§ 3.3 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Reginald Maudling)
The fact that it is only three days since I took over my present solemn responsibilities clearly puts a considerable limitation on what I can say to the House today. I do not intend to pretend to a degree of knowledge which I could not possibly have acquired in the course of three days. I also wish to speak with particular caution because I am aware that in these complicated and tense human problems an ill-chosen word, even if chosen sheerly by reason of inexperience, can do very great harm and make difficult things more difficult. I hope that the House will permit me to speak subject in the circumstances to those limitations.
I should like to spend most of the time that I have on the developments which have taken place in the African Territories since the House last debated these matters in July, but first I should like to stress particularly the continuity of colonial policy. For ten years now my distinguished predecessors Lord Chandos, Lord Boyd and the Leader of the House have pursued a consistent policy designed to bring independence to the Colonial Territories at the pace and by the methods best calculated to meet the aspirations of the peoples of the Territories and to serve their economic and social interests.
In particular, my immediate predecessor, who held office at a time of intense difficulty, has been responsible for some of the largest developments in colonial policy that have been achieved and he has established himself as one of the outstanding figures in the long and unfolding story of the Empire and Com- 346 monwealth. I have seen it suggested in some newspapers that a change of Colonial Secretary may mean a change of policy. I think that this is based on some misapprehension of the working of our constitution. The policies which my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has followed have been his policies, in the sense that he has been the initiator and has borne the prime responsibility, but they have been more than just the policies of one individual. They have been the policies of the Government as a whole, supported by all members of the Government. This is and will remain true, and I am anxious that there should be no misunderstanding whatever on this point.
The continuity of policy has been much sustained, of course, by the work of the Colonial Service. I should like in my first speech as Colonial Secretary to pay tribute to the outstanding work of all in this Service, because never have their services been more necessary or more clearly valuable than they have been in these recent years of turmoil and of change.
I should like to turn now to developments since our last debate. First, there is Tanganyika, rapidly passing out of the sphere of the Colonial Office. There is no more I need say other than to repeat once again the happiness of the House as a whole at the progress achieved in Tanganyika and to wish the people of that country the greatest possible success under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Nyerere when the day of independence soon comes.
The position in Zanzibar is quite different. The situation is quieter than it was but still clearly gives rise to some concerned. The Commission of Inquiry into the July riots has just returned to this country and is now working on its Report. In the meanwhile, I was happy to see that the Government and the Opposition parties began joint discussions on 29th September to work out mutually acceptable proposals on the measures necessary to give independence to their country.
Perhaps the major recent development has been in Uganda. Since our last debate very encouraging progress has been made and the recent London conference, over which my right hon. Friend 347 the Leader of the House presided, produced results which few people would have been confident enough to predict before it took place. These results arose from long and patient discussion and also from the desire of Buganda representatives to work with their neighbours and build a country unitary in character but nevertheless preserving the distinctive traditions of its diverse provinces. It is true that much remains to be done, and determination linked with understanding will be needed from all concerned. But it is remarkable that it was possible at that conference to achieve agreement on the date of 1st March, 1962, for internal self-government and 9th October, 1962, for independence, provided that the necessary discussions can be completed and arrangements made before that date.
In debate on 25th July last the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) referred particularly to representation of the Lukiko in the new National Assembly, and this clearly was one of the most difficult problems. It is indeed satisfactory that agreement has been reached on this point, based on the principle that the elected representatives of the people of Buganda should decide whether or not direct elections for the National Assembly should take place in Buganda. I am glad to say that Mr. Kiwanuka described the conference as a whole as a tremendous success for democracy. This progress with the tough task of reconciling the distinct traditions of the various parts of Uganda with the general desire to work together in building a nation is very heartening. I am sure that the House will feel that the success of the conference reflects great credit on all the rulers and political leaders who took part in it. I am sure that the whole House hopes that Kenya will be able to show its ability to follow the path charted by Tanganyika and Uganda.
When the Kenya representatives were here for the discussions about the East African High Commission in June there were good hopes that the various groups would be able to reach a measure of common understanding, and, indeed, as a result of them the Governor was able to start discussions, under his chairmanship, about constitutional advance and other problems, including particularly the important question of property 348 rights. Before these discussions were opened, the two principal African parties had worked together to produce joint proposals. But the Governor's discussions ran into difficulty on the question of forming a coalition Government pending the next major constitutional step forward. The discussions have been discontinued for the time being to enable the Governor to make his report to me. I am now studying his report, and the Governor himself is coming back to London next week for discussions with me about the present situation. I am sure that the House would not expect me to enlarge on the present position until I have been able to make a thorough examination of where we stand.
I am equally sure that no one is blind to the very real difficulties that will have to be overcome if Kenya is to be able to make the same sort of progress as has been made, and is being made, by neighbouring countries in East Africa. Kenya has so much potential, as we all recognise, but the problem of welding it into a harmonious and prosperous whole represents, I should have thought. one of the greatest challenges that we have yet faced in Africa.
Inevitably, in recent months attention has been focused on the conflict between the tribes and the races that go to make up this country. But I think there is evidence that among the leaders of all the various groups there is a real understanding of the vital importance of restoring confidence both within and outside the country and of the importance of creating a nation in which those who come to govern will genuinely respect the interests of the minority tribal or racial groups. I believe that if we can allay the present anxieties we shall find that we shall be able to build on sure foundations.
The present political difficulties should not be allowed to obscure the solid preparations that are being made on the ground by the administrators and by their colleagues in the various professional services—the work on land reform, the building up of local government services, the steady development of education and other services, and the many spheres of economic development, all of which will stand Kenya in good stead when her underlying political problems are resolved.
349 The next territory to which I turn is Nyasaland. Here the major event since our last debate has been the holding of the first General Election under the new Constitution. I have no doubt that the House is well aware already of the facts, but I think it is particularly interesting that the number who registered as voters —about 110,000—was very close to the estimate and the expectation. Also, the poll exceeded 95 per cent., which is certainly higher than we normally expect for most elections in any part of the United Kingdom.
As a result of the election, the Malawi Congress Party holds twenty-two seats and the United Federal Party five, and there is one European Independent supported by the Malawi Congress Party. After consultation with the leaders of the main party, the Governor appointed to his Executive Council, in addition to five officials, four elected African members of the Malawi Congress Party and the elected independent European. The Legislative Council has already met for a short informal meeting and will meet again in November. Meanwhile, the new Ministers have assumed their offices.
The arrangements made for the General Election, in which tens of thou-stands of voters cast a vote for the first time in their lives, were commendably efficient and successful. Polling day passed off without incidents. The result of the election has been to give Africans a very full opportunity to participate in the government of the Territory as they now hold a large majority of the seats in the Legislative Council and a majority of the portfolios for the elected Ministers. I am sure that the House as a whole will wish them well, confident that they will approach their task with a full sense of responsibility for the welfare of all the peoples of Nyasaland.
I turn next to what seems to me to be the most urgent and difficult of all the problems now facing us, and that is Northern Rhodesia. The position remains as in the Government's published statement on 14th September. In that statement we noted that the plans put forward for constitutional arrangements, proposed in June, had achieved a wide measure of support, but there were on some aspects very considerable criticicisms. As it has always been, our purpose is to try, if possible, to devise a 350 settlement which will secure general acceptance, and, therefore, we shall certainly, before bringing the new Constitution into effect, be ready in the normal course to consider further any reasonable representations within the area where there is still a divergence of view.
The recent outbreak of disorder in certain parts of Northern Rhodesia has made it impossible in those circumstances for the Government to consider constitutional issues. But we have made it perfectly clear that when in the judgment of the Governor violence and disorder have ceased we shall be prepared to consider, on the basis of the White Papers, and on the basis of my predecessor's statement to the House of Commons on 26th June, any representations within the area where there are still divergent views. After considering these representations, we shall proceed to take a final decision and introduce the new constitution.
It is not possible for me to go beyond this at the present moment, but on 6th October the Northern Rhodesia Government were able to announce a substantial improvement in the situation in the two Northern Provinces. I think that the speedy progress towards the full restoration of law and order is a great tribute to the patience, the restraint and the determination of the Governor and the Administration in tackling this very difficult problem. I see that Mr. Kaunda, the Leader of the United Independence Party, has recently made a general appeal for the cessation of violence. So there is now a prospect of emerging from a situation in which violence has been delaying constitutional advance.
The Governor is, of course, watching the situation extremely closely, though he is not yet satisfied that he can advise me that violence and disorder have ceased within the terms of the statement of 14th September, which, as I have said, is still the governing statement. As soon as it is possible for the Governor to advise me to this effect, I intend to invite the various political groups who were represented at the Constitutional Conference to submit in writing through him their considered representations on the Constitution within the limits indicated by the September statement.
My right hon. Friend who preceded me in this office has in the past echoed for us the hope that these representations, when they are received—and the 351 sooner they are received the better so far as I am concerned—may disclose a prospect of general agreement. In my first speech in this office, I would appeal to all parties in Northern Rhodesia to consider whether within that framework there is not still a possibility of finding common ground, because if common ground can be found there could be no better solution for everyone concerned.
So far I have been discussing the political problems of the African Territories. I should like for a short while to turn to the economic problems, because they seem to me to be important, not only in themselves and as a basis for all material and social advance but because they are very relevant also to the question of political advance.
There appear to be three main problems. The first is capital—the provision and the retention of capital—both financial and technical, as a basis for development. The second is how to broaden the economic base of the territories, which at present rely so much on a limited range of commodities. The third is the question of the best size of economic unit in Africa. Moreover, the territories, as we all know, have a very close interest in our discussions with the European Economic Community, and we are resolved to ensure that their interests are properly safeguarded as these discussions proceed.
I believe that our record in this country in the provision of aid to developing territories throughout the world stands comparison with that of any other country. In recent years, the amount of aid provided from public sources has been doubled, and we are currently providing for the East African territories, for example, loans and grants to the amount of about £35 million. We continue this form of assistance so long as we are responsible, and, as the House is aware, we also give assistance to dependent territories as they approach and achieve independence.
We must recognise that this is, and remains, a great burden on our balance of payments, but one which we all cheerfully accept. Indeed, when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his 352 recent proposals for dealing with the balance of payments problem, he made it quite clear that it was not his desire to cut back on the total level of economic aid. But, of course, there is a limit to what we can do, and it is in nobody's interest that we should try to stray beyond that limit.
In addition to financial and economic aid, there is technical assistance which, in the long run, it seems to me may be even more important still. Investment in plant and machinery creates an asset once, but investment in human brain power can multiply itself many times over. It is in the provision of experts and, above all, of instructors and teachers that the maximum and most lasting aid can be given to developing countries. The establishment of the Department of Technical Co-operation, under my right hon. Friend the Member for Runcorn (Mr. Vosper), is evidence of Her Majesty's Government's intention in this field.
But public sources of capital are by no means the whole of the story. Private capital is of vital importance, and that is true of developing territories throughout the world. What is clear is that in the modern world private capital, particularly large-scale capital, is both mobile and highly sought after. There are many attractive projects for investment of capital throughout the world and, when it is possible to invest it in secure investment with a good return, it is obviously very unattractive to private capital to go to areas where security is not available.
Apart from large-scale private capital, there is the form of private capital which is immobile by virtue of its nature or small size, such as small shops, farms or businesses, in which a man may have put his savings and his labour. This capital, too, is of great importance, and needs to be constantly nourished. In conditions of security, it can be of immense importance to developing territories, but insecurity and sense of injustice produce a situation in which languishing confidence inevitably produces loss both to the owner of the enterprise and to the territory.
Aid in every form is inadequate without trade as well, and unless these territories can find developing outlets for 353 their goods, their economic development will be gravely restricted. Here, we have a two-fold responsibility—first to maintain outlets for their traditional products, and, secondly, to help in the search for new products. We must maintain our traditional attitude of liberality in this country towards the products of these territories. We must continue to fight their battle in international organisations such as G.A.T.T. In our discussions with the Six, we shall keep closely in mind the interests of these territories, particularly their tropical produce.
My personal view is that more can be done by international commodity stabilisation schemes. I have heard so often, at conferences of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers, the justifiable complaint that all the value of aid may be completely counterbalanced or written off if there is a drop in price of commodities to an exceptionally low level. The one can outbalance the other. This is not a problem which we alone can solve, because we are not big enough or strong enough to carry the burden of everyone's economy, but we shall continue to press on with schemes of this kind. There are hopeful signs, it would seem, such as the recent agreement on coffee.
There is also the question of the best size of any economic unit. There is a general tendency in the world towards larger economic units—for example, the Six and the Seven in Europe, where we hope as soon as possible for a single European economic system. There are various proposals for larger economic units in Latin America. I have been particularly interested to learn of the proposal for the continued development of the common services in the East African territories. I am sure that nothing but good can come of this development, which will provide a broader basis for economic expansion in these territories.
In the Central African Federation, federation itself is of the highest economic importance.
I have endeavoured to run over some of the things that have been happening since the last time the House debated these African problems, and I have also said a few things about what seem to me to be urgent and important economic difficulties that have to be faced. I want to conclude by mentioning, as this is my 354 first speech as Colonial Secretary, the principles upon which I intend to approach my task. The first is, as I believe Pollock or some other famous jurist said:Before you can have justice you must have security.I believe there is great wisdom in that statement. I believe that without security, without respect for law and order, without respect for the rights of minorities and the feeling of security that comes from confidence in this respect, there can be no true justice and no true peace between man and man.
Secondly, I believe that the essence of tragedy is not a conflict between right and wrong but a conflict between right and right. This seems particularly true of some of the tragic situations that have from time to time arisen in Africa. I believe that we can better ward off impending tragedies by appreciating the true nature of their origins.
§ Mr. Maudling
And Europe, too. I have been deeply impressed in recent years with the limited ability human beings have to communicate effectively with one another. With fear so general, how much of the world's problems and difficulties at this moment are based simply on misunderstanding of peoples and purposes? I may be simple and naive about this, but I have always believed that by far the greater part of our human conflicts arise from this form of misunderstanding and the failure to communicate between man and man. In the case of the Colonial Territories it must be my duty, as far as I can, to try to dispel misunderstanding.
Finally, I hope that the House will forgive my one Latin maxim, which I have retained from school: homo sum humane nil a me alienum puto—I am a main and I count nothing human indifferent to me.
On that principle, I will endeavour to work.
§ 3.28 p.m.
§ Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)
I have already extended a welcome to the right hon. Gentleman in his new task, and I do not think any of us 355 expected that after only three days in office he would have anything very profound or new to say to us. He shifted into perceptively higher gear when he came to economic matters. Perhaps that is not surprising, and he seemed to speak with a great deal of fluency and competence about them.
I was glad to hear this passage. Through no fault of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors, political events have so crowded upon the table of Colonial Secretaries over the last few years that there has not been sufficient time to consider the economic implications of some of our political actions.
I am constantly reported in the Press as being anxious to take over the job of Colonial Secretary, but I look at what he has to do and I am not sure that I am not in the best place here. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I would expect hon. Members opposite to agree to that. But the burden upon Colonial Secretaries has been extremely onerous, and, indeed, even on this bench the burden cast upon people who have to try to keep up to date is extremely hard. I am very glad indeed, therefore, that the new Colonial Secretary has this excellent grounding in economic issues. But I warn him that much of what he said has been said before. I have said much of it to at least three and possibly four previous Colonial Secretaries, and the fact that he is now saying it gives me some hope for the future, although he has the Treasury to face yet.
I put one more thing to him which will meet with support on either side of the House. Will he have another look at the position of the Colonial Development Corporation? I had a great disappointment in the Leader of the House. I thought that he was a man of sufficient strength and sufficient intelligence to be able to see the stupidity of the Government's policy in this respect. I can only assume that he was so busy with his other preoccupations that he had no time to fight this battle. The new Colonial Secretary will find support on both sides of the House if he will once again examine the ridiculous situation by which the Colonial Development Corporation is stopped from further investment in new projects in territories at the very moment they become inde- 356 pendent. The arguments have been gone over and I do not propose to divert from what I have to say to repeat them, for they are well known, but I beg the right hon. Gentleman to look into this matter and I assure him that he will find much support if he does.
May I be permitted one further comment without appearing to be governessy? There is a tendency to extreme enthusiasm about projects for economic aid and development. I beg the right hon. Gentleman to beware the great feelings of sensitivity in the new territories, feelings which can lead them to suspect, perhaps too readily, that there is a taint of economic imperialism in what we are doing. I am sorry to say that there have been only too many illustrations of the truth of that.
I will return to the situation in Northern Rhodesia later, but I recall that the British South Africa Company today has a lien on the mineral rights of that territory under which for every ton of ore extracted by the mineral companies a royalty is paid to B.S.A. amounting to about £5 million in a year, if not £10 million—I have not checked my figures—in terms of sheer royalty. That is widely known and the Colonial Secretary must beware of those charges. Indeed, if I were the Government in Rhodesia, despite the settlement made with the B.S.A. Company, I would want to reopen that settlement in view of the heavy financial burdens which will fall on the Northern Rhodesian Government today.
That is all I want to say about economic issues. I was glad that the right hon. Gentleman said that he would continue with the policies of his predecessor, but I was amused when he said that Her Majesty's Government had followed a consistent policy. We all know that the Tory Party believes that the public have short memories, but it has no reason to suppose that hon. Members have short memories, too. I recall what we said in the House about Cyprus, and the way in which the Government turned tail on that issue and rightly changed their policy.
I recall that the Leader of the House had to undo the damage done by Lord Boyd in Nyasaland and I cannot accept that there has been much consistency 357 in Conservative policy. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman's own supporters do not think that there has been consistency because there still stands on the Order Paper a Motion signed by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) and 85 others calling upon the Leader of the House to depart from the policies he had been following and to return to those of Lord Boyd. There is not much consistency about that, at least not in the view of the hon. Members supporting that Motion.
I say to the Colonial Secretary what, with his intelligence, I am sure he already knows. The Leader of the House was right when he said that he had to walk a tight-rope. He has to walk a tight-rope between his own followers as well as in the Colonial Territories. I do not know to which tight-rope the Colonial Secretary was referring when he used that expression, but he had had a most difficult job to assuage the feelings of his own followers. When I saw a television broadcast the other night, recorded before the right hon. Gentleman became Leader of the House, once again I thought, "Lucky lain‡" He said in that broadcast that he had always wanted to make a change at the very moment it had come. I wonder whether that is true this time. Certainly he was in great danger in the case of Northern Rhodesia of tarnishing his reputation and he has passed to the incoming Colonial Secretary a problem which he will find extremely difficult to solve. I will return to that later.
As the Colonial Secretary said, events have moved on since our last debate. I would like to pick out one issue which he mentioned on the question of Tanganyika. I join with him—the whole House does—in what he had to say about our good wishes going to that country and to Julius Nyerere in the task which he has to undertake after independence. On behalf of hon. Members on both sides of the House, I claim our share of the credit for the financial settlement. I have strong reason to believe that it was the pressure which hon. Members brought to bear—and I am not claiming any exclusive credit for this because, although I happened to speak first, there were other hon. Members behind me and opposite in support—which convinced the Government in July and strengthened the arm of the 358 Leader of the House to enable him to return to the Treasury and get a financial settlement which was well merited and well deserved.
At a time when there is a tendency to decry the value of the House of Commons, I claim that that was one of those clays when the debate had a considerable impact upon the Executive and enabled a financial settlement to be reached, for which we all share the credit, even Her Majesty's Government by their belated repentance.
Just as Julius Nyerere is the anchor man in East Africa, so in West Africa Nigeria has been pursuing her path, not hitting the headlines, but pursuing the path of progress, and we can all congratulate her upon that. It is as well that we should say that at a time when our debates are inevitably taken up with accenting and highlighting the parts of Africa where there are difficulties It is because I wish to and must accent those difficulties that I wish specifically to refer to what is happening in other parts of Africa where there is considerable quiet and where steady progress is being made by newly independent countries. As I have said, Nigeria tends to be the anchor man in West Africa.
I want to refer to the situation in 'Ghana. The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations paid a timely visit to Ghana following upon the Press war which seemed to have been developed and which was being fought out with great bitterness. There was a useful exchange of views. The communiqué seemed to be rather in the form of a dialogue—" Mr. Sandys said this and President Nkrumah replied that". It did not seem to be so much a joint communiqué as an expression of what they said to each other. However, there was one thing on which they apparently agreed and I wish to speak in these terms this afternoon. The communiqué said that President Nkrumah and the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations appealed… to all who play a part in forming public opinion in each country to show understanding for the point of view of the other country, and to take the utmost care to avoid misinterpretation of the other's policies and intentions, and thereby help to strengthen confidence and friendship between Ghana and Britain.359 What I have to say this afternoon is said in that spirit and very much with those words in mind.
However, I must say that considerable anxiety has been aroused in this country by the arrest during the last few weeks of a large number of people in public life in Ghana. The Government has made allegations that those people have been arrested because of their activities which were intended to overthrow the Government by violence. I wish to stress that that is the case of the Government of Ghana and its view about the matter. It has reinforced its determination to maintain order by the Bill recently passed through the House in Ghana to set up special courts to hear the cases of the fifty who have been arrested.
Like everyone else, I have not seen a full account of what is happening in Ghana, but I must be influenced—as we must all be influenced—by the views of people like Mr. Gbedemah, whom many of us have known for years and whose experience in public life is well known to all of us and whose attitude to public affairs has been well determined and settled. When he says, as he did of the earlier Preventive Detention Act, 1958, that it has become an instrument of tyranny, such a statement must cause grave concern coming from such a source.
I understand that there are over 300 people who are called reactionary agents and tribal fanatics who are in gaol today without trial in Ghana. According to Mr. Gbedemah—and I repeat that I have not seen it and therefore have not read and do not know its full content—this Bill which is now in the course of passage will extinguish the flickering flame of freedom in Ghana.
Those are serious allegations from a person who was so close to the Prime Minister and who has held the position that Mr. Gbedemah has held for so long. The High Commissioner in London has promised that the Government will issue a White Paper setting out the evidence upon which they are acting. In a letter which he wrote to The Times on 13th October, he reminded us—and I think it was a reminder that we needed—that on a previous occasion when there was 360 a Commission of Inquiry into events in Ghana it was found by that Commission that certain prominent political leaders had been engaged in a conspiracy which was revolutionary in character.
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu (Brigg)
Is my hon. Friend aware that that Commission of Inquiry was composed of three persons, one of whom was the eminent British jurist to whom that letter refers? The other two were entirely under the control and in the power of the Government of Ghana. The chairman, the distinguished and eminent British jurist, made a minority report in which he said that none of these things had happened.
§ Mr. Callaghan
My right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) reminds me that the Report was unanimous on this section that I am quoting. I think that my hon. and learned Friend is falling into the trap which I am trying to avoid. He is prejudging these issues because he has taken a keen and active interest in them. I do not think that it is the job of this House to act as judge and jury in this matter, but it is our job to point out to the Government the anxieties that are felt and to try to present as fair and as balanced a picture as we can of the pros and cons of this matter.
I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will not pick out something which he finds attractive to his point of view at the moment, because I am trying to say what the position is as we see it here. Having made that quotation, I was going on to say that I think we must wait for the White Paper before we form conclusions. I ask that the Government in their communications with the Ghana Government should consider, in any diplomatic way they can, pressing on the Ghana Government the advantages to all those who are friends of Ghana of setting up a judicial committee of inquiry so that we can ascertain as far as possible what happened and what has happened as a result of these recent developments.
It has been said by some spokesmen for the Liberal Party that because of this development we should cancel the Queen's visit. It is even said that her safety is endangered. I find that very difficult to believe. The Queen's visit to Ghana is made as Head of the 361 Commonwealth. If this issue is involved, it will be for all the Commonwealth Governments to discuss the matter, and no doubt Her Majesty's Government will play their part in any discussions that are necessary on this issue. I do not wish to dignify this issue with further importance by pressing the Secretary of State for the Colonies for assurances about the Queen's safety or anything of that sort. It seems to me that this issue ought to be left to discussions if any are necessary, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman for no assurances. I am confident that the Government will do whatever is necessary and proper in discussions with other Commonwealth Governments, and that the Ghana Government will take part in these discussions.
A further point put by the spokesman of the Liberal Party was that the Queen should not visit Ghana because of strong disagreement with the policy of Ghana. It is said that even though we here know that the goes as a constitutional Monarch, or, more accurately, as Head of the Commonwealth, and we realise that she is not responsible for the actions of her Ministers, nevertheless, it is said, her presence will be used to bolster up the régime of the present Ghana Government.
I do not take that view. It seems to me that it would be utterly wrong for advice to be offered to Her Majesty which would mean an irreparable and permanent breach between Ghana and other Commonwealth members on the issue of a visit by her to West Africa. She will be visiting other territories. She will be going to Sierra Leone, and it seems to me that we should certainly not take a decision which will create a breach between Ghana and the Commonwealth over this matter.
I know that there are elements in Ghana who would welcome a breach with the Commonwealth. Is it the intention of anybody in the Liberal Party, or anybody else, to strengthen those elements? The communiqué which was published at the end of the discussions said that President Nkrumah and Mr. Sandys wereconvinced that the Commonwealth as a multi-racial association of free peoples could play a unique part in providing a bridge between races and continents and in helping to create trust and understanding between them.362 I agree. It is not for us at this stage to encourage elements in Ghana or elsewhere who would endeavour and desire to separate Ghana from the Commonwealth.
We know from that communiqué that Dr. Nkrumah does not share those views; that he is anxious to maintain a close association with the Commonwealth. I had the good fortune to know Dr. Nkrumah for 14 years before he reached his present elevated position. He has written me friendly letters and I have replied in like terms. I should like to say to him as one friend to another that I very much admire the work that he and his Government have done in the domestic field. In schooling they have made a most dramatic and remarkable change and offered tremendous opportunities to the children of their country. They have made great advances in health. They have made great progress in housing. They have done great things in communications and transport. I think that we can all take pride in feeling that the Government of Ghana have been able to take such rapid strides forward on the domestic front. I hope, too, that his tremendous Volta River project will succeed.
In my view, there is no case for repeating the folly of the Aswan Dam. This Volta River project must go on, but I say to Dr. Nkrumah that I am alarmed at the acute division which exists in Ghana. I am alarmed at the action being taken against people who until recently have been his political associates and friends for many years. I hope that he will assuage the anxieties of those who are speaking as his friends by ensuring that no steps are taken which will lessen the liberties of the people of Ghana or deprive politicians of their freedom because they speak their minds. Equally, there is an obligation on those who are the opponents of the régime to eschew violence and sedition in any form. The obligation falls on both sides, but the obligation falls in a major way on Dr. Nkrumah to create conditions in which it will not be felt that sedition is the only way of recovering and restoring the position which previously existed.
I deal now with Kenya. In recent weeks contrast has been made between 363 the economic and political developments in that country. I have not had the good fortune to go there, although I hope to be there on Saturday morning in company with the hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Arbuthnot). I am sure that the Colonial Secretary knows that there is only one way to get to know about a country, and that is to go to see for himself, and I hope that he will make it his business as soon as possible to visit Kenya and Northern Rhodesia. These are two territories which he should visit at the earliest possible moment—and if he wants to know the names of some good hotels, I will tell him where they are.
But, as I understand it, there is, fortunately, a movement on the economic front which seems to tend towards greater stability. It looks as though the Europeans, who were extremely frightened—as we know from past debates—have recovered from their first shock, and I hope that the new investment which is going on will continue and that there will be an upsurge in addition to the turn up that has taken place in the Kenya economy. The Colonial Secretary is right when he says that it is upon the economic development of that great country that all the social advantages and benefits that the new Government wish to make will turn and develop.
