§ 3.17 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
EARL ST. ALDWYN
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 Jamaica Independence Bill, has consented to place Her Majesty's prerogative and interest, so far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. I should like to thank the Opposition for their co-operation in rearranging 1346 the timetable for this Bill, so that it may pass through this House earlier than was originally planned. This change of timetable will enable the Government of Jamaica to complete, by the actual date of Independence on August 6, certain constitutional arrangements which it wishes to make immediately after the inception of the independence Constitution. In particular, there is the question of setting up the Judicial Service Commission, the appointment of the President and other Judges of the new Court of Appeal, and of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, due to his attendance as legal adviser to the Kingdom of Toro at the Uganda Independence Conference, was not, I understand, fully acquainted with this change of plan, and for this reason he is unable to intervene to-day. I say this only because it has almost become the tradition that the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, should intervene on occasions such as these.
Jamaica, as your Lordships know, is the largest of the British West Indian Islands and will be, by a short head, the first to become independent. When Jamaica first passed under the British Crown over 300 years ago it was virtually an unknown island, with a population of a little over 3,000 people. Today its population is approaching 2 million. Since the war Jamaica has seen great social and economic changes. Industrialisation has got under way, and in addition to her basic products of coffee, sugar, bananas and tobacco Jamaica has become the world's largest exporter of bauxite. In the constitutional field, progress in recent years has been rapid, and since 1959 Jamaica has enjoyed full internal self-government.
Your Lordships will, I feel sure, agree with me that this is a fitting occasion to record gratitude for the devoted service of civil servants who have contributed so much over the years. The present Civil Service is almost entirely Jamaican and is of a very high quality. Jamaica is also fortunate in having distinguished political leaders, among whom the names of Sir Alexander Bustamante and Mr. Manley are so particularly well known. Jamaica will therefore start her career as an independent nation with considerable political and economic advantages. There are, 1347 however, many problems with which she will have to contend; and the most serious of these is unemployment.
Your Lordships will remember that the Jamaican Independence Conference last February was particularly successful, and this, I think, demonstrated the political maturity of the country and of its leaders. Before the Conference, the two main Parties had reached a very wide measure of accord among themselves, and this enabled us to proceed quickly to complete agreement here in London. The satisfaction at the success of the Conference was very much heightened when it was announced that Her Majesty The Queen would be represented at the Independence Ceremonies by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, accompanied by Lord Snowdon. Princess Margaret, as noble Lords will know, is known and well-loved in Jamaica and her presence as the representative of The Queen will give great joy.
My Lords, the Bill is in the same form as a number of Independence Bills which have been before your Lordships' House in recent years. This Bill, like its predecessors, is a brief one. Clause 1 provides for fully responsible status for Jamaica. Clause 2 deals with the citizenship question, on the lines already embodied in several previous Independence Bills. Clause 3 provides for consequential modifications to various United Kingdom enactments. I think, my Lords, that all these clauses are straightforward, as also is Clause 4, which gives the delimitation of the country of Jamaica.
Here, my Lords, I should like to draw your attention to a consequence of Jamaican independence which will affect the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. These islands have been linked with Jamaica for nearly 100 years, and on Jamaica's impending independence we asked them what they wished their future status to be. In both cases, after considerable public debate, they asked to remain Colonies of the British Crown; and to this we have agreed. Although their constitutional links with Jamaica will, in fact, be severed after August 6, there is every reason to believe that the Government 1348 of Jamaica will continue their generous help to these Islands. Clause 5 is the short title.
My Lords, it is a great pleasure for me to commend to your Lordships this Bill. I am sure that noble Lords in all parts of this House will join with me in wishing the leaders and people of Jamaica success and prosperity for their country, and in welcoming their desire to remain within the Commonwealth. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Marquess of Lansdowne.)
§ 3.24 p.m.
§ LORD WALSTON
My Lords, it is becoming increasingly frequent, I am happy to say, for Bills of this kind to be placed before your Lordships. It is undoubtedly an indication of the way things are moving, and the way things should be moving, and we on this side of the House certainly give this Bill, and all that it implies, a very warm welcome. There are, perhaps, some rather special reasons for looking with pleasure on this Bill. Not only is Jamaica one of our oldest Colonies; it is, I believe I am right in saying, the oldest Colony so far to achieve its independence—or, perhaps I should say, to achieve its independence in this highly desirable manner. Of course, we had other Colonies on the other side of the Atlantic, which achieved their independence in a somewhat different manner, but on this occasion there is no feeling of recrimination, and there has been nothing other than a certain amount of bargaining round the table before this decision has been arrived at.
