HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 cc71-2W
70. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the advances made in, and the present position of, the constitutional developments in Nigeria, to date.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The present Constitution came into operation on 1st October, 1954, in accordance with Orders in Council (S.I. Nos. 1146 and 1147) made on 30th August and laid before Parliament on 3rd September. It embodies the outcome of the discussions at the London and Lagos conferences of 1953 and 1954, the reports of which were also laid before Parliament in Command Papers Nos. 8934 and 9059.

Major changes introduced under the new Constitution include the following: A federal form of Government in which residual powers rest with the Regions; the establishment of a separate Government for the Southern Cameroons; the reduction in the number of official members in the Federal Council of Ministers and the Executive Council of the Northern Region, and their elimination (except for the Governor who continues to preside) from the Executive Councils of the Eastern and Western Regions; and the establishment of Federal and Regional Public Services in place of the former unitary Nigerian Service.

The Constitution is to be reviewed at a further conference due to be held not later than August, 1956.