Politically, however, the position is bad. I hoped and thought, and I said—and I was attacked for saving it—that when Kenyatta was released a national leader would emerge. Hon. Members opposite attacked me for saying this, not because they thought that he would not emerge as a national leader but that he would be a force for evil. I am afraid that I overestimated his position. He has not emerged as a national leader, as I had expected and hoped would be the case when he was in detention. As the Colonial Secretary said, constitutional talks have broken down because of the fears of domination by one tribe about another.
Although hon. Members opposite think that we are always very good at prescribing solutions, I am always cheerful about doing so. But I do not prescribe many of them, and I do not wish to do so on this occasion. I do not think that it is possible for the Colonial Secretary, here in London, even with the advice of Sir 364 Patrick Renison, to produce a solution in this case, and I would beg him to go slow before he arbitrates on this matter.
It seems to me that the time has arrived for the Africans to work out these solutions themselves. It is no use their looking to us all the time to pull them out of difficulties which they cannot resolve. These men, Mboya, Ngala, and the rest in Kenya, with whom I have had many conversations and discussions, are the founding fathers of their nation, and they really must now agree upon their basic aims and purposes and the conditions under which their nation is to live. The constitutional rights of the individual and the question of land titles, which the Colonial Secretary mentioned, are of supreme importance. I am sure that the Governor is right when he says that there must be a joint approach by all parties in Kenya to this basic question, because the nation cannot begin to galvanise itself to move forward until there is some agreement on the basic principles and issues under which the Government will operate, and there must be common consent under fundamental purposes.
But when the Colonial Secretary is discussing these issues with the Governor, I would ask him to examine the question whether there must be a national Government in order to achieve these ends. I do not see why, if the Kenya Africa National Union is in difficulties about coming into the Government, it should be pressed to do so. It is in a very difficult position at the moment. It is in some ways the majority party, and it can claim that it is operating against a minority Government. I can see the advantages of the Administration in Kenya taking Kanu inside the Government. It would create a broad front. But if Kanu has these difficulties about coming in, it is up to that party to decide, and I think that it is entitled to stay out of the Government if it wants to.
At the same time, to the extent that we can offer advice—and we have been doing so for a very long time, perhaps we do it too much—we are entitled to tell it that whether it joins the Government or not it really must have discussions with the Government Party in order to work out the fundamental basis 365 and aims of the country. Then there will be a starting point from which the party battle can commence. If these people do not show themselves able to resolve these basic differences, I would tell them that they are not fit for self-government. If there is not a sufficient identity of purpose between the people living in a State to enable them to work out fundamental aims, then clearly they are not able to act as a unitary country. This would be an impossible position.
I do not wish to raise heat, but I can imagine some who might snigger about this and say, "There you are. What did we tell you?"
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South) indicated assent.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I hope that the noble Lord the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) will not say that, because he cannot govern out there, and the local Europeans cannot govern out there. It must be for the Africans, who now have the political power and responsibility, to show themselves capable and able of forming a nation and acting as such within the premises laid down. The responsibility rests upon the African political leaders and parties in this matter to solve Kenya's problems.
I now turn to Northern Rhodesia and Central Africa, because it is upon this question that I have my major criticisms to make of Her Majesty's Government. It seems to me that the situation there has gone back since we last debated it, on 25th July. Since that debate there have been over 2,600 arrests, particularly in the Northern Province. A number of people have been killed. I do not know the precise number, but it is variously estimated that between twenty and forty Africans have been killed, shot, are missing or have died in disturbances. I have seen enough of African affairs to know that the blame rarely rests on one side in these issues, and I would be quite willing to assume that there has been arson by irresponsible elements, and that there has been violence by Africans who have turned in this direction because of the deep feelings they have about the British Government's proposals.
But, having admitted that, I am bound to say that I do not put the police in a white sheet on this issue. One has only 366 to mention the word "Hola" to know that there are occasions where a police force, under heavy strain and subject to great temptation and difficulties, can go beyond the normal bounds of what is necessary in order to restrain mob violence, arson or whatever the crime may be, and it is a shocking thing that between twenty and forty men and women should be killed in one of our colonial territories without the Colonial Secretary seeing fit to make any reference to that fact in his first speech at the Dispatch Box.
I believe that we should do in this case what we have done in other cases. In the case of the election disturbances in Zanzibar, the former Colonial Secretary sent out the mission to which the present Colonial Secretary referred this afternoon, which is coming back with a report. I hope to carry the House with me when I say that if between twenty and forty subjects for whom we are responsible are shot or killed during the course of disturbances the House has a responsibility to make sure—quite apart from any reassurances that the Colonial Secretary may have had from the Governor—that the right degree of force has been used, and that we have behaved properly in carrying out our responsibilities as the governing power. Therefore, I make the strongest request of the Colonial Secretary to set up a judicial inquiry similar to those set up in similar territories in similar circumstances in order that the facts may be made known.
I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman would try to avoid this because it would be inconvenient to him. There is no reason why he should not do so, and I would not dream of accusing him of seeking to avoid such a course. But we cannot allow these events, which have gone on over a period of some weeks, and have not been widely reported in the Press, to go without investigation by independent persons. Therefore, I make that strong request to the Colonial Secretary.
Some indication has been already given to the House by the Colonial Secretary of the course of events. I do not wish to detain the House too long, but I must recite some of them. Let me sum up the position, perhaps for the Colonial Secretary's own edification, so that he may 367 see how we stand. Monckton recommended over a year ago that there ought to be an African majority in Northern Rhodesia. This is how we see it. When the Africans came here for the Constitutional Review in December, as we see it and as we understand it, the Leader of the House gave them assurances that there would be an African majority in Northern Rhodesia. I have said this before. This is their understanding of what he said to them.
When the Federal Review was completed and they met later on for the Northern Rhodesia Constitutional Review, the first thing that happened was that Sir Roy Wellensky's Party boycotted it, and here the Leader of the House made his first mistake. He conducted back-door negotiations with those who had boycotted the Conference. He would not have done that with the Africans if they had boycotted the Conference. The Leader of the House held his ground sufficiently as a result to publish a White Paper which, although it did not give the Africans a majority—and they were rather disappointed in him personally, therefore—at least it enabled us to go to the Africans, as I did, and to advise them that with 75,000 electors, as against 22,000 European electors, it was really worth their while to fight the election in Northern Rhodesia to see how far they could get. We did not divide the House on it—although there was some pressure upon us to do so—because it was felt that the Government had gone back on their pledges.
Then came the period of intense pressure, both by "Voice and Vision" and by Sir Roy Welensky, between March and June. It is then that the damage was done. When Sir Roy Welensky flew back to Salisbury on 21st March he left the Prime Minister almost in tears—so I am told—in tears of gratitude to Sir Roy Welensky for the understanding which he had shown and the assurances which he had been given. The Press said that no assurances had been given to Sir Roy Welensky and he returned defeated. I have been rereading the cuttings over the last couple of days to refresh my memory.
What happened? In June, there was another White Paper which went back on the old one, and the Scotsman, which 368 has followed these events very intelligently, stated:Perhaps a casuist may say that the new June White Paper was within the spirit of the March White Paper but the results were different.The Colonial Secretary and the Leader of the House know that they were different. I do not share the view of Lord Salisbury that the Leader of the House was "too clever by half". I think that he was not half clever enough. I think that the right hon. Gentleman thought that he had outsmarted Mr. Julian Greenfield, but Mr. Julian Greenfield did the arithmetic better than did the right hon. Gentleman. That was said by the Scotsman at the time. Mr. Julian Greenfield gave an interview to the Scotsman in which he claimed that the consequences of the new White Paper were that the United Federal Party had a prospect of securing a substantial electoral victory. This was the only logical inference.
If hon. Members will think back over the course of events, they will see how the Leader of the House departed from the original expectations, intentions and beliefs of the Africans in Northern Rhodesia, and this has caused the trouble in Northern Rhodesia today. The Leader of the House is responsible for it. Although it may be said that the right hon. Gentleman was subjected to great pressure by Sir Roy Welensky, his was the decision. It was the Leader of the House and the Prime Minister —and all the members of the Cabinet, of course—who had taken the decision. I say to the right hon. Gentleman that he has tarnished his reputation in Northern Rhodesia, and I am extremely sorry about that because of the good work which I know he has done elsewhere, and for which I commend him. I am extremely sorry that he did not stay at the Colonial Office to clear up this issue. I say to the new Colonial Secretary that his predecessor only tarnished his reputation in that respect. He had done good things elsewhere. But the new Colonial Secretary has not that advantage. He is starting with Northern Rhodesia and he cannot retrieve affairs in Nyasaland as did the Leader of the House.
I am sure that the new Colonial Secretary has realised, even in the last two days, that in Tanganyika they will be 369 watching to see what he does. In Uganda they will be reading the Press to see what are the opinions of the Colonial Secretary. In Southern Rhodesia they will be observing his progress in Northern Rhodesia. This is also the opportunity of the right hon. Gentleman. Everywhere he will be judged in Africa by the way in which he tackles his first problem. He cannot leave this problem. I hope that he will not listen to siren voices telling him to let it boil, to let it simmer. We have to take the problem of Northern Rhodesia in hand straight away, and we believe that the actions of the Government on this issue over the last few months have altered very substantially. If I may put it in its simplest form, the fact is that the votes of 22,000 people will weigh much more than the votes of 73,000 people. If they do not believe that a majority ought to count, do not put those people on the electoral roll. If they do think that, let it be represented in the results which emerge from it.
I must say a final word to the Colonial Secretary about what I think he ought to do. The electors must have a representative Government in Northern Rhodesia. This will involve the right hon. Gentleman in great difficulties with Sir Roy Welensky—and perhaps with some of his own supporters. But he has to make a decision on this issue. He can walk the tightrope as much as he likes and keep everyone sweet as long as he can, but there comes a moment when a choice has to be made. I put it simply to the Colonial Secretary that he must make this choice. It is quite simple. He must have a representative Government in Northern Rhodesia if there is to be peace there and if justice is to be done. Those are our very strong views.
Secondly, and this is a minor point, the Asians should be restored to the upper roll. That is something he will find little difficulty in doing. Sir Roy Welensky thought that if they were put on the upper roll they would vote with the African's. I think that they will. So what? What is the object? From Sir Roy Welensky's point of view it is the frustration of the will of the electors, but that ought not to be the object of the Colonial Secretary.
370 Thirdly, I repeat my simple request that the right hon. Gentleman should inquire much more closely into the whereabouts of prisoners who have been arrested recently. I have received a number of allegations with which I do not propose to trouble the House because I think it would be unfair to read out the things which have been said. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman must have received them at the Colonial Office. But a number of allegations have been made in London and Northern Rhodesia which, from a security angle, demand a full-scale judicial inquiry.
I have one other thing to say to the Colonial Secretary. I have in my hand what is said to be a photostat copy of a directive issued by the United Federal Party. No doubt other hon. Members have received a copy. If this be true it seems to me very close to sedition. It is dated 20th September and contains a number of points and includes a suggested possible course of action for discussion. There have been references in the newspapers to the conference which discussed what is supposed to be the agenda—I say supposed to be because how can I prove that it is so? This has been given to me by a reputable person, someone who was a colonial civil servant in Rhodesia. It calls on the Federal Government to:Exercise control over immigration and emigration of colonial civil servants"—that seems to me highly improper—exercise control over the use by colonial civil servants of the federal system of transportation—withdrawal of loan guarantees—Federal Police Force—call-up for training purposes of all classes 30–40 age group.If Kenneth Kaunda had said half of this he would have been in gaol by now. I ask the Colonial Secretary to review this problem.
I wish to say a final word about the Federation. I will not repeat all the arguments about it. They are well known and I have stated them many times. But I should like to draw attention to one thing. I had a telegram from hon. Gentlemen visiting the Federation and Nyasaland at the time of the dispute some time ago appealing to me to intervene because the houses of supporters of the United Federal Party were being burned down. I have had sufficient experience of these 371 matters to know that I should keep away from that sort of allegation and I did not act upon it. But there is no doubt that it influenced a number of hon. Gentlemen in this House into believing that the Malawi Congress Party was addicted to violence and would give way to it. I think it ought to go on record that those who made the allegations have been sentenced to gaol for perjury and that the action which they took was quite unrelated to the truth of the events. I believe this to be true also of another scare which I think influenced hon. Gentlemen very much, that is the vaccination scare.
I had the most explicit assurance from Dr. Banda that officially he and his followers never opposed the idea of vaccination, but I warn hon. Members who go out there under "Voice and Vision", or any other auspices, that we are moving in very murky waters. Sometimes when I see the reports of what they say when they come back I wonder. Someone was reported as saying recently that before he went out there he thought all the Europeans were arrogant and all the Africans were slaves. He cannot have attended our debates here or ever been present at the discussions we have had in this Chamber. It is really too bad that "Voice and Vision" should pick up people who never attend colonial debates or discussions either before they go or after they have been and come back to make speeches about events when clearly they have never studied the events which have taken place in those territories.
§ Mr. Robert Jenkins (Dulwich)
I happen to be one who went out and I have attended all the debates. A large number of my hon. Friends who have been out there have done so also, as have some of the hon. Member's hon. Friends. Therefore, it is quite wrong for him to say that those of us who have been out there and know the facts very well indeed do not attend the debates and do not take part in them.
§ Mr. Callaghan
If the cap does not fit the hon. Member he need not wear it. I was not particularising about anyone.
I welcome very much the progress being made in Southern Rhodesia by 372 the Southern Rhodesian Government. The communiqué issued today about the recent speech of Sir Edgar Whitehead seemed to me to show a marked improvement and a marked change. If that course which Sir Edgar Whitehead has marked out is held to it can make a tremendous improvement in relationships with Southern Rhodesia, but it cannot save the situation in the Federation. The Federation is blamed as being responsible for every evil. If the cow does not give enough milk it is the fault of Sir Roy Welensky. As Lord Monckton and his colleagues saw clearly, this matter has passed the point of no return. It would be far better for Sir Roy Welensky and his friends to cut their losses on the Federation and start again to build an association between these territories which is freely negotiated and to which there is assent.
So long as they continue with the present system in the Federation, I believe there will be nothing but continuous trouble and these territories will not move in the way they should. To be anti-Federation is not to be anti-European; indeed, there are many Europeans who are anti-Federation. The Federation was nothing but an artificial structure to impose on these territories as a very useful and convenient form of Government. I point out to the Colonial Secretary that it is not even necessary for economic development. Different arrangements could be made to achieve the economic development of these territories. I beg him to start again in this field. Banda, Nkomo and Kaunda are looking to Dar-es-Salaam and will not look to Salisbury as long as the Federal Government, dominated by a small minority, is in power there.
I am sure I am right about this. No matter what we think about the advantages Federation could bestow, has bestowed, and can continue to bestow, the fact remains that we are up against one of the big political obstacles in Central Africa today—the refusal of the great majority of people there, whether they have votes or not, to accept this system of government, thought up no doubt with the best intentions. It has not fructified in the way in which those who originally created it hoped it would. I have ventured to make statements at some length on this matter, but I hope the House will 373 agree that it is worth while to have this discussion on Africa today which I hope will follow in the debate.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. R. H. Turton (Thirsk and Malton)
With the first part of the speech of the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) I found myself in very close agreement. As I have said before, I think it a great pity that during the last eighteen months we have not devoted more attention to the economic side of colonial problems.
In particular, I think it lamentable that the Colonial Development Corporation has remained so limited and has not been able to deal with the problems of emerging territories. Equally, I am sure that the hon. Member is right to stress the need to work out some system for the stabilisation of the prices of primary commodities. I can remember going to see the present Colonial Secretary, when he was in another capacity, and urging him to take a very great step in that direction.
When the hon. Member came to the question of Ghana, I started to find myself not in agreement with him. I, too, have considerable anxiety about what is happening in Ghana. I, too, have a desire not to enter too deeply into the politics of Ghana respecting Mr. Nkrumah, whom I know, and also bearing in mind that I have friendship with Mr. Gbedemah, but I do not think that that is the whole of the question. At the time that South Africa was in the Commonwealth, I do not think that the hon. Member would have adopted quite the same line about a projected State visit there. I feel that we must look at this matter not only as affecting ourselves, but from the point of view of the Commonwealth as a whole. This is a Commonwealth matter.
Suppose that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister had placed in custody the right hon. Member far Belper (Mr. G. Brown), the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East and the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker). Suppose the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Colonial Secretary had been forced to resign their offices. Suppose, also that the Leader of the Opposition had set up an alternative Opposition in 374 Paris. I think that the French people would advise President de Gaulle against paying a formal visit to the Prime Minister. It would not be the right moment for that State courtesy to take place. I have tried to put the position in a parallel.
It seems to me that this is not the moment for Her Majesty the Queen to go to Ghana. She is something far too precious both to us in this country and to the whole Commonwealth. If President Nkrumah has been wise to take these precautions, quite clearly there is grave danger to Her Majesty if she makes the visit. If he is acting not out of wisdom, I think that the rest of the Commonwealth would prefer her to postpone her visit for a year and not to visit him when he is acting unwisely.
I leave that and come to the point about which as the House knows I feel strongly and on which I hold a minority view. I was impressed by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, whom I congratulate on his appointment, when he talked about continuity of policy. The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East was quite quick to react to that.
The February proposals and the June settlement were something I did not like. I always regarded the June settlement as the final decision, but I did not like it as a final decision because, in my view, it was not based on the principles of the 1958 Constitution that were settled by the predecessor of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. I should like to have seen a solution based upon those principles, but I was in a minority and my right hon. Friend thought that his solution was, as he expressed it in this House, fairer than the principles of the Lennox-Boyd Constitution and would get more Africans into the Assembly.
I agree with everybody in this House that it is most desirable to get more Africans into the Assembly in Northern Rhodesia, but the question is: what Africans? I remember that when speaking last July, when I gave the answer "The responsible Africans", I was sneered at by the hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon)—whom I warned that I would refer to him—because he asked who was I to decide who was responsible. On that occasion, 375 the hon. Member betrayed his ignorance of the history of this matter.
I was using that expression because the Tredgold Franchise Report was asked to determine for Northern Rhodesia how this franchise should be extended and to whom control should be given. In that report, the Committee made it clear that its definition of "responsible persons" was those who could exercise the franchise "with reason, judgment and public spirit". In my view, the Tredgold Franchise Report was something that it was wrong to disturb last year. The Lennox-Boyd Constitution of 1958 was based upon it. Had we wanted to have more Africans in the Assembly, it was perfectly possible, under the Lennox-Boyd Constitution, to have achieved that object by increasing the number of seats in the rural areas where it was certain Africans would be returned.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster did not choose that course. As a result, he chose his much more dramatic February proposals, pretending that they would work out to be non-racial in character. The reason why, I think, the Government have got into such difficulty over the Northern Rhodesian Constitution is that there has been a lack of continuity of policy and the February Constitution was bound to have this racial content in it, as became evident between February and June.
Instead of having a Constitution based upon the Tredgold Report, we are having to try to put in guarantees and defences against electors being subjected to intimidation at the hands of extremists. That is why, obviously, if the February Constitution is to work, there must be some method of protecting the country against intimidation. That was why we had the White Paper in June containing the Governor's proposals.
In that White Paper, which the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East said that he required a slide rule to understand—and I, equally, have found difficulty with it—the Governor said, in paragraph 13:I remain of the view that it is essential, if the purposes of the White Paper are to be realised, to subject all candidates for election in national constituencies to a requirement that obliges them to obtain a prescribed measure of minimum support.376 He then brought in the 12½ per cent. or 400 votes for qualification, and he said:I could not recommend reliance on an absolute number of votes as the sole test of minimum support, without the alternative of securing a percentage, because this would permit frustration of the elections in the event of a low poll …and the danger of boycott.
That was the first of the conditions which, I gather, are in the balance.
Secondly, the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East mentioned the Asian seat. I found the Asian seat the hardest part of the June White Paper to understand. If, however, one reflects that there must be safeguards against intimidation— and I hope that much as we in this House differ on these matters, the two sides of the House both agree that any constitution which Britain offers to an emerging territory must contain adequate safeguards against intimidation—there is a particular problem in the African townships where there are Asian traders, who are undoubtedly vulnerable to intimidation, especially at the hands of extremists.
I do not know what other hon. Members find, but I always find in my constituency that the shopkeepers are never very anxious to enter into party politics, because they think that that would damage their custom. In a country where intimidation is rife, clearly the Asians must be protected against intimidation. I believe that the Asian seat was the right way of doing it.
As to the amount of intimidation, that is something which cannot be ignored. Paragraph 29 of the Monckton Report has been quoted in this House before. I only want to remind hon. Members that in that paragraph, the Commission said it was convinced thatintimidation and violence have been organised on a considerable scale by national parties against their political opponents.The whole paragraph deals with it, but to save time I merely refer to it.
What justification has been given for the Asian seat? May I remind my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and hon. Members that when my right hon. Friend was discussing the matter on 25th July he expressed surprise that there had been any queries about the Asian seat, and he said:Frankly, I find this surprising, because if we look at the Monckton Report we find that 377 the Commission recorded specifically … in paragraph 48, that it was one of the points, indeed the first point, made to it by the Asian and coloured witnesses. They said that they were given no political representation. Part of the Monckton recommendations is that there should be such political representation."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th July, 1961; Vol. 645, c. 266.]That was the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, when Colonial Secretary, justifying the final settlement of June, the final decision of the Government.
I did not agree with that general settlement, but I felt that it would be wrong for me to vote against it because it appeared to me to be an honest attempt to secure a non-racial solution. It was not the way I would have chosen. I would have chosen something else—the Lennox-Boyd Constitution. But what followed? There was opposition by the African National Congress and by U.N.I.P. The African National Congress used argument, but some followers of U.N.I.P. resorted to very ugly outbreaks of violence.
What I think is very wrong in that connection is for the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, without any evidence, to blame the police and accuse them of rough handling. I do not think that it is right that we in Parliament should attack men who are doing their duty, basing our charges on no evidence. All the evidence, even the admission of Mr. Kaunda, is that some of his followers burnt cinemas, burnt schools, sabotaged communications, used dynamite—
§ Mr. Callaghan
I think that I put the position fairly. It has been reported to me, as a Member of Parliament, that there are a number of men and women, whose names I have—and whose names, I believe, the Colonial Secretary has—who have been beaten up, who have been abstracted from their homes and are missing.
The right hon. Member is really putting an impossible burden on hon. Members if he says that we are not to say such a thing in this House unless we can show that we have been to the territory—because I know of no other way—and can demonstrate that this is so. I really did try to put it as fairly as I could, and I hope that I succeeded. I thought it my duty to report the matter, and wanted an investigation. I really see no reason to withdraw anything said.
§ Mr. Turton
Perhaps I misunderstood that part of the hon. Gentleman's speech. I thought that he was there trying to diminish the importance of the extremists' violence by laying the blame on the action of the police. If I was wrong, I can only say that that was the impression he conveyed to me. We have to be very careful in this House, when public servants are doing their duty under very grave difficulties, when dynamite is being used and a great deal of damage is being done to the progress we hope for in Northern Rhodesia, not to attack those whose duty it is to keep law and order, and who are doing a job requiring the support of every one in this country. It is very unwise to attack them—
§ Mr. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
The right hon. Gentleman has referred to Mr. Kenneth Kaunda as having admitted that some of his followers did this violence. Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the report issued by Mr. Kenneth Kaunda last week, after he had been allowed to visit these areas for the first time, which gives, in considerable detail, evidence that supports what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan)?
§ Mr. Turton
If the hon. Member is to make some more charges against the police—I gather that he was in that occupation yesterday, regarding Trafalgar Square—what is quite clear is that on 30th August, the Prime Minister, through his Private Secretary, wrote to Mr. Kenneth Kaunda saying:It is a matter of great regret to the Prime Minister that, despite the sincere advice which has been given to you by the Colonial Secretary and others about the dangers and repercussions of violence, the situation should have developed in which large numbers of adherents of the party of which you are the leader have deliberately resorted to violence to gain their own ends.It is to me a matter of very great regret that within fourteen days of the Prime Minister writing that letter—in fact, on 13th September; if I may correct the Colonial Secretary, not 14th September—on 13th September, the very day when, a few miles away over the border, force was being used and the unarmed police of President Tshombe were being shot down, the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster should have authorised the Colonial Office to 379 make a statement saying that the final decision of June was to be reopened when violence had ceased.
I notice that, in his spare time, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is writing in the Sunday Times articles on appeasement. I am afraid that on that occasion he applied appeasement to Africa. I believe that that was a wicked, wicked thing to do. I do not believe that by appeasement one brings peace. Perhaps I may here be allowed to quote from a letter I received from Africa, written directly the writer heard of the former Colonial Secretary's action. He wrote:You know, as I do, that methods employed by the terrorists are foreign to this country, and have been imported from outside our borders, engineered by enemies of both Christian Democracy and the West. Britain should realise that she is not surrendering to African Nationalists but to those who have trained them to employ these evil methods.He goes on:No one likes the proposed Constitution for Northern Rhodesia, but it would be unwise to reopen negotiations on it again at this stage, as it will certainly mean surrender to violence. It will be a bad example to Africans.I very much hope that the Colonial Secretary will bear those facts in mind. I think that the present Colonial Secretary is so right to say that one of his three principles is that where there is this difficulty of communication between himself and the Colonies, between this side of the House, often, and that side, we should try to remove misunderstandings. Perhaps it may help, as I am one who holds what is a minority view on this, if I try to restate to myself and to the House my views generally on this problem.
I believe in the Federation in Central Africa. I believe that what we are trying to seek is right—a multi-racial solution of these problems, and a multiracial partnership. After all, I have talked to Mr. Kenneth Kaunda and to many of the Nationalist leaders in the different territories, and they have always told me that they thought federation was the solution, although they always disagreed with me that the Federation should include Southern Rhodesia. I think that there must be a Federation in order to give the economic advantages to all three territories, and I believe that it will be tragic if it breaks down.
380 I attach importance to multi-racialism. Some people tell me that the word "multi-racial" is a dirty word and must not be used; that one ought to use the word "non-racial." The danger of that attitude is that, in time, every word becomes a dirty word. Every African who tries to support partnership becomes an outcast, and that is because certain people outside the country are trying to undermine partnership in Africa.
I am sure that we in this House, however much we disagree, have to try to get over that difficulty. We must, I think, try to build this multi-racial partnership by breaking down the barriers between the different races in the Federation, and I agree with the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East when I say that after my recent visits to Southern Rhodesia one of the most cheering things today is the efforts being made to break down this racial discrimination. I think that Sir Edgar Whitehead has done a great deal on that matter. I would welcome an African majority if I were satisfied that it was in favour of federation.
§ Mr. Turton
I knew that that would evince a chortle from the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede).
If one believes in federation and in Northern Rhodesia being a partner in that federation, what is the use of electing men who are out to wreck the Federation? Far better for us now to take our decision and say that we will end the Federation. If this experiment is to succeed—it is the biggest experiment in Africa—it requires men who are devoted to the idea of federation. I have found in Central Africa many Africans, not necessarily of all one party, who are determined to make this multiracial experiment a success. They are there. That is why I believe that we ought to stop intimidation there and give every encouragement to multiracial partnership.
I hope that my right hon. Friend, whom I sincerely congratulate on his appointment, will take one further piece of advice from the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, that he should go out and visit the Colonies. Will he also review his system of having constitutional conferences at Lancaster House? 381 I believe that it is a very great mistake to have conferences in the gaudy Victorianism of Lancaster House, hoping to impress delegations from emerging territories with the grandeur of Britain with that particular type of architecture and with the Westminster Parliament and hoping that they will go back to build a constitution on the Westminster model or make some advance on the pattern proposed by the Colonial Office.
