HC Deb 09 November 1961 vol 648 cc79-80W
Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what restrictions are placed on African diamond diggers in Basutoland; and if he will make a statement on the future of the diamond industry in the Protectorate.

Mr. Sandys

No restrictions are placed on Basuto diamond diggers except that they may not dig without a written permit granted by the Paramount Chief, to which certain conditions are attached.

The diamond industry in Basutoland is still in its infancy and I cannot say at this stage what its future will be. Colonel Scott has been prospecting for diamonds since 1955 but has not yet found diamond deposits worth mining. Basuto permit holders have started operations at Letsa-la-Draai but it is still too early to say what the area will produce.