Page:MALAYSIA BILL RHODESIA AND NYASALAND BILL (2) (Hansard, 11 Juli 1963).djvu/5

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


struggles for existence. Africa as a continent still has to go through this stage. Then, we shall see Russian, Chinese and American influences moving in and they may well determine the growth of these States, their economic strength and even their type of development. British influence is rapidly waning and in the future era we will have no bearing on the countries' developments.

The Central African Federation was proving to be economically an oasis in the central regions of Africa. That was until the Government's vacillations and hesitancy caused a setback in the investment of these territories. However, one cannot but recognise the many developments that have taken place in the past eight years, including communications, trunk roads, airways, Rhodesian railways, health services, education, a new university and the magnificent achievement of Kariba Dam power. Because of all these necessities for all the three territories concerned, I earnestly hope that the territorial collaboration of which the First Secretary spoke will be forthcoming.

There are, however, still a few imponderables in the situation. First, since the advent of the Nyasaland Messiah, Dr. Hastings Banda, there has been a series of unfortunate incidents in Nyasaland. They have shattered the faith of most white civil servants, teachers, doctors and nurses, who now doubt whether there is any future for them in what appears to be the development of tyrannical rule. Farmers and property owners also are worrying and considering making an exit from Nyasaland. They fear that no compensation will be forthcoming and they are caught in an invidious predicament.

In Northern Rhodesia, and rightly so, as the First Secretary said, there is an uneasy coalition between Kenneth Kaunda, of U.N.I.P., and Harry Nkumbula, of the African National Congress. The Progressive Party, as it is now called, is in opposition. At one time, there was a pact between the A.N.C. and the Progressive Party. Kaunda fears them. Indeed, he now wants to race to independence with a quickened constitution, a widening franchise and a quicker road to independence, because he fears that if there is a break with Harry Nkumbula, this will stop his advancement, because immediately African rule has gone and the African coalition has been broken, the Progressive Party with the A.N.C. will then take over the government of the country.

If that takes place, Kenneth Kaunda will suffer a severe setback. Existing jealousies could develop into enmity between these two African races which are in government in Northern Rhodesia. Racial strife could easily follow, and there have been instances of this between the two parties already.

Turning to Southern Rhodesia, there have been demands many times in this Houseduring this debate for a widening of the franchise, and I agree that this should be done. Let us, however, place on record, in fairness to Sir Edgar Whitehead when he was Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, exactly what he tried to do. In 1957, there the Electoral Amendment Act was passed and at that time there were a mere 1,000 Africans on the roll and eligible to vote in 1500 Southern Rhodesia elections. By July, 1959, the number was only 1,984. A survey was made to see how many qualified at that time and a conservative estimate was that there were 17,550. Only 12 per cent. had bothered to enrol. There was a lack of interest. On that occasion, there was no intimidation from Z.A.P.U.—the Zimbabwe African Party Union; it was not in existence. There was, however, no interest from the Africans to get on the roll.

By December, 1961, 50,000 were entitled to be on the roll, but only 5,500 had got on it. In January, 1962, Sir Edgar Whitehead, perturbed that the Africans were not taking an interest, launched a campaign to get all eligible Africans on the roll and at that time Z.A.P.U., being in existence, frustrated their efforts, intimidated their colleagues and stopped them from registering. At 15th September, 1962, 13,495 had registered but there were 159,000 who had entitlement to do so.

Mr. Berkeley I wonder where the hon. Member gets the figure of 159,000 people being entitled to be on the register. My reason for asking is that when the registrations were so few, the head of the"Build the Nation" campaign in Southern Rhodesia made a statement saying that Sir Edgar Whitehead had grossly overestimated the number, which he