I think that it is a very unwise thing, because when such delegations go back from Lancaster House they are removed from this spell and have to explain what they have agreed to people who have not been under that spell. It would be far better to hold our constitutional conferences in Africa. It would be very good for the Colonial Office and give it a little travel which is very good for broadening the mind. It would be difficult for the Colonial Secretary, but by a system of double banking I expect that it could be done. If there would be subversive influences surrounding the conferences, let us remember that those influences will be there when the members go back to Africa from Lancaster House. It would be much better to deal with them there on the spot. I give that thought to the new Colonial Secretary.
When I wish him well, I realise that we shall differ from time to time—from one emerging territory to another. But I know that the policy of Her Majesty's Government is not the personal private possession of any particular Colonial Secretary. In my view, it is a policy formed to float on the Wind of Change and, as such, I shall at times have to oppose it, but that is not a bad thing. I never mind differences of opinion when they are sincerely held and, obviously, if there are differences of opinion this House is designed for them.
If there were no difference of opinion this House would have the wrong shape and no purpose. However much we may differ, I hope that my right hon. Friend, in all his policies, will never again allow appeasement to enter into them as a way of solving a problem. If once the British Government are thought to be appeased by violence, that is the end of their policy. There are too many of this 382 nation who have died as a result of that policy. If we apply it to Africa it will arouse the contempt and distrust of all.
§ 4.46 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Creech Jones (Wakefield)
I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) does not expect me to examine his declaration of faith. I imagine that he is somewhat gratified that he and his friends have succeeded—it is certainly a factor in the matter—in the change of the Colonial Secretary and the appointment of a new one. I wish the new Colonial Secretary all success in the difficult work that he has to undertake. I would say of his predecessor that he has to his credit a number of very liberal achievements, and it was the regret of many of us that in the last days of his administration that a lapse occurred in regard to Northern Rhodesia.
The subject of the debate is wide and, I fear, somewhat vague. It is not my intention to discuss some of the immediate issues in Africa. They have been brilliantly discussed by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). Issues in Ghana, Kenya, and some of the problems arising in Central Africa I leave alone. I want also to ignore some of the fundamental, social and economic developments in Africa, important as they are, and merely refer to a limited number of political issues respecting the continent as a whole.
All of us, I think, are conscious of the amazing changes which have come over the face of Africa in the past 15 or 16 years. New nations have evolved, and new political forces are at work as a result. These nations are now represented in the United Nations and we have now to reckon, in the conditions of this modern world, with new developments the like of which could not he contemplated when the last war occurred. Old imperialisms have been steadily dismantled. France is engaged in her last struggle in Algeria. Already Belgium has left Africa and Portugal alone remains. I wish that our Government would show a much more vigorous and positive attitude in respect to the policy our ally Portugal is pursuing in her African territories. I said that the old imperialisms are disappearing in Africa. I regret that there is a new imperialism 383 operating in South Africa—the annexation by the Union of South Africa of South-West Africa and her refusal to allow international supervision over that territory.
I recall how a very short time ago comparatively speaking—the Colonial Office removed from Downing Street on the promise that there would be built on the site of the old Westminster Hospital a grand and spacious Colonial Office, handsome and suitable for all the great tasks which that office would have to do in the days to come. That was only about fifteen years ago. It was a pipe dream. That new Colonial Office was never built. No one foresaw at that time the changes which were coming about inside what was known then as the Colonial Empire. No one foresaw that within a brief period so many countries under Imperial domination would be free.
The Colonial Secretary this afternoon referred to the work of Conservative Colonial Secretaries during the past ten years, but let me remind him that it was the two Labour Governments which laid the foundations of independence and which made possible the work which the Conservative Governments have done since. That piece of history ought not to be forgotten. We as a party have always stood for the liberation and the freedom of the colonial peoples. It amuses me sometimes when I hear my Conservative friends talking that language—a common language today—with respect to Colonial Territories, whereas only a few years ago they were critical when I myself was engaged in the task of trying to prepare territories for independence. Sometimes I think there is a tendency for Conservatives to wear the clothing of my party and to talk its language. Anyway, today we commend the achievements of Tanganyika, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. We welcome them in the Commonwealth. We welcome their independence. We also notice that Kenya and Uganda are today well on the way.
All this means the gradual demise of the Colonial Office itself. I should like to pay a tribute to this Office of great historic importance before it becomes so disintegrated that its significance amongst the public offices is altogether lost. It has done this job of dismantling our British Imperial system without much 384 violence. My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East referred to Cyprus and the violence that was shown there, and to the violence which has occurred in Central Africa; but, on the whole, this Imperial system has been dismantled with very little violence, largely because of the ingenuity and the care which that great office has shown.
The transfer of political power which has occurred, the making of new constitutions suitable far the countries concerned—all that has been a very remarkable achievement. My only regret is that on the achievement of independence there has been a far too pedantic view of the meaning of independence, in that too many of these countries have been left with insufficient resources to cope with the social and economic development which independence has called for.
It was generally thought that there was no great problem in dismantling an empire such as Britain possessed. I believe that in earlier days Socialists thought that it was simple to rid the country of this heavy responsibility. Wendell Wilkie during his vice-Presidential campain often talked of the need of colonial powers ending colonial status, as if by a mere flick of a whip the thing could be done. But I think the Colonial Office has been involved in a number of very great difficulties. We have today discussed the problem of Ghana. The transfer of power into a territory which to some extent was politically immature and in which the traditional elements had to be brought under control was no easy task. I think sometimes that to expect a Western democracy to flourish where tribal society has previously existed calls for a very considerable jerk of one's imagination.
Likewise, there have been the difficulties due to European settlement, such as we have seen in Northern Rhodesia and Kenya. How could racial conflict be avoided? How could the aspirations of Europeans be subdued in order that they might be reconciled to the aspirations of the indigenous peoples in the territories? In this transfer to independence we have run into difficulties concerning the boundaries of some of these territories. Today there is the problem as it affects the Somalis—the boundaries fixed with Abyssinia—and Kenya. These are real difficulties arising from the building up of unity inside a State and 385 the satisfaction of the claims of other races inside some of these boundaries. Likewise there have been difficulties such as those recently experienced in Buganda, which has been standing out for its own traditional rights. In some cases we have had solemn treaty obligations, such as in the cases of Barotseland, Zanzibar and the East African coast. These pressing and urgent problems are being overcome today with very great skill by the Colonial Office.
In the making of constitutions—indeed of new nations—there can be no simple line of advance. And, as to the Continent of Africa itself, there can be no master plan for its development. The Colonial Secretary will discover in the archives of the Colonial Office an extraordinary master plan put forward about 1948 by Lord Montgomery for the development and the exploitation of this vast Continent. With his usual arrogance and profound ignorance of what he was writing about, he suggested that this great Continent should be the subject of what he called a master plan; that the Imperial Powers apparently could gather together and exert their influence over this Continent in order that the great wealth contained in it could be utilised by the Western world. It was all nonsense, of course, but it shows that too frequently when we have thought of Africa we have tended to think of one great land mass without also thinking of the great differences which exist in terms a race, economic conditions, geographical factors and the many other aspects which are so diversified in these great areas.
It may be that in the recent advocacy of some of the African leaders on the subject of Pan-Africanism they sometimes forget these wide diversities of conditions. The degree of political unity they are seeking may be impossible when the differences of races and the geographical factors involved are considered. However, we welcome the regional co-operation inside this Continent. The effort of the British Government in days gone by to get some degree of co-operation in West Africa obviously broke down and the council created, is no more. It was set up in the war years. An effort was made in East Africa. I hope that the Colonial Secretary will give every encouragement to the further effort now being made, particularly by 386 Mr. Nyerere, in the reconstituting of the High Commission for East Africa. Some tribute should be made to Sir Phillip Mitchell for the conception of the present High Commission. I had something to do in persuading the adoption of this Commission. It was based on equality of race, equality of territory and the establishment of common services administered by the representatives of the three territories. I welcome the fact that the great political development which has gone on in East Africa allows a reconstitution of this Commission in such a way that it can continue under the guidance of three democratic Governments and the maintenance of common services vital to East Africa.
That brings me to the issue of Central Africa and the statements made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thirsk and Malton regarding federation. I would reply that federation was possibly a sound political conception had the time been ripe for it. I have always opposed the present form of federation. It imposed a system on people who were not ready for it and who certainly did not want it. That fact struck me at the time—and I wrote and spoke about it. When I was in office I opposed it—largely because I knew that it must result in trouble and difficulties in the days to come. I suggested that the answer to the problem is an association between the three territories involved. This is of vital importance, for I believe that certain common services are necessary within the three territories. I felt that it was far more important to proceed on a basis of equality for the three territories and the creation of a loose association, with less power at the centre, and more in the territory if the cooperation of the Africans whose territories formed Central Africa was to be gained.
It will be very difficult for us to go forward with discussions on Federation until the Northern Rhodesian problem is solved. I have never been satisfied or happy with the electoral arrangements in the Federation and Rhodesia, some of which appear utterly fantastic and bear no reality to the facts. This applies also to the present Northern Rhodesian Constitution in which the arrangements seem completely unreal in the circumstances and conditions of that territory.
387 The final proposals which have been offered will be discussed only by the ending of violence in Northern Rhodesia. I cannot understand, when we are the protectors of the African people, when African political representation is inadequate and Africans have few channels of protest open to them against the acts of Government why justice cannot be done to the Africans when a thing is known to be just. It is known by the admission of the late Colonial Secretary that some amendments are due to the proposals which he has offered. He must be aware that these proposals are arousing not only the opposition of the Liberal Party but also the unanimous opposition of the Africans. Therefore, why pursue his proposals? If he permits Sir Roy Welensky to exercise duress on the Northern Rhodesia Government and the Colonial Office, why is pressure described as duress when the Africans protests, often by the only means at their disposal? If something is just, let the just thing be done. To put conditions that we must wait for violence to come to an end is absolutely monstrous. The constitution must be made sound, just and proper, and I hope that there will be no delay on the part of the Government in doing this.
I must refer now to Southern Africa, because I want to know how far the discussions have progressed with the Union of South Africa in respect of the relations between this country and the Union. South Africa has gone out of the Commonwealth and there are a large number of problems needing to be tackled. We have been told that within twelve months some settlement would occur and there would be discussions. I want to know what discussions have taken place and whether there has been any resultant progress. I urge that in these discussions there should be no surrender whatever of our rights in respect of the three Protectorates in South Africa, and I hope that in any agreement reached there are the completest safeguards as to the integrity of the High Commissioners Territories under the Commonwealth Relations Office.
I also urge that the Government proceed as fast as they can, irrespective of credit squeezes and economic difficul- 388 ties, to improve, develop and build up Basutoland, Swaziland and Bechuanaland. These countries have been neglected far too long. I believe there was a flicker of hope that new constructive work would be developed, and I urge the Under-Secretary to see that a vigorous, positive and constructive line is pursued in each of the territories.
I also ask the Under-Secretary that in the constitutional talks going on in respect of Swaziland he should give careful heed to the representations made to his right hon. Friend about future electoral franchise arrangements and representation. I ask that the fullest consideration be given to the representations of the Swazi Progressive Party. I hope that we do not see traditional claims overriding the legitimate democratic claims of the people involved.
My last point concerns certain of the Trust Territories. I had the great privilege of playing some part in the United Nations on behalf of this country in the inauguration of the trusteeship system. At that time I felt obliged to try to convince the settlors in Tanganyika of the importance of Britain continuing the mandate in the form of a trust agreement. They accepted the view I put forward. We have had en excellent example, in the case of Tanganyika, of good fellowship between the three races there and a steady movement towards independence and freedom, all most commendable. Tanganyika is one of the best examples of the success of the trusteeship system.
I am not quite so happy about the Southern Cameroons. There was a debate on this territory when Parliament adjourned at the beginning of August. I thought then that the reply of the Government was extremely unsatisfactory. It is important that we should know how this trustee agreement has been wound up. It was left in a somewhat ragged and unsettled condition owing to circumstances largely beyond our control, but we are entitled to ask what the final arrangements made between this Government and the new country were. What Constitution was secured which safeguarded the rights and interests of the people who were formerly in our territory? What have been the financial arrangements and the fate of the 389 administrative and technical officers employed by Her Majesty's Government in that territory? I hope that we can have some further information, possibly in the form of a White Paper containing the essential information.
If I had had time I should have said something about areas apart from Africa —for instance, the proposals about South-East Asia—Singapore and Malaya —and the proposals in regard to the West Indies Federation now that Jamaica has come out of the Federation. I was deeply involved in those two regions.
However, I will conclude by saying that we must all be conscious that this great Continent of Africa is at last awake and becoming very rapidly a positive force in the life of the modern world. But there are influences at work in that continent which may be utterly anti-democratic. Conflict may arise between the conceptions and ideals of the Western world and those of the authoritarian world.
I therefore urge that we meet that situation by a strong and positive contribution in every possible way to the social and economic development of this vast Continent. It needs our aid. The Secretary of State for the Colonies must keep in mind the great spirit of trusteeship enunciated in days gone by by Edmund Burke and by many of our administrators since—that we are in Africa to help, to protect and to see to the progress of the people in our charge. We hope that the people will come to full independence with decent economic and social conditions. That is the task which the Colonial Office must perform.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Christopher Chataway (Lewisham, North)
The right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) has been able to give the House a very interesting review from his very considerable experience of Africa. I found a great deal of what he had to say fascinating. I was especially glad that he stressed the need for aid in Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland. In this respect, Britain has a special obligation. If we are to show that our system, rather than apartheid, is superior, greater efforts will be needed from this country.
390 I was also interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman explain again the reasons for his opposition to federation in the early days. There are not, I suppose, many hon. Members in the House today who would feel absolutely certain that the right decision was taken over federation, but I wonder what the position of Southern Rhodesia would have been today had there been no federation. Would Southern Rhodesia have made the progress towards multi-racialism or non-racialism that has been made, or would she have moved in the direction of South Africa? I must admit that the latter course seems to me the more likely.
Therefore, like my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), I should like to see federation succeed. I, too, support multi-racial partnership. I am not sure that I mean the same thing by "multi-racial partnership" as my right hon. Friend does. If it means white people and black people and brown people working together and tolerating each other's existence and rights, I am for it. I hope that we are seeing it in practice in Tanganyika and Nigeria. If by "multi-racialism" is meant the retarding of African advancement for a considerable period in order to retain effective control in the hands of a more advanced European community for many years, I am against it.
I want to confine my remarks, which will not take very long, to the Federation, particularly Northern Rhodesia. I shall do this particularly because a longstanding engagement in my constituency will prevent me hearing many later speeches. I base my views on the Federation on three propositions contained in the Report of the Monckton Commission. The Report said, first, that the Federation can continue only if it can enlist the willing support of its inhabitants. I believe that that is profoundly true. I do not believe that the Federation can long continue without enlisting that support, which must mean that before very long there must be African majority rule in the Federal Government.
The second Monckton proposition of which I want to remind the House is this:The fear that Federation will stand in the way of political progress is … one of the main reasons for the dislike in which it is held in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.391 That was true in October, 1960. It must be much more true today after the Federal Government have spent much of the past year in making representations to the British Government in order to retard political advance in Northern Rhodesia. It cannot be a matter of satisfaction to those who want federation to succeed that the Federal Government have taken so obvious a hand in retarding advance in Northern Rhodesia.
The third proposition of the Monckton Commission to which I should like to refer is its recommendation that there should be an African majority in the Northern Rhodesian Legislature. That I support. That, it seems to me, is necessary at this stage if African support is to be won for Federation.
The Colonial Secretary has said from the beginning of this year that he would aim at parity rather than at an African majority. That I am perfectly prepared to accept. But it seems to me that when there is African majority rule in Uganda, in Tanganyika, in Nigeria and in almost every African country to which Northern Rhodesians look, it is totally unrealistic to think that because of the presence of a substantial European minority the consent of Africans can be gained to denying them that majority rule for any period of time.
The need for an African majority is reinforced also by the nature of the African leaders at the moment in Northern Rhodesia. Like many hon. Members on both sides of the House I have been impressed by Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, by his moderation and by the obviously sensible approach which he has to many of the problems that face his territory. Why, then, should we not at this moment move to African majority rule in Northern Rhodesia? Is it solely the desire of the United Federal Party politicians to remain in power which is the hindrance?
My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton suggested that it would not be right to move to African majority rule in Northern Rhodesia until there was an African Government that would be favourable to federation. If that argument applies to Northern Rhodesia it must equally apply to Nyasaland, too. I believe that one would have to wait a very long time 392 before moving to majority rule if that were to be the criterion.
The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) suggested another stumbling block—the British South Africa Company. There have been some in the past months who have expressed the belief that the British South Africa Company constitutes a reason for holding back advance in Northern Rhodesia. Some have noted the marked contrast between the views of Lord Salisbury and others associated with the British South Africa Company and the views of men like Sir Ronald Prain, of the Rhodesian Selection Trust. Admittedly, the British South Africa Company is in a particular financial position, and I hope that the House will bear with me if I look at that position for a moment.
The British South Africa Company receives royalties on every ton of ore which is removed from the ground in Northern Rhodesia irrespective of which company mines it. Those royalities derive from an agreement reached with the Chiefs between 1895 and 1900. In 1948, Mr. Roy Welensky, as he then was, argued that these royalities should revert immediately to the Northern Rhodesian Government. As a result of the controversy that then ensued a new agreement was reached by which 20 per cent. of the royalities went to the Northern Rhodesian Government and an agreement was signed by which the company should retain the remaining royalities until 1986. That agreement is worth a great deal to the company. In the five years up to September, 1960, the royalties were worth £50 million. Some of the money derived from them is invested abroad.
Evidently it is thought that fear may be entertained by the Brtish South Africa Company that once there is African self-government or independence in Northern Rhodesia that agreement will be abrogated. I do not think that that fear would constitute a very cogent argument to most hon. Members of the House, and certainly not to the Government, for delaying constitutional advance. But there is an important additional point to be borne in mind.
The interests of the other mining companies in Northern Rhodesia are surely very different, because they will depend for their success in the future on African 393 Governments who realise the value of the foreign mining companies, who realise that they cannot exist without their expertise and their capital. The present African leaders do. Even the British South Africa Company has, I understand, very substantial holdings in the Rhodesian Selection Trust and Anglo-American. It should not, therefore, be even the British South Africa Company's sole interest to retard independence in Northern Rhodesia for a few years in the hope of getting these royalties irrespective of what may follow.
I believe, therefore, that the new Colonial Secretary should be prepared to receive representations about the June proposals put forward by his predecessor. I am by no means convinced that the June proposals differ materially in their effect from the February proposals put forward by my right hon. Friend now the Leader of the House.
The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East spoke with considerable assurance on this subject. He felt certain that there had been a climb-down to the Federal Government. Having done my best to study both of these sets of proposals, this is certainly not clear to me. I am quite convinced that the Leader of the House did not believe that there was any material difference between the effect of the February proposals and the effect of the June proposals.
It is not in question that the upper roll will largely go to the United Federal Party, and equally that the lower roll will go largely to the African Nationalists. The difficulties and the controversy centre around the middle roll, and, in particular, over the qualifying percentages that are needed for both African and European parties if they are to go forward in the elections for these national seats.
I do not wish to enter into the details of these arguments, because I do not believe sufficiently in my own powers of clarity of exposition to be sure that I should be able, amid these mathematical intricacies, to make it clear, but I believe that the June proposals would still have given a reasonable chance to both African and European parties to qualify. In 1952, Mr. Oliver Lyttleton said:The political advancement of Africans in the Northern Territories must be, and must be seen to be, safeguarded."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th March, 1952; Val. 497, c. 231.]394 I do not believe that the Africans have been able to see in the June proposals that their interests are safeguarded. It thus seems to me to be extremely important that the new Colonial Secretary should be prepared to hear representations from the parties in Northern Rhodesia.
I realise that this is a hard decision for him, because it may be said that this is appeasement, as it was said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton.
I hope that, if I had been in the House in the 1930s, I should have been opposed to the appeasement of dictators. I am certainly opposed to the appeasement of Soviet imperialism. But it does not seem to me necessarily to be wrong to appease —if that be the word one cares to use—progress, or the inevitable forces of change. The Leader of the House has made it easier for the Colonial Secretary to act because he has already said that, when violence ceases, the Government will be prepared, as they have been prepared on occasions hitherto, to hear further representations before an Order in Council is issued.
In conclusion, I pay my tribute to the work of the former Colonial Secretary. He has succeeded in capturing the faith and trust of Africans to a remarkable extent in a particularly difficult period. When one thinks of the turmoil there has been on the African Continent during the past two years, it is a remarkable achievement that we have, had no security situations and no serious disorders in British territories throughout that time. We have seen a calm transfer of power in Nyasaland, in Tanganyika and in Uganda. Perhaps—I hope that it will be so—we shall soon see an end to the bickerings between local African politicians in Kenya.
During the last few years there has emerged the bright hope of an East African Federation. However little the past Colonial Secretary's name has been openly associated with that idea, I believe that he has a share of credit to take in it. The Leader of the House hands over substantial achievements to my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, but I stress that I consider it vital that he should at the earliest possible moment show that 395 he is prepared to listen to the representations which the African parties, in particular, wish to make to him about constitutional proposals for Northern Rhodesia.
§ 5.33 p.m.
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu (Brigg)
The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Chataway) has delighted many of us on this side of the House with the distance he has covered and the speed with which he covered it, if, indeed, he started from the starting line of the views of his party some years ago in arriving at the very progressive views he expressed to us this afternoon. I can only express the hope that he will retain the grit and show the courage which he showed on previous occasions in matters of speed and will continue to advocate those progressive views until the aims which he and many of us in different parts of the House—on this side, in particular, I think—have in mind for the future of Africa.
Like the hon. Gentleman, I intend to devote myself to one aspect only of African affairs, the situation in Ghana. In this House, of course, we have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a self-governing country in the Commonwealth. I shall attempt to observe that principle, but I feel that, whether we are dealing with South Africa or dealing with Ghana, we all have not only a right but a duty to consider what effect what is done in those countries has upon the Commonwealth. It is from that angle entirely that I shall make my observations on this very limited part of the subject we are discussing.
My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who was extremely kind in allowing me to interrupt him during his speech earlier, stated that he hoped he would be making a statesmanlike speech. We all hope that. Nevertheless, I must say that the speech he made with regard to Ghana reminded me very much of speeches I heard in the House when Mussolini was coming well up into the saddle. It was said, "We must be statesmanlike. We must not be too critical of what is going on inside Italy. The trains are running on time". The same thing, sometimes in those very 396 words, is said now about what is happening in Ghana. [An HON. MEMBER: "The trains running on time?"] It is very important that the trains should run on time, but, at the same time, there are other things very much more important than the punctuality of the railways.
In what I am about to say, I shall not claim by any means to be nearly so knowledgeable about Ghana as many hon. Members are, but it has been my good fortune and duty to visit that country many times during the past five years, and I have seen a certain amount—I put it no higher—of what is going on there. Ghana has, during the last five years, been in the grip of as vile a dictatorship as it could be possible to imagine, a dictatorship exercised by a man who seized a party machine from those who had forged it and used it to win Ghana's independence, who then claimed to have won that independence himself, and who has ever since used the whole machinery of the party and, indeed, of the State, once he was able to capture it, to make himself ever greater and ever more likely as a candidate for pan-African leadership. That is the situation, as it seems to me.
We all know the familiar story of how events began and developed. There was the putting of his image on the stamps. There was the statue erected outside Parliament, with the rather odious words which he had put there—"Seek ye first political power, and then all other things will be added unto you". We remember how the Constitution was altered so that he might perpetuate his own power, how opposition was swept away, how youth was organised in groups so that it might be used to venerate him. We remember how the judiciary was used and how it has come under his power, so that now judges may be dismissed virtually at his mere will. What chance is there of any rule of law in such circumstances? We remember how he has taken his opponents, one by one, and not just put them away in camps where they can have their friends and their reading but where they have been breaking up stones on less than prison diet, just at his command.
That is the sort of situation with which we are dealing in Ghana now. We have the right to discuss it and consider its effect upon the Commonwealth because, 397 of course, there is the present proposed visit by Her Majesty to Ghana, among other countries. It seems to me that it would be a tragedy on general grounds of a moral order if Her Majesty's Government advised the Queen to put herself in a position in which she has to appear graceful and smiling in public with the man who is responsible for this state of affairs in Ghana.
§ Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)
Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that it is not so very long since the Queen was put in the same position in Portugal, where, equally, there is a dictatorship and equally no liberty? Therefore, I think that, if the Queen goes outside the Commonwealth, we ought to hesitate before speaking against her travelling inside the Commonwealth.
§ Mr. Mallalieu
Many of us raised our voices about Her Majesty going to Portugal. We thought it perhaps a mistake that Her Majesty should do so because she would appear to be condoning what had been going on inside Portugal. That is precisely what I fear concerning her visit to Ghana.
I feel that Her Majesty would appear to be condoning the terrible tragedy which has befallen the wonderful country of Ghana and her gay, courteous and happy people since their independence was aborted by the introduction on to the scene of this man who has since so much tortured them. Not only has he put his opponents in gaol, it is said for five years, but, of course, that can be increased indefinitely—it may be five, ten, twenty or twenty-five years; to all intents and purposes it is for as long as he is in power —but even the families of these people are being persecuted, with wives and children being prevented from getting employment.
This is the most ghastly tragedy. All the decencies of public life have been removed from Ghana in so short a time by this man. Yet this is the man with whom the Head of the Commonwealth may be advised to hob-nob in public and to appear pleased to be with him in public. Apart from that, which is a general consideration, I do not wish to stress again any particular knowledge that I may have, but it would be a blind person indeed who went to Ghana and 398 did not see the sort of dangers which the Queen will be in if she goes to Ghana.
It has been my very great privilege to stay several times with Dr. Danquah, who was among the fifty people who were put away in the last batch. This is a man who would not even lift a hand in anger to get rid of Nkrumah, and that is saying a very great deal. He is a man of peace. Nothing would make him into anything else. Yet he has been put away. What is happening to his family now?
I have always said that some of the people who have been put away by Nkrumah and his associates may have been men of violence—nothing is proved against them yet—but many of them were not. I have always said that they would never use violence even against Nkrumah to get rid of him. But such has been the dictatorship in that country for the last five years that it is no longer possible to say that there would not be very great danger if the Queen went there. I am not thinking merely of new and perhaps inexperienced police forces. I am thinking of the feelings of pent-up frustration and fury which are bound to be engendered in people's minds if they have to suffer this persecution.
Is it possible for Her Majesty's Government to say that there is virtually no danger if the Queen goes to Ghana at this time? I cannot say positively that it is certain that there will be a catastrophe, but I certainly cannot say that it is unlikely. I submit with great respect to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations that, unless he can say that it is very unlikely that there is any danger, he should not advise Her Majesty to go to Ghana.
Why must we appear to condone people of whom we strongly disapprove? I am sure that everyone disapproves of the way in which the Government of Ghana carried on. But it is not our affair, except where it touches the Commonwealth. Would not it be far better to give a message of hope to these people who had such promise and to whom everyone wished well, people who are so popular wherever they go abroad, a message of hope to their poor brethren who are now breaking up stones? Would it not be better to call off this visit and to say that it would not be wise at this time for Her Majesty to go to Ghana?
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Sir Anthony Hurd (Newbury)
I wish to switch the attention of the House right across the African continent to Kenya, a small corner of Africa where, as I know hon. Members realise, we have special responsibilities. It is a beautiful country, made, as we see it today, by European settlers who have created productive farms where there was mainly wasteful and extensive grazing and warring tribes. It has its droughts and floods, but it is a country of great capacity and still greater opportunity. That progress has come because the people of Kenya, regardless of race, have benefited by the rule of order and by honest administration. We have given them that.
