§ Mr. Prescott
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to recommend the appointment of a Privy Council Committee to inquire into the form of government of the Island of Alderney; and if he will make a statement on the present position.
§ Mr. Ede
As the hon. Member will be aware, Alderney was evacuated in 1940 before its occupation by the Germans and converted by the Germans into a fortress as a result of which the land and buildings suffered serious damage and neglect. On liberation in 1945 the task of rehabilitation was immediately undertaken with assistance provided by His Majesty's Government. The period of rehabilitation is now nearing an end, and considerable concern is felt as to the ability of the islanders to meet the many difficulties which will confront them when the assistance at present being given comes to an end. I came, therefore, to the conclusion that a full inquiry into this matter was necessary and that the proper course was to recommend to His Majesty the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry by His Majesty's Privy Council. By order of His Majesty in Council dated 3rd July a Committee of the Council consisting of the Lord Ammon, the right hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) and myself as chairman has been appointed to inquire into the State of Alderney with particular reference to the form of Government and its relationship with the neighbouring islands, its financial position and its economic prospects.