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Welfare And Development Publicity

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the extent to which the operations of the Colonial Welfare and Development Fund are inadequately understood and deliberately misrepresented in West Africa; and if he will arrange that wherever any public works, such as schools, bridges, water supplies, etc., are financed by this fund, a plaque or some other permanent testimony shall be affixed to the building in question to the effect that the project is a gift from the British people.

Considerable publicity is given in West Africa to the objects and operations of the Act, and I. am not aware of any wide and deliberate misrepresentation of its purposes.

Why should not any building that has been erected out of the funds provided by this country bear a plaque saying that it is a gift of the British people, in view of the fact that the operations of this Fund are inadequately understood in West Africa, whatever the right hon. Gentleman may say?

I believe that in all the Colonial territories the work that has been done under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act by the Colonial Development Corporation is fully understood. I do not think it would help anybody if we were to erect plaques saying: "This is a gift from the British people."

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a plaque of this sort would be resented considerably by people in this country as well as in the Colonies?

All these efforts are efforts of partnership, and we ought to emphasise this partnership between the various peoples concerned.