asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when and how was the invitation made to the West African goldmining industry to give the Government a review of the economic situation of the industry, accompanied by any suggestions which they might have to make; and if the invitation was given orally or in writing.
The request was made orally by the Colonial Secretary of the Gold Coast at a meeting with representatives of the local Chamber of Mines in January.
Why was not this invitation given officially and in writing to the London representatives of the industry? After all, they have invariably been consulted in the past by the Government in these matters, and in view of the fact that the London representatives are now getting out a scheme as a result of the discussion the other night in this House, will the hon. Gentleman make sure that that scheme, which will be ready by the end of this month, will be discussed immediately with the Colonial Office?
It is assumed, and it is the fact, that the local representatives are closely in touch with the head offices in London.
But why on this occasion, for the first time, is it that the Colonial Office have not consulted the London representatives first? They have always done that before and so have the Treasury.
I take it that this is a new and not necessarily a bad innovation.