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