Although the information was extremely belated last night, nevertheless we on this side welcomed it. But can the right hon. Gentleman say why he said two things in particular last night? He said that there would have to be an increase in the number of official members. Why must he keep the officials more than the unofficials, which obviously means that the Africans will still continue in their somewhat minor position in the whole Legislative Council? Secondly, why did he say that he would not extend the life beyond May, 1960? Why did he fix that particular date?
On the first point, I said that during the interim period it was important to preserve the official majority, and I still believe that to be true. In regard to the prolongation of the life of the Legislative Council, I said that I hoped that it would not be necessary for the prolongation to extend beyond one year. Those are the actual words I used.
In the present circumstances in Nyasaland it is clearly inappropriate for normal procedure to prevail, but I have clearly said that the intention is that it should be an interim period only, and in order that Africans may be associated with it during the interim period we have devised this machinery.