Skip to main content

Mandates Commission

Volume 244: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1930

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Prime Minister what steps it is proposed to recommend to give effect to the declaration of the British Government's delegate at Geneva that the experience which the Mandates Commission was acquiring should be utilised more than it is for the benefit of Native races throughout the world?

The reference appears to be to the remarks made in the 6th Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Elland (Mr. Buxton) who was one of the British delegates at the 11th Session of the Assembly. My hon. Friend drew attention to the valuable process of pooling the results and experience in Colonial Administration derived from the work of the Permanent Mandates Commission, and he emphasised the fact that the principle of trusteeship was derived not only from the provisions of the Mandates but also from Article 23 of the Covenant which applied to all territories under the jurisdiction of members of the League. His Majesty's Government always devote close attention to the work of the Permanent Mandates Commission, and consider whether any lessons can be drawn from it involving principles of general application to the administration of Colonial Territories. They propose to continue to study the work of the Commission with this end in view.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the statement referred to is an invitation to the Mandates Commission to extend their authority over all British Colonies, and can we have an assurance from the Prime Minister that it is not the policy of His Majesty's Government to extend the authority of the Mandates Commission to any other Colony?

I have no hesitation in giving that assurance. That idea has never entered our minds.

Before any recommendation of the Mandates Commission is given effect to by His Majesty's Government in respect of the territories aver which they hold a mandate, will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that there will be communication and consultation with the Government of the Union of South Africa and of the Commonwealth of Australia, which also have Mandatory territories under their control?

I think that ought to have notice of such an important question as that.