asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the declaration made by the Federal Prime Minister on 4th April to the effect that the Federation could declare itself an independent State, if he will issue a White Paper clarifying the status of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in order to assure British protected persons in the protectorates that their rights under the preamble of the Federal Constitution will be safeguarded.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at this stage a clear statement is needed in view of the wild statements which are being made by the Federal Prime Minister which are causing great concern in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, among Europeans as well as the mass of the population? Will he make it clear that on no account will the two northern territories be swallowed up in the Federation until the majority of the people of those two territories agree to that?
I do not think that the production of a White Paper is necessary to make it clear that the Preamble to the Constitution —which is in the original document of which the House is aware —is regarded by Her Majesty's Government as being as binding legally and morally as any other part of the Constitution itself.
Does that mean, as I assume it does, that it would not he possible for the Federal Government to declare the Federation independent?