Page:MALAYSIA BILL RHODESIA AND NYASALAND BILL (2) (Hansard, 11 Juli 1963).djvu/9
In Kenya, we have seen that the best way to get over this difficulty—it has been done in Uganda and Nigeria also—is to accept the reality of the situation and bring into being federal or quasi-federal or regional government. If we try to hold people together too tightly, they will break up into narrower loyalties in the end and the obvious way to avoid such a break up is to provide for their natural loyalties to have sufficient scope for expression within a wider unity.
I therefore earnestly plead that, when it comes to the discussion of a constitution for Northern Rhodesia, my right hon. Friend will not be blinded by our usual attachments to one man, one vote—I am not talking of the white man here but purely in African terms—on the Westminster type of Government, but will follow the example of the only other countries in Africa which have managed to preserve unity with democracy.
It is obvious, in looking at a map of Africa, why those countries which have preserved unity and democracy have managed to achieve it. It cannot be coincidence. It is the fact that they have quasi-federal Governments, a system which allows people in different parts of the country to retain their natural loyalties. The hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse), who often disagrees with me, will, I am sure, agree with me when I say that we must not think that we can impose a future and create countries out of what are historical accidents.
I leave this matter there, because there will be many more occasions in future to discuss it. But I repeat my plea to my right hon. Friend that he should accept the realities of the situation today, which is that the feud between A.N.C. and U.N.I.P. is the same manifestation of tribal loyalties reasserting themselves that we have seen everywhere else in Africa, and which we shall continue to see for some time to come. We shall neglect that lesson at our peril. It will get worse with the removal of European dominance in that country.
For the last few moments, I will revert to the future of Southern Rhodesia. I agree with those who say that for Southern Rhodesia to get her independence at this moment with its present Constitution is unpractical. But while accepting that it is not up to us, if we want success, to dictate exactly what terms there must be in order for Southern Rhodesia to get independence, we ought to learn a lesson from the last time we lectured Southern Rhodesia too much. It had the effect that I and some of my hon. Friends feared—the creation of a more extreme Government there than before.
If we start lecturing them too hard, we may again find precisely the same reaction. Our Southern Rhodesian kith and kin are not so very different from us, and we certainly do not like being lectured about what political regime we should have in this country. I agree with those who have said that with the present Constitution, no Government 1508 here could grant independence. But it is not up to us to lay down the law as to precisely what it should do for that independence to be accomplished. Otherwise we may well attain the opposite of what we want.
I feel that I must raise a certain matter tonight. Many of us have received notes from the Ghanaian High Commission. I suppose that any one of us in this House is perfectly liable to correction from any source about any political view we hold. But I must put on record my repugnance at receiving a lesson in the art of democracy from Ghana at the present time. In future I hope that Ghana's officials responsible for sending out this sort of stuff remember the old adage about the pot calling the kettle black. This is such a situation that perhaps one ought to think of a new stronger proverb in the same sense, but let us leave the matter there.
My noble Friend the Member for Hertford (Lord Balniel) referred to "make-believe" democracy in Northern Rhodesia and I will not comment on his remarks, except that that term is certainly applicable to Ghana, which has been issuing these notes during the last 24 hours.Everyone who has spoken has congratulated my right hon. Friend on what he has been doing. I join them in doing so. I do so with melancholy, although not forthe reasons which others have put forward. To me, it seemed that, almost alone in Africa where white racialism—which I hate—is rampant in the south and black racialism is rampant in the north and elsewhere, many dedicated men and women in Central Africa were trying to make a success of a non-racial