§ 67. Mr. Benn
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent Her Majesty's Government are still bound by the provisions of the Congo Basin treaties and the Convention of St. Germain-en-laye with regard to the sale of spirits to Africans; in what territories the prohibition applies; what steps are open to Her Majesty's Government or the Colonial Governments to bring these treaties to an end; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
These Instruments are still binding on Her Majesty's Government.28W
The provisions relating to liquor apply, so far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, to all the African territories for whose international relations the United Kingdom Government are responsible. The present effect of these provisions is unfortunately directly discriminatory on racial grounds and I have informed the Governments of the territories concerned that I am prepared to agree to the introduction of legislation the provisions of which are not considered to be contrary to the spirit of the Congo Basin Treaties as indicated in the preambles to the Berlin Act, 1885, and to the main St. Germain-en-laye Convention, 1919. I would draw the hon. Member's attention to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) on 2nd February, 1955.
In the absence of any denunciation clauses in these Instruments I am advised that they could only be brought to an end by the unanimous consent of all the signatory Powers.