§ 11. Captain Duncan
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will cause to be published on 1st March a White Paper, or other similar document, giving the story of the work of the British in the territories now to be called Ghana from the beginning of the British occupation to date, especially showing the advance in economic wealth, health, and progress of the people of the territories under British colonial rule; and if he will consult with the information divisons of all Government Departments to ensure that this document is circulated widely in the countries of the world where there is criticism of Britain on grounds of colonialism.
A booklet called "The Making of Ghana" prepared for the Overseas Departments by the Central Office of Information was published on 30th January, 1957, by H.M. Stationery Office. This traces briefly the political, social and economic progress of the peoples of the Gold Coast under British rule. Copies will be distributed free through United Kingdom information offices in Commonwealth, colonial and foreign countries. The Central Office of Information is also preparing a popular illustrated booklet on a similar theme, as well as some material for visual presentation, to be published nearer the date of Ghana's independence. Nearly 50,000 copies of this booklet will be distributed overseas, including the United States of America.
§ Captain Duncan
Is my right hon. Friend aware that many people in foreign countries have no conception of the British idea of a colonial policy, that the document to which he refers and of which I hold a copy, although excellent, is a factual statement which does not put over the real intent and content of British colonial policy and the success which British colonial policy has achieved? Will he have a look at this document to see whether it can be revised with a view to putting across to people abroad the story 12 of British colonial policy, of which Ghana is a very good example?
The document is the more serious reference document already published. What is to be published in the first few days of March is an attractive popular presentation of the whole problem. That is to be augmented by a great deal of other material. I am glad that my hon. and gallant Friend has said what he has said, and I am sure that he has the support of the whole House.
§ Mr. Anthony Greenwood
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has answered the Question, are we to deduce that in future similar Questions should be put to him and not to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth relations or the Financial Secretary, as responsible for the Central Office of Information?
No, Sir. It is because my hon. and gallant Friend was shrewd enough to include in his Question a reference to consolidating the information divisions of all Government Departments that his Question found its way to the Table to be answered by me.
§ Mr. G. Thomas
Will the Chancellor take care to see that the new document which he is to publish is well circulated in the U.S.A., where it certainly seems to be believed that we have never done anything good in the British Colonies? We have a story to tell.
I will certainly see that it secures very wide distribution, including distribution in the United States of America.