HL Deb 28 July 1960 vol 225 cc903-18

3.16 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen to acquaint the House that Her Majesty places her prerogative and interests, so far as concerns the matters dealt with by the Nigeria Independence Bill, at the disposal of Parliament.

My Lords, I cannot imagine a more fitting start to a period of office as Foreign Secretary than to introduce this Bill, the effect of which is to give independence to Nigeria and so to enable Nigeria to exercise her influence in her own right on the world stage as an equal partner in the Commonwealth. To describe Nigeria as a great African country is right. Nigeria is great in area, equal to France and to Italy combined; she has a great population of some 37 million; and, as anybody who has met the leading Nigerian personalities could testify, Nigeria is great in character too. We have had much experience now in leading colonial territories to independence, but our experience of the approach to independence when we were negotiating with the Nigerians has been exceptionally happy, and I think we may say that as between the Nigerians and ourselves there is now complete confidence in the new relationship which is established, which is one of equal partners in the Commonwealth family.

I am aware that this is not the day or the place to discuss the details of the Constitution. Nevertheless, the constitutional framework is a Federal Constitution, in which each Region is self-governing in its own field; but the Federal centre, of course, is responsible for defence, security, external affairs and other matters which concern the whole of the country. Each Region has a separate Judiciary, but your Lordships will be glad to know that, while there is a Federal Supreme Court, the Nigerians are going to preserve the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Constitution, as we have worked it out with the Nigerians, has seemed to us to be workmanlike and fair, and to be a structure which will give confidence both in the Regions and to all the races in the country of Nigeria, and will contribute to that political stability which is so necessary if the economic development of the country is to proceed as we should wish to see it. The Constitutions, both Federal and Regional, will be made in an Order in Council and Independence Day will be on October 1.

I have made that preface to this Bill because so frequently have we had this experience: that these Bills bringing independence to colonial territories are now in common form and very familiar to your Lordships, and had I confined myself actually to the terms of the Bill it would have been a very dry and unengaging way of welcoming the birth of a new, proud and independent nation.

Clause 1 really consists of what are known as the Statute of Westminster clauses, which provide that the Acts of this Parliament shall no longer apply to Nigeria. These are provisions appropriate to a self-governing country within the Commonwealth. Clause 2 deals with the very complicated questions of citizenship. At the moment, most of the people of Nigeria are British-protected persons, but the inhabitants of the original Colony, and particularly around Lagos, are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. What we provide here is that citizens of Nigeria will in future, in our law, have the status of British subjects and Commonwealth citizens. Conversely, those who have no substantial connection with the United Kingdom or Colonies will cease to be citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. Effect to these provisions is given in subsections (2), (3), (4) and (5).

Clause 3 contains the necessary modifications of other United Kingdom enactments, and if your Lordships examine them you will find that they have followed exactly the same pattern as we used in the case of the Ghana Independence Bill. Part of Clause 4 is new, because it brings within the scope of the Overseas Service Act, 1958, a small body of persons serving, or having served, with the naval forces, and that rectifies an omission in previous legislation.

Before I conclude my short introduction of this Independence Bill, I should like to refer to a most generous act of the Nigerian Government. They have made us a gift of a really magnificent site for the house of the United Kingdom High Commissioner, and they have made a substantial contribution to the cost of the building. It is on the Marina sea front of Lagos, and is one of the most prominent landmarks as one approaches from the sea. We are very grateful indeed to the Nigerians for this most handsome gift. As your Lordships know, Mr. Antony Head is going as our High Commissioner. He is a colleague of ours whom, Of course, we hold in great esteem and whose qualities are widely recognised. This appointment has emphasised in a most personal way the value which we place on our friendship with Nigeria.

The House will be glad to know, too, that on Independence Day the Lord Chancellor will be representing this country, among others who are going from both Houses of Parliament, and he will be able to convey to the Nigerian people from your Lordships and from Parliament, and indeed from the Whole of our country, our joy in their independence and our faith in their future. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Home.)

3.24 p.m.


My Lords, I rise to support the Second Reading of this Bill. As the noble Earl commented when he was opening his address to us to-day, it is particularly appropriate that he should be able to introduce this Bill on the first day that he operates as Foreign Secretary. I should like, therefore, to take this opportunity of saying to the noble Earl and the whole House that we congratulate him on the confidence placed in him by the Prime Minister. I must say that we regret that he has not had as good a Press as I think he so thoroughly deserves. It may well be that in these modern times, for reasons of space—I would not say for other reasons—the Press is unable to give sufficient attention to the very important business which is still transacted in your Lordships' House. If they had been able to give attention to it they could not have failed to mark the stature of the Leader of this House and his general capacity.

