Constitution

Oral Answers to Questions — Somaliland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton 12:00 am, 23rd July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what further progress has been in preparation for constitutional changes in Somaliland in 1960.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

There have been considerable developments recently, and as the matter is detailed I am circulating a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether that Answer covers any repercussions that may occur in Ethiopia, and whether it also covers the possibility of bringing about some kind of amalgamation as between the various Somali territories?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

No, Sir. This is limited to the Somaliland Protectorate itself. I hope that there will be nothing in this to cause any distress outside.

Following is the statement:The Commission on Constitutional Reform in the Protectorate which my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State referred to in his statement in this House on 9th February has now reported and its report has just been published in the Protectorate. Its main recommendations are that the next Legislative Council should consist of 3 ex-officio members and 33 Somali members elected by all adult males in their constituencies. Voters in certain urban constituencies will be registered but those in rural constituencies will not and a special method of counting voters has been devised. On 21st July the Colonial Secretary gave notice of a motion in the Legislative 3Council accepting the recommendations of the Commission, subject to certain minor amendments. This is being debated by the Legislative Council this week, and when the Governor reports to me on the outcome I shall make a further statement.2. Meanwhile, the Somaliland Government has made the following announcement relating to the introduction of a Ministerial system.Arrangements are now complete for the reorganisation of the machinery of Government to prepare for the introduction of a ministerial system when Ministers take office early next year. There will be seven Ministries, as follows: —
  1. 1. Ministry of Defence and External Affairs,
  2. 2. Ministry of Finance,
  3. 3. Office of the Attorney-General,
  4. 4. Ministry of Local Government,
  5. 5. Ministry of Social Services,
  6. 6. Ministry of Communications and Works,
  7. 7. Ministry of Natural Resources.
In the interim period between now and the appointment of Ministers, senior officials will be charged with the responsibility for the work of the Departments grouped within each Ministry. It is hoped that four elected members of the present Legislative Council will be associated with the work of the groups of Departments to be included in the following Ministries: —Ministry of Local Government,Ministry of Social Services,Ministry of Communications and Works,Ministry of Natural Resources.