Oral Answers to Questions — West Africa (Development).

– in the House of Commons on 10th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies when a report is likely to be received from the Governor of the Gold Coast respecting constitutional development; and whether this and other Governors of West African Colonies are considering or will consider, in co-operation with native representatives, the future economic development of West Africa and the necessity of a progressive balanced economy that will ensure progress and stability and substantial social improvement among the black population?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

These questions are receiving the Governor's attention. I am glad to have this opportunity of saying that the Governor is appointing a committee of two Europeans and six Africans to report on the reform of the administration of justice in the native tribunals. On this and on other aspects of the problem my Noble Friend expects to receive communications from the Governor in due course. The reply to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative; but it will be realised that economic progress and stability in West Africa are not to be achieved by local measures alone.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the committee to which the Minister referred a committee that is considering the constitutional development of the whole of our West African Colonies, and if so, when are we likely to have a report or an interim report?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

I stated expressly in my reply that the committee is to report on the reform of the administration of justice in the native tribunals.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the Minister aware that my Question concerned constitutional reforms, and did not deal with that matter?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

But this seems to us to be a very good example of the value of the association of Africans in working out reforms of a practical character at the present moment.