The next thing I should like to say is that, mixed with our desire to convey our congratulations to him on this great and difficult post Which he has undertaken, we must regret very sincerely what all of us will agree is a loss to the House in not having him to continue as Leader of the House. Speaking as the Leader of the Opposition, I am quite sure—other sections of the Opposition will no doubt speak for themselves—that we have never had more cordial relationships, nor could we have had greater assistance because of the goodwill of the Leader in arranging, without undue acrimony, the difficult and complex agenda of business of this House. It is vastly important, when dealing with such affairs of State as we still deal with here, that there should be the best possible understanding between Leaders of the Oppositions and the Leader of the House. I want to say how very grateful I am personally to the noble Earl for the manner in which he has met us at all times on these questions. I should like to say that no one can fail to note that in the last three years he has fulfilled his office as Leader of the House in such a way as to impress it upon all our minds.

The noble Earl was, of course, an outstanding cricketer—I suppose that I ought to say "is"—and at one time quite a notable cricket leader. When he had to follow such a leader as the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, three years ago, obviously he was going in to bat on a very sticky wicket. I think the noble Marquess, as well as everybody else, will agree that the noble Earl has played a fine innings; and we are thankful for that.

Having said all these things very sincerely, I am sure the noble Earl will not expect to find me and my colleagues differing in principle from our colleagues in another place as to the House of Parliament in which usually the Foreign Secretary ought obviously to sit. We will make no further comment on it then that except to say that we agree with the claim of the purely representative House to have the principal Ministers of State there. I think they are right. That means that the noble Earl comes in again on a very sticky wicket. I feel certain myself that his tradition, his personality, his obviously well-experienced diplomacy will all stand him in good stead, and in spite of all that has been written, said or is to be said, we wish that, in the interests of our country as well as for himself, his success in the Office will be particularly great.

The other thing I should like to say while I am on my feet is that we must congratulate the noble and learned Viscount, Lord Hailsham, on being once again Lord President of the Council and also undertaking the new duties of Leader of the House. I wish him very sincerely every possible success. I say equally sincerely to him that we appreciate his bursting ability and his power of argument. We appreciate many of his qualities, but perhaps he will not mind my quoting a few words that I learnt by heart in years past, though I have reinforced myself by going to the Library again this morning. This quotation is from Bacon's Essay, Of Great Place. I think that our retiring Leader of the House has really absolutely vindicated Lord Bacon. I am just wishing that there should be such success as Leader to the noble Viscount that he will also vindicate him by the time he ends his term as Leader of the House. This is what Lord Bacon says: Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will surely be paid when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them, and rather call them when they look not for it, than exclude them when they have reason to look to be called. That is how I have appreciated the work of the noble Earl who is now to be Foreign Secretary, and perhaps the noble and learned Viscount will not blame me if, in wishing him success in his new post, I just pass on the tip.

My Lords, I had forgotten for the moment that I have risen to support the Bill on Nigeria. May I say at once, very briefly, how much we on this side of the House welcome the fact that the noble Earl was able to introduce such a Bill to-day. We have had great troubles and difficulties in gradually settling in different ways the great family of nations for which we have been, and in some cases will continue to be, responsible. But here is one of the finest and best examples of what Britain and her Colonies can achieve if there is good will upon both sides. I think the negotiations which were commented upon by the noble Earl have been outstanding in the display of that spirit. Here is a vast and important tract of country, with three obvious provinces, shall I call them now, within the new State—provinces of different resources, of different peoples almost, language, custom and religion—which will join at this early stage in a Federal Government. It is a very proud moment for the British Commonwealth of Nations, that such a group of accomplished and noble people, as many of the Nigerians are, should have chosen to seek entry into the British Commonwealth of Nations on gaining their independence. I think it is indeed very much to be welcomed.