I am sorry to say that, for the moment anyway, the orderly progress of Kenya is in the melting pot. In recent months, the political and economic affairs of that country have drifted into a sad mess. Miscalculation, perhaps here, perhaps in Nairobi, is evident in Kenya today. The processes of emerging into independence have been gone through. There have been elections to give African politicians the opportunity to prove that they are capable of serving Kenya, putting the interests of the people of Kenya first before their own political ambitions.
With a few honourable exceptions—I think of Mr. Ngala as one, and there are others working with him—they continue to quarrel among themselves, and, so far, they have miserably failed to live up to their opportunities to serve Kenya. May that phase quickly pass. It is as distressing to us as it must be to all decent people in Kenya. The emergence of Mr. Jomo Kenyatta raised hopes that his influence would bring African politicians of all tribes together and would help them to steer a steady and responsible course. Judging by some of his recent exclamations, however, he seems to be no better than the others.
The Governor of Kenya, Sir Patrick Renison, for whom I have the highest regard, has done his utmost to get a broad-based Government established, but he had to confess in a broadcast to the people of Kenya the other day:I feel very much dispirited and frustrated that so much effort is in danger of being wasted.400 There is hope in the discussions which have started and which, I trust, will continue to create a federation of East Africa which would link Kenya to Tanganyika, where the progress towards responsible government and independence is being made more satisfactorily. But we in this House are still responsible for Kenya. Are we pinning our hopes for that country's future entirely to this project of a federation of East Africa, hoping that somehow things will work out all right for British farmers and businessmen who have made their lives in Kenya and who wish to stay there, for the British civil servants and police who have given honest administration and the rule of order and the hundreds of thousands of decent Africans who rely on Britain for sound administration and fair dealing free from tribal prejudices?
We owe a duty to these Africans, because we have shown them right ways. I am as worried about the possibility of abandoning them and the Indians there as I am about abandoning the people of my own colour. Let us give a fair wind to this project of a federation of East Africa within the Commonwealth, but we must make clear now the terms on which we will hand over our responsibilities in Kenya. I think that we have failed to speak frankly enough since the Lancaster House conference.
Kenya is an agricultural country, and everything there depends on farming, how it is done, the seasons and the crop yields. Everybody's livelihood there depends on agriculture and its progress. I want to speak particularly about the European farmers, who are for the most part tenants of the Crown. This House sometimes overlooks that fact.
I cannot do better than refer for the latest information to a leading article in the Kenya Weekly News of 13th October. It stated:Early in September, it was estimated that about 10 per cent. of the European farmers, exclusive of large companies, were determined to leave Kenya as soon as possible, even at the cost of heavy financial loss. Another 10 per cent. were anxious to leave as soon as possible, but were held back by their financial commitments. Another 40 per cent. were anxious to sell their farms at reasonable prices but were not prepared to sacrifice nearly all their assets, and the remaining 40 per cent. intended to remain in Kenya. 401 Today, six weeks later, the situation in the mixed farming districts has changed for the worse. The proportion of farmers who intend to leave Kenya at any price has risen sharply, and the proportion of farmers who intend to remain in Kenya has fallen sharply. Moreover, more farmers have decided to transfer funds overseas in case they are forced to leave Kenya.That is a sad picture. These are the men who with their wives have made modern Kenya. I was disturbed by a remark made by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), who was formerly Colonial Secretary, and who is not now in his place, who spoke about the need to "subdue the aspirations of Europeans in Africa". Good heavens, we need all these aspirations, all the ambitions and all the help which Europeans can give. This is surely the case, because if there is to be any future for Kenya it has to be a partnership. It is the Europeans, and particularly those of British stock, who have shown the way, something quite different from what has developed in some other territories in Africa for which we are not responsible. Kenya needs these men, their wives and families more than ever as it emerges into independence, to stand on its own feet. Unhappily today too many of them are preparing to pack up and leave because they cannot see what the future holds for them in Kenya.
Many of the farmers, both Africans and Europeans, are tenants of the Crown. The Crown has tenants in this country also, and the Crown, like any other good landlord, has responsibilities to its tenants. We cannot abandon them—I am not prepared, anyway, to abandon them—to the whims of African politicians. For the good of all, I believe that we should say so bluntly now.
The best plan I know did not originate with me, but I put it to the Colonial Office some months ago. It is that we should sponsor a Kenya Land Corporation, broadly based, to take over the obligations of the Crown to the present landholders, facilitate the transfer of land on fair terms to Africans and Europeans who intend and have the capacity to farm intensively, and administer for the benefit of all Kenya farmers the development finance promised from outside sources, such as the World Bank. When I was in Kenya, in January, the World Bank was making its inquiries, and so were West German finance 402 houses and others about the possibilities of land development in Kenya, but nobody will put money into Kenya unless there is security of tenure and property rights are respected.
It seems to me that to restore confidence all round we need to have a broadly based body like the Kenya Land Corporation which I have suggested, that would be impartial, with its members drawn perhaps one from this country, perhaps another from the World Bank, another from one of the West African countries which is emerging into independence, Nigeria for instance, and with several local men of high repute in Kenya. I put forward this suggestion, and I am happy to have the support of my hon. Friend the Member far Haltemprice (Mr. Wall). We went together to see the former Colonial Secretary about this.
Let me emphasise that security of tenure and respect for property rights is fundamental to the future of Kenya. It is an agricultural country, and whether it is to be farmed in the future mainly by Africans or mainly by Europeans, there must be security of land tenure. That is what is denied today by the quarrelling African politicians. This security is already recognised as a fundamental principle in Tanganyika, and this is one of the reasons why I am hopeful of this idea of a federation in which Tanganyika would perhaps lead Kenya by the hand in these essential matters.
We need to state clearly from this House, through the Colonial Secretary, that the same principle must be established in Kenya before that country moves further to independence and takes her part in an East African Federation. I believe that a firm line on this would do more than anything else to inject into Kenya politics the realism, common sense and tolerance which that country so desperately needs.
May I, in conclusion, wish all success to the new Secretary of State for the Colonies? He has a lively mind and a wide experience, and I am sure that he will be able to carry forward successfully the policies which have been so well engendered by his predecessor, who is now Leader of the House. I have always broadly supported the Leader of the House in his policies of advance in 403 Africa. I do not see that we have any alternative. But let us guide the advance in such a way that we keep together the best elements of all races to help in building up the economy and soundness of these countries. We need on the side of democracy in Africa those people of our own colour of skin who have done so much for Kenya and who understand the Africans—thoroughly decent people who want to help, if they are given the assurance about the future which we alone in this House can give. I pray that we give it them.
§ 5.58 p.m.
§ Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)
The hon. Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd) speaks with a great deal of authority on Kenya. It was my privilege to visit Kenya, in company with the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams), a few years ago on a Commonwealth Parliamentary mission. It was an experience which I shall never forget. I returned paying tribute to white and dark people, to Asians, Africans and Europeans, for the remarkable achievements which were evident in Kenya.
Kenya has advanced and is ready for self-government. Her people are able to govern themselves. There is not the slightest doubt about it. There are political difficulties, but when the political difficulties are resolved the people in Kenya are just as able to manage their own affairs as are those in Uganda, Tanganyika and Nigeria. With every respect for the hon. Member for Newbury, I think that his speech will have exacerbated fears on the part of Europeans there.
In my conversations during the summer with people who came from Kenya to this country, I found that all the Africans to whom I spoke expressed a realisation that Kenya needs the skill, the ability and the devotion of those white people who are there We must remember that there are white Kenyans and dark Kenyans. The sooner the two African parties are able to come together and the sooner the wise lead given by Mr. Kenyatta when he re-entered public life is accepted, the better it will be for Kenya and for us.
I join everyone who has spoken in congratulating Tanganyika on her inde- 404 pendence and Uganda on the achievements of the last conference. I listened with deep concern to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu), who spoke about Ghana. His words, which were not lightly spoken, are bound to cause dismay among people in Nkrumah's party. Dr. Nkrumah knows that we on this side of the House, and I have no doubt hon. Members opposite, had tremendous affection and respect for them in Ghana when their day of independence dawned.
I do not know enough about Ghana to speak with the authority with which my hon. and learned Friend spoke, but I know that the Methodist Church is very strong in Ghana, that it was given complete autonomy last July and that it includes in its ranks people distinguished in the public life of Ghana. Until recently, at any rate, the Methodist Church included members of Dr. Nkrumah's Cabinet. It is a very powerful institution in the land. I hope that all those who believe in the rights of men to free speech and to full political rights in their democracies, especially those who belong to the Methodist Church in Ghana, will make their voices heard at this time, whatever the price, for there is a time when people must be prepared to suffer in the greater interests of their fellow men.
I want to speak, not for long, about a subject which perhaps only touches the colonial issues which we are debating today. During August, I paid a visit to the Congo-Angola border. I went to see the streams of refugees fleeing from Angola. I went soon after the debate in the House because of the conflict between the statements made from the Government Front Bench and the Portuguese authorities and those made by the missionaries who had called to the world to protest about the treatment of Angolan Africans.
Wherever I moved in the Congo I found people asking, "Why is England, which is a democracy, supporting Portugal in Angola?" I believe that the good name of our people in Africa is suffering because we are linked with the policies of Salazar in Angola. What nonsense it makes of enlightened talk here and of enlightened attitudes to our own colonial people in Africa if we are lending moral and financial support to 405 an ugly dictatorship which is loathed and condemned by Africans wherever we meet them.
I know that an hon. Member opposite paid a visit to Ruanda in recent days. I did not go into Angola. One does not need to go into Angola when it is possible to meet the people who have the first-hand experiences as they stream out to tell their story to the free world. In a report which is being issued this week, Eric Blakebrough, Baptist minister at Southend, and I submit for the consideration of our people and the Government evidence of slave labour, evidence of physical ill-treatment by the use of the palmatoria, evidence of a tyranny which no free man ought to support.
The policy of Her Majesty's Government in Africa has been defended in various terms. We all know that there has been a progressive attitude compared with pre-war years—a new attitude. The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Chataway), rather than the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), represents it. I believe that the general policy which the Government have been trying to follow in these postwar years is enlightened. But we are throwing away good will among enlightened Africans because they know that what goes on in Angola today could not go on if Salazar had not the connivance and the support of Her Majesty's Government.
We have heard talk about the Queen's visit to Ghana. I am sorry that she went to Portugal. I am sorry that we are put in a position of defending the indefensible, for whether we sit on this side of the House or on the opposite side, we are all concerned for the good name of our country and also about essential human rights.
We have seen in these post-war years a development in Africa of a consciousness by the people that they are entitled to the same human rights, the same social security and the same political liberties as those which white people have. Give them the opportunity and the Africans, whether they are in Angola, in South Africa or in Kenya, are our equals in their gifts, and they would soon show it. What a pity, then, that while we are talking of further liberty for our own people in Tanganyika and Uganda, 406 we are offending the decencies of Africans by giving moral support to the Portuguese for their policy in Angola.
There is just one more thing I want to say. We have had in this House a report from our consul-general. The present Lord Privy Seal assured the House, after being questioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), that the consul-general had been able to talk freely with the Angolan Africans, without the presence of the Portuguese police. I can provide for the House evidence from a missionary who is back in this country, who spent twenty years in Angola, who is an honourable man, and to whom the Africans who were interviewed by our consul-general went to talk.
They described how they were asked, in front of the local chief of police and the Portuguese administrator, whether they were happy under Portuguese rule, and they looked at the policeman, and they said, "Yes, Sir." Of course they did. For me, it destroys any confidence in the report which that consul-general sent to this House, and I believe that we have a right to know if we were given a report which was drawn up almost under the eyes of the Portuguese police themselves.
I know that the Minister who will be replying to the debate will not be dealing with Angola itself, but I hope that he will bear in mind that I speak with deep sincerity when I assure the Government that people in the new Republic of the Congo who want to be friendly to us, and people in the Government of the Congo itself, are gravely disturbed at the evidence they have of what is going on in Angola, that they are linking our name with that of the Portuguese, and that as long as we hear talk here of our "oldest ally" this linking up will continue.
I conclude by saying that, because I believe that it is inevitable before the end of this century that liberty will have spread her light across the whole of that dark Continent of Africa, I should like this House, which has been the custodian of human liberties for so long, to give a message to the Africans in Angola that just as we want to see the rights of brotherhood reach out to other Africans so, too, we want them applied to them.
§ 6.12 p.m.
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett (Torquay)
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) and I seem by strange coincidence almost invariably to follow or to precede each other, and I am tempted to be as critical this time, while I have the chance, as he was the last time he had, but I shall resist the temptation and limit myself to only two comments about the hon. Gentleman's speech.
First, I think it is a pity, although I appreciate with what sincerity he always speaks, that he should have attacked the consul-general's report, because we have got an understanding in this House generally that we do not attack civil servants, who are incapable of defending themselves. I would, therefore, just say that it is rather a pity that the hon. Gentleman Should have done that. I will give way if the hon. Gentleman wishes, but that was a very mild comment.
§ Mr. G. Thomas
Of course I do not attack individual civil servants. I have never done that in this House, but when a report is given as evidence to influence the whole House I have every right and, indeed, the responsibility to speak out.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
As I have just met the consul-general, may I tell the hon. Gentleman and the House that my impression of him is that he is a man of great fairness and great intelligence, not a man to be hoodwinked, and not a man wholly uncritical of what he sees in the country where he is stationed.
§ Mr. Bennett
I am afraid that the intervention by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, West does not alter my expression of view. We all appreciate the sincerity with which he speaks, but for my part I prefer the attitude of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu), who has unfortunately left the Chamber, because he speaks with equal intensity and equal vigour and force against oppression Wherever it is, Whether in South Africa or Ghana. I noticed that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, West was rather pleading for moderation in our comments on Ghana and then went on to make a very vigor- 408 ous, forceful attack of his own on what was going on in Portuguese West Africa.
Today I listened with particular interest to the Colonial Secretary's speech; with particular interest because, as some of my hon. Friends know, I was far five years and until very recently his Parliamentary Private Secretary. I must confess a little ruefully straightaway that without my sitting behind him he seemed to do just as well as ever.
For the last year or two the issues which we discuss about Africa and other parts of the remaining Colonial Empire have seemed to me to have been bedevilled by this over-simplification of what we are arguing about. Those of us who have been critical of the Government on certain colonial issues are always told that we are in favour of going slow and that we are accusing them of going too fast. I do believe that this is not only an over-simplification; it is really rather misleading. Because it seems to me that the question in any event whether one is going too fast or too slow, is in most parts of Africa largely irrelevant and academic; but it is legitimate also to inquire where we are going, whether fast or slow, and by What methods it is proposed to go there.
Although my remarks will have implications elsewhere, it is on that theme in Kenya that I wish to address a few remarks tonight. What exactly are we getting to, not just in Kenya but in certain other parts of Africa? Are we still determined to hand over to them what I would call a Westminster type of unitary constitution based on one man, one vote?
It is not altogether without significance that out of all the many territories, almost scores of them now, which have gained their liberty from one colonial Power or another since the last war, upon the principle of democracy, one man, one vote, hardly one has anything other than an authoritarian form of government today. There are one or two notable exceptions. I shall come in a few minutes to comment on why I think this is. The first, of course, is Nigeria, and one is Tanganyika, and the third, although it is too early yet to say what will happen, is the most recent one, Sierra Leone. But everywhere in Africa—and I am sure that I must carry the 409 whole House with me in saying this—the high hopes of Parliamentary democracy with which we left those territories have disappeared, and Africa, as in other ex-colonial territories emerging from their colonial status, is littered with broken maces and disused copies of Erskine May.
When is it, then, that this should have happened? Because if we are planning yet again in Kenya and certain other remaining parts of our dependent territories once again to try to thrust upon them or to induce them to accept or even to agree to their trying to adopt the Westminster type of unitary form of Parliamentary government, we are doomed to certain failure yet again.
One man, one vote has never been in most parts of Africa a profund constitutional concept. It has been a device. I say it without being rude about it. It has been a perfectly legitimate, fair device to get rid of the colonial Power in question. It is a method of getting the former European, dominant Power out of the country. But once that Power has gone one very rarely has heard the cry arising again. Why is this so very often? It is not because there is any great wish for iron-cast dictatorships of the sort which has unfortunately been sprung upon us in Ghana. I think there is another reason. I think that, living in this country, we have for far too long—and this includes the Colonial Office, too, I fear—underrated the power of traditional tribalism in Africa today.
One of the reasons why that is so is that the word "tribalism" has become in some people's minds an unfortunate word to use about primitive peoples. But it is no more unpleasant to be a member of a tribe than to be a member of a people, and that is all these tribes are. This is a word which lingers over from the nineteenth century. The small countries of Europe are tribes in exactly the same way. No one suggests that because Luxembourg, Denmark or Liechtenstein or Switzerland are small peoples they should be incorporated in larger unitary States.
The tribes of Africa are peoples just as much as European peoples, and they are just as much entitled to self-determination along their own lines of culture 410 and of ways of life as I expect are the beloved Welshmen of the hon. Member for Cardiff, West. I said earlier that I would explain why I thought that Nigeria was one of the great exceptions to the record of democratic failure in most of Africa. It is there that we have checks and balances produced by three federated so-called regions, though in fact they are large tribal areas. I do not wish to make a gloomy forecast but I would bet that if one of the three went out we should have within a generation the same pattern of authoritarian government developing there as in the rest of Africa.
I remember being in Uganda in 1954 and having a long argument with the then Governor. I had lived in Africa, apart from making visits, and I said that in my limited experience I was absolutely sure that we should never manage to impose a unitary form of government on Uganda. I was told that I did not know what I was talking about. Shortly afterwards an expensive commission toured Uganda and supported the Colonial Office view that a unitary form of government was essential for the prosperity of that country. Later another commission issued a similar report. Now, after six or seven years, a third commission has at last acknowledged the realities of the people of Uganda. Whether we approve of their wishes or not is unimportant. These are the people who will decide their future. Enough of them want to live their lives in that particular way and now we have had to acknowledge it.
I have been accused sometimes of wanting to go too slow in Africa, but I wanted to go fast six years ago in what is now acknowledged to be the right direction.
To the question whether we could achieve what we are aiming at without federations and could protect the rights of minorities and still have a unitary form of Government by paper constitutional guarantees for minorities I would answer, "No". This has been proved to be a complete fallacy. I remember the then Colonial Secretary, Lord Boyd, saying with quite justifiable pride when he was explaining the constitution of Ghana on the eve of independence that guarantees were written into it relating to the courts, 411 the minority rights of the Ashanti, and so on. Every one of those guarantees has disappeared after the disappearance of the capacity of this country to support them.
It is very easy to create on paper a unitary form of government. I have no doubt that the new Colonial Secretary by one method or another could bring about a phoney coalition in Kenya and form a unitary government. No doubt we should have an occasion of congratulation in this House and we should send out a Parliamentary delegation to their independence day, but within months, if not weeks, that Government would be in ruins in Kenya. We shall have regional States in East Africa whether we like them or not. The only choice before us is whether we send them into that form of government in reasonable order, or whether we allow chaos to do it for us. I therefore suggest that in Kenya we follow along the lines of trying to work out some form of regional governments with autonomy for the regions which takes account of the actuality on the spot as people see it and live it themselves and not as we here should like to see them live it.
I have a copy of an excellent letter from Sir Armigel Wadg, who has had thirty years' experience in the Kenya Administration. I had intended to read it to the House, but I know that other hon. Members wish to speak and I do not want to take up the time. This distinguished gentleman wrote to the Daily Telegraph the other day one of the best letters that I have seen for a long time saying very much better than I can what I am saying now. He says that we shall have a form of regional government in Kenya whether we like it or not and that the only choice before us is how we shall bring it about.
As to how people should emerge into independence, as these big federations come along—and I am thinking not only of Kenya but possibly of an East African federation—do not let us necessarily be bound by the old frontiers of the Colonial Territories concerned, provided that we have the people's consent. One of the biggest pieces of nonsense imaginable is to think that one can create a country in any true sense simply by following frontiers which were agreed upon by colonial 412 Powers in the nineteenth century. They are not frontiers. They are simply lines where one Power came up against another and knew that it risked war if it went further.
These frontiers have even less meaning than the one in the story which no doubt many hon. Members know and which I heard long ago about an old Russian peasant at the end of the First World War. He had lived in Russia all his life but suddenly, with the drawing of new frontiers, found himself ten miles inside the new Polish frontier. He was asked by a visiting journalist how he liked the change. He said that although he was a loyal Russian he liked it because he could never have stood another Russian winter.
This may sound a comical incident, but it is not much more comical than some of the things that have happened in years past in our colonies. I believe that Mount Kilimanjaro and the area that surrounds it was a birthday present from Queen Victoria to the then Kaiser. Now the land on that frontier is regarded as Tanganyika on one side and Kenya on the other. Do we really expect the Masai, some of whom are on one side and same on the other, ultimately to preserve a system about which the local people were never consulted when the frontiers were drawn? I ask the Colonial Secretary to think more in the regional sense and of what the people want rather than be hidebound to past decisions which have no relevance to the present or the future.
I have quoted one or two lighter examples, but yesterday there were many references to the Congo and Katanga. I do not wish to go into detail. I make no excuse for the mercenaries, but the arguments which I have heard from Government spokesmen on why it was essential that Katanga should return to the Congo as part of that State for economic reasons are precisely those which hon. Members opposite have dismissed in relation to other parts of Africa. What a row there would have been in the House and in the country if Sir Roy Welensky, in order to try to impose federation for economic reasons in Central Africa, had shot one-tenth of the number of Africans whom the United Nations shot in Katanga to force integration for economic reasons. If one is being shot it is no comfort to know that one is dying for 413 the ideals of the United Nations. A bullet is equally painful whether the man who fires it wears a blue helmet or something else.
If I may end on a particularly personal note for fairly obvious reasons, the great foe with which my right hon. Friend will have to contend in Africa today is in a realm that he mentioned, and that is the human aspect—trying to get an understanding between all the various human beings concerned. The great enemy in that context is fear leading to lack of confidence.
I was on one occasion in a small house on the Congo-Northern Rhodesia border, a house occupied by an ordinary working-class white family. It was at a time when one or other of the constitutions—there have been so many constitutions—was being published, and it was a very reasonable constitution, too. I told the wife that that was the sort of thing the people would have to face up to, and that they would have to realise that they would have to share the country with the Africans and live with them. She produced a newspaper which, as was common at that time, contained photographs of small girls and others who had been raped or butchered in the Congo, and said, "In a few moments' time my child will be cycling to school. I do not know whether that sort of thing will spread over the frontier here now." I said that it would not, and, thank goodness, so far we have not had disturbances of that sort in Northern Rhodesia. Nevertheless, that woman's fears are entirely understandable.
If the Secretary of State is to succeed in his task, he will have to bear in mind when talking to the Europeans of Northern Rhodesia that he cannot expect them—it is not fair to expect them—to react as dispassionately as do we who are living comfortably in this country. I do not say that he should always give way to them, but he should understand that their impulses and reactions must be regarded in the circumstances that surround them.
We have had two previous great Secretaries of State. They have both shown in their separate ways great courage and imagination. One was sometimes accused from the Opposition benches of being too pro-white in his dealings in Africa. The other was sometimes 414 accused of being too pro-black. This is not the moment when one should wish to delve into the past. It is the present and the future to which we should be looking. To argue whether these accusations were true or not is wholly irrelevant. What is true is that if my right hon. Friend is to succeed he will have to gain the confidence of all the races in Africa. I am sure that he has the qualities to do that, I am sure that he will succeed, and I wish him particularly well.
§ 6.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett) has given us an extremely useful appraisal of the political evolution of Governments in Africa. From my slight knowledge of Nigeria, I entirely agree with him that part of the success of the Federal Government there has been caused by the regional checks and balances. I agree that this will be a factor that we shall see appearing in many other African territories in the future.
I was somewhat interested by the speech of the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). On the one hand, he told us, perhaps to excuse his own cussedness in this House, that he was all in favour of differences of opinion, provided that they were sincerely held, but that this was not to be applied in Central Africa and that no African was to be given majority rule unless he happened to have the same attitude towards federation as does the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton. It seems that his political theology is of a decidedly selective geographical application.
This is the first debate on Africa that we have held for many months without the participation of the former Colonial Secretary. He has wrestled with territory after territory and consititution after constitution, and as one goes around Africa one finds that the name of the new Leader of the House is a household name there. It has different connotations in different areas. Sometimes it is looked upon as a cure for political indigestion. Sometimes it is regarded as a violent purgative not to be taken internally.
However, I think that those of us who, I hope, have a reasonably balanced view would say that, with the unfortunate 415 exception of Northern Rhodesia, the right hon. Gentleman has shown tremendous patience in negotiations, political realism and integrity during the time that he has held that office. Perhaps no Colonial Secretary since the time of Joseph Chamberlain had done so much to awaken the British public to their responsibilities towards our Colonial Territories. One can only hope that his experience in the job of enlightening political extremists, Which he carried out an Africa, will be put to good use in his new post as Chairman of the Conservative Party.
I should also like to welcome the new Colonial Secretary. Apparently, the greatest tribute that can be paid to a Colonial Secretary in this House is to say that he carries out liberal policies. I entirely agree. If I may give the new Colonial Secretary a piece of advice, it is that if he sticks to Liberal policies and continually horrifies and shocks the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton he will not go far wrong. I believe that in Africa in the next twenty years we shall see every form of political experiment tried out. Some will be staggering successes; some will be tragic failures.
I want now to touch on a very few territories for which we have a responsibility or in which we have a continuing political interest. The first is South Africa. I re-echo what the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) said in that regard. I think there was a sadness when South Africa left the Commonwealth, but there was also a feeling of relief, at any rate for me, and I think that what this established was that for the first time the Commonwealth found that it had a collective conscience, that it had a common moral language, and that that language said, quite plainly, that if the Commonwealth were to survive it must be placed on a basis of racial equality. It was for that reason that South Africa did not feel able to apply to remain within the Commonwealth.
The future relations between the United Kingdom and South Africa are shortly to be worked out. The status quo is to be maintained until May of next year. There are matters upon which Her Majesty's Government will 416 no doubt intend to negotiate. There are matters of dual nationality, defence, Commonwealth preference, the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, and so forth. I believe that if Her Majesty's Government try to negotiate an agreement which is comparable to the Irish Treaty they will then fail completely in the whole purpose of the decision which was taken at the last Commonwealth Conference. Our political consciences throughout the Commonwealth having been stirred, let us have the courage to face the obvious economic disadvantages which this situation will bring to both sides. I do not believe that any economic bargaining with the Protectorates would justify giving South Africa special terms. I believe not merely that it would be unwise now but that it would be politically unwise for the future, because I hope that the day will come when South Africa, with a representative Government, will seek to rejoin the Commonwealth.
Up to the time that South Africa left, Africans regarded the Commonwealth as a shield, a sort of shock absorber, to protect South Africa in the United Nations and other world forums. I know that it is the opinion of Chief Luthuli, leader of the Africans, that the Commonwealth, because of the stand which it took, is now worth rejoining for an African State or an African Government in the Union of South Africa.
This is not only the view of the Africans. I know that it is the view of many colleagues in the Liberal Party in South Africa who have been conspicuously successful in forming the idea of multi-racial politics. The Progressive Party is doing the same thing. I believe that both have a very valuable part to play. Therefore, I hope that the Government will not fail to face the economic consequence; the logical conclusion, which arises as a result of the political decision that South Africa should leave the Commonwealth.
While I am on the subject of the Protectorates, there are some other matters that I wish to raise. First, last month the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations was kind enough to receive a deputation, consisting of the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway), myself and some others, about the alleged kidnapping by South African police of Anderson Ganyile and 417 two others on 26th August while they were on the British territory of Basutoland.
