HL Deb 16 November 1961 vol 235 cc732-58

3.13 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, having been informed of the purport of the Tanganyika Independence Bill, has consented to place Her Majesty's prerogative and interests, so far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a second time. Once again, it is my privilege to bring to your Lordships a Bill giving independence to a Territory which has been under our care for a considerable time. This time, I think it is of especial significance because the Territory concerned is Tanganyika and it is the first of the Territories in East Africa. Tanganyika itself, as many of your Lordships know, is the largest of the East African Territories, about four times the size of the United Kingdom. It is also the most populous having some 9 million inhabitants, of whom a small part, about 150,000, are of races other than African, whether they be Asian, Arab or European. In the main, it is an agricultural country, depending on such crops as sisal, cotton and coffee, but there are large areas where agriculture is difficult because of the tsetse fly and the shortage of water. The only mineral deposits that have been discovered are diamonds and the Williamson Diamond Mines are producing an important addition to the wealth of the country.

All this does not dismay the Government of Tanganyika, who are shortly to embark on a new development programme about which I wish to talk a little more fully later. I just mention it now because it shows their determination to go forward for the wellbeing of their people; and I am sure that, despite the handicaps that I have outlined, they will be successful. I am all the more sure that they will be successful because from a business point of view conditions in Tanganyika are very favourable. The Government have always acted in a prudent and wise way and there exists that valuable thing, confidence in the country, and because of that confidence I am sure that they can rely on help coming from outside sources.

Our own responsibility for Tanganyika has been a short one, of only some 40 years. We took the country over as a mandated territory after the First World War and continued to look after its wellbeing until after the Second World War, when the United Nations came into being and it became a Trust territory. We have carried on with it as a Trust territory ever since. I am happy to say that there has been great progress during those 40 years. Of course, one can say that not enough has been done and that there is still much to do, but the progress has been remarkable. Thanks to the work of the civil servants, missionaries and others who have done so much to help, the country is provided with roads, railways, harbours, hospitals and schools. I have figures which show, for example, that in 1947 primary education was available to only some 120,000 children, whereas today it is available to 450,000 children, an increase of almost four times in the last fifteen years. I think that is a good record of progress. In regard to secondary and technical education, I know that your Lordships have been interested in the opening this autumn of a law faculty in the University College of Tanganyika at Dar-es-Salaam. Of course, if the Government of Tanganyika want more help from us on the technical side, we remain anxious and ready to give it and there is a Department of Technical Cooperation precisely for this purpose.

All this is not something on which the present Government are prepared to rest. They have worked out a new development programme for the next three years, largely based on a plan worked out by the World Bank. It is, in fact, something more ambitious than that suggested by the World Bank, and it is none the worse for that. One would expect them to do something even more. That development plan is calculated to cost £24 million, of which we have undertaken to underwrite up to £12 million, or half of the whole, and of that £12 million we are prepared to grant £8,750,000 under the old Commonwealth Development and Welfare Fund arid the balance under a new grant. Your Lordships will recall that this was all worked out in July when Mr. Julius Nyerere came to this country. The conversations were rather difficult and ran into trouble, but the final outcome, as I give it to your Lordships now, has been one which is fully satisfactory to the people of Tanganyika and I am very happy that we have been able to help their development programme in the way we have.

That is not the whole of it. We have also undertaken to make funds available for the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation and for army development, by taking over certain stores, and by agreeing that the Colonial Development Corporation can put forward funds. Most important, perhaps, of the loans that we are prepared to make to help the Tanganyika Government is one to ensure the payment of compensation and other expenses for the Overseas Civil Service. While on the point of help for Tanganyika's development programme, I should say how welcome has been the announcement made by the American and German Governments that they will play their part in making funds available for Tanganyika's development programme.

I mentioned the overseas service. Without their help Tanganyika could never have reached the stage it has now. I am sure all your Lordships would join me in the tribute one would wish to pay to that Service. When one thinks of the Overseas Service, naturally one turns to the Governor and recent Governors of the territory. As your Lordships know we have one of them here to-day in the noble Lord, Lord Twining, who served the country before the present Governor for no less than nine years; and your Lordships know of the progress that was made during that period. I recall that .the noble Lord has written a book about the Crown jewels of Europe. But it seems to me that he has a jewel in his crown in what he has done to help Tanganyika forward which is at least as bright as any of those.

Then we have the present Governor, Sir Richard Turnbull, whose tenure of office in this exciting phase of constitutional development has been everything that one could call for and expect. The proof of that, if proof were needed, is the fact that the Government of Tanganyika have asked that his name be submitted to Her Majesty The Queen as the first Governor-General of the territory. I am sure your Lordships feel with me that his well-doing and the trust that they have in him is shown by this action.

When I mention civil servants, I think it is very satisfactory that, so far, of those who are serving and who have the opportunity at a change-over like this of leaving the country, only a relatively small number, somewhere around 20 per cent., have indicated that they want to go to other fields. This shows not only that the Government and people of Tanganyika run their affairs well, but also—and I think this is important—that the arrangements we have recently made through the Overseas Services Aid Scheme have helped to ensure that these civil servants may stay and yet not suffer loss. Your Lordships know how vital it is at a moment of transition like this, until such time as the Africans are able to take over the running of their affairs, that they should have every help from those who have the experience.