As the noble Marquess has said, Jamaica has been a Colony for close on 300 years, and I think that we are entitled to look back on those 300 years with a certain amount of pride, not undiluted with shame. But we have achieved some good things in Jamaica, or have helped the Jamaicans to achieve them. Some of the things of which we could be proudest, I think, are the pleasant, very good relations which exist between Jamaica and ourselves; the fine democratic Government, to which the noble Marquess has referred, which exists there at the present time; the admirable statesmen, on both sides, who 1349 are to be found there; and the very considerable degree of economic advancement that has taken place, particularly in the last fifteen or twenty years.
However, at the same time, there are some things which we should regret, which we do regret. Regarding the immediate past, I think on all sides of the House we regret that it is Jamaica alone that is receiving independence. How much better it would have been if the whole of the Federation of the West Indies were the subject of this Bill that is before us to-day! While not wishing to call up the unsavoury past, I think we should remember, when dealing with this island and this area, some of the less good things which have happened there while it has been a responsibility of this country: the exploitation which took place there; the wealth which was produced in those islands, in Jamaica in particular, and which was not allowed to remain there but came over to this country, where it was spent instead of being used and reinvested there; and, of course, the slavery which for so long was the basis of the economy of Jamaica. My Lords, I am mentioning these things not simply for the sake of recrimination, but because I think it puts these matters into proportion, which we should bear in mind when we are thinking of the future.
Before turning very briefly to the future, I would ask the noble Marquess three specific questions concerning this new constitution. In the White Paper Report of the Jamaican Independence Conference, mention is made, in I think paragraph 49, ofcompensation for certain categories of public officers".We assume, I hope rightly, that there has been some satisfactory arrangement arrived at as to how those officers are to be compensated; that they will not be left in the lurch, as has happened, as your Lordships well know, on certain other occasions when former Colonies have been granted their independence. There is also reference to the common services, which are of such importance not only to Jamaica but to the rest of the islands; and perhaps the noble Marquess can tell us what progress has been made in ensuring that these common services are, in fact, carried on. In particular, I would refer to the University 1350 of the West Indies, so much of which is in Jamaica itself.
Finally, there is the matter of the Constitution itself. I do not know what is the usual custom in these matters, but it seems to me, without unduly cavilling about it, that we are to-day being asked to approve a Bill to give independence to Jamaica, without, in fact, knowing what the new Constitution is going to be. We have an outline of that Constitution in the White Paper, an outline with which we all agree, but I should have thought it would have been a good deal more satisfactory if, before we gave our final approval to this very important Bill, we were enabled to see the actual Constitution itself to satisfy ourselves that it does in fact fulfil all that is set out in the White Paper.
To turn just briefly to the future, it is a future which, in my view, is full of scope and full of hope. Jamaica is the largest island of the former British West Indies: it is the richest; it has the largest population; and it is at least as highly developed economically, socially and politically as any of the other islands. So the possibilities are very great. As the noble Marquess has told us, it has a relatively mixed economy. It is not dependent upon only one product or one crop. It has bauxite; it has, particularly, sugar; it has bananas; and it has something which the noble Marquess did not mention but which is highly important to it, and that is a flourishing tourist industry which brings in a very large amount of valuable foreign exchange. But all these sources of wealth are vulnerable. If we are in fact entering on a period of world recession economically—and there are many signs to suggest that we are—they will all suffer. The American tourists will not go to the West Indies to spend their dollars, and there will be a severe curtailment there in foreign earnings; the aluminium utilisation in the world may well contract and the earning from bauxite may very well decrease; and your Lordships know well the problems of sugar, of the overproduction in the world, and the vulnerability of other agricultural crops. So we must realise, as I am sure the Jamaicans do, that, bright though the prospects may be for the future of the island, there are some very threatening clouds on the horizon. Not only is the 1351 present unemployment there one of them, but there is the future uncertainty of the economy of the rest of the world.
