Franchise Commissions.

Oral Answers to Questions — West Indies. – in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Franchise Commissions in Trinidad and British Guiana have now completed their work; whether he can have a copy of the Commissioners' recommendations placed in the Library; and whether new constitutions, based upon the Franchise Commissions' Reports, will shortly be promulgated?

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

No, Sir. The Commissions have not yet reported, and I wish to take this opportunity of explaining that the Commissions' terms of reference cover only the question of the franchise and not that of the whole constitution, either in Trinidad or in British Guiana. With regard to the last part of the Question, the constitution of Trinidad has already been amended, following the recommendations of the Royal Commission The necessary steps for an amendment of the constitution of British Guiana on similar lines should shortly be completed.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Does not the question of the new constitution for British Guiana depend upon the report of the Franchise Commission?

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

No, Sir. The amendments to the constitution are on the same lines as in Trinidad and just now they are awaiting final completion and the making of the final Orders in Council. That is quite separate from the franchise and the Franchise Commission.

Mr. Creech Jones:

In view of the fact that this question has now been under consideration in British Guiana and Trinidad for nearly two years, is it not about time that some progress was made in regard to the representation issue?