This is, as I say, most satisfactory; and the main credit for it goes to the Prime Minister of Tanganyika, Mr. Julius Nyerere. No doubt many of your Lordships know him. He is a man of great wisdom and charm, very skilful in negotiation and, perhaps I should say, moderate in his presentation of his demands. The result of all that, and the peaceful way in which the country has been led to its present state, has been a natural one—namely, that one is predisposed to try to help him forward on the road that he has set. I think it is just because of the moderation and wisdom with which he has handled these affairs that we find that Tanganyika is the first of the East African territories to reach independence. Perhaps there is some moral in this, and, if there is, it may be that it will not be lost on others in the territories in that area.

Something which is perhaps as satisfactory as anything in the last years has been the real partnership between all of the races in Tanganyika. If your Lordships look at the present Government, you will find that elected Ministers and nominated Ministers are African, Asian and European. They have all pulled and worked together. It is invidious to pick out any particular names, but, having said that, I want to pay particular tribute to Sir Ernest Vasey, at present the Finance Minister of Tanganyika, and before that Finance Minister in Kenya. There is no doubt that East Africa, as a whole, and Kenya and Tanganyika, in particular, owe a great debt to him for what he has done in helping forward their economies.

I should now turn to the Bill itself, which names the day of December the 9th for Tanganyika's attainment of fully responsible status within the Commonwealth. Happily, it has been announced that Her Majesty The Queen will be represented by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the independence celebrations. I am sure your Lordships will not be surprised at the tremendously warm welcome that this news has received in Tanganyika.

I have expressed my regret that this Bill is being, as it were, speeded through the Houses of Parliament, but, as your Lordships know, this is often the way in the case of such Bills, because once the date has been fixed there is much work still to be done, and naturally the country is anxious to get on with things. There is a technical angle, in that until a Bill like this has been passed it is not possible to announce what may be the actual Constitution of the country. That is laid down by an Order in Council only after the Bill has been approved. So it is of great importance that this Bill should be passed quickly, and then be followed by the Order in Council for the Constitution; and that Constitution will, of course, be laid for information in your Lordships' House or in the Library. It is not right for me to anticipate beyond a point just what will be in that Constitution, but I can say it has been worked out in full collaboration with the Tanganyika Government, and it has been agreed to recommend a Constitution which is broadly along the lines of the Constitution that Tanganyika enjoys at the present time.

Clause 1 of the Bill is in the usual form that these things follow for territories which are about to become independent. Clause 2 deals with nationality. Here, again, the form is very similar, for example, to what was done in the case of Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Clause 3 covers certain modifications of United Kingdom enactments which are necessary in view of the fact that Tanganyika is shortly to be independent.

Clause 4 deals with the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation, and the fact that we are going to continue to provide the help which was promised to that Corporation even after the independence of the country. The Agricultural Corporation, as many of your Lordships will remember, is the successor to the groundnuts scheme of long ago. It took over the remaining parts of which use could be made, and has in fact over the years done a great service in developing not only what was left to be developed but in generally helping forward the agricultural well-being of the country. I know that the Tanganyika Government have in mind to continue so to use it. Lastly, in Clause 4. we have mention of the money under the Colonial Development and Welfare Funds which may be available. I refer to Clause 4 (3), for common services with other territories. What we have in mind there, of course, is the East Africa High Commission as it is known to-day, which, when Tanganyika becomes independent, will change its name, and certain of its functions, and become known for the future as the East African Common Services Organisation.

It is a source of great satisfaction that this body is to continue to operate and to continue to give common economic services to the East African territories for so many things which are of common interest to them all—for example, transport, communications, collection of income tax, customs and excise, and various common fields of research. The preservation of this form of economic unity, is, I think, a tremendous encouragement. The confirmation that they wanted to continue with all this came out of a conference in July, in which all the territories were present, and Zanzibar was an observer. It was a most satisfactory conference, filling one with great hope for future collaboration in that part of the world. As I need hardly say, if, looking beyond the economic side, the territories also wish to consider closer political association, the groundwork of that is laid. It is essentially something for the African territories themselves to decide, but this is a good move in the right direction, if they so wish.

It is a great pleasure for me to commend to your Lordships this Bill which will result in a new member of the Commonwealth. Tanganyika, of course, will be the youngest, but I am sure that she will prove to be one of the best. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister has heard from the Commonwealth Prime Ministers that they will be very glad to accept Tanganyika as a fellow-member of the Commonwealth as from the date of her independence—that is, December 9. This is both welcome and happy news, and I am sure that all the Commonwealth stands to benefit from her joining with them. I beg to move.

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

3.32 p.m.


My Lords, it is with great pleasure that I speak for the Opposition this afternoon in support of the Second Reading of this Bill. It is a very important occasion, because it brings to our Commonwealth circle another member of which we can certainly all be proud already, and to whose future purpose and development we look forward with eagerness and in confidence. The Bill is quite short. It is on the usual lines, and the only point about which I am not very happy is in Clause 4. I wonder whether it could not have been made a little more explicit. It seemed to me, from the rather general remarks the noble Earl made about what aids would be available to Tanganyika in certain circumstances, that it might be that you were going to do a little better for them than you used to do when independence came to what had been previously looked upon as either a colonial, or akin to a colonial territory.