I hope not only that Jamaica herself is well aware of this but that Her Majesty's Government are well aware of it, and that they are not saying to themselves, "Jamaica now has independence; we need no longer worry about what happens there. If unemployment should rise still further, if the standard of living should fail to rise, or even drop, now that they have independence it is no concern of ours. "We must retain our feeling of responsibility for this island. We must do it because of our past historical connection. And it was for that reason that I mentioned some of the worst sides of our colonial occupation. We must do it for those reasons, remembering the wealth we have taken out of the island in past centuries; we must do it out of gratitude for the services that we have received from Jamaica in two world wars; and we must do it, above all, I believe, because of our responsibility as one of the richest nations of the world to make sure, in relation to those nations which, while far from being under-developed areas, are less well-off than we are, that wealth is more evenly distributed throughout the world. Even at times of slump, even at times of recession, even with the problems of the Common Market which may soon arise in Europe—even with all those things, our responsibility still remains to help Jamaica and all the other areas where we were once so closely connected and where our ties are now somewhat loosened. So long as we remember that, and so long as we give such help as we can to Jamaica, I am confident that, however threatening the clouds may appear to be, the storm will be survived and Jamaica will go on, with the good wishes of all of us in this House and in this country, to greater prosperity and greater development.
§ 3.35 p.m.
§ LORD MILVERTON
My Lords, in rising to support the Second Reading of this Bill I propose to be very brief. The brevity of my speech will, of course, be no measure of my appreciation of the importance of this final step on the road to independence; nor of the affection which I feel for Jamaica and her 1352 people, among whom I lived for five years and whose interests were my own. It is rather a measure, I would say, of the unanimity of the good will which we all feel.
Twenty years ago, my Lords, the first constitutional changes leading to independence were taken, and no one appreciates more than I do the great progress which has been made economically, socially and politically during the past twenty years under the leadership of Jamaica's two outstanding figures, the two cousins, Sir Alexander Bustamante and Mr. Norman Manley. In their different ways, they have rendered immense services to their country. The dynamic leadership of Sir Alexander Bustamante, combined with his shrewd and sympathetic understanding of the outlook and aspirations of the ordinary citizens of the country, has long since won for him their confidence and their affection. He will always, to them, be known affectionately as "Busta", the name they gave him many years ago—to them, the man who first publicly interpreted their struggling need for higher standard's and a better life.
The complementary contribution of Mr. Norman Manley during his period of power has been of no less importance. His brilliant brain, his selfless devotion to public service and his statesmanlike grasp of affairs have always enabled him to see Jamaica in a world setting. Jamaica was very fortunate, I feel, my Lords, to have a statesman of this high calibre in charge during the recent difficult years. Not the least of his contributions to the welfare of Jamaica was, I suggest, his leadership of the Opposition during Sir Alexander's first period of office as Premier. He set an example of how an Opposition should behave, and thereby made a vital contribution to the success of the democratic system; and when we hear people talking of the maturity of Jamaica, we should never forget the debt which they owe to Mr. Manley for this lesson which he gave. Because, my Lords, as we all know, under our political system a responsible Opposition, ever conscious of the possibility that the burden of government may be handed over to them, is called upon to resist any temptation to undermine respect for authority.
I am confident, then, that Mr. Manley will always bear these priorities in mind 1353 during the future difficult period which now awaits Jamaica, and that there will continue a vigilant Opposition combining its traditional duties with a patriotic appreciation of the interests of the country. Incidentally, one of the reassuring aspects of the recent elections in Jamaica has been the complete rejection by the electorate of those who were trying to introduce racial animosities into that country, Which had previously been remarkably free from them. They have failed, and the electorate confined its attention to a choice between the policies of the two leading Parties.
My Lords, it would be foolish to pretend that, despite all its natural advantages, Jamaica does not face difficult problems in the early future. It is an island of surpassing beauty, with much very fertile soil, producing sugar, bananas, coffee, coconuts, and citrus fruits. It has a considerable and growing series of industries. It has a cigar industry of no mean importance; it has large bauxite deposits, and is now, as the noble Marquess who introduced the Bill said, the world's biggest exporter of the ore of aluminimum. Its basic problem is, of course, over-population. Approximately 1,700,000 people, with one of the highest birth rates in the world, have to subsist on 4,411 square miles. Plantation agriculture, mining and its large tourist industry are all peculiarly vulnerable to world economic conditions, as has been pointed out by the nobe Lord who preceded me in this debate. Sir Alexander Bustamante has shown in his recent speeches that he is fully conscious of the problems his Government have to face. He will need, and I am sure he will receive, economic aid, educational assistance, and expanding complementary trade from the United Kingdom, and from Canada, as well as from the United States of America. Canada, of course, with its long connection with the West Indies, is the nearest member of the Commonwealth, and is obviously the country to which Jamaica will look for a great extension of that friendly assistance it has had in the past.
