Page:MALAYSIA BILL RHODESIA AND NYASALAND BILL (2) (Hansard, 11 Juli 1963).djvu/12

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Presumably, there will be over-flying rights for which we shall ask for flying troops to the Protectorates, if necessary, and there will probably be training schemes, but what is to be the size of this army? How is it to be controlled and what will be its relationship with this country? Are we to take it that so long as Great Britain remains responsible for the foreign policy of Southern Rhodesia, that army may be used only internally, by which I mean within the borders of Southern Rhodesia and nowhere else? That is of great importance.

Secondly, what discussions were there at the Victoria Falls Conference about Rhodesia's independence? The right hon. Gentleman may say that there was none and I hope that that is the answer which he is able to give. It is extraordinary and a cause for much pleasure that Mr. Field should suddenly have done this intellectual somersault. At one moment he said that independence for Southern Rhodesia was a condition precedent to his attending the conference, and a few weeks later, I think with statesmanship, he decided that he could attend the talks without a commitment on either side. Do we take it that there were no discussions between the right hon. Gentleman and the Southern Rhodesian Government?

With regard to the common services mentioned in paragraph 36, I wholeheartedly support what was said by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones). I would have thought that the East Africa High Commission was one of the great successes which he can personally claim to have played his part in setting up, and I very much hope that, in addition, apart from railways, Kariba, and Central African Airways, we shall see other common services created with a commission comparable to the East Africa High Commission.

Where I think the Government are being a little mean is in their reference in Chapter 4 on page 9 to the criteria which they will adopt for the purpose of giving aid to the three territories. The White Paper says: "The question whether the United Kingdom Government could and should help would have to be considered in the light of their general policies en overseas aid towards countries which showed need for assistance in the development of their economies." In all fairness, I do not think that the economic position of these territories is comparable. Weare not talking about a situation which is comparable to the general level of investment in Trinidad or Jamaica, Ghana or Nigeria, under the new Commonwealth Development Scheme. I must ask right hon. and hon. Members on the Front Bench of the Labour Party, who are having a private conversation, to be a little quieter. We are talking about an area which has taken on greater financial commitments than it would have done were it not for the policy of this House, and I therefore think that to assess the level of aid which we shall give to former members of the Federation on the basis of how much we give for development in other developing countries of the Commonwealth is a wholly false analogy and certainly bodes ill for the future prospects of that area.

I also suggest that when the question of a new supreme court is raised, some regard should be given to the idea of strengthening the appeals system to the Privy Council. I always remember the late Lord Simon advocating that the Privy Council should, in effect, become the Supreme Court of Appeal for the Commonwealth, and that it should go on circuit. How some of their lordships would stand the test I do not know, but perhaps the age of appointment would get lower and lower, as is becoming customary in politics, although I speak subject to subsequent events. At least one-third of the Privy Council should be made up of nationals of the country in which the appeal was being heard and there may be something in examining this idea when one is considering the final court of appeal for these territories.

I also ask what approaches have been made to the World Bank? There was some suggestion, I think in The Times, that the World Bank might be prepared to help in underwriting part of the federal debt and various other commitments into which the Federation had entered. There seems to be valuable scope for co-operation here.

I shall not go into the question of independence for Southern Rhodesia, because I agree with every word spoken by the noble Lord the Member for Hertford. There can quite clearly be no case whatsoever for granting independence to Southern Rhodesia unless and until she has a more democratic constitution. There can be no question of that at all. If Southern Rhodesia chooses to go it alone, she has the power to do so, but she must realise that the consequence of that