§ 4.43 p.m.
§ Debate resumed.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
My Lords, perhaps we may now come down to earth, and the earth of Central Africa. As usual, I have had extraordinarily helpful and considered contributions from the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, and the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, and I would say how grateful I am to them for their, as always, extremely helpful contributions. I should like to associate myself very much with what the noble Earl had to say about the Governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, and say how we on our side of the House are acutely aware of the great service he has given to both the British Government and the Northern Rhodesian Government. I know that a tribute from someone so well versed in the affairs of Africa and of Commonwealth as the noble Earl will give Sir Evelyn Hone great pleasure when he reads the report of this debate. I should 486 also like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, for the warmth with which he supported the general idea of the Commonwealth, as I know the sentiments he holds very dear to his heart. I also know that the result of the Conference, to which the noble Lord made some reference, gives us on this side every bit as much pleasure as it gives him. All the false prophets have been dumbfounded and it is a splendid result.
There was nothing said which required a reply, except the point made by the noble Earl, on the question of the terminal benefits of the non-designated officers in Northern Rhodesia. He asked me two questions. One was whether we would try to influence the Northern Rhodesian Government to extend the system, by which those who lose their jobs through Africanisation or are passed over for promotion should get a lump sum compensation equivalent to half that of a designated officer who loses his job owing to abolition. I am unwilling to give that undertaking because I think, as the noble Earl said, that the Northern Rhodesian Government have been exteremely generous over this matter. They have been perhaps more generous than the noble Earl said, in that they have also said that any expatriate who continues to work until January 1, 1966, and then wishes to retire may retire on earned income plus the abolition increase of one-third. So they have gone a long way, and I do not think it would be right to press them to go further than this, as they have been extremely generous.
On the question of whether Her Majesty's Government would lend money to the Northern Rhodesian Government to provide these additional funds, I have been looking very carefully at the Order Paper and I think that to give a detailed reply to that would be prejudging the debate on a Motion that is down, in the name of my noble friend Lord Salisbury, to take place a week to-day. We will have a full debate on that, and I hope the noble Earl, and other noble Lords who are not now present but are interested in this matter, will not think I am running away from this question when I say that it would be a pity to have two bites at the cherry.
Otherwise, I can only say that I am delighted that this Bill has had the approval of all sides of the House. I 487 have introduced five or six independence Bills since I have had the honour of being a Member of the Government, and I like to think—though perhaps not all will agree—that I will be here to introduce a number more in the years and months ahead. But, in any event, I thank your Lordships very much for your support, and I know it will be a great comfort to Mr. Kaunda that he has the good wishes of every thinking person in this country as Zambia takes the great step to independence.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a: Committee negatived.
§ Then, Standing Order No. 41 having been suspended (pursuant to Resolution), Bill read 3a, and passed.