The Joint Under-Secretary of State was kind enough to assure us—and this appeared in the Press statement—that if these men had been kidnapped on British territory, Her Majesty's Government would take a very serious view of it, but that at the moment inquiries were proceeding and that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations one way or another. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations can tell us tonight whether he has any news about this.
With regard to the general position of the three Protectorates, let us be prepared to press forward with the recommendation of the Morse Commission. It is vital that each of these territories should become a viable economic unit. The Commission took the view that Swaziland's viability was a near certainty, that Bechuanaland's was a reasonable probability and Basutoland's a possibility. We must be prepared to make the economic sacrifices required to raise the standard of living of the peoples of these territories.
In Bechuanaland only 5 per cent. of the arable land is under cultivation, and we must improve water supplies and stimulate cattle ranching. In Basutoland, nearly 130,000 of the 180,000 men regularly go to South Africa for employment. That situation is partly dictated by the lack of communications in Basutoland. Those which exist mainly go to the Union of South Africa. An improvement must be made there. In Swaziland, which is economically the most advanced, there are problems of communications and of soil erosion, and the authorities are courageously pressing on with a rural resettlement scheme.
We must recognise that these territories are our shop windows in the south of Africa, and that we shall have to spend a lot of money and depend upon devoted local colonial servants for many years before they can become viable. I know that the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations visited them during the summer, so perhaps he will be able to say something about them.
418 In Northern Rhodesia differences have arisen as a result of the June Constitution. The former Colonial Secretary was good enough to receive a Liberal deputation during the Recess, which made known its fears about the June proposals. He maintains, and has maintained all along, that there is no difference between the February and the June proposals, but it is interesting to note that the February proposals were accepted by U.N.I.P., the A.N.C., and by the Liberal Party, but rejected by the United Federal Party, whereas the June proposals were accepted by the U.F.P. and rejected by the other three.
Either the former Colonial Secretary is right, and there has been no change—in which case all of these political parties are misinformed in thinking that there is a difference between February and June—or perhaps he himself is taking the view of the juryman who was in disagreement with his colleagues and said that he had never met so many misinformed and prejudiced men as his eleven colleagues.
If one examines the Constitution, one can see that there has been a retreat. The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton talked about appeasement, but if there has been appeasement then it has been appeasement between February and June as a result of pressures which the Federal Government brought to bear. One has only to read Sir Roy Welensky's speech in Bulawayo on 30th June, when he said:It was imposed on us, but, as the result of our representations, a considerable number of modifications were made to it, and I believe that if the Federal Government handles its cards well, it could emerge from any election with a substantial majority. You have only to look at the Press reports of the reaction of the African nationalists here to see the extent to which they are opposed to this constitution.Certainly it is the view of Sir John Moffat, Mr. Kaunda and Sir Roy Welensky that the June proposals are different from the February ones. The general effect of the Asian seat is to polarise racial differences rather than work towards racial partnership. There is the difference made to the national rolls. Whereas before there was to be the same percentage for any candidate to secure election on the highest average on the two rolls, and a set minimum percentage of both rolls with the percentage being the same for both—that 419 was the February proposal—now there is the proposal that, in order to get elected to the national roll, one has to get the highest average percentage on the two rolls with a set minimum percentage or a numerical vote of 400.
As has been made quite plain, this will mean that, in order to qualify, a European in an average constituency need only get 4 per cent. of the total African vote, whereas an African will have to get 11½ per cent. of the European vote in order to qualify. There is complete imbalance. I believe that the new Colonial Secretary must keep the original 12½ per cent. and abolish the alternative numerical figure.
The Government must realise that this is a constitution which the two African parties and the multi-racial Liberal Party are not prepared to work. They will not work the present Constitution. The right hon. Gentleman must ask himself whether he is to go through the old routine of violence, bloodshed, emergency regulations and filling the prisons with people detained without trial, only, at the end, to give far greater concessions to extremists, whereas a moderate return to the February Constitution would avert all that. That is the choice, and the whole of his reputation will be judged by whether or not he gives in to the Federal powers during the talks on this constitution. If he does not give in it will show to the Africans that if one wants to get somewhere with the British Government, one should boycott talks and then negotiate by the back door. That is what Greenfield and Welensky have been doing, and that is why Roberts was not allowed to come to London on behalf of the U.F.P. in February.
Now I want to say something about Ghana. This is an extremely difficult question. I believe that the arguments which can be used against those I want to put forward have great force and great logic. I accept, as did the hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu), that it is a political principle of the Commonwealth that one member does not interfere with the internal affairs of another fellow member of the Commonwealth. But I would say that that is not a doctrine to which Dr. Nkrumah subscribes, as Sir Milton Margai, of Sierra Leone, will tell us. 420 Sir Milton has just imprisoned two Ghanaian spies for six months for taking part in disturbances. President Tubman of Liberia will tell us that the second secretary of the Ghanaian Embassy was expelled for taking part in a Communist plot. And President Olympio of Togoland was able to intercept Ghanaian arms which were sent to opposition members during the elections a few months ago.
The fact that Dr. Nkrumah does not accept the doctrine is no reason why we should not. But I do believe that the Commonwealth as a whole has a right to ask itself whether or not a particular state of affairs is or is not consistent with the principles upon which the Commonwealth is based. We asked that question, rightly or wrongly, about South Africa, and I personally am equally shocked by attacks on fundamental liberty, whether it be by Governments that are black or Governments that are white.
We are, therefore, entitled to examine the policies in Ghana as they affect the Commonwealth as a whole, and to ask ourselves what is the political effect of the head of the Commonwealth visiting that country.
What is the position in Ghana today? As the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) quite rightly pointed out, since 1958 mare than 300 persons have been detained without trial under the 1958 Preventive Detention Act. Four M.P.s were arrested the day I arrived and, without any trial, they have already forfeited their seats. Under the new Criminal Procedure Bill, a copy of which I have in my hand, there is to be created a special division of the High Court to try criminal offences. It will be composed of three persons—the Chief Justice and two other persons, who need not necessarily be judges, appointed by the President. There will be no preliminary examination. Cases will come straight to this court. There will be no right of appeal.
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett
I am sure that the hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) would also like to point out that, since the changes in the Constitution, the Chief Justice himself is now appointed by the President as well.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I am grateful to the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett). What is far more sinister is 421 that although the Chief Justice is a presidential appointment, there is power of presidential appointment of people who need not even necessarily be judges. That is very sinister. There is no right of appeal. The President may prescribe by legislative instrument what criminal offences may be heard in this court. If there be a minority opinion within that court, it may not be made known in the judgment of that court. The Star Chamber pales into insignificance. The great fear is that many people like Joe Appiah and J. B. Danguah will be charged in this court with only twenty-four hours' notice and therefore be totally unable to prepare their defence.
The Press is censored. Last year the Ashanti Pioneer was banned and was recently banned again. Strike leaders have been imprisoned. Indeed, strikes are illegal and one can join a trade union only if one is a member of the ruling C.P.P. Party. We now see a one-party State in which opposition is crushed and in which democracy has ceased to exist. I spoke to K. A. Gbedemah about the Criminal Procedure Bill and, the House will remember, on Monday he said that if it went through, the flame of freedom in Ghana would burn very low indeed.
I do not object if Dr. Nkrumah wants to cultivate the cult of personality; if the youth movement wants to sing, "Nkrumah never dies, Nkrumah lives forever"; if they want to welcome him as the Messiah and Saviour, and bend the Old Testament to the purpose. That is their matter. But the deprivation of personal liberty, the way in which opposition has been stifled, the manner in which the prisons have been filled with men detained without trial, offends against every basic libertarian principle on which the Commonwealth is founded.
Therefore, one can ask what effect the head of the Commonwealth going to Ghana will have. There is no doubt that Her Majesty the Queen is politically useful. At the last election in Ghana there was shown a photograph of Her Majesty the Queen waving her hand in this gesture, which I now demonstrate to hon. Members. That also happens to be the C.P.P. sign. The canvassers went round saying, "You see, Her 422 Majesty makes the C.P.P. sign; you must therefore vote for Dr. Nkrumah"
I believe that in the rest of Africa, where this régime is hated, her visit will be widely misinterpreted as condoning this régime, or, alternatively, being indifferent to it. The House is entitled to ask what will be the effect on Ghana if the visit is cancelled. That is a fair question, but one is also entitled to ask what will be the effect on the Commonwealth if the visit goes on. I believe that it will underpin and strengthen this detestable régime.
I do not want to go into the question of security at any great length, but a White Paper will shortly be published in Ghana and is at present being drafted by that evil genius, Mr. Geoffrey Bing. It will show a massive assassination plot to overthrow the Government and assassinate the President. Massive murder plots have been alleged ever since 1958. If the Ghana Government be right, there is in Ghana an inexhaustible supply of would-be assassins.
Nkrumah himself, I think, is genuinely frightened of assassination. That is why he has surrounded himself with guards drawn only from his own tribe—as Lumumba did. That is why he is so seldom seen out of the Presidential compound. He has been out twice since he came back from Russia—and once with the President of Somalia. He may be right. He is certainly unpopular and he may be right in believing that an attempt may be made on his life.
§ Mr. Thorpe
Lumumba was. I can manage solo without a duet. Nkrumah may be right. What frightens me is that bombs and bullets are not very selective.
May I say this to President Nkrumah? This is a Commonwealth decision and it is also a decision for him. Would it not be better if Her Majesty went to that country when there were happier times? Would it not be better when he himself felt that these massive murder plots had been laid to rest, if they exist? Would it not be better when conditions had returned to normal and when he was not faced with a recurrence of strikes—and there have been general strikes? Would it not he a happier occasion if this visit could be postponed until conditions returned to normal? I believe that he would be right to give that advice and 423 that the Commonwealth would be right if it advised Nkrumah to tender that advice.
I do not regard the Commonwealth as a club which anybody can join and stay in if he wants to. The Commonwealth Should be in microcosm the sort of world society which we want to see created. One thing which we have done in the Commonwealth is to break down racial prejudice and try to build up the idea of racial partnership. Nowhere is it working perfectly, but nowhere has it succeeded better than in the British Commonwealth. I do not say that the Westminster model will work everywhere. I do not say that there will not be times when Parliaments will be suspended. But I believe that the régime in Ghana at the moment is evil and totalitarian and that the effect of the head of the Commonwealth going there will be to show that the Commonwealth itself approves of this evil and vicious régime.
In conclusion, I hope that Her Majesty's Government will realise their responsibility in this matter, which is no greater than that of other Commonwealth Governments, and that reason will prevail.
§ 6.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
The whole House will have been moved by the eloquent and clear appeal of the hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe), and I am sure that my right hon. Friend will consider the view which the hon. Member has expressed. When my right hon. Friend winds up the debate, I hope he will confirm that this is a matter on which all Commonwealth Governments must rule and that it is not solely a matter for Her Majesty's Government in this country. I echo the hon. Member's plea that if the Commonwealth is to mean anything, this is just the type of occasion when the Governments of the Commonwealth must act together and put forward their joint advice to Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth.
This has been a very interesting debate. I have been to Africa on more than one occasion in company with the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). When we have been there, I have always found that our views about 424 the future of Africa were very much in tune, but when we have returned here and spoken from different sides of the House, the similarity of view has seemed to disappear. However, today I found myself in almost total agreement with his views, except when he spoke about Northern Rhodesia.
The hon. Gentleman was followed on his side of the House by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones), who, quite fairly, reminded the House that the general trend of British colonial policy was not the prerequisite of one party alone. Both parties have continued the policy which has led to the evolvement of individual, sovereign States within the Commonwealth. Both sides have contributed to this aim.
I should like to take the House back to that time in February, 1960, when the Prime Minister made his famous speech in Cape Town. He was not announcing an alteration of British policy, but merely defining more precisely the inevitable development of British policy. He said quite clearly that Britain must be against any form of racial superiority. That view is held by hon. Members on both sides of the House, and it is the only possible policy for our multi-racial Commonwealth.
In that speech the Prime Minister also emphasised that we must recognise the contribution made by the minorities in Africa, and the rights of those minorities. He went on to say that the criterion for political and economic advancement must be that of individual merit, and individual merit alone.
Surely this policy means the gradual transfer of political power to the majority races as they become capable of wielding that power, while at the same time trying to maintain and strengthen the economy without which it is impossible to provide the education, technical facilities, and so on, which will alone enable the majority races to take their rightful places in the community. The House should recognise that that policy is accepted by the majority leaders, or perhaps I should say by the leaders of the majority party in the Rhodesias. It is accepted by Sir Roy Welensky and by Sir Edgar Whitehead.
I am glad that the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East paid tribute to Sir Edgar Whitehead. I saw the hon. 425 Gentleman fumbling with his papers and I believe that he was looking for the quotation I now want to make. When addressing the U.F.P. conference earlier this month he said that if his party did not reject out of hand the out-dated policy of white domination, it would have to look for a new leader. He said that the maintenance of straightforward white supremacy was "as dead as the dodo" and that it was essential that there should be no artificial barriers between the races.
I am afraid that, at any rate in 1960, that policy had not been adopted by the majority of Europeans in Kenya, though it had always been accepted by the leaders of the New Kenya Party.
How the policy defined by the Prime Minister in Cape Town has been applied, and whether we have gone too fast or too slow, only history can judge. Unfortunately, the policy which he tried to define, and which I believe has been the continuing policy of Her Majesty's Government, has not been understood in Africa. It has not been understood perhaps through no fault of our own, but through pressure of world events, the United Nations, power blocs, the cold war, and events in the Congo and elsewhere. I think that most hon. Members who have been to Africa will agree that a large number of white Africans, and indeed black Africans, believe that the British policy is that of a rapid withdrawal from Africa as quickly as we can go and irrespective of the consequences or, to put it another way, the problem of multi-racial States has become a hot chestnut which we want to drop as soon as possible.
People who preach that idea are obviously encouraging those who shout the loudest, the more extreme political leaders, both black and white, in the Continent. I do not believe that any Conservative Government could possibly contemplate such a policy. It would not only be a betrayal of our kith and kin but a cruel blow to all minority races, and we must not forget the large Asian community in East Africa. Above all, like the hon. Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd), I think that any such policy would be a betrayal of the trust which we hold for the mass of the African people.
426 May I congratulate the new Secretary of State for the Colonies on his appointment, and perhaps commiserate with him on the burdens which will be placed on his shoulders? I suggest that his first task is to disperse this false concept of British colonial policy in Africa, and to show that our policy is to transfer power to all races, the only criterion being merit. If that aspect of the policy is stressed, confidence will be restored in Africa.
I deal now with one or two problems in East Africa before turning to the Federation. Many hon. Members believed in multi-racialism in Kenya. If we had attempted to define this some years ago we would probably have said that we mean equal partnership between black and white. However, we must recognise that if this was our definition it is no longer possible. Multi-racialism in East Africa is dead, but we can still achieve a society where the moderates of all races will work together for the common good. We can achieve that society if we can find the right answer to the dominant question in East Africa, and that is—to whom shall we transfer power?
In Kenya, do we hand it over to the able and ruthless young demagogue, or the rather elderly tribal leader who gloried in Mau Mau, or to the young detainee who has just been released and whose preaching of violence against the minority races and their property is finding him a considerable following, or do we hand over to the moderate leaders who believe, as we do, in a Christian and democratic civilisation?
The Kenya African National Union, which won the election on votes, refused to take office unless Jomo Kenyatta was unconditionally released. K.A.N.U. controls the largest tribal grouping in Kenya—the Kikuyu and the Lwo, but as a political party it is deeply divided. It was hoped that Jomo Kenyatta would emerge as a national leader but it now looks as though he will only be accepted as a Kikuyu leader. Tom Mboya and James Gitchuru lead one wing, Odinga another, Dr. Kiano takes the middle line, and the party is split, comes together and splits again. Basically, it is a tribal party and if that party prevails I fear that a situation will arise 427 after independence which will make Dr. Nkrumah's dictatorship look insignificant by comparison.
There is another party, the Kenya African Democratic Union. In a way, this party is a coalition supported by moderates of the other two races and in this way it has a majority in Parliament. The leaders of this party were persuaded by many in this House to take over the Government of Kenya, and in doing so they risked not only their political futures but possibly their lives. Therefore, we as a House of Commons, owe them a considerable measure of support. I suggest, therefore, that we give their new proposals on regionalisation which they are now bringing forward for consideration at the next General Election or constitutional conference, whichever comes first, fair and thorough consideration.
What are they saying? They believe that we must recognise the facts of life, as they are. They are saying that in Kenya it will never be possible to make the Kikuyu and other tribes work together in one political party. They are saying that they will not recognise Jomo Kenyatta as Kenya's national leader because he is only the leader of the Kikuyu. They say that we must recognise this and, therefore, create six or seven regions in Kenya based on major tribal grouping, and that each regional government should have control of land problems, local civil services, tribal customs, and so on. They suggest that there should be a central two-chamber government for Kenya, the lower chamber to be elected on the principle of one man, one vote, and the upper chamber to include equal representation from each of the regions. They go further and say that the Executive should be separate from the legislature, as it is in the United States of America. This is an imaginative scheme which may well commend itself not only to Kenya but to larger areas in East Africa. It deserves our consideration and support.
I turn now to Uganda, because we have somewhat the same picture there. We have the great Buganda tribe which is disliked by other tribes. I congratulate the Leader of the House on the way in which he saved the Uganda conference 428 from disaster when he found a solution to a problem which had been bedevilling that country for many years. Let us, however, recognise that the alliance between the Buganda Government and the Opposition in the Central Parliament, the Uganda People's Congress, has the sole aim of destroying the moderate Democratic Party. It is an unusual, perhaps an unholy, alliance, but that is its aim. The basis of the problem was how Buganda was to be represented in the Central Government, by direct election or by indirect election by the Lukiko. This problem is still unsolved as the Buganda people are now to decide for themselves. I believe, therefore, that this alliance may well come unstuck for, although the U.P.C. may gain votes in Buganda owing to their association with Mr. Kintu's Government, I think that this unpopular alliance may well cost them votes in the other kingdom and in the rest of Uganda and that Mr. Kiwanuka and his moderate Democratic Party will still lead independant Uganda.
The Munster Commission and the constitutional conference have accepted a form of regionalisation in Uganda. It has accepted what is virtually federal status for Buganda and the other kingdoms; why, therefore should this idea of regionalisation not spread to Kenya other areas of East Africa.
It would be wrong to leave the problems of East Africa without paying tribute to one of Africa's most able and moderate politicians, Julius Nyerere. Most of us hope that the East African Federation will come about. Most of us hope that Mr. Nyerere will emerge as the real leader of that Federation. I again congratulate my right hon. Friend the new Leader of the House on winning the battle with the Treasury, because the one real service we can do for Tanganyika is to ensure that it has adequate financial support in the first years of its independence. The only slight criticism that I would offer is that Mr. Nyerere, when asking African leaders to meet him recently in Tanganyika, apparently saw fit not to ask Mr. Ngala, although he invited Mr. Kenyatta. I do not believe that Mr. Kenyatta can now be regarded as the leader of African opinion in Kenya and I hope that the Leader of Government Business in Kenya will in future be consulted.
429 I hope that the whole concept of the East African Federation also will succeed. It depends entirely on whether Kenya can settle its political differences, and these political differences may well be settled by the regionalisation plan which, in itself, can be the basis of a new concept for an East African Federation. A few moments ago my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr F. M. Bennett) talked about Kilimanjaro and the tribes around there being given as a present by Victoria to the German Government. The Masai are divided between Tanganyika and Kenya. They could provide one autonomous area in a new East African Federation, so recognising, as my hon. Friend said, that the African tribes are really peoples, and recognising them on the basis of the European idea of countries rather than the vague generalisation as tribes.
I do not wish to weary the House, but I hope that it will permit me to return to the question of Rhodesia. I feel that many of us would wish to pay tribute to the much maligned Europeans in Southern Rhodesia, who, by a three to one majority, have opened up their Parliament to Africans and in so doing have passed political power to the majority race in the not too distant future. They should be congratulated for doing this at a time when South Africa is going in the diametrically opposite direction.
In the Federation we are now nearing a political balance. In Southern Rhodesia we have a European Government with African support and in Nyasaland an African Government with European support. The key is, therefore, Northern Rhodesia, and I submit that if we are to keep a political balance in the Federation we want something approaching parity in Northern Rhodesia. Our policy over Northern Rhodesia is perhaps difficult to understand. I believe that we have got the worst of both worlds. The Monckton Commission recommended a built-in African majority. Mr. Kaunda therefore, expected this, and the February White Paper encouraged his expectations. Then, for various reasons, the June White Paper was published and Mr. Kaunda felt that he had been let down. Now comes the September statement, which makes the Europeans, particularly the Southern Rhodesian electorate, feel 430 let down. Therefore, whatever we now decide, everybody will feel a certain lack of confidence in us. I believe that our aim should, therefore, be to achieve a constitution giving something like parity in Northern Rhodesia.
After the February White Paper was published the Federal Government made efforts to have it recognised that the upper roll should predominate over the lower roll in the election for national seats. They failed to get this recognised. However, it was made clear that in electing the middle block of national seats it must be recognised that the upper roll is already some 15 per cent. non-European whereas the lower roll is wholly African. Therefore, the European starts with a considerable disadvantage, and it is for that reason that the qualifying percentages are important. The Asians were removed from the upper roll in order to try to create a fair balance between the Europeans and the Africans. If we are to have Members of Parliament in Lusaka elected by both races we must regard the qualifying percentages as essential.
When he was Colonial Secretary, the present Leader of the House said quite categorically that he regarded the June White Paper as fair, and as being liable to produce an African or a European majority, or parity, and I hope that we will not move from those proposals. What does the September statement mean? Does it mean that the question of qualifying percentages is still in the melting pot, that the Asians will not have a special seat, and that the upper roll will be slanted against the Europeans, because 15 per cent. will be non-Europeans? If so, it means that there will no longer be a fair fight, but that there will be a built-in African majority.
Ten days after the September statement I have referred to, Mr. Kaunda is reported as having said, in Lusaka:There are two ways of obtaining selfgovernment—the violent method which the peoples of Cyprus and Kenya have utilised and the non-violent, which the British Government does not seem to understand.I do not believe that a built-in African majority will necessarily mean the end of violence. People may say, "We have got this; we want more. There is every reason still to use violence and intimidation." Even if the Africans get a built-in majority, does it mean that the United 431 National Independence Party will be the majority party? I have great respect for Mr. Kaunda as a person, although I do not like some senior members of his party, but he cannot claim to represent all the Africans in Northern Rhodesia. I do not suppose that even the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) will disagree with that. The African National Congress, under Mr. Lawrence Katalungu—a man of far more political experience of negotiation ability than Mr. Kaunda—is gaining in power. He represents perhaps Africans in the higher income group and in certain tribal groupings. Mr. Kaunda may also have some trouble from the Barotse, who are utterly opposed to the United National Independence Party.
Therefore, if we gave the Africans a built-in majority we might create a situation like that which exists in Kenya at present, with two African parties irreconcilably opposed to each other. That can only result in weak government. I do not think that we would want that, in a territory whose frontiers are contiguous with Katanga and Angola.
It would also mean that the Southern Rhodesian electorate would regard themselves as being victims of a confidence trick. They voted in their referendum on the understanding that the June White Paper would be the final answer.
§ Mr. Wall
Yes, they certainly did. They said quite openly that they would not have their referendum until they knew what were the British Government's proposals for Northern Rhodesia. If we go back on what we have proposed in that White Paper in any fundamental way, I believe that it will lead to the immediate break up of the Federation.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The hon. Member is right when he refers to the June White Paper as being final in the sense that it was to last for two years, but surely he would not wish to regard it as lasting any longer than that. The people of Southern Rhodesia cannot have voted on the basis of the White Paper's proposals being permanent when anybody who looks at the situation must have realised that they could persist 432 only for one election. The Southern Rhodesian electorate must have had in mind an eventual African majority.
§ Mr. Wall
That is a valid point. What I mean is that the constitution defined in the White Paper would be the constitution on which the next general election would be fought. That was the understanding of the Southern Rhodesian electorate, and on that understanding they registered a three to one majority for increased African representation. No one likes the present Constitution. No political party in Northern Rhodesia likes it, but I believe that it is a reasonably fair compromise. I believe that a moderate government will arise from the constitution defined in the White Paper and that this government will have a majority of Africans in it. I am certain—
§ Mr. Thorpe
I have listened to the hon. Gentleman's arguments with a great deal of interest and attention. Would not he agree that the object, by and large, is to give support to those who are moderate in the sense that they can command support from both races as opposed to those who are extremists and get support from one race or the other? Would not he also agree that, in order to achieve this, the qualifying percentage should be the same for both Africans and Europeans; that is to say, the percentage support they would have to get from the other race should be the same for each race, whether European getting African support or African getting European support?
§ Mr. Wall
I would not agree with the hon. Gentleman, but I am sure that Mr. Speaker would not wish me to go into the arguments. They are all contained in the June White Paper—the reason for this percentage and the figure of 400. I believe that they are essential for reasons I have given earlier.
We should all be proud of the success of British colonial policy particularly at a time when the colonial policies of other European nations in Africa have fallen into ruin. I hope that we shall do our best to convey to the uncommitted nations those figures which were given by the Leader of the House at the Conservative Party Conference, when he said that since the war 600 million people in dependent territories of the 433 British Empire had become independent members of the British Commonwealth, and at the same time 100 million people had been enslaved by the Soviet bloc. Those are facts and figures which cannot be controverted and should be remembered by all uncommitted nations. They are factual and nobody can argue against them.
I believe that we are facing our final and most difficult task in Africa which is to deal with the problem of the multiracial societies. I believe that we shall succeed provided we tackle it with patience and understanding. I am sure that we must provide the machinery which will enable the will of the people to be expressed, but this does not mean giving a platform to the people who shout the loudest. We have to recognise that in Africa intimidation is a political weapon which is used very frequently and very effectively.
We have to recognise the power of Communist subversion and of the propaganda poured into Africa where it is said that colonialism has gone and that the main danger is now from neocolonialism by which is meant anything to do with the West—religion, trade unions, economic aid, teachers, bases or anything of that kind. The Soviet propaganda is designed to make out that neo-colonialism is a real danger and that all Western aid of whatever kind is tainted and should be left alone by the Africans. We can counteract this and defeat this propaganda by the solid backing which we have in Africa and the good will the people of Africa have for this country. To do this I believe that the object of our policy must be to give all possible support to the moderates of all races who believe, as we do, in a Christian and democratic way of life.
§ 7.24 p.m.
§ Mrs. Eirene White (Flint, East)
The hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) said that we should be proud of the British colonial record, and, up to a point, I think that we would all agree. But, surely, we are not able yet to know whether we can reasonably claim pride in it, and we shall not know that for some years to come. We shall not know the quality of the society emerging in these countries obtaining independence which, after all, in itself is of 434 only limited validity. It is the kind of country which develops which will be the real test of how soundly our foundations may have been laid or how weak may be some of those foundations.
§ Mrs. White
There again I would take exception to the attitude of the hon. Gentleman. Surely he is claiming rights which we have ceased to hold. Once we give internal self-government it is not for us to say to whom we hand over power. Once we have taken the intermediate step of giving internal self-government before final independence it passes from Her Majesty's Government or from this House to decide to whom we hand over. That is left to the decision of the people in the territory concerned. I felt that the hon. Gentleman was speaking in terms of a political manipulation of something which is, in fact, beyond our control.