The noble Earl spoke with pleasure—I do not disagree with that—of the continued promise of help from America and Germany. I notice that in some of its Common Market propaganda Germany speaks very strongly of the great amount of aid it has lent abroad already in spite of the handicaps that it has had following the war. I hope that we shall not be in any way behind such a territory as Germany in giving all the assistance we possibly can to such territories. I think that is fundamentally important.

I do not wish to comment in detail upon the rest of the Bill, except to say a few things about the territory and about the prospects of the independent Government that will be taking over in such a very short space of time on December 9. May I say that we are all grateful for the very prompt response from the other countries of the Commonwealth for this unanimous agreement of admitting Tanganyika at once, next month, into the Commonwealth of Nations. Of course, one is particularly impressed, as one moves from phase to phase of the various developments which have taken place in modern years in building up the numbers of members of the Commonwealth, at the different sets of circumstances, the different difficulties that one encounters economically, the very great difference, sometimes, in temperament and in educational preparation for these developments. And whilst I have always been exceedingly glad to get an agreement on independence and, in practically all cases, continuing membership of the Commonwealth, there are circumstances about Tanganyika which are particularly encouraging, and not the least is the circumstance with regard to the preparation for it.

I support entirely what the noble Earl said about the wonderful service given by the noble Lord, Lord Twining, and I am quite sure the whole House appreciates the reference that was made by the Minister for the Colonial Office about Lord Twining. He might agree with me that, after my lifetime of service in the Co-operative Movement, I am particularly proud of the development of co-operation in Tanganyika. Sometimes we get quite fantastic remarks and even broad smiles about the Co-operative Movement, but it is the original scheme for its development. Here it stemmed, from William King, in Brighton, perhaps, and Robert Owen.

It is a very great and independent movement in this country to-day, both productive, distributive and financially, and with its own educational system. I am quite proud of the fact that Mr. Kahama, Minister for Home Affairs, was able to get a very substantial part of his education at the Co-operative College at Loughborough in this country, and was able to take qualifications as a member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries. And I look at the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperative Development, in Tanganyika, at Mr. Paul Bomani, who was educated at Loughborough College and who has had great experience as the general manager of the Victoria Co-operative Union. I think the work that they have already been proved to have done is first class and will be a big factor in the general development of that territory.

The other matter which strikes me is the remarkable way in which native personnel has been available for the high offices in this new country. One wonders from the rather scanty official reports given of even the services rendered by Mr. Nyerere in the last few years, how these persons can have acquired the qualifications, experience and ability which they have now so obviously displayed in Tanganyika. Its Prime Minister is only 38 years of age to-day. He took his final degree at Edinburgh University, and although only 38 has already been in office for a long time in Tanganyika. I should like to pay a great personal tribute to him for the manner in which, at the various stages of the negotiations—on one or two points I think there was a little difficulty—as the noble Earl has said, he nevertheless emerged very satisfactorily in the end.

I am hopeful that not only will they be able to develop on the agricultural lines which have been so often referred to—some of their products now are becoming very well established in the food sense—but that they will also find and develop other resources in this very great country and be fully contributing to the general trade of the world and, I hope particularly, to the prosperity of the nations within our Commonwealth.

One is anxious always, of course, in these territories where there are sudden changes in climatic conditions and such an experience as they have been going through in the last few months from famine. One thing I seem to have missed from the speech of the noble Earl was any reference to the famine which they have been experiencing there and to whether we were doing something to help them. I wonder whether the noble Earl could tell us what are the latest reports in an official sense with regard to that situation. When we learn of the total amount which is going to be spent on the three-year plan of development it sounds very good, and I think that maybe you are underwriting half of that, which will probably become about two-thirds ultimately, in the form of a grant. But immediate suffering among the population from famine, even before they get their independence next month, should mean that we should have been offering something by way of direct assistance already and would continue it as long as was absolutely necessary. Perhaps on these matters the noble Earl would give us some further information, and we hope it will he very good information.

The other thing which I should like to stress is this. I would refer to some of the educational experiences of the leaders in the Government there. I think that the references of the noble Earl to the way in which various educational services have been developed so far and what the hopes were in regard to higher education are very promising and in all these matters I feel sure that the new Government in its state of independence may feel quite certain that the citizens of this country will welcome good news of every part of their present and their hoped for planned developments on these lines, and we pray God's blessing may rest upon them.

3.45 p.m.


My Lords, as the only representative of your Lordships' House at the Arusha Conference in Tanganyika last September I feel, as I believe the noble Earl, Lord Perth, feels with me, that this is a suitable moment to say "thank you", for we were all guests of the Tanganyika Government and this Conference was promoted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It included all the African countries south of the Sahara, representatives from the Congo, from South Africa. Nigeria and elsewhere. There were also representatives of international bodies and the guests from Great Britain included such well- known names as Sir Julian Huxley, Professor Pearsall, Dr. Worthington and Dr. Fraser Darling. Furthermore, as the African countries sent their own Ministers it was thought desirable to have zoological and biological students there as well, and therefore we arranged fourteen fellowships for young Africans from Cambridge and from various parts of Africa and I cannot tell you how welcome they were and of the wonderful contributions they made to the Conference.

