HC Deb 09 December 1968 vol 775 cc16-7W
76. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will list the remaining British colonial territories; and what is the present policy with regard to the possible granting of independence to each of these territories or its possible transfer from the British responsibility of his Department.

Mr. Whitlock

The remaining British dependent territories are included in the "Commonwealth Office Year Book, 1968", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Swaziland has since achieved independence.

In his opening address to the Bahamas Constitutional Conference held in London in September, 1968 (Cmnd. 3792) my right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs said: There still remain a number of British territories around the globe. We do not know what their ultimate constitutional future will be. We lave not—and never have had—any detailed blueprint. A few of these territories may wish to proceed to independence. Others may not. It is always difficult to forecast. But whatever the future holds we, in Britain, will adhere closely to the principle that the wishes of the people concerned must be the main guide to action. It is not and never has been our desire or intention either to delay independence for those dependencies who want it or to force it upon those who do not.

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