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Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the progress achieved regarding West Indian Federation; what are the factors delaying its advance; and what progress has been made towards functional as distinct from political federation.

The Report of the Standing Closer Association Committee, which recommended federation, has been accepted by the Legislatures of Trinidad; the four Colonies of the Windward Islands; and the Presidencies of Antigua, St. Kitts and, with one reservation, Montserrat in the Leeward Islands. The Report has still to be discussed by the other Legislatures.Every opportunity is taken to secure regional action. For example, regional conferences are held from time to time to discuss particular problems; a proposal has been made for a Regional Economic Committee to act as a consultative and advisory body to the participating Governments in matters of common economic significance. The unification of the Public Services and the establishment of a Customs Union, which have been the subject of separate Reports, are now being considered by the Legislatures.