The new Colonial Secretary has been receiving much advice, and I must say that my sympathies are with him. The right hon. Gentleman has entered a rather select club. Those of us who speak in these debates know one another very well and we might almost deliver one another's speeches. Some of us have been speaking on African affairs in this House for many years, and I am afraid that the Colonial Secretary will probably, for some debates to come at least, continue to receive advice from those who consider themselves specialists or experts in this subject. The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. P. M. Bennett), for example, claimed some credit for having in 1954 put forward opinions and views on Uganda which now prove to be valid. I could go back earlier than that and say that if in 1950 and 1951 the advice I then gave on some points had been followed by the Colonial Office things might have been for the better.
I should like to stress two matters before coming to the rather more political points upon which I wish to touch. I hope that the Colonial Secretary will give attention to them. One was emphasised by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), the complex economic development 435 of these countries. What was said by my hon. Friend was correct. It is no disparagement of the present Leader of the House to suggest that from the moment he came to office until the time he left office he was so much occupied by what one might call the higher diplomacy of colonial affairs that he did not appear to us to give enough attention or to have a sufficiently detailed command of the economic problems which are so exceedingly important.
I do not pretend that the political problems are not a greater priority but one cannot sustain the kind of society which we in this country would wish to see unless we have also a sound economic basis. So we particularly welcome the advent of the new Colonial Secretary who has had considerable experience in the economic sphere, and we hope for great things from him in this respect, as we had in many ways very great progress from his predecessor on the political front.
Certainly I support my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East on the matter of the Colonial Development Corporation which we have felt over the years has been treated with a complete lack of imagination and has received utterly inadequate support from the Government. That opinion, I know, is shared by hon. Members opposite. We have had one debate after another where the two back benches have been against the Government Front Bench in this matter and hon. Members have pointed out the inadequacies of our whole approach to this instrument of economic planning and support.
Another thing which I hope the new Colonial Secretary will look at very carefully is the conditions for overseas civil servants. Although there have certainly been improvements recently, there, again, for many years hon. Members on both sides of the House have been against the Government. We have felt that colonial civil servants, or overseas civil servants as they should be called, have not always had a fair deal. There are still some past servants who are treated most abominably over their pension rights. We all regret that illness has kept the hon. Member for 436 Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) from the Chamber. He is one of the champions of former civil servants regarding pensions.
We know the argument that it is the former colonial Governments who are responsible for paying these pensions, but, nevertheless, none of us can feel easy in his or her mind when some of these devoted servants are being asked to live in retirement in conditions of which we can only be ashamed. It is a difficult problem, but I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will have another look at it in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.
There is another matter concerning overseas service which I still think is of importance, although one recognises that the number of territories remaining in which non-African civil servants are to be found in large numbers is shrinking. One of the problems I have found, as long as ten years ago when discussing matters in the Gold Coast, as it then was, is that while the specialist has a fair chance of staying on for at least some years, and so has the person with some technical qualification, the young administrative officers are told, "There is no future for you; you should leave." Yes the quality of the administration, until the moment it is handed over to suitable African appointments, is of the utmost seriousness and moment.
Only a couple of weeks ago I spoke to a young man who was in the service in Northern Rhodesia. He was a young administrative officer who was told, as I think they all were told three or four years ago, "Those of you with no technical qualifications had better look for some other job now. We cannot promise you any future here. You are not sufficiently senior to have any guarantees under the scheme for overseas civil servants. You had better get out now."
This young man is now reading for the Bar and selling books in his spare time, yet he wanted to continue in the Overseas Service. Probably it is too late now and that horse is already out of the stable, but I think it a great pity that more imagination was not shown years ago over the whole question of dealing with the Overseas Civil Service, particularly among the administrative 437 people, the keen young men, not just those in sight of a retirement pension or lump sum compensation. I think that in some areas we shall gather rather bitter fruit through faults in earlier policy.
Having touched on the Overseas Civil Service and economic development, I wish to say a word or two about some of the political problems which face us. The former Colonial Secretary has been congratulated, quite properly, on the recent Uganda Conference and the success of the negotiations. He is an extremely skilful diplomat, but what goes in Lancaster House does not always work out quite so well—as we have seen in Kenya—when the problems have to be worked out in the territory concerned. I hope very much that the solutions for Uganda will prove adequate to the very difficult situation there.
I hope very much that we shall have a position in which the Lukiko elections will be really free and only elected members of the Lukiko will act as an electoral college. I would far prefer the solution of Mr. Kiwanuka that there should be direct elections from Buganda, as from the other parts of the territory, to the central legislature. I wish very much that that could have been attained. That agreement has not been reached on these lines I personally regret, but I hope that it will bring the satisfactory representation of Buganda, without external manipulation in the Uganda legislature.
I am sorry that the Conference did not support the Munster recommendations on one of the difficult problems, that of the lost counties of Bunyoro. I spoke about this before the Conference took place. The facts are perfectly well known. I do not see why it should be necessary to send Privy Councillors out there to find what is known already. The proposals of the Munster Commission were sensible and could have been carried out. Whatever means may be chosen to deal with this problem I hope we shall not leave Uganda before this matter has been settled. We have been discussing today the difficulties and weaknesses of some of the Governments in these emergent territories. If we leave a really knotty problem like that unsolved when the umpire walks off the field, we shall be just asking for trouble.
438 We have rightly been discussing our deep concern over the situation in Ghana, but let us not forget that one of the reasons for that situation is that we never fully integrated Ashanti into Ghana before we left. Only a very few years before we handed over responsibility in what was then the Gold Coast we did not even have a common administration of the three sections. Ashanti and the Northern Territory were separately administered. We did not give an opportunity for people from the three sections of Ghana to learn to know one another, to get confidence in one another and to work together as a team before we pulled out.
What worries me—it may sound a little odd coming from these benches—is that we may be hastening too much in pulling out and handing over complete independence in some countries before the political people and the civil servants there have had a real opportunity of working together as a team with internal responsibility. It is not easy in those countries which are so deeply divided by tribal, linguistic and religious differences, which are artificial entities, to work together.
One does not want to parade one's own prescience, but it is several years now since I, among others, suggested in this House that we showed far too little imagination in our constitutional thinking. I do not know what kind of constitutional advice the Colonial Secretary has in the Colonial Office, nor how deep is the thought given to these matters. I am not now talking of the diplomatic mechanism of conferences but of the much deeper political thought. We need a new Montesquieu in the Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office to look at the problem of the kind of constitution which should be made to work in a democratic spirit in territories where we have such divergent interests and the lack of a homogeneous background.
Many years ago I suggested something on the United States model. The British are sometimes irritated by the difficulties of dealing with the United States Government now that that country has become a great nation. But when the thirteen States first attained their independence, Virginia and Massachusetts were as different as chalk from cheese and there was a great deal to be said for the kind 439 of checks and balances which were worked out by the eighteenth century constitutionalists, who gave a measure of authority at the centre while leading considerable independence among the separate states. We know of the battles which went on between the Federalists and the advocates of States' rights, but there is something to be learned from that.
After all the examples of difficulties in territories which are not always multi-racial but often multi-tribal, I am not sure that in the Colonial Office we have adequate guidance given to people who are inexperienced in the art of government and have a right to look to us for suggestions. It is for them to decide whether to accept them or not, but we should not pretend that the type of government we have here is the last word and equally applicable in all conditions all over the world.
This does not for a moment mean that we should subscribe to the notion that one-man-one-vote is of no account. It is not that which is wrong nor the democratic expression of the individual's point of view, but it is the structure that is built on the one-man-one-vote principle which in many cases seems to be lacking in reality and effectiveness. I hope very much that in the problems that face us in Kenya and Uganda, and possibly elsewhere, we shall have a much more imaginative approach to the realities of the situation.
The hon. Member for Haltemprice was on the wrong line when he suggested that we should favour Kadu rather than Kanu. We cannot say that. We have to accept the politicians and the leaders who are thrown up by the movements in Africa. I have no doubt that that comment was well meant on his part, but it is a little dangerous for him to speak as though he believes—I do not think he does—that from here we could manipulate them as though they were puppets.
§ Mrs. White
And that is what I said. We must try to establish the best type 440 of machinery, in consultation with them, and they must try to make it work.
I do not wish to go over ground which I covered in our earlier debate, when I referred to Tanganyika, but I could not let this debate pass without saying a word about Northern Rhodesia. The situation there is deeply distressing to hon. Members on this side of the House. I think that we all recognise that the Leader of the House was in a very difficult position. We appreciate that he was subject to great pressure; we suspect that there was pressure from his own colleagues and we are certain that there was pressure from Sir Roy Welensky. We sympathise with him.
Nevertheless, we feel that there is a basis for the disappointment and, until recently, the despair which has been felt among many Africans in Northern Rhodesia. No one pretends that the United Independent Party is all-embracing. There are other groups of Africans and other leaders of African opinion, as there should be. Nevertheless, the difficulty in which Mr. Kaunda has been placed has caused us great concern. Although the Leader of the House persists in maintaining that there was no substantial difference between the February and June proposals, without boring the House with all the details I will point out that I cannot possibly believe that he thinks that the 400 limitation is just or fair, and it seems obvious that some negotiation ought to take place on that.
I have in my hand a copy of the September issue of the Central African Examiner. In the leading article it points out that many of the people who have been involved in the recent regrettable disturbance in Northern Rhodesia could not hold a discussion on the mathematical probabilities of the seven double-member national constituencies. They add,But they do know that their acknowledged leader. Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, has been defeated by the powers of federation.This was before the more recent statement by the Leader of the House
These people could not follow all the intricacies. Few of us in the House are capable of that. The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Chataway) confessed that he found it a little difficult. But that was not the point. They felt 441 that their leader had somehow been betrayed, and that was enough for them. The leading article goes on to say that the form in which their resentment was being expressed was a general resentment against Government, that they were largely attacking buildings and not people, but that the buildings which they were attacking mostly represented authority and represented Government power. It was therefore a revolt against imposed authority or what they believed to be imposed authority.
In other words, the constant struggle which one has in any country between Government and people, between "we" and "they", was seen here in an acute form, because the workers concerned feel that it is not their Government, that it is not the authority which they chose but that it is an authority from above to which they recognise no inherent loyalty. Unless, therefore, we can obtain in Northern Rhodesia a Government which the majority of the African people at least feel is not imposed, which they feel is part of them and in which they have some responsibility, we shall continue to be faced by this rejection of authority by people who could not possibly argue it out in terms of political philosophy. Nevertheless, these people have deep instincts in this matter which we should recognise.
We therefore all hope that the new Colonial Secretary will grasp this nettle and that in our next debate on African affairs we on both sides of the House shall feel that a satisfactory solution has been reached in Northern Rhodesia.
§ 7.46 p.m.
§ Sir Richard Nugent (Guildford)
I am glad to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, and to have the opportunity to say a few words in the debate. I feel almost that I should crave the indulgence of the House as a maiden speaker, as I have never taken part in one of these debates before. I realise, in the language of the debate, that I am almost from another tribe, but I hope that I shall be admitted to the debate and that my words will make some contribution.
I agree with a good deal of what the hon. Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) said about Northern Rhodesia, although I do not fully agree with her 442 arguments condoning the violence there. Perhaps I understand some of the causes.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend who becomes Colonial Secretary, and I give him my best wishes in the difficult and very important job which he now undertakes. I had the good fortune to spend a month in the Federation, from which I have just returned. I spent a good deal of my time studying the problem in Northern Rhodesia, and I therefore felt that I might be able to make some contribution to this debate.
I trod the path which the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) followed not long ago, and I spent some time with his friend in the European Minewokers' Union, where I noticed that the hon. Member had left quite an impression. But of all the conservative people I met in Northern Rhodesia, the people in the European Mineworkers' Union were the most conservative. I realise that the hon. Member had an uphill task.
My main comment will be on the two conflicting arguments which a newcomer to this sphere meets, both of which are compelling in their force. My right hon. Friend made a comment of great wisdom when he said that the definition of tragedy is not a conflict between right and wrong, but a conflict between right and right. That is certainly so in this case. In Southern Rhodesia, where I spent a good deal of my time, I was told on innumerable occasions all sorts of things about Government policy.
Although my friends of the European community live in a delightfully warm climate, they have lost nothing to the edge of their criticism, and they certainly set about me whenever they saw me. Their criticism runs on the familiar line which we all know—that we are proceeding much too fast in the transfer of government, that we are in danger, by handing over government so quickly to the Africans, of running the risk of having another Congo situation.
In looking at what our countrymen have done in this and previous generations in the Federation, I felt the deepest admiration for the tremendous achievement of the past sixty years, and I warmly join my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) in recognising the wisdom of Sir Edgar White-head's policies which, in very difficult 443 circumstances with part of the white population, are leading Southern Rhodesia to more liberal policies.
This great modern State which has been built up throughout the Federation, and particularly in Southern and Northern Rhodesia, has been built up by the energies of this and previous generations of those who live and lived in the Rhodesias. In seeing this State I felt deep admiration for what they have done, and a considerable obligation to see that we do all we can to make it possible for them to go on with the work which they have so well started. That was the first observation. They have the strong argument that all they have done to bring this huge territory forward from a state of primitive tribalism to a very long way towards a modern Western economy should not be lost by a precipitate move.
I listened with interest to my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd) when he was speaking about the situation in Kenya, and for the farming community in the Rhodesias I felt a particular sympathy when I saw all that they have done. I saw the copper mines there, and I was deeply impressed by the magnificent industry that has been built up. There is, therefore, a deep obligation to preserve these things, and to make sure that they can all go on to bring benefits to African and European alike in those territories.
The argument presented to me continually was that the Africans are not ready. I was told of their state of education, and of their lack of professional qualifications and business experience. One argument was put to me with great force—and I believe that it is a new argument—by a man who has spent many years there and has made a great study of the situation. He argued that our forebears had gone to this part of Africa primarily and originally with a Christian mission. He said that they had gone as missionaries in the middle of the last century with the wish and intention of bringing Christianity to these areas of primitive tribalism, and giving them a better way of life.
This man added that we have not yet completed our mission, and that we would be false to that mission if we left before we had completed it. He urged, 444 with an exceptional knowledge of African tribalism and of the Africans' general philosophy and religion, the absolute necessity that we should have sown more effectively the seeds of Christianity before we handed over government to the Africans.
Hon. Members who have studied these problems far more than I have are well aware that the traditional tribal religion is, basically, ancestor worship. It is, therefore, a highly conservative religion, and one that has been the enemy of initiative and progress over the centuries. It also has the feature that personal property and personal responsibility are completely foreign terms. Quite obviously, with that background, there are the greatest possible handicaps to inheriting and governing a modern State, with a modern economy and with all the trappings we in the West all so well know.
I felt that there was great force in this argument, for not all the moral arguments are in favour of haste in handing over government, but, equally, we have a moral responsibility to see that, when we do hand over, the Africans are ready and have a sufficient understanding of the philosophy of the kind of modern economy we have created; to take responsibility for it, and to run it successfully.
What, then, is the argument one sets against that? The argument that struck me, and here I agree with the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White), is that having decided—as, indeed, we have decided, and the arguments that take place here on both sides are arguments about the pace of the transition—to hand over government, what is the principal element that will be the guarantee for a European population living there and working there in the future? There is no doubt in my mind that that guarantee, and the only guarantee, is the good will of the Africans.
No one who visits these parts can come away with an impression or, indeed, a conviction other than that every African, whether he understands constitutions or does not, wishes to be self-governed; to have an independent self-governing State. This is the wind of change to which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has referred, and there is no doubt at all that it has swept through Africa. These people have seen other 445 parts of Africa becoming self-governing and wish to become self-governing themselves.
Therefore, with this strong urge in the blood of Africans running right through these territories, the problem is to decide how long the transition can take and yet carry their confidence so that the good will which is essential to the future of the multi-racial community that we all wish for and which, indeed, we all know is the only hope for these territories, should have a good prospect when the time comes.
Looking at it in that context, one is bound to realise that there is very little time; that if any significant slowing-up of the process of transition is made it is bound immediately to cause suspicion, resentment and, perhaps, outbreaks of violence. We have seen all this happen. We may say that it is sparked off by trouble makers, but there is no doubt that the tinder is there, and there will then be wholesale disturbances throughout the territory.
My impression was that any serious attempt to slow up the process of transition could be achieved only if we in this country were prepared to use force on a massive scale, sufficient, virtually, to coerce the minds of the whole of the African communities. I do not believe for a minute that anybody here wishes to do that. I am quite certain that the nation as a whole does not wish to see that done—and, in any case, I doubt whether we could do it for very long—
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. Could we have less disturbance by the "1622 Committee" that has gathered on the other side of the House?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Sir William Anstruther-Gray)
That is not a point of order.
§ Sir R. Nugent
I know that my hon. Friends are not entirely with me outwardly now, but they may be by the time I have finished.
My argument is that it is not possible to slow up this transition except by the use of force on a massive scale. I am sure that that argument is right and that in any case the amount of time we would have gained in preparing the Africans 446 for the day when they would govern themselves would not be many years, and that, during that time, far from having them in the Government, where they would be learning, and preparing themselves for the day of the take-over, they would undoubtedly be in opposition, and stirring up the great disturbances that would be going on.
That was the logic of the situation that struck me; that however good the constitutions may be and however good the constitutional safeguards may be that can be devised here in the process of the constitutional transition to African Government, they have, at the best, only a relative value. There will be a sovereign Government there that we cannot control. There is only one fact that will make sure that our people can continue to trade there, to live there and to work there, and that is that the Africans want them to be there, trust them, and see them as an essential part of the community. They want them to continue the industry and commerce, to run the farms, and so on.
This, I am sure, is the logic of the situation that I found in the many discussions I had with the people in the Copper Belt and on the farms. Their argument continues about the unreadiness of the Africans, but they fail to take into account the shortness of the time we have in the transition, and the virtual impossibility of seriously slowing this up to give us a longer time in which to train them, if we are to hold their confidence and preserve that element of good will which alone can make it possible for us to continue there in the future.
Let me, therefore, apply that logic to the situation in Northern Rhodesia. In Nyasaland, I found that where the basic decision had already been taken the situation was settling down. I met quite a few of the European community who were prepared, and seemed reasonably confident, to accept the situation that there was now a majority African Government there and that the next step would probably be an independent African Government. The fact that there was now a Government by consent of the country was clearly something that had reduced the tension which was undoubtedly there before.
Let me then come to the immediate problem of Northern Rhodesia. Kenneth Kaunda has made it plain that he and 447 his party, U.N.I.P., are to boycott the present Constitution when the general election takes place next year, unless there is a change. As my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice has said, there is the alternative party of A.N.C., but the best opinion that I could consult in Northern Rhodesia convinced me that even if U.N.I.P. does boycott the election the strength, of the party will still be considerably greater than the A.N.C.'s and that the strength of the leadership, finance and the zip, the youth that the country puts into it, makes it the predominant party.
Here, I think, is where my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice is wrong. If we go on the basis that they continue their boycott and refuse to take part in the election they will undoubtedly continue to cause disturbance and become more extreme. They will continue to be the strongest political party and some of them will probably be shut up in gaol in the process of causing disturbance, and in the course of a year or two, because they are the strongest political party and because they are getting nearer to the point of transition we shall have to let them out again and negotiate with them when they are more extremist and less responsible, and we should have wasted a lot of valuable time when they could have been brought into government, learning something about it, and creating good will instead of the reverse. The logic is quite irrefutable. We simply cannot get away from it. We have seen it happen far too often not to know the lesson it teaches.
We must face this situation. I feel as much sympathy and loyalty to those who have co-operated with us in these territories as anyone, and the need to do all that we can to preserve their position and see that they are not victimised. The time will come when the Government is handed over, and we have to be quite clear that they will then be dependent on the good will of the African people. So far as the creation of a moderate party goes, it simply does not happen. I do not believe that in the present state of development of these territories of Africa it is possible to expect what we would call a moderate political party to arise. Indeed, in Nyasaland, where what one might call the 448 extremists were in gaol, there was the hope that a moderate party would arise a couple of years ago, but it did not, and when Banda and company came out of gaol they had more influence than before. Whether or not one wants to deal with this or that person, they are the strongest party.
We are dealing with realities and, in my view, there is no alternative but to deal with the realities of the political situation as we find them. My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) warned the Government most cogently—indeed, he criticised the Government—because they said that they were prepared to consider again the Constitution of Northern Rhodesia because of the expression of view by sections of African opinion that they were not satisfied.
My own feeling is that, however undesirable it is to have first one shift of the Constitution and then another, this is the only path of reality. I am quite certain that if U.N.I.P. is not brought in at this stage the Government will have to deal with it later in a more difficult situation.
Having said that, I am very much aware of the complexities of the situation there and that it will not be enough to get a basis which will suit them. It is essential to carry the A.N.C. with the Government and also essential in Northern Rhodesia to carry the chiefs with the Government, particularly in Barotseland which in no circumstances will accept U.N.I.P. domination. The chiefs generally in Northern Rhodesia are undoubtedly far stronger authorities than those in Nyasaland and, therefore, must be carried, I am sure, by the Government in any settlement that is made.
The third matter, and in some ways perhaps the most important of all, is the opinion of the Europeans there. The extreme views expressed by some of the Right-wing elements there I do not believe are typical, but, on the other hand, there is no doubt at all that a section of European opinion in Northern Rhodesia is seriously disturbed. Not only is it disturbed, but the Federal Government are disturbed, as Sir Roy Welensky has made known on more than one occasion.
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Would my hon. Friend not agree that it goes much 449 further than that? The provincial and district commissioners themselves are very worried about the situation.
§ Sir R. Nugent
Some are and some are not. The impression I gained by consulting a wide range of the best opinion amongst the authorities that I could get was undoubtedly that U.N.I.P. must be brought in and that means must be found of bringing it in.
The point that I wish to make to my right hon. Friend is that the Federal Government and Sir Roy Welensky have very big responsibilities in the Federation. There are very big implications in Southern Rhodesia as well. We are all aware of just how much our Government's action in Northern Rhodesia affects both the Federation and Southern Rhodesia. Somehow, in the next step that is taken, I am sure that the Government must find a course which will be acceptable to Sir Roy Welensky and the Federation as well as meeting the necessities of our own case. One of the most worrying features that one meets continually in the Federation is the growing degree of friction between the European population there and, indeed, the Federal Government there. There is criticism of Her Majesty's Government and of us generally. This is something that can be of damage to both of us.
We have a most complex and difficult problem to solve there and it is vital that we should unite our forces and resources to solve it together. When Sir Roy Welensky is in this country, as I believe he will be next month, I urge my right hon. Friend to try to find an opportunity to bring both sets of considerations together, on our side on the lines I have indicated, and on their side with the responsibilities and implications of which we are all well aware, so that one more shot could be made and this time, I hope, a successful one, so that this time it should be possible to get a constitutional settlement here which will be satisfactory to both sides. I wish my right hon. Friend well in his extremely difficult task and I hope that what I have said will have made some contribution towards it.
§ 8.10 p.m.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Stough)
The hon. Member for Guildford (Sir R. Nugent) began his speech 450 by saying that he was uncertain whether he ought not to crave the indulgence of the House because he was speaking for the first time in a new sphere. I want to assure him, as one who has sometimes taken part in these debates, that everyone in the House, as we have listened to his speech, was impressed not just by its sincerity but by its thought, its philosophy and its constructive character. I am perfectly sure that the new Colonial Secretary will have been impressed by that speech and that it will not only have moved his emotion but will have influenced his mind and that the hon. Gentleman has made a real contribution towards the future of Central Africa.
Though I am speaking late in this debate, I should like to add my welcome to the new Colonial Secretary. I think I shall probably trouble him in his office quite a lot. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the speech which he delivered today, and I particularly welcome the fact that he indicated that the problem of Northern Rhodesia is by no means closed.
I think he made one great mistake when he suggested that under the series of three Colonial Ministers which we have had the policy has been continuous. Cyprus has already been mentioned, but much more relevant is Nyasaland. I have a very great respect for the work which the present Leader of the House did while he was Colonial Secretary. My only regret is that he did not change his office six months ago, because during the last six months when he has been facing the problem of Northern Rhodesia he has hurt those of us who have had respect for the work which he has done for Africa. I will say only to the right hon. Gentleman as he takes over the post of Colonial Secretary that we hope he may begin his office by a change of policy in Northern Rhodesia which will be as helpful to Africa as was the change of policy in Nyasaland with which his predecessor began his office.
A little unusually, I also want to offer a word of congratulation to my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) on the speech which he made in the early stage of this debate. It was one of the most impressive, most statesmanlike and most constructive speeches that I have heard 451 on colonial subjects in this House, and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) will convey that remark to my hon. Friend, in case he does not read what I have said in the OFFICIAL REPORT tomorrow morning.
We are discussing Africa, and we have done well to do so during this first week when the House has reassembled because the political revolution in Africa is the greatest change that has taken place in the world during the latter half of this century. We have now reached a stage where two-thirds of the population of Africa are Independent. Their representation in the United Nations is now becoming an effective and sometimes even a decisive force.
I am not claiming that the obtaining of political independence means that all becomes well. There are very deep causes of difficulty and disagreement in African society itself, in the customs of tribal institutions, in the rivalries of one tribe and another, in the artifical states which colonialism has left behind, in the new experiment in democracy which is strange to many of those peoples and which leaves problems which will be long enduring.
I feel that I must begin this evening by making a reference to the situation in Ghana to which other hon. Members have already referred, and I do so with a good deal of feeling. President Nkrumah has been my close friend since his student days. I was an associate of his when he was still in London. I had a great admiration for him and I still have an affection for him. But I also believe tremendously in personal liberty. I believe intensely in democracy and in the rights of minorities.
Whenever I have gone to any country where Governments have been detaining persons and political opponents without trial I have protested there, and I cannot be silent about Ghana, even though President Nkrumah has that close relationship with me. When he introduced his detention Bill I wrote privately to him first and then protested publicly. I am not going to say more about the present situation than this, that I have again written to him privately and that I have indicated to him that I will withhold any further 452 public expression of opinion on this matter until the White Paper which he has promised is in our hands and we have studied it.
I want to add this. I have not only protested when detentions have taken place in foreign countries. I have protested when they have taken place in our own Colonial Territories, and I regard it as a little hypocritical that there should be sneers about what President Nkrumah has done in Ghana when hon. Members have been silent about what has been done in Nyasaland, Kenya and other British territories. If one is going to stand for personal freedom, one must stand for that personal freedom in whatever country the rights of individuals are outraged.
I also want to make some reference to the Congo, though the main debate took place yesterday on foreign affairs. I will make my reference brief and I am making it only because I want to try to contribute something constructive to the solution of the problems there. As I see it, there are now three alternatives. There is either the United Nations imposition of a solution of the Katanga problem by force, or there is civil war between the central Government and the Katanga Government. I do not believe there is anyone in this House who wants either of those solutions. The third solution must be by the method of negotiation and the difficulty will be to bring the Leopoldville Government and the Katanga Government together so that those negotiations shall take place.
The constructive proposal I make tonight, and which I hope will be referred to the Foreign Office, is this. Leopoldville represents the more moderate section of African opinion in its Prime Minister and the more extreme section in its Deputy Prime Minister. Katanga represents the less advanced section among African opinion. If they are to be brought together, I am quite sure that it must be mainly by African influence.
In the continent of Africa today there are African representatives of those three points of view. There is the Monravia bloc, which includes Nigeria, which represents very much the view of the Prime Minister of the Congo. There is the Casablanca bloc which represents 453 very much the point of view of Mr. Gizenga, the Deputy Prime Minister. There is Liberia which represents, perhaps, the view of Katanga. Though one would never describe Julius Nyerere as belonging to that attitude, his influence would be one which would make for moderation and negotiation also.