I should also, because of my nostalgia for a movement called the Co-operative Movement, like to say how much I value the record already achieved by Nigeria in the development of really successful indigenous co-operation. I am glad to think that in different parts of our colonial territories the influence of the British has meant a freedom to develop and to carry on with the education which accrues from the movement in co-operation. If we take Ghana, which was recently given its complete independence, we find that 25 per cent. of the whole of its cocoa crop is marketed by co-operative cocoa producers. If we take Nigeria at the present time, we find that 20 per cent. of the whole of its agricultural product is handled by its own grower producer co-operatives. If we take Tanganyika, in whose future I have great hopes, we find that a third of the Tanganyika Legislative Council are trained co-operative managers and officials. It is vastly important, in these new, emergent territories, to remember that, whatever we do in trying to help them in the future, we can do nothing better than give them confidence and power in themselves and their own productive capacity. We should learn the truth, in this period in our own country's history, when we are told we "never had it so good," that we must leave the lasting lesson with all the population—a lesson which is true in every sphere of life—that "If you put more in you will get more out." That is a very important lesson to learn.

I am very happy about the statement which was made by the noble Earl, and not least because of the progress which has been made so rapidly in setting up the Federal Court, which will be able to operate, I take it, as soon as Independence Day comes. And after the matters that we have discussed in relation to other countries about the right of appeal to the Privy Council, we are very pleased indeed that the Nigerian people have agreed to adhere to that old, well-established and profitable custom of appeal to the Privy Council. Moreover I think it is a happy augury for the future that the feelings of Nigeria towards us are such that they could be capable at this time of making such a handsome gift of the site for the High Commissioner's House, in addition to the cost of building it. On behalf of the Opposition, I should like to say to the Nigerian Government, through this Government, how grateful we feel to them for their feelings towards us, and I hope that that happy state will continue for all time.

I hope that the noble and learned Viscount the Lord Chancellor, when he goes, may find it has been conveniently arranged that he will be so attired in his official robes as to be easily recognisable by any of the most humble Nigerians, and show the importance which is attached to their Independence Day in the person who has been selected to attend. I hope he will have a very happy day on that occasion. May I say, in conclusion, that if we go on learning the lesson that we can meet the real and deserved and sound desires of peoples in our Colonial territories in time, take the decisions at the right time and get them prepared at the right time, how happy it will be if one follows after another the story of Nigeria and we go on expanding the new form of Commonwealth and family relations!

3.38 p.m.


My Lords, in view of a Question which I have just put to Her Majesty's Government, I think it would be not only inconsistent but inconsiderate of me to delay your Lordships more than one minute on this important matter, important though it is. The noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, will give from these Benches the views of the noble Lords on these Benches, who, of course, very strongly and enthusiastically support this Bill. Like the noble Viscount, the Leader of the Opposition, I could not let this occasion pass without also paying my very sincere and heartfelt tribute to one who has won the hearts of us all in this House, the noble Earl, Lord Home. It is appropriate that he is, so to speak, taking Nigeria with him to-day from one Department to another, but it is our loss that we shall not have him to guide us on these matters of Commonwealth relations. We have really benefited tremendously by his presiding over all such debates, and perhaps even more so as Leader of the House.

I take it that as Foreign. Secretary we shall, unfortunately, not have the pleasure of seeing him so often as in the past, and I endorse everything the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, has said. We are sorry to see him pass into the half shadow, and I hope he will come back again or perhaps not really pass into it. At the same time, I welcome the advent of the noble and learned Viscount whom we all know, all enjoy and all admire, Lord Hailsham. Like the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, I would just remind him that Oppositions are unavoidable evils which must occasionally be put up with. I will not continue further, except to say to those two noble Lords, "Ave atque vale", which might be roughly translated as "Hailsham and farewell".

3.40 p.m.


My Lords, this is a day of congratulation in this House, tinged, I think, with just a shadow of regret that, to-day, the Commonwealth loses in the person of the former Leader of the House what a wider area gains. I am sure my noble friend the Foreign Secretary must have been touched by the tributes which have been paid to him and which represent the universal feelings of this House, whose Members all know him intimately and love what they know. As the Leader of the Opposition said, it is never easy to follow such a conspicuous success as Leader of the House as was the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, but my noble friend has succeeded. The House never had a better Leader; the Commonwealth never had a better Secretary of State. We who know him best know that he has all the qualities for his new and arduous post, in which we wish him well.

