Radio Station, Francistown

Oral Answers to Questions — Bechuanaland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th August 1966.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 11th August 1966

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government pay rent for the radio station at Francistown to the Bechuanaland Government; and whether it will do so after independence.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

Not at present, but negotiations are in progress which will cover the position after independence as well as before.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

While thanking my hon. Friend for that encouraging reply, may I ask whether he does not agree that this is a point on which we must react generously in view of our failure to meet other requests in respect of development in Bechuanaland?

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

As these are commercial negotiations, it would be unwise for me to be drawn on that point. When an announcement can be made about the result of these negotiations, I am sure that it will be made in Bechuanaland.

Photo of Mr Evelyn King Mr Evelyn King , South Dorset

Will the Minister accept that this radio equipment, always inaudible, is now completely jammed and, therefore, is not worth any rent payable from anybody to anybody? Would he look at this, which is a serious waste of public funds?

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

That is a question for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs.