HC Deb 23 March 1955 vol 538 cc189-91W
73. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now make a statement on the Conference on the Federation of the West Indies, which began in Trinidad on 13th March,indicating the subjects discussed, the conclusions reached, and the next steps towards the Federation of the West Indies which will now be taken.

83. Sir R. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what have been the results of the recent West Indies Conference on inter-Island immigration at Trinidad.

Mr. Hopkinson

The Conference discussed the arrangements to be made for controlling the movement of persons between one member territory of the proposed British Caribbean Federation and another. I am happy to say that complete agreement was reached and a series of resolutions passed setting out in detail the arrangements recommended. The text is given below. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer to the statement made by my right hon. Friend on 2nd February.

Following is the text of the Resolutions:

"(1) The preamble to the Federal Constitution should recite as one of the objects of Federation that there should be the greatest possible freedom of movement for persons and goods within the Federation.

(2) Sub-paragraph (b) of the Exclusive Legislative List in paragraph 6 of plans for a British Caribbean Federation as agreed by the London Conference should be deleted.

(3) Control of movement of persons between units of the Federation on grounds other than health or security should be placed on the concurrent Legislative List in paragraph 7 of that plan, with a provision that any unit legislation on this matter in force at the expiry of five years from the date of the coming into force of the Federal Constitution should cease to have effect at the end of a further period of three months, unless before the end of such further period a resolution is passed by both Houses of the Federal Legislature approving such legislation.

In calculating the period of three months no account should be taken of any time during which the House of Representatives is dissolved. All such unit legislation should forthwith, upon expiry of the five-year period, be laid upon the table of both Houses and should be considered by both Houses before the end of period of three months.

Any unit legislation on this matter enacted after the expiry of the five-year period should have effect only if it is approved by resolution of both Houses of the Federal Legislature. Such legislation should forthwith, upon enactment, be laid on the table of both Houses and be considered within two months of being laid, no account being taken of any time during which the House of Representatives is dissolved or prorogued.

(4) Control of movement of persons between units on grounds of health and security should remain, as already agreed, as a separate item on concurrent Legislative List.

(5) That this Conference expresses the wish that, in the interests of early achievement of Federation, its recommendations should be considered and determined by the various Legislatures at the earliest possible opportunity.

(6) That consideration of the recommendations of the Conference should in no way delay any of the work preparatory to the establishment of the Federation, including that of the Fiscal, Judicial and Public Service Commissions; and that the British Government should be requested to proceed with the greatest possible speed with completion of preliminary measures to enable the Federation to be established."

Forward to