This Conference opened with an hour's address by His Excellency the Governor on the conservation programme and difficulties in Tanganyika. We believe that certain satisfactory conclusions and programmes were drawn up. The organisation and hospitality of the Tanganyika Government were beyond reproach. There were about 260 delegates and I should like, with your Lordships' permission, to read their proclamation signed by their Prime Minister, the Minister for Legal Affairs, and, a new appointment, the Minister for Lands, Forests and Wild Life, of the Tanganyika Government: The survival of our wild life is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and of our future livelihood and wellbeing. In accepting the trusteeship of our wild life we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children's grandchildren will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance. The conservation of wild life and wild places calls for specialist knowledge, trained manpower and money, and we look to other nations to co-operate in this important task, the success or failure of which affects not only the Continent of Africa but the rest of the world as well. That, my Lords, I believe is right. And I believe I speak on behalf of the delegates of that Conference in wishing Tanganyika, that beautiful country, the great future it deserves.

3.47 p.m.


My Lords, this Bill is the latest of a series which have come before your Lordships' House giving Parliamentary approval for the granting of independence to a territory which has been under the administration of the Colonial Office. If I may intrude a personal note for a moment, may I express my gratitude to the noble Earl and to the noble Viscount for the kind things which they said about me which I listened to with embarrassment. Mine was a comparatively easy task compared with a Colonial Governor's today. I was expected only to pursue the consistent policy which had been laid down and endorsed by a succession of Colonial Secretaries. I saw the other day that I was described as the last of the paternal Governors. Well, I am sufficiently old-fashioned not to mind being paternal, although I recognise that the worst feature of it that one is inclined to overlook is the fact that one's children are growing up.

Behind the dry and prosaic language of the Bill is a measure which is going to affect directly the lives of over 9 million people and which can well exert a powerful influence on the course of events in the territories lying to the north and south of Tanganyika. Tanganyika is one of the younger Colonial territories as it has been under British administration for a period of only 42 years. There has in the past been a tendency for its neighbours to look upon it as a poor relation—a large, sprawling and backward country. The achieving of its independence is a reminder to them of the lesson to be learnt from the fable of the tortoise and the hare. But Tanganyika has set an example which can be regarded as a vindication of enlightened British Colonial policy.

In looking back over these years we find three outstanding landmarks. First, the Governorship of Sir Donald Cameron. He was a great Colonial Governor; a far-sighted man and one who had genuine sympathy for the native population for whom he was responsible. Cameron foresaw that Tanganyika would ultimately gain its independence as a predominantly African State. He resisted all kinds of pressures both from within and from without which, if they had succeeded in their aims, would have prevented or at least delayed this goal from being reached. He recognised that although the African population would always out-number those of other races who had made their homes there, it was of vital importance that both Europeans and Asians should be given full opportunity to play their part in the progress and development of the country.

It was he who established the harmonious race relations for which Tanganyika has become celebrated. He saw that each race had its role to play, and that to do so there must be a relationship between them that was friendly and co-operative with a natural understanding that would enable them to work together. His successors have been given the credit for the results, but it must be said that it is more difficult to introduce and firmly establish such a policy than to sustain it. Tanganyika owes a lot to Sir Donald Cameron, and it is not surprising that his name is remembered by the people with affection and gratitude.

The second landmark was in 1946 when His Majesty's Government agreed to Tanganyika's becoming a Trust territory under the United Nations Charter with the United Kingdom as the administrating Power. It was written into the trustee agreement that the aim was to bring the territory to the point where it could be granted independence, thus setting a formal seal on a policy which in fact was already being pursued. The succeeding years can best be described as the years of preparation. With generous assistance from His Majesty's Government, and with a consistent policy pursued by Colonial Secretaries from both the Labour and Conservative Parties, great progress was made. This can be illustrated by the fact that in the space of a decade imports and exports and Government revenue increased three-fold, while equally impressive progress was made in education and the other social services.

As the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, has said, the co-operative movement gained impetus and has played a very important part in the economy of the country. It was noteworthy, too, that political, economic and social progress was kept in balance. These results could not have been achieved had it not been for the attitude and the response of the people of Tanganyika of all races, who showed an eagerness to take advantage of every opportunity offered, and also devoted and dedicated work of the Civil Service.

The third landmark was when the present Governor, Sir Richard Turnbull, was able to announce in 1959, some time after the first elections had been held, that the way was clear to the granting of internal self-government to be followed as soon as possible by independence. There were many people at the time who thought that the pace was too fast, but I am quite sure that the decision was a wise and courageous one and that to have tried to go at a slower pace would have jeopardised the good will that existed and would have led to difficulties, if not to disaster.

So in the space of 42 years we have achieved our target and Tanganyika is gaining its independence peacefully and without the recriminations and troubles which have unfortunately been experienced in some other Colonial territories. A great deal of the credit for this satisfactory situation must be given to Mr. Julius Nyerere, who is the undisputed national leader. He is a good Christian, a man of high principles and strong convictions, who has shown himself not only to be an outstanding political leader but also to be a statesman. One of his achievements has been to preserve the tribal system, which is still strong in Tanganyika and which means so much to the ordinary African in his day-to-day life. But he has done this without allowing it to become a power in national politics. A lesser man could not have recognised the part still to be played in the life and prosperity of the country by non-Africans.