My Lords, I have deliberately refrained from offering unnecessary advice about the way Jamaica should tackle her problems, economic and social. Jamaica is well provided with organisations for this purpose, and she is fortunate in having an ample reservoir of 1354 men and women who are inspired by a sense of public service. I should have no hesitation in saying that there is a greater proportion of people with the ability and the will to render public service in Jamaica than in almost any other of the many Colonies I have known. My own experience there taught me that the educated classes were not lacking in public spirit and constructive ability to translate patriotism into practice.
There are also in this country several organisations (I need not enumerate them) whose purpose is to assist where their assistance would be welcomed. Furthermore, I do not indulge in any vain regrets about the demise of the Federation. It takes more time and better communications to construct a mental bridge across the 1,200 miles that separate Jamaica from Trinidad. The common services which have an organic growth, such as the University of the West Indies and the College of Agriculture in Trinidad, and the many other examples of joint endeavour, will doubtless continue. It may well be that among a group of independent units the feeling of unity and interest will grow in the future, and eventuate in a Federation more strongly based because the idea has grown naturally from practical experience. Be that as it may, we welcome to-day the independence of Jamaica, and we wish its Government, under Sir Alexander Bustamante, every success in the unfettered management of their own affairs. With a competent Civil Service, to which reference has already been made, and which has proved its worth, they have what so many other places have not had—the necessary sub-structure of efficient government.
Perhaps I ought to mention, before leaving this subject, that the Cayman Islands, with the Turks and Caicos Islands, former dependencies of Jamaica, have decided to retain their colonial status. One may confidently expect, too, that these islands, which have in the past owed so much to the friendly economic aid of Jamaica, will continue to enjoy that assistance from the newly independent country. We welcome Jamaica as another independent member of the Commonwealth, and particularly Sir Alexander's unequivocal declaration that her interest and her outlook on life are the same as those 1355 of the liberty-loving nations of the West.
In conclusion, my Lords, may I remind you that the smooth transition to independence owes very much to the last of the British-appointed Governors of Jamaica, Sir Kenneth Blackburne. His patient courtesy, his tact and understanding, and his sincere devotion to the interests of Jamaica, have enabled him to enjoy the confidence both of Mr. Manley and of Sir Alexander Bustamante in their difficult tasks. My Lords, 300 years of close association have been of great mutual benefit, not only to this country but also to Jamaica. There is every reason, I suggest, to expect friendly co-operation to continue undiminished through the years to come. I beg to support the Second Reading of this Bill.
§ 3.49 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
My Lords, it is with great pleasure that I support the Second Reading of this Bill. My reason for speaking is that for many years I used to go regularly to Jamaica, where I had agricultural interests, and I got to know these people in the hills of Westmorland very well. The ordinary Jamaicans are simple, agricultural people. The great thing which struck me was their extreme loyalty to this country. You could go into the shabbiest little hut, and the odds were that you would find a picture of the Queen; in fact, in any schools I went into, I always saw pictures of the Queen, and they really do have a great affection for this country. I think we can rest assured that in Jamaica the freedom of the individual will not be—shall we say?—slightly whittled away, as has happened in one or two other Colonies which have become independent.
The noble Lords, Lord Milverton and Lord Walston, have paid tribute to the leaders in Jamaica. Jamaica is fortunate in her two leaders—who are cousins—in both the extremely brilliant academic mind of Mr. Manley and the great public spirit and sense of humour of Sir Alexander Bustamante. If every statesman had the sense of humour that Sir Alexander Bustamante has, the world would be a far happier place. It was extremely gratifying to see how peacefully the last elections passed off, 1356 compared with elections m other parts of the Commonwealth. The independence talks held over here, fixing the date of independence and the type of Constitution appear to have passed without any recriminations. It all shows the maturity of Jamaican politics.
One of the great advantages of Jamaica is that she has no tribal system. I see that the noble and gallant Field Marshal is not here, but I say this with apologies to him. If a colony is going to have a democratic system of government, it is a great advantage if there is no tribal system. We have heard reference to our extremely old connection with Jamaica, of 300 years, but I was rather sorry to hear the noble Lord, Lord Walston, introduce the subject of slavery. It is a subject that nobody likes, but it was the custom of the time. I have spoken to many in Jamaica whose great-grand-fathens were born in slavery and they bear no grudge at all, so presumably there must have been some kind slave-masters. There is another subject that nobody likes to mention. We have great ties of blood with Jamaica, and Jamaica is all the better for it.
