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Talks With Mr Reginald Maudling Concluded

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 16 November 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

The following is the text of an agreed statement issued at the conclusion of the Secretary of State for the Colonies' talks with the K.A.N.U. delegation which ended today, Friday, 10th November, 1961:

The delegation gave at length their appreciation of the Kenya situation and above all they represented that the holding of a constitutional conference was a matter of urgency and expressed the strong hope that it could be held before the end of this year if at all possible.

The question of amendment of the law governing qualification for membership of the Legislative Council was raised. The Secretary of State said that the matter was receiving his attention and that he would be making a statement on it shortly.

The Secretary of State assured the delegation that Her Majesty's Government had no intention of delaying constitutional progress in Kenya. He fully accepted that it was important to hold a constitutional conference as soon as possible, but it was also essential, if the conference was to be successful and and not unduly prolonged, that the ground for it should be adequately prepared.

Mr. Maudling stated that he himself would visit Kenya before the end of this month and that an announcement of the date would be made tomorrow. He would be ready during his visit to Kenya to consider the position in the light of progress made by then and he would hope then to announce the date on which he would hold the Conference in London.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maudling was making urgent preparations for a constitutional expert to go to Kenya and he welcomed this opportunity of making it clear that the expert's function would be to assist the groups concerned to formulate detailed proposals as a basis for consideration at the forthcoming conference. The name of the expert and the date for his arrival in Kenya would be announced as soon as possible.

The Secretary of State undertook to invite the Governor to ask each group to start the preparation of documents in advance of the expert's arrival.

10th November, 1961.