HC Deb 16 February 1955 vol 537 cc56-7W
89. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement in respect of the nature of the constitutional dispute between Ashanti leaders and the Gold Coast Government.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The dispute arises from the demand of the Ashanti leaders for a federal constitution for the Gold Coast. The Prime Minister of the Gold Coast invited the Ashanti leaders to discuss with him their demand and offered a great degree of participation by Ashanti in Government development planning through a Regional Development Committee and the eventual establishment of a statutory Regional Council.

The Ashanti leaders have replied stating that the setting up of a Regional Council is unacceptable to them and that they are prepared only to discuss with the Government what form of federal government would best suit a self-governing Gold Coast. They have asked that the Government should call for a constituent Assembly whose terms of reference should be to draw up a federal constitution to suit the needs of the Gold Coast in general and the autonomous regions in particular. Dr. Nkrumah is writing to the Ashanti leaders noting that the different views expressed are irreconcilable and repeating the invitation to a discussion.*

I am confident that this matter can be resolved in a peaceful and constitutional manner in the Gold Coast.