I have had so many and long associations with Nigeria that I rejoice in having the opportunity to add my good wishes on this occasion. I am confident that Nigeria not only will have a prosperous future, but will make a signal contribution to the strength and unity of the Commonwealth; for Nigeria has proved how diverse peoples can combine in successful union, while maintaining their own individuality. If Nigeria has owed much, as it has, to wise and sympathetic guidance and administration in the past, and not least to Sir Arthur Richards, now Lord Milverton—the best Nigerian Governor since Lugard—Britain has owed as much to Nigeria. Our debt to every province in Nigeria in the war was immense. Tens of thousands of Nigerians volunteered—there was not a single pressed man—for active service in a war thousands of miles remote from themselves, and served with gallantry and suffered heavy casualties in arduous campaigns.

It was thanks to the efforts of literally millions of Nigerians that we in Britain were able to maintain our fat ration during the war—groundnuts were produced on a scale never before attempted. More remarkable still, in a single year they produced and sent to us over 400,000 tons of palm kernels. When one realises—which unless one has actually seen the little things, one cannot—that it takes 1 million kernels to make a ton, one has some conception of that achievement. This was no great machinery business; there was hardly a cracking machine in the country. Those thousands of millions of hard little nuts were hand cracked in every village and in every school in Nigeria where a palm tree grew. Nor shall I forget the 30 airfields which were built in Nigeria, almost entirely built by Nigerian labour, with little equipment except their hands and their heads. It was over those airfields that every single aircraft had to pass to the desert campaign, to India, to Burma, and indeed to Russia.

That was a partnership which we in Britain will never forget. Nigeria has always been proud of its art. Its people seem to be naturally endowed with an aptitude for carving and for leather work, I do not know whether, in the 16th century, a Nigerian fashioned the famous Ife heads, or maybe they were the work of some wandering craftsmen of the Renaissance. But this I do know: that it was the Oni of Ife who firmly insisted that these wonderful Ife heads should stay in Nigeria when the metropolitan museums of the world were making insistent and ever increasing take-over bids. It is with those memories in mind to-day, as I know we all do from the bottom of our hearts, that we wish all prosperity, happiness and success to Nigeria and to its peoples.

3.46 p.m.


My Lords, I wonder whether the House would allow me, as I may have to go away, to respond in a few words to the great kindness of the noble Viscount the Leader of the Opposition, the noble Lord, Lord Rea, and my noble friend Lord Swinton for the kind words that they have said about me. The House will forgive me at this moment if I cannot find words adequate to reply. I was extremely lucky in my predecessor—I am afraid that I "cashed in" outrageously on his popularity—in the way he led this House in the early days. But, as we have gone along, I have found that the House has been immensely tolerant with me, and I could not have had more loyal assistance in trying to guide the House than I have had from every quarter of it and from every Member in it. If, during the time that I have led the House, we have managed to enhance its stature in the eyes of the country—and I think that we have managed to do that altogether—then that is really sufficient reward for me.

I know that this House will give to Lord Hailsham the complete loyalty that it has given to me. We know that he has all the mental qualities and all the qualities of character to make a great success of the leadership, and I wish him great success in his new office, in which we shall all help to sustain him. I do not deny that the last few days have not been too easy to face, and occasionally some of the criticisms have tended to get me down. But at those moments my Scottish blood has come to my rescue and reminded me that all the publicity is free.

3.48 p.m.


My Lords, as one who for many years has taken a considerable part in this House in Commonwealth affairs, I should like to associate myself with everything that my noble Leader has said about the noble Earl, Lord Home, and to identify myself with and endorse his sentiments. I should also like to welcome the new Leader of the House.

We are to-day once more welcoming a new independent member of the Commonwealth. It is the second Independence Bill that we have had in the course of a week, which I think in itself must be something of a record, even in this country, where we have granted independence to so many countries in the last twelve or fourteen years, and I should like to congratulate all who have made possible this happy transition, especially successive Secretaries of State and their staffs and the "Big Four" of Nigeria—the Sardauna of Sokoto, the present Prime Minister of the Federation, Dr. Azikiwe—proably the most widely known leader in Nigeria—and Chief Awolowo. I think we also ought at this time to extend our thanks to those who have worked in the territory itself, as civil servants, as traders and as professional men in various capacities; and as the Governor to a large extent represents them and makes an enormous contribution, I should like to thank the Governors, who in Nigeria have been a particularly distinguished group. We have one here to-day in the person of the noble Lord, Lord Milverton, and I think we should thank him for the very great work he did in Nigeria. In a sense he was the begetter of all this, since the "Richards Constitution", as it was known, was the first of the modern Constitutions.

