Page:MALAYSIA BILL RHODESIA AND NYASALAND BILL (2) (Hansard, 11 Juli 1963).djvu/8
This is what happens under the flag of the principle of one man, one vote, and the end of imperialism, and when one reflects on things like that it makes me feel bitterly ashamed about the tributes we pay to the glories of democracy in many of the emergent nations, when we see that that is in fact what is happening.
Now let me turn to another facet and a quite different one. I am sorry that the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) has left the Chamber, because one remark which she made I hop will be dealt with by my right hon. Friend in winding up the debate, and that was over the question of the future of the multi-racial university in Salisbury. This is one of the greatest accomplishments of the Federation, and all of us who have been to see it I am sure will agree that if that were to come to an end one of the brightest possible sparks of achievement, not in multi-racialism but in non-racialism, which is the approach we want, would disappear. Therefore I hope that, whatever else may or may not be salvaged from the Federation, something will be done to ensure that that university continues as it is under whatever system of Government comes in any of the three countries. I hope that it will be noted by the Government that the pleas have come from both sides of the House, from hon. Members with widely differing political views.
When I rose to speak tonight, had it not been that I was impelled by the speech of the hon. Member for Barnsley to go a little further, I was intending to direct my remarks to only one or two limited subjects, and in particular the future of Northern Rhodesia, which I think must be in the minds of us all, although it has hardly been touched on yet in the debate.
I suppose I must first of all declare an interest, although it is not strictly a financial one but purely a hobby, in that I have been asked by A.N.C. to help them as one of the constitutional advisers on a voluntary basis. When I say on a voluntary basis I say that not to emphasise my probity but to convince my listeners that in what I am going to say I am putting forward no more than what I am convinced would be best in the interests of that country.
One of the tragedies of Africa is that time after time we have failed to realise that the sense of nationalism in the dependent territories is strong, not so much in relation to the entirety of a territory but, in a more limited sense, to the extent that when it is no longer necessary to get rid of the white man, the Europeans, the natural tensions and strains within the society itself will start to show themselves. We have seen this happen time after time, for instance, in Uganda and Kenya, and we shall make a great mistake if for one minute we suppose that we shall not see it again in Northern Rhodesia. Sometimes when one pays visits to these territories, as opposed to living in them as I have done, one tends to forget that the people one meets in the central towns and at the airports are not the people living in the country whose passions are tribal. If one leaves Lusaka and meets an African he does not say,"I am proud of being a Northern Rhodesian." He will say that he is proud of his tribe to which he belongs and where his natural loyalties are, as they were before the appearance of the British 60 or 70 years ago, and immediately British rule is terminated he will revert, as surely as anything can be, to the natural loyalties in him. There is nothing wrong or improper in that.
We hold in this country the strange fallacy that, whereas Europeans may widely differ and not want to join together, it is all right because they have white faces, but that if people have black faces they must belong to the same country. However many times we are proved wrong, we always begin on the same process again. I fear that, unless we are very careful, we are about to begin the same process in Northern Rhodesia.
One example I have produced before in this House is the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which held together very much longer than the 60 or 70 years of Imperialist rule in Central, Eastern and other parts of Africa. Yet I would remind hon. Members that the moment that Austrian rule was removed the Empire split into its constituent parts as though its unity had never existed. Yet we imagine that in Africa quite a different process will take place.The fact is that however much we may regret the "Balkanisation" of Africa, its people will revert to their natural loyalties as soon as the artificial loyalties and unities created through accidental divisions of countries by Imperialism are removed. If we forget that fact, we do so at our peril.