He has had the courage publicly to announce and reassure Europeans and Asians that their land titles will be respected and that their position will be secure. A characteristic act was for him to write a personal letter to the British administrative officers asking them to stay on and help with the tasks which Tanganyika has to face. While he is a passionate nationalist, he is prepared to subordinate Tanganyika to being an equal partner in the greater conception of a Federation of East Africa, which would include other, neighbouring territories. We must not necessarily expect him slavishly to follow the Westminster model, because that is not what the people want; they want to develop their own parliamentary institutions suitable for their own circumstances. We must watch this with sympathy and not with condemnation.

My Lords, Tanganyika is going to need a great deal of assistance both in money and in technical staff during the next few years, and it is satisfactory to note that Her Majesty's Government, despite the present economic difficulties at home, have agreed to give generous assistance towards the carrying out of its new three-year development plan. I hope Tanganyika will continue to receive its fair share of any further aid that can be made available from this country. On January 9 Tanganyika will enter upon a new chapter of its history as a sovereign State, and it is gratifying to know that she has applied for membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations. All of us who know the country and its people will wish them well, and I am sure that they will receive the good wishes of your Lordships' House.

3.58 p.m.


My Lords, as one of the old Secretaries of State who initiated, or at any rate followed on with, the policy which the noble Lord, Lord Twining, has spoken of, and who fully appreciated Cameron as a Governor, indeed promoted him to an even higher governorship, I should like to add my congratulations and good wishes. Under the sympathetic guidance of Lord Twining and his successor, and under the steady leadership of Mr. Julius Nyerere, this ship of state has sailed smoothly into the haven of independence. When someone once said to George II that General Wolfe was mad the King answered, "Then I wish he would bite some of the other generals". It might be a happy accident if Mr. Nyerere could infect some other African leaders with his qualities of wisdom and tolerance and understanding. We all wish the new State well.

I should like to associate myself with what the noble Viscount, the Leader of the Opposition, said: it is an unfortunate thing that just as Tanganyika attains independence it does so under the shadow of famine in at least one of its provinces, and I am sure the Government, who are so very generous, and wisely generous, in the financial help which, in co-operation with the World Bank, they are going to give to the new State, will not hesitate to give as a dowry, now or in advance of the marriage of Tanganyika as a full member of the Commonwealth, help to deal with the famine.

I am sure that under Mr. Nyerere we can be certain that the administration will be wise. It is good, also, to note that the common services which have been very useful indeed, in fact indispensable, in the East African territories—communications, customs and the like—will go on under a co-operative undertaking which has been freely and willingly negotiated. It may be that some day in the future that co-operation will extend into wider fields and we may see a Federation of East Africa come into being. That is the kind of thing that cannot be rushed and cannot come artificially, but it is good to think that at any rate in the Prime Minister of Tanganyika there will be a man statesmanlike and wise in timing and quick to seize opportunities.

I was delighted to hear Lord Twining say what he did about Mr. Nyerere's development of the tribal system and that it may be—indeed, I trust it will be—that in Tanganyika they will develop their own constitutional system. It is not necessarily a wise thing to try to export into African States in its entirety and with every particular the Westminster model. It is easy to give a Constitution; but Constitutions work only if the people have the characteristics which enable those Constitutions to be successful. Certainly the Westminster model depends for its operation on qualities which are second nature to ourselves, and not the least of which is tolerance and freedom of speech, and the independence of Parties. If Tanganyika develops on its own lines, so much the better. But under the training that it has had, and under the leaderships which, in independence, it will now enjoy, we can give it not only our good wishes but all our confidence that it will be successful in the future.

4.2 p.m.


My Lords, in rising to make a brief contribution to this debate, I do not propose to go into any detail about what has already been better said; but I thought that as an old member of the Colonial Service I should like to take this opportunity of congratulating Lord Twining upon the achievement the foundation for which was laid by his nine or ten years of able and successful governorship, in which, I may add, he was noticeably assisted by Lady Twining, who did such wonderful work in the important realm of women's welfare in that country. The coping stone of this work has been ably laid by Lord Twining's successor, Sir Richard Turnbull, the present Governor, who has recently had that mark of appreciation from Mr. Nyerere of being recommended by him, or asked for by him, as the first Governor-General of the independent State.

Of the Prime Minister, Mr. Julius Nyerere, one can say, with support from everyone, that Tanganyika is fortunate to have at the helm an African of such outstanding ability, of such courage, integrity and optimism. He faces a heavy burden—do not let us forget that—of responsibility in which he is supported by the invaluable financial advice of Sir Ernest Vasey. It is good news that the activities of the East Africa High Commission are to be preserved in the form of the African Common Services Organisation. It will perhaps serve as a focus for wider economic and political integration, and will give it time to develop.

I am aware of the dreams of federation with neighbouring territories, but I suggest that all these territories have urgent internal problems to settle first—problems which increased size might only magnify. It seems to me that in that relation the motto "More haste, less speed" would be a good one to remember. The size of Tanganyika is comparable with that of Nigeria, and it has about one-quarter of Nigeria's population; much of Tanganyika is largely undeveloped, and faces in acute form the problems of famine, health and disease, and poverty. In the administrative, educational and financial spheres, difficulties loom largely and must be fairly recognised.

