HC Deb 08 March 1951 vol 485 cc89-90W
105. Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will make a statement giving full information regarding his recent overseas tour, with details of the countries visited and talks held.

Mr. Gordon-Walker

In response to invitations from the Governments of the Union of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, I have recently visited those two countries. I left London on 18th January and returned on the 4th March. During that time I also visited Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Governments of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia whose guest I was and who did everything possible to make my tour interesting and profitable.

In both the Union and Southern Rhodesia it was my purpose to learn as much as I could of all aspects of the national life. I met and talked with Ministers about matters of common concern to our countries. I visited the capitals and other large centres and toured in country districts. I saw a great deal of industry, agriculture and mining and I met a great number of people of all kinds and in many walks of life. Everywhere I met with great kindness and generous hospitality.

In the High Commission Territories I met Chiefs and other notables, and addressed representative gatherings of the people. This enabled the inhabitants of the Territories to express their views and enabled me to explain His Majesty's Government's policy. I was much impressed in all three Territories by the work being done by the Colonial Development Corporation and under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act.