HC Deb 31 October 1957 vol 575 cc91-2W
95. Mr. Brockway

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what representations have been made by the African Affairs Board of the Federal Assembly of Rhodesia and Nyasaland regarding the Constitution Amendment Bill and the proposed changes in the franchise.

97. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what are the Government's intentions with regard to the Constitutional Amendment Bill of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Mr. Alport

The African Affairs Board laid a report before the Federal Assembly, in terms of Article 74 of the Federal Constitution, giving its reasons for considering the Constitution Amendment Bill to be a differentiating measure. On the passing of the Bill by the Federal Assembly, the Board, by a majority, made a request under Article 75 that the Acting Governor-General should reserve it for Her Majesty's pleasure. The Acting Governor-General forwarded the text of the Board's request, and the Federal Government have since forwarded a statement of the reasons why they consider that the Royal Assent should be given to the Bill.

The African Affairs Board were entitled under the Constitution to request the reservation of the Bill, but, after full and careful consideration of their reasons, and of the Federal Government's statement, and after making personal enquiries on the spot while he was in the Federation earlier this month, my noble Friend is satisfied that it would be right to advise that the Royal Assent should be given. Under the Federal Constitution, this may only be done by Order in Council, the draft of which must lie before Parliament for 40 days. A draft of an Order in Council for this purpose is being laid today.

In order that Parliament may be fully informed on the matter, the request by the African Affairs Board for the reservation of the Bill, and the statement by the Federal Government, will be presented to Parliament.

So far as I am aware, the Board has not laid any report on the Electoral Bill, which has been published but not yet introduced into the Federal Assembly.

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