There is one danger that I would mention. A great many people in Jamaica, the sort of people I met, not in Kingston but in the country, are very simple and when they hear of independence they may expect it to work miracles. Of course, independence usually means increased taxes, because they have to pay for the judiciary and other services they did not have to pay for before. I should like to say to Her Majesty's Government that it will be no use for Jamaica to have independence if she does not have every economic help that we can give her. I hope that the Colonial Development Corporation can become a Commonwealth Development Corporation, because it seems extraordinary that when these colonies become independent they cannot embark on any new schemes under the Colonial Development Corporation.
There is another danger, though I do not think it will happen, because they are too sensible. I hope that the leaders of Jamaica will not embark on a great scheme of nationalisation, because Jamaica needs all the foreign capital that she can have and nationalisation would greatly hinder that. Agriculture in 1357 Jamaica is highly developed, though farmers have been rather loth to introduce mechanisation because then they cannot employ so many people. This is a very difficult problem. I hope that Her Majesty's Government will see that we implement the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement and, if we join the Common Market, that Jamaican sugar interests will be looked after.
We also have a new trend in Jamaica. In the last ten years industrial productivity has been going up by about 6 per cent. a year; and there is a danger that those Jamaicans employed in industry will have a far higher standard of Jiving than the Jamaicans employed in agriculture. Some people refer to Jamaica as a rural slum. That is not actually correct, but there is this rapidly expanding industrial economy, with the danger of expectations outrunning the capacity of Jamaican industry to satisfy them. Here, again, I hope that Her Majesty's Government will help Jamaican economy with all their power.
One of the problems in Jamaica is seasonal employment in many sections of agriculture and in the tourist industry. People who do not know Jamaica are inclined to think that if the people there have only seasonal work, they are without sustenance part of the year. But in fact they can eat the breadfruit, ackies, and other wild fruits which are abundant, and they do not need substantial housing, because of the sun. It is far worse to be unemployed in a cold European country. I have known Jamaican agricultural families who have been offered a nice house but who have preferred to stay in their own shack. We cannot judge them by our standards.
There is in Jamaica this great problem of population. While I do not advocate altering the Commonwealth Immigrants Act which we have just passed—we do our part in taking in Jamaicans—I think that other parts of the Commonwealth and America might perhaps help in this respect. Perhaps Her Majesty's Government would bring pressure to bear on other countries in the Commonwealth. I understand that there is a hope of the American Immigration Act being altered so that there may be a quota for Jamaican citizens on the same basis as that for Latin American countries. If we could get America to do that, it would be of great 1358 assistance. The population problem is extremely acute, and I do not see the answer to it.
I should like to pay tribute to the high standard and efficiency of the Jamaican Civil Service, and I hope that after independence any members of that service who come from Britain will be adequately compensated on retirement (as I am sure they will be) by the Jamaican Government. I would say again how happy I am that we have this Bill. I am sure that Jamaica will be a model to the Caribbean and a stabilising factor in that area. She enters her independence with all my best wishes.
§ 4.3 p.m.
§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, the noble Marquess, Lord Lansdowne, has already referred to the fact that my noble friend Lord Ogmore cannot be present this afternoon to give a welcome to this Bill, but I should not like the occasion to pass without someone associating noble Lords on these Benches with the kind words and good wishes which the House is sending out to the people of Jamaica. It is a country that I have never visited and do not know, but I have had the great pleasure and privilege of working with one or two people from Jamaica who have come to study in this country, and they have always impressed me greatly with their integrity, their intelligence and their fine feeling of friendship towards this country. I should like to add my welcome to the Bill which is at present before your Lordships.
§ 4.5 p.m.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I am sure it will be a source of great satisfaction to our Jamaican friends to know of the good wishes that have been expressed for them in their new independent State (as it will be from August 6) by noble Lords from all parts of the House, particularly as these sentiments have been expressed by noble Lords who have personal experience, and some of them very close personal experience, of Jamaica. I will try to answer the questions that have been addressed to me.
