Skip to main content

Northern Rhodesia

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1949

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

Land Settlement

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the pronouncement made by him at Salisbury, Rhodesia, on the need for controlling white settlement in Northern Rhodesia involves any modification of the policy on this matter announced by Mr. R. A. Hudson, Secretary of Native Affairs in Northern Rhodesia, to the African Representative Council last August.

I stated in my remarks to journalists at Salisbury the policy as stated by Mr. Hudson. There has been no modification or suggestion of change. As I made clear in a number of speeches during my tour no change in existing land policy or settlement is or has been foreshadowed as it affects either Europeans or Africans.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that while there may be something to be said for maintaining the present policy and perhaps something to be said for changing it, it is most unfortunate that he used phraseology which gave a wide impression that a change was intended when, in point of fact, no change was intended?

I am afraid I did nothing of the sort. I made it perfectly clear that there was an enormous opportunity, both industrially and agriculturally, for European enterprise in Northern Rhodesia, but I added the proviso that Northern Rhodesia was a Protectorate, and, consequently, because of the land laws of Northern Rhodesia, there were limitations in regard to European settlement.

Is my right hon. Friend in a position to give a categorical assurance to the House that there will be no modification of British policy in this area in respect of this or any other matter without consultation with the representatives of the native population concerned?

Yes, the representatives of the Africans serve on the Legislative Council and any change would have to go through that Council.

Executive Council

33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what changes in the powers of unofficial members of the Executive Council in Northern Rhodesia will follow his recent pronouncement on the subject.

The constitutional status of the Executive Council has not been changed. The position is that where the four unofficial members of the Executive Council which includes a representative of African interests, tender unanimous advice to the Governor, he will accept it, except in those instances where he would feel called upon to use his reserve powers.

For the information of hon. Members, I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a copy of the statement issued after my discussions in Lusaka.

Following is the statement:

The Secretary of State has agreed, in consultation with His Excellency the Governor and the unofficial members of the Legislative Council of Northern Rhodesia, that the conclusion reached in the London discussions last July that the views of the unofficial members of the Executive Council will carry the same weight in the Executive Council as they do in the Legislative Council, subject to the Governor's reserve powers, should be understood to mean that without prejudice to the constitutional position of the Executive Council, the Governor will accept the advice of the unofficial members of the Executive Council when the four unofficial members are unanimous, except in cases where he would feel it necessary to use his reserve powers.

At least one of the unofficial members of the Executive Council must always be a representative of African interests.

In matters where the Governor is doubtful whether the unanimous opinion of the unofficial members of the Executive Council is supported by the unofficial members of the Legislative Council, the views of the unofficial members of the Legislative Council would be sounded by way of a motion in the Legislative Council or by discussion at an informal meeting of all Members of the Legislative Council.

Industry (Africans)

34.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made in abolishing the industrial colour bar on the Northern Rhodesia copperbelt.

Little progress has been made in the discussions on the recommendations of the Dalgleish Report on the advancement of Africans in industry. I took the opportunity of discussing the matter with the bodies concerned during my recent visit. I hope discussions will be continued.

Mineral Royalties

36.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what agreement has been reached regarding the ownership and taxation of mineral royalties in Northern Rhodesia.

The Government of Northern Rhodesia have not entered into any negotiations with the British South Africa Company regarding the acquisition or taxation of mineral royalties in the territory. There is therefore no question of any agreement having been reached.