Oral Answers to Questions — British Commonwealth (Racial Discrimination)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27 March 1945.

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Mr. Driberģ:

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he has considered the statement on the colour bar and racial discrimination issued by the Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland and circulated to all hon. Members; and if he will endeavour to secure the observance of the principles therein outlined in Southern Rhodesia and in any other parts of His Majesty's Dominions in which current practice falls short of these principles.

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

So far as self-governing territories are concerned, this is essentially a question of domestic jurisdiction. My Noble Friend is accordingly not in a position to take action in the sense suggested.

Mr. Driberģ:

Cannot the hon. Gentleman's Noble Friend at any rate communicate with, and make representations to, the authorities concerned?

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

No, Sir, it would be very undesirable, from every point of view, to interfere with the internal affairs of the Dominions.

Mr. Driberģ:

Does the Minister endorse—

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

I did not hear what the hon. Gentleman asked me.

Mr. Driberģ:

I asked whether the Minister at least endorsed the sentiments contained in this noble document?

Photo of Sir Alfred Beit Sir Alfred Beit , St Pancras South East

Is it not the case that few, if any, of the signatories of this document have had recent experience in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, and consequently are entirely ignorant of the more tolerant attitude which is growing up there?

Mr. Driberģ:

Is not the hon. Member aware that that is quite misleading? Is it not the case that Dr. Broomfield, for one, has a close acquaintance with conditions in Africa?