The noble Lord, Lord Walston, and my noble friend Lord Massereene and Ferrard referred to the question of compensation for some of the public servants 1359 in Jamaica. The position is that there is at present in existence in Jamaica, as I think the noble Lord, Lord Walston, is aware, a limited compensation scheme, and it was agreed at the Jamaican Constitutional Conference that, while this limited compensation scheme should continue for a time after independence, a general compensation scheme should be introduced in 1964 under which overseas officers and all officers designated under the Overseas Service Aid Scheme, should, if they wished, be free to retire with compensation. We are at present discussing the details of this general compensation scheme with the Government of Jamaica, and it seems probable that it will be introduced, not in 1964, but in 1963. I think I can reassure noble Lords on that point.
The noble Lord, Lord Walston, also referred to the question of the common services. As some of your Lordships will be aware, there is to be a conference in Trinidad of all the West Indian Governments on July 10 when the question of the common services of the West Indian countries will be discussed. Among other things the conference will discuss the University of the West Indies, the shipping services, the meteorological service and so on. Pending these discussions, I am afraid that there is nothing else I can tell your Lordships on this point this afternoon.
Then the noble Lord, Lord Walston, raised the question of the constitutional procedure. There is nothing peculiar in the procedure that we are adopting on this occasion in the case of Jamaica. It is exactly the same as the procedure adopted in regard to Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cyprus and Tanganyika. The Constitution of Jamaica will be contained in the Order in Council made by Her Majesty's Government. The Bill that we are discussing today has to be law before the new Constitution comes into effect. What will happen is that the Bill will become law, and then on August 6 the new Constitution will replace the existing one. But in the Order in Council there are to be certain provisions, to which I referred indirectly in my opening remarks, which allow the Jamaican Government, among other things, to appoint the judges of the Court of Appeal. So we are doing nothing different from what has been 1360 done before. I hope that my explanation will put the noble Lord's mind at rest on this point. I am grateful to him for having asked the question, of which he gave me notice. I was able to investigate and satisfy myself on the subject, and, being a newcomer to the office, it was a useful exercise for me.
The noble Lord, Lord Walston, and other noble Lords who have spoken feel that there is a future full of hope for Jamaica; and that is the feeling of Her Majesty's Government. At the same time, it would be idle to pretend that there are not considerable difficulties with which the Jamaican Government will have to contend, notably the question of unemployment. And, of course, linked and closely related with unemployment is the question of the very rapid population increase, to which the noble Viscount, Lord Massereene and Ferrard, has referred.
I think I am not misquoting the noble Lord, Lord Walston, when I say that he hoped the attitude of mind of Her Majesty's Government would not be that, after independence, we need no longer worry about Jamaica. Of course, that is very far from being the intention of Her Majesty's Government, and we will continue to do all we can, in men and in money, to help our Jamaican friends. Sir Alexander Bustamante, with some of his colleagues, is at this moment in London and is engaged on discussions about future financial arrangements and defence matters. These talks are still in progress. As I have said, Her Majesty's Government will do everything in their power to help a country which we hope is going to become a brother member of the Commonwealth. But I think it is only fair that I should put on record in your Lordships' House that what the United Kingdom is able to do for Jamaica is, of course, limited by her great responsibilities to other countries poorer—indeed, much poorer—than Jamaica.
I think it will be a source of intense gratification to Sir Alexander Bustamante, and to Mr. Manley, to read the very sincere tribute paid to them by the noble Lord, Lord Milverton—a tribute which, coming from the noble Lord, with all his experience, is of all the greater value. Like the noble Lord, Lord Walston, my noble friend Lord 1361 Milverton referred to the passing of the Federation. But my noble friend, while agreeing with the noble Lord, Lord Walston, in regretting this passing of the Federation, hoped that perhaps a sense of co-operation might spontaneously grow up in the countries of the West Indies—and, indeed, that is the hope of us all. I think I should not pass on without referring particularly to Lord Milverton's generous and well-deserved tribute to the last of the Governors of Jamaica.
The noble Viscount, Lord Massereene and Ferrard, in referring to economic aid, made allusion to the Colonial Development Corporation. It is not for me to speculate on what the first letter of the initials C.D.C. may one day stand for, but clearly the point which he raised is an important and interesting one. In so far as the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement is concerned, let me at once assure noble Lords that the Government of Jamaica have throughout been kept in close touch with our Common Market negotiations, and it is our sincere hope that the Prime Minister of Jamaica will play his full part in the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' discussions on the Common Market later in this year.
My Lords, I think I have referred to all the points which have been raised by noble Lords, and it only remains for me to thank them for giving this Bill such wholehearted support; and to say once again that, with them, I give all my best wishes to Jamaica in its new independence.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.