Mr. Nyerere carries with him, I am sure, our warmest good wishes and a willingness to give all possible help. After all, independence, per se, is only a name; it means uninhibited freedom to face the practical difficulties of life alone. The responsibilities of life begin at that period. Indeed, independence is only a beginning and not an end. There has been a perilously short time between the internal self-government and independence. I was talking the other day to one of the Nigerian Ministers, who said to me that, in his view, in Nigeria the period between internal self-government and full independence had been just about right—not too fast and not too slow. In his country the time of specific preparation for independence was about ten years, and in economic development and in the presence of capable leaders and trained personnel, for various reasons arising from her circumstances of the past, Nigeria was far better equipped than most other countries have been.

The noble Earl, Lord Perth, said how much financial assistance would be given to this newly independent territory. But I suggest that there is one thing that even money cannot buy or produce in too short a time, and that is personnel. I mention this point not in any spirit of depreciation, but, on the contrary, to enhance the appreciation of Mr. Nyerere, and to give added value to our hope that he will succeed in bringing progress and prosperity to his people. We wish him well in his onerous and honourable task. But, in the middle of all these good wishes, do not let us forget the immensity of the task which faces him. Inevitably, when a country becomes independent, as in this case, the leader is subjected to great pressure to Africanise key positions in the country. That, of course, is a natural and a good thing, if there are Africans available and able to do the work. That is why I stressed the point that the educational period in preparation for independence has been, in this case, rather short to provide adequate personnel who are trained and experienced leaders. As I have said, we wish Mr. Nyerere very possible success. If any man in Africa can succeed in this task, I feel that he can.

4.10 p.m.


My Lords, my noble friend Lord Willingdon has asked me to express to your Lordships, and in particular to my noble friend the Minister of State, his regret that he is unable to remain to the end of this debate owing to a long-standing engagement. My Lords, I should like this afternoon to welcome this Bill, and to add my good wishes to those which have been expressed on all sides by noble Lords, to the Government and the people of Tanganyika on their impending independence. It has often been remarked, and has been said again here this afternoon, quite rightly, that Tanganyika is an outstanding example of orderly progress from Colonial status to full independence. For this, we have to thank a number of factors. I suppose some people might argue that the position of Tanganyika, first as mandated Territory under the League of Nations and, secondly, as a Trust Territory under the United Nations, has put her at an advantage. Although I would be the last to minimise the part which the United Nations and, in particular, the Trusteeship Council and the Fourth Committee have played in furthering the constitutional progress of Tanganyika, I would doubt whether this is really an important factor.

In the first place, I think I would give the credit to the Tanganyika people themselves. They are a happy people; they get on well with one another; and although, of course, there are many tribes, tribal rivalries have been conspicuously absent. Further—and this is most important—they are mainly all of one race, the Bantu race. This is, of course, in striking contrast with the neighbouring Colony of Kenya where there are Bantu tribes, Nilotic tribes, Hamitic tribes, Somalis and others. In the second place, I would observe that, as has been said before, Tanganyika has been remarkably lucky in having a very distinguished series of Colonial Governors, going right back to Sir Donald Cameron.

If I may say so, it has been particularly fortunate, as has been said by other noble Lords, in its last two Governors who had to cover this most critical period—these two oustanding men, my noble friend Lord Twining, and the present Governor, Sir Richard Turnbull. Lord Twining's work of nearly nine years requires no commendation fom me. We are very fortunate indeed to have him here and to have his notable contributions to our debates on Colonial affairs. The present Governor, through his personal relationship with Mr. Julius Nyerere, has also played a most outstanding part. I think it is safe to say that without his wise guidance and understanding the orderly advance of Tanganyika to independence could certainly not have been so easily achieved, and we are all delighted that he is now going to continue his work in a different rôle.

Thirdly, of course, there is the personality of Mr. Nyerere himself, to whom many references have been made this afternoon. He is an oustanding leader with broad ideas and remarkable vision. I feel quite certain, my Lords, that the fact that he is a devoutly religious man has played an important part in enabling him to deal with these many problems that he has had to face, and in particular to reconcile the varying interests of the different races in Tanganyika. I have no doubt that he will find the need for all his great qualities in facing the future under independence. Economic difficulties, personal political rivalries, and many other problems are bound to arise to test his judgment, his skill and his courage. But I feel sure that what we have learnt of Mr. Nyerere in the past will lead us all to believe that he will succeed in his task, and I know that he will have the good wishes and support of Members of this House in so doing.

Lastly, my Lords, I should like to refer to the work of the Civil Service in Tanganyika which has done so much to contribute to the development of the country and to good will among the different races. When I was out in the Territory about a year ago, it was estimated that only some 30 per cent. of the expatriate British civil servants would stay on after independence, and I was very happy to learn this afternoon from my noble friend that this figure is now expected to be as high as 80 per cent. It is a remarkable tribute to the confidence which expatriate members of the Civil Service have in Mr. Nyerere's leadership. It is also I think a tribute to the Overseas Services Aid Scheme, to which reference was made by my noble friend. At the same time, my Lords, it seems to me a little ironic that we should now be asked at the Security Council to support the United Nations in chasing out the remaining Belgian civilian advisers in Katanga, who did so much for Katanga and for the rest of the Congo.

