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With permission, I will answer Questions Nos. 62 and 70 together.
It has been decided to extend the scope of the activities of the Colonial Development Corporation which have hitherto been confined to dependent territories.
It is proposed henceforth to authorise the Corporation to undertake new development schemes in countries in which it was previously empowered to operate after they have become independent Members of the Commonwealth.
The necessary legislation will be introduced as soon as possible.
Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that what he has said will be welcomed by hon. Members on both sides who have pressed this point for a long time, and that it will be particularly appreciated in the three countries about to become independent, namely, Jamaica, Trinidad and Uganda?
Is the Secretary of State aware that this announcement will be welcomed most heartily on this side of the House? We have pressed— indeed, nagged—the Secretary of State on this subject for some time now, and this is, indeed, a very useful extension, by far the best way in which the newly-independent members of the Commonwealth can be helped.
There is not at present any need to consider extending the borrowing limit authorised by Parliament. In addition to Government borrowing, the Corporation now receives quite considerable sums from its own revenues, and from repayments on earlier schemes.
Could my right hon. Friend be a little more explicit, and say by what arrangements Southern Rhodesia is covered? Will Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom make sure that Southern Rhodesia is treated at least as favourably as Yugoslavia in the matter of assistance for her development?
I do not want to go into the wider question, but all British dependent territories—and that includes any country which is not an independent member of the Commonwealth—are eligible for assistance under the aegis of the Colonial Development Corporation. Whether or not the Corporation decides to initiate schemes in those territories is at the discretion of the Corporation.
The announcement I have made does not affect Southern Rhodesia, because Southern Rhodesia is not an independent member of the Commonwealth. The purpose of what I have announced is to extend the scope of the Colonial Development Corporation, which has been hitherto limited to Colonial Dependencies, to countries after they have achieved independence as members of the Commonwealth.