HC Deb 01 May 1958 vol 587 cc50-1W
80. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the fact that the new Federal House of Representatives has elected Sir Grantley Adams as Prime Minister of the Federation of the West Indies and that a Council of State has been appointed there, if he will now make a statement on the further steps which have been taken or will be taken to establish full Federal self-government there.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The prerequisites for self-government are that a country can stand on its own feet economically and financially, conduct its own administration and be able and prepared to assume responsibility for its own defence and its own international relations. I have no doubt that the new Federal Government's policy will be to pursue a programme which will enable it to assume these responsibilities and obligations as soon as possible. As I made clear at the London Conference in 1956, when that stage has been reached Her Majesty's Government will be glad to sponsor the Federation's admission to full Commonwealth membership.

81. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the inauguration of the Federation of The West Indies, if he will make a statement as to the constitutional and financial position and future of those islands in the West Indies which receive grants-in-aid.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Outside those spheres of activity which are transferred to the Federal Government, territories within The West Indies retain their existing constitutions. Those which qualify for the receipt of grants in aid of administration will from 1st January, 1959, receive them from the Federal Government. In accordance with the British Caribbean Federation Act of 1956, I am empowered to make annual grants to the Federal Government for this purpose for a period up to 10 years.