My Lords, I noticed that when this Bill was having its Second Reading in another place a Member of the Opposition chose to taunt the Conservative Party for not having learnt the lessons of Tanganyika, and suggested that the present happy situation there was the result of implementing the policy of "one man, one vote". He used this as an argument for abandoning what he described as "fancy franchises" for delaying constitutional advance, the impli- cation being that no such "fancy franchise" had ever existed in Tanganyika. Now that, of course, was by no means the case. Under the Constitutions of April, 1955, and again of December, 1957, there was separate representation for the three main races, and each voter was called upon to vote for three candidates. Moreover, the franchise was, of course, qualitative. This happened to be the system which worked well in Tanganyika. That does not mean that it would be effective in other Territories with quite different and far more complicated problems. But it was, if you like it, a "fancy franchise" which had to be gone through before the system of "one man, one vote" could work.

My Lords, I noticed that this Bill contains one feature that is not to be found in previous Independence Bills which have been brought before this House. This is the provision in Clause 4 (3) under which financial assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act is to be continued after the independence of Tanganyika in the case of the common services which are shared with Kenya and Uganda. This is, of course, as my noble friend, has said, a result of the successful Conference at Lancaster House last June, whereby these services—after the independence of Tanganyika and until the independence of the other two Territories is attained—are to be administered by the new East Africa Common Services Organisation, which will come into force after the independence of Tanganyika. As I think has been said before, we all hope that this common administration will form the basis for a future Federation of East Africa. In the meantime, it is certainly very satisfactory that Tanganyika will continue to enjoy financial assistance from the United Kingdom, in regard to the very large field of services which are included under the common services.

From a reply which my honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies gave in another place on the Committee stage of this Bill, I understand that there is another exceptional arrangement, although it does not figure in the Bill, which will provide for new development by the Colonial Development Corporation in Tanganyika after independence. The amount involved is not large, only about £750,000, but the provision for new investment in Tanganyika by the C.D.C. after independence appears to me to be a first breach in the policy of precluding the C.D.C. from embarking on new projects in a Colonial territory once it has attained its independence. This is something which many of us have for some time been advocating without any success on both sides of the House. It is good news that this advance has now been made, and I hope that it means that the Government are seriously considering a revision of their previous policy, so that a reconstituted Colonial Development Corporation, possibly under the name of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, will be enabled not only to continue existing projects in the newly independent territories, but to embark on further activities. As I have said before in this House, my Lords, the C.D.C. is something which the political leaders of the emergent territories know, which they understand, which carries no strings with it and which will, therefore, not be misrepresented by external critics as neo-Colonialism.

In conclusion, my Lords, I should like to add one word to what has been said by other noble Lords, about the need for Her Majesty's Government to make some special contribution to Tanganyika—perhaps in the form of a birth-clay present or, as my noble friend said, a dowry on the occasion of her independence—to help with the tragic famine with which she is confronted. Much has already been done by the United States Government in providing gifts of food, but the great difficulty, as I understand it, is one of distribution. That is what is going to cost money—altogether, I believe, between £1 million and £2 million. It seems unfair that the newly-independent Tanganyikan Government should be saddled with this additional burden to be paid out of the funds which we have already allocated. I would ask my noble friend if, when he replies to this debate, he cannot give us some hope that the Government will be willing to make available a substantial sum—I should like to see not less than £1 million—to be offered immediately to the Government of Tanganyika for the purposes of famine relief. Finally, my Lords, I welcome this Bill, and I welcome the opportunity which it gives in this House to send to the Prime Minister, to the Government and to all the people of Tanganyika, on this great occasion of their independence, a warm message of affection and good wishes for the future.

4.21 p.m.


My Lords, I had not intended to intervene in this debate, but I must rise to say three sentences in support of the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, of the noble Earl, Lord Swinton, and of my noble Leader in connection with the existing famine in Tanganyika. It seemed to me that the speech of the noble Earl (if he will forgive me for being critical) was lacking in reality, having no reference to the prevailing conditions. Indeed, that it has not been mentioned more in your Lordships' House seems to me to be evidence that your Lordships are inadequately informed as to the severity of the famine in Tanganyika at this moment. The conditions are such that thousands of people are being kept alive, and barely alive, only by the generosity of the United States Government. Generous subscriptions have been sent from this country, but the situation is such that no private endeavour can possibly deal with it. I hope that Her Majesty's Government will see their way clear—will see it, indeed, as their duty—to send substantial aid to these people at the time when they are gaining their independence.

May I just add one word about the Prime Minister of Tanganyika? I have the honour to have the acquaintance of Mr. Nyerere, and, like everybody else who has that honour, I regard it not only as an honour but as a pleasure. He is one for whom one can have both a public admiration and a private affection. I think the people of Tanganyika—and here I would disagree with the noble Earl, Lord Swinton, because I think that independence is not an arriving in harbour but rather a setting out upon oceans—in setting out upon their travels, are fortunate in their pilot.


My Lords, I would apologise for not being in my place earlier during this debate, but from these Benches I should like to extend a welcome to this Bill and to send our very good wishes to those concerned. I hope it will be borne in mind that there are special dangers in that district at the moment, geographical and physical and I hope that the people of Tanganyika will survive them, with prosperity and happiness.

