§ 49. Mr. Hamilton
asked the Under-secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether his attention has been drawn to the proposal made by the Gaitskell Mission to Africa, for the pioneering of an interracial community enjoying equal rights; and what action the Government contemplates to implement this proposal.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)
Yes, Sir. My noble Friend is much interested in the Mission's proposals for partnership between Europeans and Africans in Kalahari development. As stated in the preface to the Report, he has decided that the first essential is to ascertain the prospects of adequate water supplies. On this question, still to be investigated, all the other proposals in the Report depend.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Do I take it from the hon. and learned Gentleman's reply that the Government intend to push the scheme forward? Do the Government agree that, in view of the tremendous turmoil in Africa at the moment, it is tremendously important to proceed with the scheme and to give a lead to less well-guided people in Africa?
§ Mr. Foster
Yes, Sir, I do. The first thing to do is to find the water. The hon. Member will probably remember that the idea of a partnership was implicit in the terms of reference.
Can the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us whether the water survey has already started and how long it is likely to be before a conclusion is reached?
§ Mr. Foster
It has already started, but it is difficult to say how long it will take because one does not know how deep the water is or even where it is.