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Dr Banda (United Kingdom Visit)

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 15 March 1962

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asked the Prime Minister if he will invite Dr. Kamuzu Banda to London for discussions on the situation in Nyasaland in relation to the Federation, in view of the Federal Government's renewed threat to use force to keep Nyasaland in the Federation and the danger that a federal general election will increase tension.

I understand that a visit by Dr. Banda to London has been in prospect for some time, although no date has been arranged yet. It will be useful to take an opportunity of discussion with him at a mutually convenient moment.

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister had talks with Sir Roy Welensky, who represents less than 100,000 people in Rhodesia, and who has now been repudiated in his electioneering by Sir Edgar Whitehead and a large section of the United Federal Party, would it not be most valuable to have really friendly discussions with Dr. Banda, who represents over 3 million people in Nyasaland, with a view to avoiding dangerous unrest in the Federation as it comes to its end?

That is why I said that the visit was in prospect—although no date has actually been arranged.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is grave danger of too low a volume of investment being available for the Federation until after the Federal review? Therefore, is it not urgent and essential that the Federal review should be brought forward and conducted as soon as possible?

That and other questions will be taken into consideration in dealing with this problem.

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that in the event of the ties between Nyasaland and the Federation being broken the cost of supporting the economy of Nyasaland will not be thrown back upon the United Kingdom?

I do not want to answer what is a purely hypothetical question at this stage.

Can the Prime Minister clarify his original answer a little? Does he mean that Her Majesty's Government propose shortly to invite Dr. Banda to come to this country, or has Dr. Banda himself suggested that he should come? If so, when is the visit likely to take place?