HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 c99W
1. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he has yet met the Bamangwato delegates who came to Britain to see him; where and when he did so; who were present; what were the subjects discussed; what decisions were reached; and what arrangements have been made for further similar meetings to take place.

Mr. J. Foster

My noble Friend met members of the Bamangwato tribe, who are in this country, on 21st and 28th April in the Commonwealth Relations Office. They were accompanied by their legal advisers and public relations adviser. Officials of the Commonwealth Relations Office were also present.

For a statement of what happened at the meetings, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to my reply on 29th April to a Question by the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker). No arrangements have been made for further meetings.

5. Mr. Field

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations why the Bamangwato people were not allowed to use tribal funds for the purpose of paying the expenses of the delegation from the tribe which recently came to this country to see Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.

Mr. J. Foster

The views which members of the Bamangwato tribe now in this country came to express were already well known to Her Majesty's Government. Her Majesty's Government considered, therefore, that no useful purpose would be served by their visit and that expenditure from tribal funds for this purpose could not be justified. The tribal funds referred to are administered by the Native Treasury and are for development and services in the Reserve.

Nevertheless, as I stated in reply to the hon. Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) my noble Friend is prepared to consider favourably any application from the Bamangwato at present in this country for reimbursement from United Kingdom funds of the cost of their passages.