HC Deb 05 April 1950 vol 473 cc139-41W
35. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give particulars about the Provincial Councils being set up in Tanganyika; what areas are to be covered; who is to vote, and by what method; and what powers are to be exercised by the councils.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Two Provincial Councils have been established in the territory. That for the Lake Province was established in June, 1949, and one for the Southern Highlands Province in March last. The question of setting up similar Councils in the remaining six Provinces is still under consideration.

The Lake Province Council consists of nine Official Members and nine Unofficial (two European, two Asian and five African) with the Provincial Commissioner as Chairman. Six of the Official Members are ex officio Members: the remaining Official Members and all the Unofficial Members are nominated by the Provincial Commissioner with the approval of the Governor. The Council which meets three times a year is responsible for the preparation of the annual estimates of the province for submission to the Legislature and controls expenditure on departmental services (e.g. Agriculture, Veterinary, Forestry, Tsetse Reclamation and Public Works) throughout the Province and on all provincial development schemes.

The Council examines and debates reports from its official members on the activities of the departments for which they are responsible and reports from its three standing Committees. Those three Committees, on all of which there is an Unofficial majority, are the Finance and General Purposes Committee, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Social Services Committee. All Members have a vote both on the Council and when serving on the Committees. The Provincial Commissioner is Chairman of each Committee, and may, at his discretion, give executive effect to the decisions of a Committee, or may refer a decision to the Council for approval before action is taken. The Council, therefore, functioning mainly through its standing Committees, exercises important executive and financial powers over the general administration and departmental services of the Province.

I have not yet received from the Governor details of the constitution of the Southern Highlands Provincial Council, but I understand that the constitution and functions of the Council are closely analogous to those of the Lake Province Council.

The hon. Member will appreciate that the two Councils have only been established very recently and are still at the experimental stage.

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