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