§ 2.44 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in view of the mounting unpopularity in so many directions of the term "colonialism" and its implications, they will now consider revision of the name "Colonial Office" for some other designation, such as "Office of Overseas Territories".]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS (THE EARL OF PERTH)
My Lords. I feel inclined to answer:What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.We believe in our colonialism. It is its very success which makes our enemies try to run it down by pouring scorn on the word.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his reply, which in itself suggests that the offices would be as well discharged under any other name. Arising out of the noble Earl's Answer, may I ask him whether he is able to state what was the date after the passing of the Statute of Westminster when the name of the Dominions Office was changed to Commonwealth Relations Office?
§ THE EARL OF PERTH
My Lords, I am afraid that I do not know the date. I will look it up and let the noble Lord know, if that will satisfy him.
§ THE EARL OF LISTOWEL
My Lords, may I ask a further supplementary question? I agree with the noble Earl that we have nothing to apologise about in relation to our colonial policy, but I sympathise with the noble Lord, Lord Barnby, about the obsolescence (if I may put it that way) of the terminology of "colonialism", which leads to misunderstanding in various parts of the world. Therefore I hope That the noble Earl will consider the noble Lord's suggestion. I offer, as a possible alternative to "Office of Overseas Territories," the title of "Commonwealth Territories Office", to emphasise the fact that the colonies are part of the Commonwealth, of which eventually they will become equal members. I would suggest that the noble Earl should give serious consideration to the noble Lord's proposal.
My Lords, may I ask the noble Earl whether it is not the case that great offence is often caused in the Dominions by loose references in both Houses of Parliament to them as "colonies"?
§ THE EARL OF PERTH
My Lords, certainly at the appropriate time, if it comes, we will give due consideration to the views expressed by the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, and also to the point raised by my noble friend.