HC Deb 16 July 1963 vol 681 cc40-1W
82. Mr. Longden

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is satisfied that as much as possible is being done as quickly as possible to enable the indigenous peoples of the High Commission Territories of Swaziland, Basutoland and Bechuanaland to govern themselves; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sandys

The Constitution of Basutoland which was introduced in 1960 has been under review by a locally appointed Commission since early last year. I expect their report to be available within the next few weeks.

The authorities in Bechuanaland have begun discussions with representatives of public opinion on the amendment of the present constitution which was introduced in 1961.

On 30th May I announced my decision on a new constitution for Swaziland which will enable the people of the territory to play a part in its government through membership of Executive and Legislative Councils.

I believe that these developments show our readiness to accept the need for constitutional advance and, in collaboration with representatives of public opinion in the territories, to work out the best methods to give practical effect to it.

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