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Discussions

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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85.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his recent talks with the East African Governments.

The results of the discussions which I concluded last Tuesday with delegations from East Africa were recorded in an agreed communiqué, which I am circulating below.As I said at the time, I am delighted with these results. There has been full agreement among all concerned on the framework of a future East African Common Services Organisation, to replace the present High Commission, in a manner compatible with the sovereignty of Tanganyika on independence. In this way the great benefits to the East African area of the Common Services will not be lost. But, beyond that, the spirit which prevailed throughout the discussions made manifest the wishes of the Governments and peoples of East Africa not only that they should continue in such joint association but also that in due course the institutions of the Organisation could well become the basis of an even wider and more general form of association.

The discussions on the future of the East Africa High Commission, which have been held in London with the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Iain Macleod) presiding, concluded today (Tuesday, June 27th, 1961). The talks, which were attended by delegates from the United Kingdom, Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda and the East Africa High Commission and an observer from Zanzibar opened on June 19th. A report setting out in detail the result of the discussions will be issued as a White Paper very shortly.
These talks follow on from the Constitutional Conference held in Dar es Salaam in March which was attended by delegates from the Government of Tanganyika and the Government of the United Kingdom. The Government of Tanganyika then expressed its desire to continue participation in the common services provided by the East Africa High Commission. It was agreed that consideration should be given to ways in which this could be done in a manner compatible with Tanganyika's sovereignty after attaining independence on 28th December, 1961; and that further discussions on these topics should take place in London in the second half of June.
As a result of the London discussions, it has been agreed that it would he in the interests of all the territories to ensure that common services at present provided by the East Africa High Commission should continue to he provided on an East African basis; and that when Tanganyika becomes independent a new Organisation should be set up for this purpose. Tanganyika, Kenya and Uganda will participate as equal partners in the control of the new Organisation, which will be known as the East African Common Services Organisation. Responsibility for the Organisation will rest with a group of three Ministers, which will be entitled the East African Common Services Authority. They will be the principal elected Ministers of the three territories. The Authority will be supported by four groups each composed of three Ministers, one from each territory. Each group will deal with a specified field of subjects and be responsible for formulating policy within that field. These four fields of responsibility will be Communications; Finance, Commercial and Industrial Co-ordination; Social and Research Services.
There will be a Central Legislative Assembly consisting of the twelve Ministers who make up the membership of the four groups, nine members from each territory elected by the territorial legislature and the Secretary General and the Legal Secretary of the Organisation. The matters with respect to which the Assembly will have the power to pass measures are set out in the Report.
The new arrangements will in due course be embodied in an Agreement to be entered into shortly after Tanganyika becomes independent.
The delegates agreed that services of the new Organisation could be provided to Zanzibar on an agency basis if the Government of Zanzibar so requested; and that, if the Government of Zanzibar wished to participate fully in the new Organisation, their Governments would be pleased to consider, in consultation with the Government of Zanzibar, the basis on which such participation might be arranged.