British Military and Civil Residents

Oral Answers to Questions — Tanganyika – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 1964.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton 12:00 am, 30th January 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what communications he has received from the Government of Tanganyika in respect of British military or civilian residents in Tanganyika; and what steps that Government has now taken to ensure the security of those residents.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I have nothing to add to the statements I made to the House on 20th and 27th January.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can state approximately the number of British civilian and military personnel in Tanganyika and whether he can confirm my belief that since the independence of this country there has been no kind of criticism or complaint against military or civil personnel? Under the circumstances, would he impress on the Government of Tanganyika the need to avoid generating animus against the British?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I gave the figures of population in the statement to which I referred. There are quite considerable numbers, including a large number of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who are not of United Kingdom origin—Asian population. Regarding the question of ill-feeling between the races, I fully endorse the remarks of the hon. Gentleman and I know that President Nyerere feels the same way. There have been occasional departures from the intentions which I know animate the Government of Tanganyika in these matters and I am sure that that Government regrets it as much as we do.

Photo of Mr Frederic Harris Mr Frederic Harris , Croydon North West

Would not security and confidence be best ensured by discussions about the future of the military bases in Africa in conjunction with the Kenya and Tanganyika Governments to see whether a long-term solution may be found to give confidence to people of all races in this regard?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

In any case, we are due to have some talks with the Kenya Government on defence matters. These were always envisaged to take place before independence. Regarding the wider consultations, I think the recent events in East Africa have made it desirable that we should have talks with those Governments about the future and the problem which has arisen and in which we have become involved during the last few weeks.