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Togoland (Consultative Commission)

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 1 June 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent there has been Anglo-French consultation in respect of British and French Togoland with a view to joint action to assist the Togoland peoples; and whether further consideration will be given to the need of securing co-operation and closer unity between these peoples and their tribes now subject to two separate European Powers.

There is continuous consultation both in West Africa and at the metropolitan level. A Standing Consultative Commission for Togoland set up in 1948 contains elected African members from both the Trust territories and has a permanent joint secretariat. All these arrangements are intended to improve local co-operation and, in particular, to minimise practical difficulties due to the frontier between the two territories.

Can my right hon. Friend say what tangible result has accrued to the peoples of Togoland, both in the French and British parts, during the last two or three years? Has there ever been any sign of definite improvement through these consultations.

The Powers have collaborated together and certain advantages have come to the African people; but I would also point out that the situation is under constant review by the United Nations.

Is the Minister aware of the continuous dissatisfaction and growing discontent among members of the Ene tribe in both parts of Togoland, and of their desire to emigrate into the adjacent British Colony of the Gold Coast?

There was dissatisfaction, and because of that, the United Nations welcomed the appointment of this particular Commission by the French Government and ourselves.