My proposal, therefore, is that the the Foreign Office should at the United Nations, in its effort to make a contribution to the solution of the Congo problem, seek to get the opposite numbers among African leaders outside the Congo to become a negotiating body for the African leaders who, at present, are in conflict within the Congo itself. I hope that that idea will be passed on to the Foreign Office.
Because other hon. Members have done so, I do not propose to analyse the situation in Kenya. I merely ask for a reply from the Government to one new point I wish to raise. One of the problems in Kenya now is not merely tribal rivalries in opposition to unification within a great part of Kenya, but is the difficulty of the coastal strip which, it is suggested, should be united with Somali. I believe it should be settled, after proper preparation and reasonable time, by a plebiscite by the people in that area. It should be for them to decide whether their future relationships should be with Somali or Kenya.
I wish to ask one question. There are reports in Kenya that the British authorities are encouraging the movement in that coastal strip to break with Kenya so that a military base may be established in that territory. When Kenya gains its independence it is unlikely that Britain will be able to retain its base in the neighbourhood of Nairobi. The report is spreading that the British Government, therefore, is thinking of the alternative of the coastal strip and, to facilitate that, is encouraging the activity which is seeking that the coastal strip should break with Kenya.
I hope very much that before the end of this debate we may have a denial of that report because nothing could be worse than the impression that Britain is pursuing certain political policies because of any advantage in military bases.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Hugh Fraser)
I can give 454 the hon. Gentleman a categorical denial of any such move by the Governor of Kenya or by the British Government.
§ Mr. Brockway
I welcome that very much indeed. The hon. Gentleman knows the situation in Kenya and that his public denial tonight will be of great value in Kenya.
I am not going to go over again tonight the ground concerning Northern Rhodesia. I wish merely to make one constructive proposal. Honestly, I do not believe that there is any possibility now of rescuing the present system of Federation. I think that it is doomed. The fact that one has the African majority in Nyasaland, the European majority in Southern Rhodesia and these difficulties in Northern Rhodesia mean that that Federation is effectively destroyed.
Nevertheless, I am in favour of the principle of federation and I would like to see a federation much broader, much bigger even than the Central African Federation which exists now. We are moving towards federation in East Africa. Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika are gaining their independence—gaining their African majorities. There is Nyasaland, with its African majority. Extend the principle of African majority to Northern and Southern Rhodesia, and one may have a much bigger idea than has been urged in this House—the practical idea of a great East and Central African area federated, cooperative, and with all the economic advantages that that broader association would bring.
I now turn a little further south to South-West Africa. I have recently been on deputations to the Joint Under-Secretary and have discussed this subject. I wish now to make the two main proposals which I made to him but which, I realise, must be referred to the Foreign Office.
The South African Government have refused to allow a United Nations mission into the territory of South-West Africa. My great regret is that the British Government refuses to allow that mission to enter South-West Africa from Bechuanaland, despite the resolution of the United Nations. I want to make two proposals. The first is that an effort should be made to influence the 455 Government of the Republic of South Africa, even if they will not allow the United Nations mission to go to South-West Africa, to allow citizens in South-West Africa and in the Republic of South Africa itself to visit the United Nations mission, whether it be in Tanganyika, Ghana or Nigeria, wherever it may be at that moment. Those citizens should be allowed by the Republic of South Africa to go and to return. If the Republic of South Africa would agree to do that, it would maintain its view that the mission should not enter South-West African territory, but at the same time a large number of South African citizens who wished to give evidence to the mission would be able to do so knowing that they could return to their country after doing so.
My second proposal is this. The Republic of South Africa has agreed that one individual of international status shall be allowed to visit South-West Africa and make inquiries. Why would it not be possible for the Chairman of the United Nations mission, or perhaps two members of the mission, to be regarded as persons of this international status who might enter South-West Africa? I urge the Joint Under-Secretary of State to advocate that policy with the Foreign Office.
I want, lastly, to deal with our own Protectorates. I take the view that the most effective way to influence the future of the Republic of South Africa would be to make our Protectorates models of racial equality and African advancement. In the new Constitutions for Basutoland and Bechuanaland, in which both Europeans and Africans participate, some contribution is being made towards that end.
There are two problems about Basutoland that I want particularly to raise. I have already discussed one of them with the Joint Under-Secretary in his office. It is the allegation that three South African citizens who had been registered as refugees in Basutoland have been kidnapped by South African police and taken across the border. The hon. Gentleman knows the facts about Ganyile. He probably knows now that we know the identity of the other two Africans and have their names.
The event took place as long ago as 26th August. We learned something 456 about it only because Ganyile was able to smuggle a message out of his prison. I think that it is now accepted that the message which came out of the prison was his. There is apparently some doubt now because the Republic of South Africa says that the men were seized when they had returned to South African territory. However, against that is the fact that their huts were found dishevelled, blood was found upon the blankets in the huts, and blood was found outside. I ask the hon. Gentleman to use his utmost influence with the Government of the Union of South Africa with a view to a lawyer, who could report to the British Government, being allowed to visit these men in prison and attend any trial that takes place so that the British Government may become aware of the facts. If this were done, we should be able to obtain the evidence to enable us to make the protests in a more public way.
The second problem about Basutoland is this. There is a danger of it becoming another Sierra Leone, with the corruption which entered into the diamond market there. The licence has at present been given to the representative of De Beers. Africans are finding diamonds. Africans are being arrested when they find those diamonds. Is it not possible to organise the African diamond winners in Basutoland on a co-operative basis? This has been done in Ghana and in Guinea. It is being considered in Tanganyika. If in Basutoland we could organise that industry on a co-operative basis, we should, I believe, be able to avoid corruption of the kind which has occurred in Sierra Leone.
I have dealt with several aspects of the situation in the continent of Africa, but perhaps the biggest issue is this. Nearly all the new Governments are neutralist. I recognise that today, while they are not pro-Communist they are anti-West. I do not want them to become Communist. I believe too much in personal liberties and in democracy. But I thought it was a little extreme of the Lord Privy Seal in his speech in the House two days ago to make the complaint that they were becoming anti-West. One has but to look at the record of our own Government in the United Nations, at the way they 457 have abstained or the way they have voted against every resolution in the United Nations which has favoured the independence of colonial peoples. When that is done by the representatives of this Government at the United Nations, can one wonder that the peoples of Africa become anti-West?
Because I want to see a democratic society in Africa, I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman who is now the Colonial Secretary to seek to influence the Foreign Office to begin to express in its policy at the United Nations some of the better features of the work which was carried out by his predecessor and which I hope he will carry on to still greater effect.
§ 8.36 p.m.
§ Mr. Paul Williams (Sunderland, South)
I shall leave aside the flights of fancy of the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) in the latter part of his speech. I hope to be brief and I trust, also, that I shall be to the point.
First, I congratulate my right hon. Friend, the Colonial Secretary, as almost every other speaker has, upon his promotion and appointment. Secondly, I congratulate him on introducing into the content of his speech a wind of change of emphasis, a change of emphasis from constitution-mongering to placing more reliance on economic and trading advance in our territories in Africa. As has been said once or twice already today, for too long have we thought that to issue a constitution was to build a paper pyramid for democracy. For too long have we ignored the need for economic advance and the securing of markets for the potential produce of Africa. I shall return to this matter in a few moments.
I trust that my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary will not take too much notice of the "Dismal Johnnies" on both this and the other side of the House who believe that there is nothing which can be done to control, to influence and to condition the rate of advance towards independence. A few minutes ago we heard a speech from my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Sir. R. Nugent), who referred to remorseless logic. The remorseless logic of his speech was that, if we had any friends in Africa, we had 458 to sacrifice them. The logic of his speech was that it did not pay to be a friend of Britain. This may be true, but, if it is, it is a sad comment on recent years of government. Surely, we should have a little more noble ambition than to let down our friends.
Before I come to Africa, I have a few words to say about the Islands of the Seychelles. The hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) and I visited that Colony two and a half years ago and met the late Governor. I mention the Seychelles tonight for two reasons. First, I pay a humble and sincere tribute to the late Governor, Sir John Thorp, who gave his life not only to the cause of the Colonial Territories but in an attempt to save two children of the islands who got into difficulties while bathing. He was a man who personified the best in the Colonial Service. He went out of his way in striving to see that the development of some of the smaller territories came to fruition.
If this House could pay one small tribute to Sir John Thorp in his passing, it would be to carry on those policies of using colonial development and welfare funds for their best purposes in these smaller territories which are often forgotten and by-passed in debates in this House.
I now turn to Africa. Democracy lies very thin on the soil of Africa. The roots have not yet been put down. That is not for want of trying on the part of this country. As my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett) said, the efforts may have been misdirected. We may have been putting too much emphasis on the desire for a unitary state the boundaries of which have been founded on the chance of the Victorian era. Do we need to commit ourselves to these boundaries, these frontiers, of yesteryear for all time and inevitably, or should not we consider, as my hon. Friend did, the possibility of more regional Governments within the existing territories and even across existing borders and frontiers?
Perhaps in the Congo one might find a way of resolving the problems as between Katanga and the rest of the Congo and in Kenya through regionalisation. Why must we always, since independence and trouble came to the Congo, try to make Katanga conform to 459 the lower Congo? Why must Elisabethville be bent to meet Leopoldville? Perhaps it would be more sensible if we put the centre of gravity where, in fact, power, law, order and stability exist. Let us recognise that Katanga maintains these things and try to find a form of association around strength rather than around weakness.
I now come to the major point that I wish to make. What are the objects of British policy in Kenya and East Africa? Surely the first must be the creation of viable economic units, and the second the securing and maintaining of law and order with justice for all. This, naturally, includes the guaranteeing of rights for minorities. Further, we wish to effect a smooth transition to majority rule and independence, and consider whether we want to find some form of wider association for the States of East Africa.
At the Lancaster House conference, there was a significant advance towards freedom and independence. The failure at Lancaster House was, I believe, simply that of getting the members of K.A.N.U. to come into the Government, to staple down, by the fact of their participation, their willingness to be responsible in their behaviour on the political scene. The failure of the Lancaster House conference was to get K.A.N.U. into the Government which has led to many of the troubles since. The gradual introduction of African Ministers has proceeded. There can be a legitimate complaint by us in this House of the responsibility or otherwise of the African leaders of K.A.N.U. that they did not see fit to take up their responsibilities when they received a majority vote at the elections.
What of the present dangers in Kenya? It seems to me that there is a danger of a return to domination by the Kikuyu. One merely needs to look at the rôle which Kenyatta has played since his release to realise that he and they are tribalists in their outlook. We must face these facts, however regrettable they may be. However much we might have wanted to see a national leadership develop it is, nevertheless, true that tribalism is a fact of life in the Kenya set-up. We must recognise this in thinking about future constitutional advances. We must seek to achieve not 460 just domination by one tribe, but rights for the minority tribes.
§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman. This is precisely the theme of the speech I made in 1952 on this subject, before Mau Mau took effect—that we could not isolate all the tribes and allow one form of racial domination in a multiracial society like Kenya, quite apart from the Europeans.
§ Mr. Williams
I realise that the hon. Gentleman has joined us late this afternoon, and that he has got his contribution on the record, but many other hon. Members are awaiting an opportunity to speak.
One of the other things one notices is that, as in other parts of Africa, thuggery and intimidation exist, and this, naturally, gives greater power to a tribe such as the Kikuyu. Because of this, there is a genuine fear, a very distinct and definite fear, in the less advanced, less aggressive and less slick, tribes that, after independence, the Kikuyu dominated, perhaps, by Kenyatta, might overthrow the position. This is a genuine fact in the situation, and one must take this into account when we are thinking about the future of Kenya.
If these, then, are the dangers, how do we secure the objects of British policy, while avoiding the dangers of handing over to people whose roots in democracy are perhaps not as great as those of the hon. Member opposite and myself? I think, first, one must consider most seriously those recent proposals put forward by K.A.D.U., which are, basically, that there should be four regional Governments with more power in their hands than is foreseen at the moment.
It seems to me that there is the obvious danger in this policy of reverting to tribalism, answering tribalism with tribalism, but I cannot myself see how we can avoid the danger of Kenya being dominated perhaps by one tribe, and perhaps by the powers of evil, unless we find some way of introducing those checks and balances which the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) mentioned. If we can, by introducing some form of regional Government, give certain powers specifically to 461 the regions, we might be able to secure the interests of minorities.
I believe that this security that would be given to the minorities more than compensates for returning to tribalism. On this issue of land—and I think not only of Europeans but of the Masai and certain other tribes—it would give a greater degree of security to those minority and weaker elements and give them confidence in the future. I do not want to commit myself to whole-hearted support of this scheme now, because I do not think that sufficient thought has been given to it. I merely urge my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary to consider this scheme with as detached a mind as he must have, coming to this task anew, uncommitted by the supposed loyalties, friendships or criticisms of Lancaster House, or what has gone before. It seems to me that this is a scheme which can achieve security and speed in Kenya, while doing nothing to preclude the advance on the way to wider African federation in due course.
May I now return to the first point I made after congratulating the new Colonial Secretary—the emphasis which he put on the subject of economic and trade matters? It is my hope that the words he used were not just padding for a speech. I do not believe that they were. I believe that they were a genuine expression of belief, and my hope is that in his office now he will put as much energy into developing a Commonwealth economic policy—and that means finding and securing markets for the potential products of colonial territories —as certain other members of the Government are thought to be putting into a European economic policy.
Personally, I do not believe that the two need conflict if we could have a system of trade priorities, priorities presently precluded by the G.A.T.T. Having said that, if my right hon. Friend is to do the task which he set himself this afternoon, it will be one not just of providing new constitutions, but of providing new provocations to the production of wealth and the new outlets and markets for that wealth.
§ 8.50 p.m.
§ Mr. R. W. Sorensen (Leyton)
My right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) intends to start winding up for the Opposition 462 at 9 o'clock. I will see that he is not frustrated. In the ten minutes at my disposal, I can be only selective in the many points which I should have liked to put before the House.
The hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. P. Williams) referred to another member of his party as apparently encouraging the sacrifice of Africans who were nevertheless friends of Britain. That is a dangerous phrase if it means that those are friends of Britain in Africa who happen to endorse the policies which we adumbrate. Such a meaning does no service to the African scene, for the Africans themselves must work out their own salvation, whether or not that happens to coincide with our desires and preferences.
Time does not permit me to pursue this matter, but I mention it because I want for a moment to take a wider view. It is appreciated, as has been said, that in the Commonwealth there are about 600 million people who have been liberated from imperial domination and who now have self-government one way or another. I appreciate the emphatic contrast between that and what has taken place in the Soviet world, including East Germany.
Nevertheless, some hon. Members will remember the warnings before independence was granted to India and Pakistan, when it was said that we must go much more slowly in the granting of that independence. It was then often said that the Indians were not thoroughly prepared for the great responsibilities which they would shoulder. Looking back, one realises that it was by no means too early when independence was granted and many of the forebodings, fears and apprehensions of some Members, including the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill), have been falsified by subsequent events.
Instead, we have seen, as I believed we would, the momentum of Indian and Pakistani liberation affecting other parts of the world, including Africa itself. This does not mean that there would not have been an African awakening without a prior Indo-Pakistani awakening, but a stimulus was added by the accomplished fact in Asia to what was aspiring in the minds and souls of the African people.
463 In my earlier advocacy of Indian liberation, I made it clear that among the many reasons for that advocacy was the fact that I believed that only with independence would India and Pakistan face facts which they would otherwise evade, and that when they were able to stand on their own feet and face those facts, they would recognise that many of the burdens, political, economic, and sociological, which they had to bear were not merely due to British imperial occupation and domination.
I mention that because reference has been made to what is taking place in Ghana and I do not apologise for adding a word of warning and appeal about that territory. When I was travelling to London from my district yesterday, a young African came along the carriage of my tube train and handed everybody a leaflet of which I have a copy in my hand. It is pathetic as well as informative. It is issued by the Ghana Students' Association in Great Britain.
In bygone days I had a great deal to do with students and knew in their student days many of those who are now in high positions in Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere. I believe that this is an arresting and moving expression of the views of the Ghanaian students in London and elsewhere in this country. It is headed, "In defence of Ghana's freedom" and says:We the Ghana Students' Association humbly implore Her Majesty and the Members of Parliament of Great Britain to help us in our protest against the Totalitarian Practices in Ghana and pray to Her Majesty to use her influence to obtain the release of all the detained people in Ghana so that when she goes she might be accorded a worthy welcome by both the Government and the Opposition of Ghana.The liberty of the people of our country is at stake. Men and women are detained without trial by the self-styled Osagyefo 'Redeemer' and 'Founder' of Ghana and the 'Messiah' of Africa.The children and other dependants of the 350 detainees are suffering and need your helpThen there is the rather quaint conclusion:Long live Her Majesty and other freedom fighters of Ghana.I bring this leaflet to the attention of the House, because it apparently has the backing at least of many Ghanaian students in London, and in turn it may be representative of a substantial section of the Ghanaian people themselves
464 I was in Accra for a brief period last year and I lunched with Mr. Botsio who has recently been discharged from his post, and now we have heard that Dr. Danquah and Joe Appiah, both of whom I knew, are detained without trial.
I say this with sorrow and not because these deplorable facts give any reason for regretting transferring the responsibility which has now been conferred on the Ghanaian people. They have to work out their own salvation, and until they make mistakes they cannot make achievements. We have made mistakes, as have other free countries. Let us not jeer, or sneer, or be cynical, or despondent, about the mistakes, errors and failings which are attending some parts of the world where peoples have at last been liberated from European and Western domination. They, like us, have to work out their own salvation in national freedom.
At the same time, I make this plea to Dr. Nkrumah. I do not count him as a personal friend, though I knew him fairly well in bygone days. I appeal to him to recognise that on him rests a great responsibility for giving an example to Africa and the world on how an African country can work its way through to dignity and freedom instead of taking the apparently seductive short cut of dictatorship. Well meaning as it may be, and an apparent solution to a complex problem, in the end dictatorship is bound to be fatal to the best interests of the people of that country.
I say this, but without despair. Near Ghana there is Nigeria where fortunately at the moment there are no such circumstances as, unhappily, there are in Ghana. If hon. Members put on one side all the apparent failures or signs of difficulty, disaster or reaction, let us put on the other side such examples as Nigeria and India. Here are two countries with 400 million people in one, and 35 million in the other. Surely they can be quoted as examples of what we hope will yet be the policy pursued in Ghana and other liberated countries.
As one who has spent many years in a humble capacity striving to secure in this country a recognition of our duty to transfer full responsibility to dependent peoples, I echo the plea to Dr. Nkrumah, and indeed many others like him, to recognise that, no matter how difficult 465 his task may be, if he wants to be of greatest service to liberated mankind he must demonstrate consistency with this not in the distant future but at the present critical time in the affairs of his country.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Gordon Walker (Smethwick)
My hon. Friend the Member for Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) ended his speech with a passage with which I very largely agree, in connection with Ghana. Indeed, that has been a theme running through the debate. It has been very forcibly expressed in speeches by Members of all three parties, and I want to say a word about it to begin with.
It is not very easy to strike the right note when talking about this matter. On the one hand, we all feel grave disquiet and disturbance about some of the things that are happening in Ghana. On the other hand, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) said, it is a principle of the Commonwealth that we do not interfere in each other's affairs. But there is in the Commonwealth a necessary distinction between interfering and expressing judgments. Indeed, I am not sure that it is not one of the important things that holds the Commonwealth together that we do express judgments of each other. We help by mutual criticism to keep up a very high standard of government in all the countries of the Commonwealth, including Britain. We certainly find ourselves judged by other Commonwealth countries by standards infinitely higher than apply to Russia or even to the United States. But only foolish people here are worried about that. It is a compliment, and it is a good thing. If we, now, are critical of Ghana, it is by very high Commonwealth standards. The detention of 200 or 300 people in Ghana without trial does not remotely compare with the sort of things that happen in Hungary, East Germany and Egypt.
We must remember that it is a very important principle of Commonwealth relations that we put the best construction we can on each other's actions. We must do this in the case of Ghana, or any other Commonwealth country with whose actions we may disagree. We must put into perspective the things that are happening in Ghana.
466 They are part of a long struggle, starting before independence, to create a sense of nationhood against traditional and fissiparous forces in boundaries that were artificial. As my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) said, Ashanti was not integrated into Ghana until just before independence, and some of the problems have arisen from the attempt to create and maintain a nation against these difficult forces. It is also true that some members of the Opposition in Ghana have indulged in improper actions, as was shown in the Sharp Commission Report of 1959.
It may be argued, as my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) argued, that some of the measures that the Government of Ghana are using were used by British Governments in emergencies, including actions taken against Mr. Nkrumah himself at an earlier stage. This can be pleaded by my hon. Friend, but it can hardly be pleaded by Ghana, because it bitterly protested against these things and fought for independence in order to get rid of them.
It is important that our criticisms should not be related to our own immediate United Kingdom interests. We must never tie aid or friendship in the Commonwealth to particular political actions or alignments, and I was glad that when the right hon. Gentleman when to Ghana he made it clear that there is no question of our objecting to their policy of non-involvement. That is fully accepted. Indeed, it is of benefit to this country that some countries of the Commonwealth should follow this policy.
In this connection we must be very careful about the Volta River scheme. I cannot believe that the United States will make the same mistake here as they did in the case of the Aswan Dam. We must use our full influence with the United States to stop them, and in any case we must stand by the scheme.
The criticisms that we express really spring from a friendship for the people of Ghana and from a desire that Ghana shall be a full and complete member of a multi-racial Commonwealth.
If, however, we look at matters from this point of view and put the best construction we can upon them, we find that they are still highly disturbing, and 467 we must say so quite frankly. We must await the White Paper. My hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough said that he would. Nevertheless, by its very nature the White Paper is bound to be an ex parte statement. It is bound to state one side of the case. If they want to bring out the true facts the Government of Ghana would be well advised to set up another commission like the Sharp Commission.
But however the actions may be explained, we cannot justify many of the things that have been happening in Ghana. There is the detention without trial of opponents of the régime and the removal of Members of Parliament. If a Member of Parliament is detained and does not attend twenty sittings because he is detained, he ceases to be a Member of Parliament; and this is something which we could not possibly refrain from criticising. The Bill introduced on 7th October is one which must disturb anybody who is concerned over the survival of democracy in the Commonwealth. The summary trial by a judge and two others who need not be judges; the court delivering a majority decision with no dissent allowed to be expressed, if there is a minority view; and offences added by order without going back to the Parliament of Ghana.
I think that what we must try to say to the people of Ghana and to the Government is that these things disturb and alarm the best friends of Ghana, not only in this country but all over the Commonwealth. I am quite sure that the friends of Ghana in all Commonwealth countries are very disturbed about this. We can understand their difficulties. We understand that certain powers may have to be taken. Other democratic Governments have taken powers under certain conditions. But there are things which are essential if democracy is to survive there. Civil liberties should be preserved and the independence of the courts, and there should be the possibility of the Opposition expressing its views in Parliament.
In this connection I come finally to the question of the visit of the Queen which has been talked about by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), who was strongly in favour of it being cancelled or postponed, by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Brigg and by the hon. Member for 468 Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe). I think that this view is wrong. I adhere strongly to the view expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). If the visit were stopped it would be the final break in our relations with Ghana which is something we must do our utmost to avoid.
We have to be particularly careful in the Commonwealth that we do not get into the habit of sitting in judgment on one another. That is particularly important after the withdrawal of South Africa. If that withdrawal became a precedent for people sitting in judgment on one another in the Commonwealth it would destroy the Commonwealth very fast indeed. It is essential that the South African episode be regarded as a unique way of dealing with a unique problem, and if it became a precedent it would be very destructive. We have to be careful not to let it become a precedent. I do not think that if the Queen goes to Ghana it could be regarded as condoning the things going on in Ghana which we are attempting to criticise. We have to be careful not to allow the visit of the Queen to Ghana to be a purely United Kingdom-Ghana episode. The Queen is not only Queen in this country but in the Commonwealth. She is the head of the Commonwealth and when she visits Ghana she is there as head of the Commonwealth and is no more Queen of this country than of Canada or Australia. I am sure that, subject only to security problems which the Opposition cannot judge, the Queen should be advised to continue with her plans; and any advice should be given not only by Her Majesty's Ministers in this country but by her other Commonwealth advisers. It is important that we should never lose sight of the Commonwealth aspect.
I should like to say a word or two about the Central African Federation, partly by way of background to what I want to say later about Northern Rhodesia. I agree entirely with the Colonial Secretary's statement that Northern Rhodesia is the most urgent and difficult problem facing us in Africa.
Originally I was in favour of the idea of federation. I thought that the arguments that it would lead to rapid economic development were powerful and I thought even more powerful was the political argument that one must guard 469 against any danger of a northward expansion by the Union of South Africa. I think that these are still important factors. Looking back, I think that there was great force in the arguments of those who said that we should have gone forward with a looser form of association.
In any case, my support of federation depended completely—as I made clear at the lime—upon the assumption that there would be rapid political advance in the various territories. I never felt that federation could possibly survive unless there were this rapid political advance, particularly in the territories under our control. The failure to bring about this advance rapidly enough has steadily changed my views about federation. The turning point came for me in 1957 when two very disturbing things happened. One was the demand by Sir Roy Welensky for Dominion status long before there was any kind of majority rule in the Federation. The other was the rejection by this Government of the first, and only, recommendation of the African Affairs Board. Those two things seemed to me to constitute a turning point.
The failure was the graver because of the political advance in other parts of Africa. As many hon. Members have said, there is a chain reaction. We cannot isolate one part of the continent from another. The bad influences, as in the breakdown in the Congo, and the good influences, as in Nigeria, affect the whole problem. The problem has become worse because of the failure to advance politically in Central Africa. The situation, as the Monckton Report made clear, has got worse. Paragraph 41 of the Monckton Report said:ֵ the opposition to Federation which … was strong at the time that Federation was introduced, has gathered further strength by African disappointment in the manner of its operation.Looking at the question now it seems that two things are clear. One is that the survival or otherwise of federation is not any longer in our hands but is in the hands of the inhabitants of the territories of the Federation. The second is that it is not enough now, whatever may have been the case earlier, to argue the economic advantages. The former Colonial Secretary made this clear in an admirable way in his speech at Brighton, quoted in the 470 Guardian on 12th October, when he said:Don't ever fall into the error of assuming that because you give a man better housing and improve the health services that somehow that will satisfy his craving for basic political rights.Those were very wise words, but they involve a radical change in the Government's policy towards Federation.
If we want people to consider responsibly the economic advantages of Federation we have to give them responsibility. People cannot look at things responsibly if we deny them responsibility. That is what the right hon. Gentleman was saying. There is a moral obligation upon us to do this apart from anything else because we are now fully committed to the transformation of an Empire into a Commonwealth. Once we have started on that we cannot stop half way. We cannot rely, so to speak, on the credit acquired in the past and fail to go on. Our good name is very high, but if we want to keep it high we have to go right through to the end.
The burden of the Monckton Report was that Southern Rhodesia is the crux of the whole problem of federation. Lately there has been a move in the right direction in Southern Rhodesia. Sir Edgar Whitehead made a very courageous speech at his party congress on 5th October. He said that if his party did not reject the outdated policy of white domination it would have to look for a new leader. As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East said, there have been welcome and important movements towards getting rid of the social colour bar in Southern Rhodesia. But one must also say that the basic racial privilege is political. The root of the evil in the Federation is the discriminatory franchises which are still there, the monopoly of political power by a white minority.
The Government must use all their influences in all parts of the Federation, including Southern Rhodesia, and they must accept—there is no other policy now possible—the simplicities of the Monckton Report. The objective must be full democracy with a full franchise. There must be effective and speedy steps towards it, and this means that there must be African majorities now in the territories.