4.23 p.m.


My Lords, all your Lordships who have spoken in this debate on the Second Reading of this Bill have not only welcomed it but have paid tribute to the people of Tanganyika and, in particular, to its Prime Minister, Mr. Julius Nyerere—and that, I am sure, is in no way a surprise. May I try to deal with one or two points which have been raised by noble Lords? Perhaps first and foremost I should touch upon this question of the tragic famine which the country is suffering at the present time—as, indeed, is her neighbour, Kenya. Now not only have the noble Viscount, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, the noble Earl, Lord Swinton, and the noble Lords, Lord Colyton, Lord Faringdon and Lord Rea, all touched upon it, but, of course, it is something which is of great concern to us all. But let us see what the exact problem is.

The exact problem, so far as Tanganyika is concerned, is not one of, for example, foodstuffs. Largely thanks to the generosity of the United States of America, there is a sufficiency of foodstuffs at the moment. But the problem is the distribution of these foodstuffs—getting them to the right place. That, of course, is both expensive and difficult. On this question of distribution, it has been estimated that the total cost may be anything up to, I think, £1 million. Again, what does this mean? It means that if this is the sort of amount which is needed both for distribution purposes and for relief measures in general, that amount of money will not be available to the Tanganyika Government for the development programme or for other purposes over the next years. My Lords, as I have already indicated, we have underwritten no less than a half of that programme, and of that underwriting very nearly £9 million has been in grant. I think, therefore, that we must recognise that, in a sense, our help has been what it has, whether it has been in cash as opposed to in kind; and that it is difficult for Her Majesty's Government, under these present conditions, about which we all know, to consider anything further when we have done so much and when, if I may put it in this way, the money is already there.

I know that a Parliamentary delegation have come to my right honourable friend and have put forward their case, and that will shortly be answered by my right honourable friend; but I think it is important to give this additional background. Having said that, I would add that, as your Lordships know, there is also, of course—and this is most important—an appeal to private individuals and others to provide funds, and perhaps other things also, for the help of those suffering because of this disaster. I feel sure that the response to that will be both generous and ready. I have tried to put forward clearly just what is the position in regard to it, and now, if I may, I will turn to one or two other points that have been raised.

The noble Lord, Lord Twining, and the noble Earl, Lord Swinton, both touched on the fact that in Tanganyika, perhaps—as, indeed, in certain other African territories—the Westminster model of Parliament may be adapted to their own requirements and their own spirit. I would certainly say that that seems to me to be an eminently likely and, indeed, reasonable course, provided that two things are remembered in the adaptation. One is that the judiciary must remain independent, and the other is that the rights of the individual and his freedom are safeguarded. So long as those things (which I believe are well known and deeply engraved on the hearts of the Tanganyika Government) are sustained, any variation is not something which should cause us concern.

The noble Lord, Lord Milverton, touched on the great importance, quite apart from money, of personnel. Of course, this is both right and essential. We have always had that in mind, as I outlined when I spoke earlier. It gives great satisfaction to know that so many of the existing overseas civil servants are ready to stay if wanted during the difficult period of transition. Again, I would recall that we have our Department of Technical Co-operation, ready to give what help may be needed if asked on that side, which is, of course, of such importance to the future of the country. The noble Lord, Lord Colyton, touched on the Colonial Development Corporation. I would not want him to read too much into what may have been given as a reply, in the sense that some new policy has been initiated by a back door—because, of course, we do not do that. If we are going to bring in something new, we will do it more directly. What has happened is that we have said, in regard to Tanganyika, that the same sort of pattern may be followed as has been followed in several other of the independent territories. I recall particularly Nigeria and, recently, Sierra Leone, where there has been a development corporation formed just before the country's independence. We have agreed that a considerable sum of money shall be made available from this country for the development corporation, which quite clearly will not in fact be spent until after the country has become independent. I have touched upon that because I would not want there to be any misunderstanding or thought that in some way something quite new was afoot. I very much remember the debate of last summer in your Lordships' House on the Colonial Development Corporation, and studying the points that were raised at that time.

My Lords, in conclusion, I think I would recall what the Prime Minister, Mr. Julius Nyerere, said at the end of the March conference at Dar-es-Salaam, which settled the first date of independence for Tanganyika. I say the first date "because your Lordships will recall that at that time it was to be December 28 or 29, and subsequently it was put forward to an earlier date, because the former date was so awkward from many people's points of view. He said at that time: We will make nothing of Tanganyika, and we will set no example to the world, unless it be by the renewed efforts of hard work of ourselves and of kindness towards others. A Prime Minister who at a moment of celebration and jubilation can say those things, not only about the hard work of his people but about kindness towards others, gives us, I feel, ground for confidence not only in him but in his people. I would say that, for our part, we, will continue to do all that is asked of us to try to help them in their going forward. The real tribute is to them. We can be proud of the part we have played, and of the part our Governors and our civil servants have played, in helping the country forward over these last 40 years, whether it has been as a mandate or as a Trust. But, in the last analysis, our success is the success of the inhabitants and the people of that country, and I know that I speak for all your Lordships when I wish them good fortune and happiness.


Hear, hear!

On Question, Bill read 2a Committee negatived.