May I just strike a comparatively small note? I am very pleased that Nigeria is to remain as a member of the Commonwealth Institute. Your Lordships may remember that on the Cyprus Bill I regretted that that was not so; but Nigeria is to remain, and I am very pleased about that, because I am a great believer in the Institute. It is, in fact, the only institution to 'which all the Commonwealth countries contribute, both annually and in special ways, in cash and in kind. We have a new and very fine and, I think, most imaginative building being put up very soon in Holland Park, and in that building Nigeria will take its rightful place.

I believe we have here a lesson which those in many parts of the world will not fail to draw: that is to say, the difference between the situation in the Congo and that in Nigeria. I am not going to make any comment on that at all, for I do not think it is for us in this House to do so—nor even for anyone in Britain. I will leave it to the words of a Nigerian in a very important position, Mr. Benson, who is the Federal Minister of Information and a highly experienced politician. In a report in the Guardian Mr. Benson was reported as saying: We have no fear that the trouble which has overwhelmed our neighbours in the Congo will be repeated in our country. As far back as 50 years ago you— that is, Britain, were helping our people to come to this country for training in law, medicine, administration, science and technology. The whole framework of democratic government has been firmly built. Britain recognised long ago that if you are going to hand over power you must ensure that those receiving it understand their responsibilities and are trained to assume them. I believe we all accept that those very wise words from Mr. Benson sum up the position very well. I particularly hope that the United States Government and other members of the United Nations, who have maintained over the years a policy of ceaseless harrying of the Colonial Powers to run out of their responsibilities for colonial peoples, irrespective of the state of advancement which those colonial peoples had achieved, will listen to those words—


Hear, hear!


—because undoubtedly, in my view, and I believe in the view of many other, more competent, observers than myself—they have been responsible for quite a lot of difficulties and trouble in Africa and elsewhere. I hope that our association with Nigeria will not be less close than it was before independence but that it will become ever closer. I believe that we in this country should do our best to afford what assistance they desire from us that it is in our power to give in economic, educational and technical fields as well as in the secondment of military, naval and police officers.

I would ask Her Majesty's Government to make a special effort to assist Nigeria in education. I know that we ourselves are terribly short of teachers but from personal observation in Nigeria I can assure the noble Earl who is to reply that their case is far worse than ours and that they need every possible help we can give. We are, of course, doing a good deal over here. There are 5,000 Nigerians studying in the United Kingdom in higher educational institutions; and a few are at school. We have had one or two Nigerians at Mill Hill for some years past and at the moment we have there as a scholar the son of the Emir of Kano; but in most cases the Nigerians here are in the higher educational institutions, not in schools.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has been mentioned, and I am particularly glad that the noble and learned Viscount, the Lord Chancellor, is to go to Nigeria for the Independence celebrations. I can assure the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, that the noble and learned Viscount will make a very impressive figure. I say this because, as he knows, I was at the Malayan Independence celebrations—"Merdeka"—at which the noble and learned Viscount attended suitable functions dressed in full-bottomed wig and in his best robes—not the ones he has on now. They were magnificent robes and I must say I gave him full marks, if I may put it colloquially, because it was jolly hot there and he must have been a little uncomfortable. At least, he looked splendid, as I am sure he will in West Africa.

I would take this opportunity of asking the noble and learned Viscount to bear one or two matters in mind—I know that he cannot reply on this to-day. I am particularly glad that the arrangement for appeal to the Privy Council has continued. That has not by any means been the case everywhere. Is it not possible for the Judicial Committee to pay even one visit to Nigeria fairly soon? I am perfectly certain that that would have a wonderful effect. I know that there has been some difficulty about robes, but here perhaps I can let your Lordships into a little secret. There has been a precedent, in that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Denning, went to Sierra Leone recently—within the last week or two—when he wore a full-bottomed wig and his Parliamentary robes, which, I am sure, made a great impression. It seems to me that that is one suggestion which could be carried out. Those noble and learned Lords are Peers—or at least most, if not all, of them—and could wear Parliamentary robes and full-bottomed wigs, which would strike awe into the hearts of the onlookers, I am sure.

