Congo Basin Treaties

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1945.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East 12:00 am, 14th March 1945

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) if he will consider, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the setting up of a small joint expert committee to study the questions resultant from the Congo Basin and other relevant treaties and conventions; to consider their abrogation and to convene an appropriate international conference thereupon at an early practicable date after the cessation of hostilities;

(2) whether, in view of the changed circumstances brought about by the war and the far-reaching social and economic developments contemplated for the African Colonies, he will now consider the advisability of the abrogation of the Congo Basin and other relevant treaties and conventions, the abolition of the African mandates and their replacement by a comprehensive African Charter, to which all appropriate countries will adhere, to ensure general social and economic African betterment for all races and classes.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I am not yet in a position to make any statement.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say, in view of the importance of the topic, when he will be able to give the House some information?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

No, Sir, I could not. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, of course, must realise that this is not a matter of individual action but of international agreement.

Mr. John Duģdale:

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman assure the House that no steps will be taken without adequate consultation with this House; and further, that this Treaty will not be abrogated, unless it can be replaced by a more satisfactory one?