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Constitution

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 16 November 1961

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23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now make a statement on measures for the reconsideration of the constitution of Northern Rhodesia.

Following his announcement on 1st November to the effect that law and order have been restored, I have informed the Governor of Northern Rhodesia that Her Majesty's Government are now ready to receive further representations on those aspects of the constitutional proposals on which divergencies of view persist.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is some danger of delay now, partly arising from the death of the leader of the African National Congress? Would it not be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to speed up decisions, now that peace has been restored throughout the territory, by going on to Lusaka after visiting Nairobi?

It is important to get as much speed as we can. I deeply regret the death of Mr. Katilungu, which will also cause added complications. I believe that there is some chance of local agreement, and I am still convinced that that is the best possible solution that could be achieved.