Parliamentary Delegations

Oral Answers to Questions — Colonial Empire – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th July 1947.

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Photo of Major Lyall Wilkes Major Lyall Wilkes , Newcastle upon Tyne Central 12:00 am, 30th July 1947

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many parliamentary delegations have visited the countries within the Colonial Empire during the preceding 12 months; and how many Members of Parliament went thereon.

Mr. Creech Jones:

During the past 12 months, one parliamentary delegation visited the four British Colonies in West Africa, under the auspices of the Empire Parliamentary Association. It included six Members of this House and a Member of the House of Lords.

Photo of Major Lyall Wilkes Major Lyall Wilkes , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that during the last year 114 Members of this House visited European countries, and that while it is very important Members should visit European countries, that it is equally important that they should be given an opportunity to visit the Colonial Empire? Will he see that more facilities are given in future to Members to visit the 60 million people for whom we are responsible?

Mr. Creech Jones:

I am fully aware of the desire of Members of Parliament, and I am already discussing possibilities of arranging further delegations.

Photo of Mr George Drayson Mr George Drayson , Skipton

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is ample opportunity for Members to visit the Colonial Empire at their own expense and not at public expense?

Photo of Major Lyall Wilkes Major Lyall Wilkes , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many parliamentary delegations to the Colonial Empire are planned for the next 12 months; and whether he will bear in mind the great benefit to be derived from delegations which include Members with trade union experience who can advise on trade union problems and policy within the Colonial Empire.

Mr. Creech Jones:

The planning of visits by parliamentary groups is usually a matter for the Empire Parliamentary Association. I am, however, examining the prospects of possible visits, and have little doubt that Colonial Governments will assist in facilitating any which are practicable during the next twelve months.