471 Of course, in some of these territories the Whites are alarmed, and one can understand it. They play a vital rôle in East and Central Africa. As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) said, these territories need the Whites. That is undoubtedly true. But I am sure that many of the Whites, some of whose views were described in a fine speech by the hon. Member for Guildford (Sir R. Nugent), are wrong and shortsighted and self-defeating in their attempt to cling to political power and to entrench privilege behind fancy franchises and devalued votes. That is fatal. It is the sort of trickery which is bound to build up even more anger and opposition than there would otherwise be.
Certainly one should protect individual rights, but not racial rights, by a Bill of Rights. A Bill of Rights is a protection of individual rights. But the only real security can be the acceptance of majority rule, and all experience shows that this is the only way in which a minority can be secure. This is the lesson of Tanganyika and the lesson of the West Indies. White minorities which were very alarmed when the franchise was extended have found that, in consequence of the extension, they are more respected and more wanted than they ever were when they kept political power in spite of being a minority.
I have been in the House for almost all the debate, and I have heard no mention of the right of secession. It seems to me that this must be granted. It is just in itself. No State can long survive if it is based upon a majority of unwilling citizens. Apart from the justice of it, nothing else can save any form of federation or association in Central Africa. Unless there are African majorities who have the responsibility of deciding whether to break up or continue the Federation, with all the consequences which would arise—but they would be consequences of their own acts—I do not believe that there is any hope for any kind of federation. If we create such a situation, then it is possible that the Africans will work the federal experiment in some form or other, maybe in the form suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) of a much greater 472 federation, possibly with the radical changes which the Monckton Report proposed. But I am certain that no form of association can survive on any other basis.
One of the chief means by which the Government can exercise power and influence is through the resumed Constitutional Review Conference. In this connection, I was very disturbed to read a report in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland News Letter—I imagine that it is accurate—of a speech by Sir Roy Welensky in Salisbury on 14th September, in which he said:I am gradually being forced to the conclusion that the better course may be to regard the Federal Review as having taken place and to go on from there.In other words, there would be no recall and no Review Conference. It is urgently necessary that the Government should reject this idea. The conference was adjourned in order to have the talks on Northern Rhodesia. The Government are legally and morally committed to having this conference and therefore to recalling it. It is part of Her Majesty's obligations and of this Parliament's obligations to the peoples of the Federation, and it is essential that the right hon. Gentleman should tonight categorically reject what Sir Roy there said, and say that the conference is to be recalled.
I come now to Northern Rhodesia. Clearly, before the conference is recalled, there must be this real and speedy advance in Northern Rhodesia —that is why the conference was suspended or adjourned, but not stopped.
When one looks at what has happened in Northern Rhodesia since the House rose for the Summer Recess it is impossible to defend what the Government have done.
The great error was the issue of the new White Paper on 26th June. The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Chataway), in what I thought was otherwise a first-class and admirable speech, said that he could detect no difference between the two White Papers. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has also always maintained that, but I cannot see how one can escape the conclusion that the second White Paper changed the whole balance of prospective power. That is why there has been all the trouble.
473 It took the Asians off the Upper roll and so took away the chance of Africans getting votes, but it also altered a specific pledge that candidates for the national seats would need the same percentage of votes on both the upper and lower rolls, to be returned. That White Paper altered the whole balance of prospective power.
As we all know, there has been serious violence. No one can condone that —no one can condone violence—and we know that it is the duty of Governments to preserve law and order, but the Government cannot be exonerated altogether for the outbreak of violence. The Government have the duty to remove legitimate causes of unrest—legitimate causes—and certainly not through weakness and wobbling to stimulate those causes of unrest.
What happened is that in June the Government dashed hopes that had been raised by the Monckton Report and by their own first White Paper, and they palpably appeared to be giving way to pressure from the Federal Government. This is quite clearly established. I could quote from the Africa Committee of the Conference of British Missionary Societies, and there is the speech of Sir Roy Welensky on 30th June, clearly saying that as a result of the Federation's representations great changes were made.
Fortunately, on 13th September the Government partly faced the consequences of their own actions. They have said that they would reconsider the Constitution if violence ended, and I am glad to say that the Colonial Secretary has today restated that. Violence, in effect, has ended and it is essential that there should quickly be made a new and unambiguous statement. The Government should again go on the simple proposals of the Monckton Report. The Asians must go on the upper roll and the national candidates must get the same percentage from both rolls—and a relatively low one, perhaps 5 per cent. or something like that.
Northern Rhodesia, as my hon. Friend has said, is the great test for the new Colonial Secretary. He will be under many pressures. Indeed, he has already been charged by some of his hon. Friends of appeasement, by which, of course, they mean giving way to people whom they do not like. When it is a 474 case of giving way to people whom they do like it is statesmanship. The right hon. Gentleman is already coming under great pressure, and will be under pressures, as we know, from forces in the Federation.
The test for him is that we have a new chance in Northern Rhodesia—perhaps the last chance. I agree altogether with what the hon. Member for Lewisham, North said about Mr. Kaunda. He is a dignified, co-operative, courageous leader, committed to the sort of advance we have had in Tanganyika and Nyasaland. The situation now is that hopes have again been raised by the statement of 13th September, and if they are dashed now I really do not know what may happen to Kaunda, or the grave effects there may be on other leaders in other East African territories.
At the end of his speech, the right hon. Gentleman gave a statement of principles, and it is inevitable that we should compare them with the confession of faith and statement of principles made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at Brighton. I must say that although I agree with a lot that he said it seemed to me that if one takes it as a full statement of principles, those principles lack somewhat in breadth and balance and vision.
It is, of course, true that we cannot have justice without security, but it is not enough to say this. If we have security without justice that is just total oppression. It is perfectly true that we have to look after the rights of minorities, as he said, but there are the rights of majorities, which he did not mention at all. I should like to have heard him put more dynamic things into his principles, the simple things like freedom and democracy and equality or, indeed, the right hon. Gentleman's brotherhood of men—all men. This was what I was sorry not to hear in the right hon. Gentleman's statement of principles.
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take as his guide the things which his right hon. Friend said, particularly about the tragedies that can come from going too slowly. As I said, it is impossible for us to find any excuse for the Government's conduct of policy in regard to Northern Rhodesia. It has been incompetent, it has been shilly-shallying, it has indulged in double talk, it has 475 contributed to the outbreak of violence and it has certainly damaged—I do not want to put it too strongly—Britain's good name in Africa. That is one reason why we feel that we must divide the House tonight, to express our deep concern at the way the Government have behaved. There is another reason why we want to divide the House tonight, and that is because we want to bring all the pressure in our power to bear upon Her Majesty's Government to get back to the only course that can restore Britain's name in Africa and elsewhere and secure again peaceful progress in Central Africa.
§ 9.27 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. Duncan Sandys)
I think that all of us who have attended this debate will feel that we have had an extremely thoughtful discussion throughout. We have listened to a series of extremely objective and constructive speeches, starting with the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) and running right through the whole of our debate. I am only sorry that after this debate, in which opinions have been expressed across the Floor of the House, in many cases independent of party, we should end in a Division. But I have scarcely ever heard a Division proposed in such moderate terms as those proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker).
I should like to associate myself with the good wishes which were expressed by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East and other hon. Members to Tanganyika. I shall be going there to represent Her Majesty's Government at the independence celebrations and very strenuous affairs these independence celebrations always are. I am sure that we can look forward to Tanganyika bringing an important new contribution to the strength and vitality and representative character of our Commonwealth. I am sure that the Prime Minister, Mr. Nyerere, will bring another important Commonwealth figure on to the world stage.
The right hon. Member for Smethwick and other hon. Members on both sides of the House have referred in differing 476 ways to our relations with Ghana. We have always recognised that Ghana wished to pursue a neutralist policy. The British Government understand and respect Ghana's desire to remain uncommitted like many other Commonwealth countries, and I agree with what the right hon. Member for Smethwick said; I believe that that is a good thing. I believe that it adds to the influence and representative character of the Commonwealth as a whole that there should be among its members a certain proportion who are neutral and uncommitted.
However, I must say that in recent months we have been considerably disturbed by some of the words and actions of President Nkrumah and his Ministers. We received the impression that Ghana was becoming more and more antagonistic to Britain and increasingly willing to support Soviet attacks against Britain and the West. But before accepting that these speeches and actions represented the true feelings of Ghana, I thought it right to discuss the whole matter fully with President Nkrumah himself. For that purpose, as the House knows, I went to Accra the other day.
I should like to say that President Nkrumah was the first to welcome my proposal to come and talk the whole thing out with him. After long and very frank talks, we issued a communiqué to which reference has been made during the course of this debate. I do not think that it is really in the nature of a dialogue, as was suggested. It was in the nature of each side clarifying points which had given rise to misunderstanding in the minds of the other, and to that extent I believe that it has some value. It certainly contained a number of very helpful declarations.
I welcome, in particular, the declaration by President Nkrumah that Ghana's policy will continue to be based on the principle of non-alignment, to which he added:neither leaning to the East nor to the West.I also appreciate very much his public recognition—I think that this is the first time that he has said anything of this kind in public—of the "sincerity of Britain's approach to the colonial problem". I particularly value the advice he gave in this statement to the peoples 477 of the remaining British Colonies—these are the words that he used—to rely on the good faith of Britain and to work for their independence through constitutional means.I believe that these and other statements in the communiqué are extremely valuable, and certainly reflect a genuine desire by President Nkrumah to improve relations.
These helpful assurances about Ghana's external policy would undoubtedly have given rise to more satisfaction here, had it not been for the anxieties which have arisen over the internal measures adopted recently by the Ghana Government. But, for reasons which the House will understand, I do not propose to comment upon those measures. It has always been the practice of successive British Governments, as far as possible, to refrain from expressing opinions, whether favourable or unfavourable, upon the domestic policies of other Commonwealth Governments, and I do not think that the House would wish me to break this well-established rule tonight.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), the hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe), the hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) and other hon. Members voiced doubts about the wisdom of the Queen's visit to Ghana at this time. As Her Majesty's advisers we are, of course, very conscious of the responsibility which rests on us in this matter and several hon. Members have spoken of this responsibility. I can assure them that we are well aware of this.
I must point out that the date for the visit was fixed a long time ago, and that to cancel it now on political grounds would have a most serious effect on the relations between our two countries. As several hon. Members have pointed out, nothing would suit those who dislike Britain in Ghana better than a cancellation of the Queen's visit, and the crisis in our relations which would result.
Of course, in addition to the political aspects, there is what, in my view, is the most important aspect; the question of Her Majesty's safety. No Royal tour in any country is without some element of danger. But I can assure the House that if it should appear to us that the visit would involve abnormal 478 risks we would not hesitate to advise cancellation; and in such circumstances I am sure that everyone in Ghana would understand and agree that this was the only proper course. We have, however, examined the position up to date most thoroughly, and have considered the information available to us. As a result, the Government have reached the conclusion that unless there is a significant change in the situation, we would not be justified in advising any alteration in Her Majesty's plans.
I would only add, concerning the doubts that some hon. Members may feel about the timeliness of the visit, that one thing is quite certain. That is that the Queen will receive an enthusiastic welcome from the warm-hearted and hospitable people of Ghana, who have a very real affection for Britain and, I believe a very deep respect for Her Majesty.
Hon. Members have spoken of all the three territories in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I will not say much about Nyasaland except that it has now achieved representative government and a Legislature with a large African majority. Judging from the speeches to which we have listened everyone seems to agree that progress has been made in Southern Rhodesia, progress which was really unthinkable a year ago. They now have a new Constitution, or will have a new one shortly, which will represent an enormous advance. From there being no African representatives at all, about a quarter or more of the Chamber will be African, with every prospect of that proportion expanding.
What is even more striking—and this has been referred to by several hon. Members—is the complete change of outlook among Europeans which has taken place during this past year. It would have been unthinkable a year ago that the two speakers from the Opposition Front Bench should both praise Sir Edgar Whitehead.
§ Mr. Sandys
Both of them were unstinted in their praise of the liberal approach, and quite rightly so, of Sir Edgar Whitehead and the Government of Southern Rhodesia to this problem.
479 The Government of Southern Rhodesia are at present carrying out a thorough review of the whole of their discriminating legislation. We must remember that much of this legislation is designed to protect the Africans. Therefore, there is no question of sweeping it all away overnight. One has to be discriminating in the repeal of discriminating legislation.
However, I must draw the attention of the House to the fact that the laws which have already been repealed recently include the Pass Laws, which imposed so many disabilities on Africans, the Immorality and Indecency Suppression Act, the Native Tax Act, the Native Adultery Act, the Native Inns and Eating Houses Act, and the Possession of Explosives (Natives and Asiatics) Act. Those cover quite a big field.
Recently the Government party, the United Federal Party, unanimously voted for the abolition of racial discrimination in cinemas, hotels, cafes and other public places. Racial control of land ownership is also being courageously tackled. A start has already been made by amending the Land Apportionment Act, and I understand that the United Federal Party Congress recently voted for further far-reaching reform, with the aim of removing further restrictions on the acquisition of land by persons of all races. That represents a revolution in thinking and in progress there—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I am glad that this is so widely recognised in the House.
Criticism during the debate centred on Northern Rhodesia. I am sorry that after this thoughtful and constructive debate the Opposition wish to divide the House on the question of the Constitution of Northern Rhodesia. They complain, I understand, of the vacillation in the Government's policy. It would have been quite easy for the Government to decide on their own the terms of a new Constitution for Northern Rhodesia, and impose it with no more than perfunctory consultation. We have tried—perhaps we have tried too long—to find a solution acceptable to all. That is why we have at each stage been reluctant to close the door on further discussions and have 480 been ready to listen to further representations.
However, I emphasise that our objective has remained the same throughout. From the start we have sought to establish a new Constitution which would substantially increase African representation, and produce something like parity between the races. It was also our aim to frame the electoral arrangements in such a way as to ensure that a proportion of the candidates would have to seek support from both races. By this method we hope to encourage co-operation and confidence between Europeans and Africans and develop a multi-racial political life. We believe that this is in general accord with views which have been expressed for a long time on both sides of the House.
The Colonial Secretary has explained that, as soon as lawlessness ceases, the Governor will receive any representations which the political parties may wish to make. We do not expect that these will provide a basis for full agreement, but we hope that they will help to narrow the gap. In any case, after considering these representations and the views of the Governor, Her Majesty's Government will make their final decision, and arrangements will go ahead for the holding of elections under the new Constitution.
No one who has followed any of these debates will pretend that this was a simple problem. The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, frankly said this afternoon that he was happy that he was not in the shoes of the Colonial Secretary. It is certainly much easier to make a critical speech and to divide the House than it is to devise a generally acceptable solution to this intractable problem.
I was asked about the proposal for an inquiry into the police action which had taken place in Northern Rhodesia, and I do not wish to shirk that point which was gone into at some length by the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East. Mr. Kaunda, who was referred to in this connection, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking for a wide inquiry, not only into the action of the police, but into the whole cause of the disorders. From his letter, it was quite clear that he had in mind an inquiry into the reasons for the dissatisfaction of the Africans; in other words, an inquiry into 481 the rightness or wrongness of the Gov-ment's decision in regard to the Northern Rhodesia Constitution.
I think that the House will agree that, while the matter is still being considered, and when no final decision has yet been reached, it would not be right to have an external independent inquiry as to whether or not the policy of Her Majesty's Government as approved by the House of Commons was right or not. Therefore, any inquiry there might be would, obviously, have to be of a very different nature, confined to the actions of the police in regard to specific cases.
The lawlessness which has taken place has been on a very considerable scale, though restricted to certain limited areas. As I understand, there have been over 1,000 separate incidents. Two thousand seven hundred people have been arrested. Over 2,000 of these have been convicted, after trial, of criminal offences. I emphasise, since we have been talking about detentions in another connection, that there have been no detentions except pending trial on a criminal charge. About 20 Africans—this we deeply regret—have been killed in the course of the disturbances.
I wish to say a word about the action of the police in this connection, because we must look at the matter objectively. I am advised that the police have fired only when attacked by armed bands—when they were evacuating missionaries or removing road blocks—or when in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by threatening crowds. Those, I am told, are the circumstances in which the police found it necessary to fire.
Mr. Kaunda, whom I know personally and regard as a reasonable man, has alleged that he has full evidence, including photographs, to support allegations of improper behaviour by the police. I suggest that, before we consider any question of a special inquiry, the person who is making the allegations in the first place should present the evidence in his possession to the authorities, to the Governor, so that those responsible for the police may consider whether disciplinary action is necessary in a particular case, whether charges have been made out, or whether a wider inquiry is justified. I think that persons making charges should in an orderly fashion present the evidence in their possession.
482 In fairness to the police, I must say that our information is that the police have throughout exercised great restraint. Of course, if evidence is produced to show improper behaviour, action will be taken in the ordinary course; but, in the absence of evidence of improper conduct, it is, I believe, our duty to give the police our support in the difficult and dangerous duties which they have to perform.
§ Mrs. White
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is a serious matter if 20 people are killed? Would not he consider at least issuing a White Paper, or asking the Government of Northern Rhodesia to do so, so that this House may have full particulars of the circumstances in which such action by the police was necessary, or alleged to be necessary? We should know why people have been killed.
§ Mr. Sandys
I did my best to explain the position. As I say, I think that we had better wait before considering a matter of that kind until law and order is fully restored. This lawlessness is still continuing. I do not think that it is a good moment to have a post-mortem unless the reasons for it are very compelling.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I should like to support the statement of the Secretary of State that the evidence which Mr. Kaunda or others may have should be submitted in the proper way, so that it can be investigated. Meanwhile, however, I repeat the appeal which has been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) and by myself. It is a serious matter if over 20 of our subjects are killed.
As I understand, the violence has practically died away. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman promise us a narrative account, in the form of a White Paper, of these incidents and what led to this loss of life which I am sure every one of us in this House deeply regrets?
§ Mr. Sandys
I will discuss the matter with my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary and see what further information can be given to the House.
Lately, attention has been focussed on the three territories in the Federation, but I believe that interest is now likely to turn to the question of the future of 483 the Federation itself. The Federal Review was adjourned last December in order that progress might be made with the revision of the Constitutions of the three territories, and it was left to the four Governments to decide when it should be reconvened in the light of the progress made in the three territories.
The question which we now have to face is when it should be reconvened and what should be the procedure. Theoretically and logically, it would be right to wait until the elections have taken place in the three territories and new Legislatures and Governments have been formed on the basis of new Constitutions. But that may be rather a long time and I think that we must consider whether further steps should be taken in the interval. I cannot give the House a precise answer on that tonight.
Like my hon. Friends the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) and Guildford (Sir R. Nugent), I still firmly believe in the rightness of the concept of federation and am convinced that it makes sense economically, administratively and politically. But I must say what I have said before, that I believe that the federation can continue only if it wins the general acceptance of the population as a whole within a reasonable time. The problem, therefore, is to reconcile the Africans and the Europeans. In other words, it is very much the same problem with which we have been faced in each of the three territories.
After the adjournment, I enunciated three principles. I said that we recognised our duty to the Europeans and to the Africans, and that we could discharge that duty only if they for their part endeavoured to co-operate with one another in developing the practice of true partnership; otherwise, we could not discharge our obligations to both. We are satisfied that the federal system has effectively helped to promote the economic and social progress which has benefited all the peoples of all the territories, and we would not wish anything to be done which would slow down the rate of further advance. If the federal
§ system is to win the confidence and general support of the population as a whole, then I believe that Africans must be allowed to play a bigger part in running the country. Those remain the principles which will guide us in approaching the problem of the Federal Review.
§ The hon. Member for Devon, North spoke of the political consciousness of the Commonwealth. I should like to say a word or two about that before I conclude. The hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) referred to his experience on a Commonwealth Parliamentary delegation. We had a highly successful Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference recently in London which revealed the existence of a Commonwealth consciousness in a remarkable way. Members of Parliament from all over the Commonwealth demonstrated the importance they all attached to our Commonwealth relationship. One delegate after another expressed his faith in the Commonwealth as a great moral force for peace and understanding in the world, and I believe that that is something of which people have been becoming more conscious, particularly in the last few years.
§ That is the unique rôle and mission of the Commonwealth, but before we can create understanding among other nations, we must first learn to understand one another. In this we all have a positive part to play. I hope that all the peoples of the Commonwealth, and their newspapers, will make a conscious effort to see each other's point of view. Let us trust each other's good faith and good intentions, and, as the right hon. Member for Smethwick said, let us always try to put the most generous construction on each other's words and actions. Above all, let us not put a spotlight on our differences. Instead, let us continuously seek opportunities for working together to further the great ideals which are common to us all.
§ Question put, That this House do now adjourn:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 222, Noes 300.489
|Division No. 266.]||AYES||[9.57 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.|
|Ainsley, William||Awbery, Stan||Bence, Cyril|
|Albu, Austen||Baird, John||Benson, Sir George|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Blackburn, F.|
|Blyton, William||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pentland, Norman|
|Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Ponplewell, Ernest|
|Bowles, Frank||Hunter, A. E.||Prentice, R. E.|
|Boyden, James||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Prioe, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Probert, Arthur|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Randall, Harry|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Janner, Sir Barnett||Rankin, John|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jeger, George||Redhead, E. C.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Reid, William|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Reynolds, C. W.|
|Callaghan, James||Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Chapman, Donald||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Chetwynd, George||Jones, Eiwyn (West Ham, S.)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Collick, Percy||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Ross, William|
|Corbet, Mrs, Freda||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Kelley, Richard||Short, Edward|
|Cronin, John||Kenyon, Clifford||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Grossman, R. H. S.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||King, Dr. Horace||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Darling, George||Lawson, George||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Ledger, Ron||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Small, William|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Snow, Julian|
|Delargy, Hugh||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Dempsey, James||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Diamond, John||Lipton, Marcus||Steele, Thomas|
|Dodds, Norman||Loughlln, Charles||Stonehouse, John|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stones, William|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||McCann, John||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. c.||MacColl, James||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Edelman, Maurjce||McInnes, James||Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Swain, Thomas|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Mackle, John (Enfield, East)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Evans, Albert||McLeavy, Frank||Sylvester, George|
|Finch, Harold||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Symonds, J. B.|
|Fitch, Alan||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Fletcher, Eric||Mahon, Simon||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Malialieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Manuel, A. C.||Thornton, Ernest|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mapp, Charles||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)||Marsh, Richard||Timmons, John|
|Ginsburg, David||Mason, Roy||Tomney, Frank|
|Gooch, E. G.||Mayhew, Christopher||Warbey, William|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Mendeison, J. J.||Watkins, Tudor|
|Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce||Weitzman, David|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Milne, Edward J.||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Grey, Charles||Mitchison, G. R.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Monslow, Waiter||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Moody, A. S.||Whitlock, William|
|Grimond, J.||Morris, John||Wigg, George|
|Gunter, Ray||Mort, D. L.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A, B.|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Moyle, Arthur||Wilkins, W A.|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Mulley, Frederick||Willey, Frederick|
|Hannan, William||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Williams D. J. (Neath)|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Noel-Baker, Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)||Williams, Ll. (Abertlliery)|
|Hayman, F. H.||Oliver, G. H.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Healey, Denis||Oram, A. E.||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Oswald, Thomas||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Herbison, Miss Margaret||Owen, Will||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Hewitson, Capt. M.||Paget, R. T.||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Hilton, A. V.||Parker, John||Woof, Robert|
|Holman, Percy||Parkin, B. T.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Holt, Arthur||Paton, John|
|Houghton, Douglas||Pavitt, Laurence||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Mr. J. Taylor and|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Peart, Frederick||Mr. G. H. R. Rogers.|
|Hoy, James H.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Batsford, Brian||Bossom, Clive|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Boume-Arton, A.|
|Allason, James||Bell, Ronald||Box, Donald|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John|
|Aahton, Sir Hubert||Berkeley, Humphry||Braine, Bernard|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Biggs-Davison, John||Brewis, John|
|Balniel, Lord||Bingham, R. M.||Bromley-Davenport,Lt. Col. Sir Walter|
|Barber, Anthony||Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bishop, F. P.||Brooman-White, R.|
|Barter, John||Black, Sir Cyril||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey|
|Bryan, Paul||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Noble, Michael|
|Buck, Antony||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Nugent, Sir Richard|
|Bullard, Denys||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Hirst, Geoffrey||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Burden, F. A.||Hobson, John||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Hocking, Philip N.||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast. S.)||Holland, Philip||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Hollingworth, John||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hopkins, Alan||Partridge, E.|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hornby, R. P.||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Chataway, Christopher||Homsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia||Perclval, Ian|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)||Peyton, John|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Pickthom, Sir Kenneth|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Hughes-Young, Michael||Pilkington, Sir Richard|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth,W.)||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Pitman, Sir James|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Hurd, Sir Anthony||Pitt, Miss Edith|
|Code, Norman||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pott, Peroivall|
|Collard, Richard||Iremonger, T. L.||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Cooke, Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Cooper, A. E.||James, David||Price, H. A, (Lewisham, W.)|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Nell)||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Jennings, J. C.||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John|
|Corfield, F. V.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Costain, A. P.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pym, Francis|
|Coulson, J. M.||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Joseph, Sir Keith||Ramsden, James|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Critchley, Julian||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Rees, Hugh|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Cunningham, Knox||Kirk, Peter||Renton, David|
|Curran, Charles||Kitson, Timothy||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Lagden, Godfrey||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Dalkeith, Eari of||Lambton, Viscount||Rippon, Geoffrey|
|Dance, James||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool,S.)|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Langford-Holt, J.||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Leather, E. H. C.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Doughty, Charles||Leavey, J. A.||Roots, William|
|Drayson, G. B.||Leburn, Gilmour||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|du Cann, Edward||Legg-Bourke, Sir Harry||Russell, Ronald|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Lilley, F. J. P.||St. Clair, M.|
|Eden, John||Lindsay, Martin||Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshafton)||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Elliott,R.W.(Nwcstie-upon-Tyne,N.)||Litchfield, Capt. John||Sharpies, Richard|
|Emery, Peter||Lloyd, Rt.Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dffeld)||Shaw, M.|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Shepherd, William|
|Farr, John||Longbottom, Charles||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn|
|Finlay, Graeme||Longden, Gilbert||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Loveys, Walter H.||Smith, Dudley(Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Forrest, George||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Foster, John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)||MacArthur, Ian||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||McLaren, Martin||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Gammans, Lady||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Gardner, Edward||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Stodart, J. A.|
|George, J. C. (Poilok)||Maclean,SirFitzroy(Bute&N.Ayrs.)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Harold(Bromley)||Talbot, John E.|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Godber, J. B.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maddan, Martin||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. William||Maginnis, John E.||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R.||Maitland, Sir John||Teeling, William|
|Green, Alan||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Temple, John M.|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Marlowe, Anthony||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Grimston, Sir Robert||Marshall, Douglas||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Marten, Neil||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Gurden, Harold||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Matthews, Cordon (Meriden)||Thomton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Hare, Rt. Hon. John||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Turner, Colin|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Mawby, Ray||Turton, Rt, Hon. R. H.|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Mills, Stratton||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Montgomery, Fergus||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hay, John||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Morgan, William||Waider, David|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Morrison, John||Walker, Peter|
|Hendry, Forbes||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Hicks Beach, Mal. W.||Nabarro, Gerald||Wall, Patrick|
|Hiley, Joseph||Neave, Airey||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Webster, David||Wise, A. R.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Wells, John (Maidstone)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick||Yates, William (The Wrekln)|
|Whitelaw, William||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Williams, Dudley (Exeter)||Woodhouse, C. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)||Woodnutt, Mark||Mr. E. Wakefield and|
|Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)||Woollam, John||Sir H. Harrison.|
|Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|