Oral Answers to Questions — South Africa (High Commission Territories)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Parker Mr John Parker , Dagenham 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will give an undertaking that His Majesty's Government will not transfer the Commission Territories to the Union of South Africa without the consent of their inhabitants.

Photo of Mr Patrick Gordon Walker Mr Patrick Gordon Walker , Smethwick

The policy of the United Kingdom Government in this matter remains as set out in the following passage on page 4 of an aide memoire handed to the Prime Minister of South Africa in 1935 (Command 4948). The passage reads as follows: His Majesty's Government will not make any decision until the native population and the white population have had full opportunity of expressing their views, and any views they may express, and any representations which either the native population or the white population may make to His Majesty's Government, will receive the most careful consideration before the Government come to any final decision in regard to the matter.

Photo of Dr Leslie Haden-Guest Dr Leslie Haden-Guest , Islington North

Is it not the case that if the Territories were put in the charge of the South African Union the conditions of the people living there would badly deteriorate? I hope His Majesty's Government will refuse to allow this transfer to take place.

Photo of Mr Patrick Gordon Walker Mr Patrick Gordon Walker , Smethwick

I think that is a hypothetical question, and that we should not deal with it until the need arises.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

Is it not better to leave the matter to the satisfactory statement made on behalf of the Government, that there is to be no change in our policy?

Photo of Mr Cyril Dumpleton Mr Cyril Dumpleton , St Albans

Have any steps been taken to obtain an expression of view from the population in the Territories?

Photo of Mr Patrick Gordon Walker Mr Patrick Gordon Walker , Smethwick

No, Sir; the question would not arise until the South African Government asked us to make the transfer.