§ Mr. Fowler
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement about his recent conversations with the Leader of the Bahamas Opposition.
§ Mr. Sharples
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action he proposes to take in the light of complaints concerning affairs in the Bahamas officially made to him by Mr. Lynden Pindling.
§ Mrs. Hart
, pursuant to the reply given by Mr. Frederick Lee on 20th December [Vol. 738, cc. 1161–1162], supplied the following information:A Commission of Enquiry is to be set up by the Government of the Bahamas under the Bahamas Commission of Inquiry Act. Sir Ranulph Bacon, a former Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, has agreed to lead the Enquiry. The other members of the Commission will be Mr. R. E. Auld, Barrister, and Detective Superintendent J. E. O'Connell, Scotland Yard. It is expected that the Commission will start work in Nassau on 13th March. The Commission's terms of reference are to be as follows:To investigate and report upon the manner in which the business of the casinos operated in Freeport by Bahamas Amusements Limited and in Nassau by Paradise Enterprises Limited has been and is being conducted under Certificates of Exemption under section 257(10) of The Penal Code (Chapter 48), with special reference to:
- (a) the suitability of persons employed in or in connection with that business and the connections, if any, of any such persons with undesirable associates within the Colony or elsewhere;
- (b) whether the legislation regarding casino gambling in the Colony and the administration thereof are adequate and in particular whether there is reason to believe that persons within the Colony or elsewhere have been able to obtain improper benefit from the profits of casino gambling;
- (c) whether any former or present member of the Government or of the Legislature at any time since 1962 received or agreed to receive any direct pecuniary benefit from the operation of casinos in the country or the introduction or maintenance thereof;
- (d) the accounts of the Companies and the methods of calculating and distributing profits and the recipients of those profits;
- (e) any payments not disclosed in the accounts made by the Companies or either of them or any person employed by them or either of them to any other Company or person;2. And to make such recommendations as they may deem expedient for the proper control of the business of casinos in the Bahamas".