HC Deb 22 December 1954 vol 535 cc294-5W
Mr. Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information to give the House about the official tour which Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret is to make in the Caribbean next year.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The visit of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to Bermuda and Jamaica last year evoked not only tremendous enthusiasm in those Colonies, but also a keen desire throughout the British Caribbean that a member of the Royal Family should be invited to make a really extensive official tour there as soon as possible.

I am glad to say that, at the request of my predecessor Lord Chandos, Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret has agreed to do so next year, which is also the year of the Jamaican tercentenary. She will leave London by air on 31st January and arrive in Trinidad on 1st February: she will leave the Bahamas on 2nd March, arriving in the United Kingdom the following day.

The arrangements for Her Royal Highness's journey have been designed to enable her to spend the maximum time in the area and to visit as many of the islands as possible in the five weeks which is the longest time for which she can be absent from this country. Her Royal Highness will undertake an extensive series of public engagements in each island, meeting not only those in official positions, Members of the local Legislatures and public representatives, but also as large a number of the people as a whole as is possible in the time. Details of her programme on each island are being published as they are settled.

Her Majesty's Government and the Governments of the British Caribbean Territories are deeply grateful to Her Royal Highness for so gladly making this tour, which will give great pleasure throughout these Territories, where it is eagerly awaited.