Economic and Political Unity

Oral Answers to Questions — East Africa – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice 12:00 am, 15th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what proposals he has for increasing the economic unity of the East African Territories and for encouraging greater political unity.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

In July this year I appointed a Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Jeremy Raisman to consider the present arrangements in East Africa for a Common Market area, for economic co-ordination between Territories and for fiscal uniformity. With permission, I will circulate the terms of reference in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I hope to receive the Commission's report in the near future.

Without wishing to anticipate the recommendations of the Commission, I have every hope that the result of its inquiry will be to strengthen further the present arrangements for economic co-operation between these Territories. I have noted with interest a number of statements bearing on the possibility of a federation. Whether it will be judged practicable or expedient to lay definite plans for a political association of this nature, and whether it would be right for Her Majesty's Government to take any initiative in this matter would depend very considerably on local public opinion in the Territories themselves.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

Will my right hon. Friend undertake to give special consideration to the views of such statesmen as Mr. Julius Nyerere, and will he also bear in mind that as the four Territories of East Africa move forward towards independence at different speeds it may become increasingly difficult to forge some form of federal link?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I am very conscious of that. Mr. Nyerere is coming to this country in two days' time, when we shall be having discussions with him. I am sure that we shall discuss this, among other matters, with him.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that any hope of federation of these Territories will depend on their advance to responsible self-government? If he is to have conversations with Mr. Nyerere about this matter, is he not aware that Mr. Nyerere asks for responsible self-government for these Territories if federation is to be realised?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

It may well be that Mr. Nyerere will put that point of view to me.

Photo of Mr Hendrie Oakshott Mr Hendrie Oakshott , Bebington

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the suggested movement towards economic unity referred to in my hon. Friend's Question would, if extended to the political field, give a very much broader hope for the stability of East Africa than appears at the present time?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I think that is so, and here, as everywhere else, I think it important to keep economic and political advance moving together.

Following are the terms of reference of East African Fiscal Commission:

  1. (a) To examine arrangements at present in force in East Africa for a common market area, for economic co-ordination between Territories and for fiscal uniformity with regard to measures now taken—
    1. (i) To facilitate interterritorial trade in products of local agriculture and manufacturing industries and to develop such industries in East Africa.
    2. (ii) To secure uniformity in fiscal and financial matters including methods used to allocate yields from customs, excise and income taxes between Territories.
    3. (iii) To provide the East Africa High Commission with revenue necessary to meet the costs of services administered by the Commission for the benefit of the Territories and to apportion the cost of such services between the Territories.
  2. (b) To consider the advantages and disadvantages generally of the present arrangements and whether or not those arrangements are economic and are fair to the interests of each of the individual Territories; and to make recommendations for any necessary adjustments, additions or modifications to them.