That would be a very good thing. After all, the population of Nigeria is 37 million. They are staying on in the Commonwealth with us and are still to have appeals to the Privy Council; and, that being so, it would be excellent if, for once, the Privy Council could go there. Also, I believe that it is very important to have a West African Judge as a member of the Judicial Committee. I think that that would be a most important thing. Quite a number of cases now come to the Privy Council from West Africa, and I am sure that it would be of great assistance and most helpful if that could be done.

I was to have said a word about expatriate civil servants, but I gather that the noble Earl, Lord Perth, is making a statement on that subject to-day, so I will say no more on it now except to hope that there will be a generous settlement of the problem. It is most important that we do act imaginatively and generously there, because, to a large extent, even with independence, part of the framework of these territories consists of these expatriate civil servants; and anything we can do to help maintain that framework is all to the good.

May I say just one word, through the House, to Nigeria? I would urge the independent Government to do what we were not able to do when we were responsible: to cut out child slavery. Unfortunately there is still a certain amount of that in the Province of Calabar and elsewhere, and I feel that this is one thing that the independent Government of Nigeria will want to tackle in a big way. I think it should be stamped out. These little children are sold, and often before the age of puberty they have gone through three or four hands. I think it is time that that was stamped out, and I am sure they will want to do it. It will need probation officers and child welfare officers. Until recently there was only one such welfare officer in the whole of Nigeria, and when I last went there that one was about to retire, so there is a big field there for their activities. Perhaps we could help them with probation officers and child welfare officers.

Then a word on the Cameroons. This is one of the difficult problems. I think that the settlement of this case is the question mark, so far as Nigeria is concerned. The situation is that next year both the Northern and Southern Cameroons will have a plebiscite in which they will have to opt for association either with Nigeria or with the Republic of Cameroon. Those are the two choices they will have. I think it is quite possible that, for sentimental reasons, they may decide to opt for the Cameroon, although I personally think that they would be well advised to opt for Nigeria. But it is a matter for the people to decide: it is nothing to do with us and we cannot decide that. But from October I until the plebiscite in February next year, and until the arrangements are made for them to join one or the other, the United Kingdom and this Parliament will remain responsible. A battalion of our troops will go into the Cameroons, and the Nigerian troops will come out on October 1 or thereabouts, so we shall have a real civil and military responsibility for the Cameroons as from October 1 until they make up their minds and arrangements are made for them to carry on with one or other of the neighbouring countries.

I should like to ask the noble Earl—because this is vitally important—whether our information services are ready for the change. In the past they have not been so much on their toes that we can assume they are. If they are not, we shall probably find the usual charges of colonialism levelled against us from the Soviet Union and other sources, not only from our foes but from our friends. So I think it very important that the information services of the Government should put over to the world at large, and not least to other African territories, that this change is brought about by reason of the status of the Cameroons; that it is not a matter for which we wish to take the onus but is inherent because these are trust territories and our respon- sibility as the trusteeship authority. Until they decide where they are going, we shall have an expensive, onerous and, I cannot help feeling, a very troublesome charge. I think that should be made quite clear to the world at large. This is not colonialism; this is rather a difficult and expensive and troublesome charge, which we will carry out to the best of our ability, but we do not expect to have mud thrown at us while we do it. I hope that until February the Nigerian Government will do all they can to help the Cameroons, because there are sometimes slight difficulties over customs and all that sort of thing which I think, with a little tact, could be avoided: there need be no friction over things like customs duties. A lot of the trade and produce of the Cameroons has to go out through Nigeria.

I should like to express on behalf of the Peers on these Benches our gratitude for the gift of a site on the Marina, the most expensive part of Lagos, and for the contribution which the new Government are making towards our High Commissioner's residence. I think that Mr. Head's appointment is an interesting one, and I hope that he will do well there. As a former Cabinet Minister, he will not only have the authority and experience necessary, but also be able to guide anyone who comes to him for information on the very many points with which a new country invariably has to cope. I should like just to give him a word of advice, though possibly he will not need it. In my experience, the West Africans love a joke and love laughter; they are very happy people and very merry people, and anyone dealing with them should try to cultivate a warm and genial approach. We on these Benches trust that the new independent State of Nigeria will have every possible good fortune and that her relationship with the United Kingdom and with the rest of the Commonwealth will be a happy and a close one. We believe that Nigeria has a manifest destiny in the world and that she will take a leading place in Africa as a democratic and progressive State.