HL Deb 06 May 1970 vol 310 cc216-7

2.33 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what conclusions have been reached in the discussions with representatives of the People's United Party of Seychelles and the Seychelles Progressive Party regarding the future of the colony and its relationship with the United Kingdom.]


My Lords, the conclusions are contained in a White Paper (Cmnd. 4338), which is available in the Library. It is planned to introduce the new Constitution and hold elections under it before the end of 1970. The relationship with the United Kingdom remains unaltered; the Governor's reserved powers remain the same as under the present Constitution.


My Lords, while thanking my noble friend, and congratulating him on his part in these conclusions, may I ask whether we may now hope that the proposals for the integration of the Seychelles with this country are now put on one side? Has there been consideration of the possibility of the Seychelles becoming confederated with East Africa and Mauritius?


My Lords, what future relations Seychelles will have with East Africa is clearly a matter for the people of Seychelles. Speaking as of now, I do not foresee a confederation such as he mentions coming about. As regards integration, it is fair to say that the Leader of the Seychelles Democratic Party still maintains that this is the policy of his Party, but recognises the view of Her Majesty's Government that this is not possible at present.


My Lords, the 1970 Constitutional Report referred to: a ministerial portfolio including tourism, planning and labour". May I ask the Minister when the airport will be constructed in the Seychelles? Secondly, when is it proposed that the first B.O.A.C. flights will be started? Thirdly, would Her Majesty's Government consider approaching the other Governments which are involved in this agreement on the constitution of the Indian Ocean Tourist Alliance, which takes in the Malagasy Republic, Mauritius, Reunion and the Comores? In the interests of tourism on a regional basis, does not the noble Lord think that possibly the Seychelles could be included in this regional alliance?


My Lords, I think the noble Lord has taken the Report rather literally and has been able to go rather wide of the original Question on the Order Paper. His third supplementary question I will write to him about. I am pleased to inform the noble Lord that progress is being made on the building of the airstrip. I have no knowledge when B.O.A.C. will be flying, but he may be interested to know that there is now a light aircraft service in operation between Seychelles and Mombasa.