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Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his official discussions with delegations from Kenya, Uganda, and Mauritius on constitutional changes in those territories and other matters.

At a meeting which I held with Ministers of the Kenya Government and leading Kenya Opposition members on 28th June it was agreed that there was sufficient common ground between the main parties to make it possible for the Governor to initiate discussions under his chairmanship at an early date. Such discussions would include constitutional advance and matters relating to the land problem and property rights.I have held no discussions about the Uganda Constitution with the delegates who have been in London for talks on the future of the East Africa High Commission. As the hon. Member will know, a conference to discuss the Uganda Constitution is to be held in London in September.I began confidential talks with the Governor and political leaders from Mauritius on 28th June. During the past week I had separate discussions with the various groups and we are now considering together certain proposals which I have put to them for the near and the longer term future. I cannot say at this stage how long the talks will last nor what conclusions are likely to be reached.