asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can now make a statement regarding the proposals for constitutional reform in Nigeria, and when these are likely to be implemented.
I regret that I am not at present in a position to make a statement on this matter but I hope to be able to do so shortly.
When the Minister has formulated his final proposals for Nigeria, will he bear in mind the widespread protests made by Nigerian organisations against the proposed qualification of £100 for the exercise of the franchise in relation to the proposed central legislative council?
All the representations which have been made have been considered, and in many cases they have been met and granted.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I gave a pledge to the last House of Commons that before this Constitution was implemented, the House would have an opportunity to discuss it, and does he propose to follow the same course?
We are aware of the pledge. It may be a question of holding up the Constitution if a Debate takes place—that is, provided the stress of Parliamentary time is what it is at present— but if there is any alteration I will consult the right hon. and gallant Gentleman.
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what reports have been received regarding labour recruited in Nigeria for Fernando Po from the latter territory; whether conditions of employment, living and repatriation are satisfactory; and whether all Nigerian farmers reaching Fernando Po are officially recruited.
Monthly reports are furnished to the Foreign Office and to the Government of Nigeria by the British Labour Officer in Fernando Po on the conditions of employment of Nigerian labourers. All practicable steps are taken by the British authorities to ensure that those conditions are in accordance with the terms of the International Labour Conventions governing these matters. There has been some unauthorised recruitment by canoe between Nigeria and Fernando Po and every possible endeavour has been, and is being, made to prevent this traffic.
Cameroons (Development Plan)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to deal with the housing and other present social needs of the Cameroons, particularly so far as plantation workers are concerned; and whether any policy has been evolved concerning the future of the Cameroons plantations.
Provision is made for the needs of the Cameroons in the general development plan of the Nigerian Government. One of the schemes is specifically concerned with the housing of Africans. The question of the future of the Cameroons plantations is under consideration and it has not yet been possible to reach a decision.