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Commonwealth Defence Installations, Kenya

Volume 641: debated on Sunday 7 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Defence what sums have been spent on Commonwealth defence installations in Kenya during the past five years; and what sums are necessary to complete these projects.

I have been asked to reply.

Three million pounds and about £7 million respectively. These figures do not include installations for local defence.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that this place is of great importance to the whole Commonwealth, and will he therefore give consideration to transforming it into a Commonwealth as opposed to a purely British base? Also, does he agree that it is particularly important to these East African territories which may soon become independent and which are unlikely to be able to afford adequate defence installations of their own?

I think that the arrangements we have for the present are adequate for what I might call Common wealth purposes. We are constantly in touch with Commonwealth members to see what is required as circumstances change, and I agree with the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question.