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Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the Nyasaland election will be held; and what are the reasons for the delay.

There has been no delay. The procedures for the registration of voters have been going on smoothly, and, as I have already undertaken, the election will be held as soon as is practicable.

What does that mean? May we have the date of the election? The people of Nyasaland want to get on with the job of electing their own representatives in order to have someone to speak effectively in their name.

Of course I cannot give a date. If the hon. Member studies these matters, he will see that there are a considerable number of statutory processes to go through for which minimum times are allotted, and the length of time which they take depends on matters which are entirely unknown to me, such as the number of claims which may be registered against those who have put their names on the voters' roll. It is, therefore, not possible at present to give a date, but it will be as soon as practicable, and that is not very far off.