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Constitution (Report) 23

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps have been taken to implement the sections of the Report of the Special Commission appointed to examine matters arising out of the Report of the Committee on constitutional development in Tanganyika concerned with franchise.

None, Sir. The Report was debated in the Tanganyika Legislative Council in October. All members were unanimous in the opinion that the country was not at present ready for the introduction of an electoral system and that progress should not be unduly hurried. As regards the latter part of the hon. Member's Question, the Local Government Ordinance adopted a great number of the recommendations in the Report for decentralising Government and authorised the making of (regulations for the institution of elections to local government bodies where this proves practicable.

Is the Minister aware that all sections of opinion, African, European and Asian, are in favour of ultimately having a common roll for elections? Would he consider either Tanga or Dar-es-Salaam as one constituency with which to begin the common roll system for elections?

The hon. Member will know that in the Mackenzie Report the Commissioner said that his proposals were tentative and that there was a lack of public appreciation of the problems. For that reason the Legislative Council decided to start with local elections, and that is why regulations for local elections have been framed.