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Secretary Of State's Visit

Volume 718: debated on Wednesday 3 November 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the Caribbean and Washington.

The purpose of my recent—and first—visit to Bermuda, British Honduras and the Bahamas was to see as much of these territories as possible in the short time available; and to have discussions with members of the Government, Opposition leaders and other representatives of public opinion.In all three countries I was encouraged by the developments which are taking place. In the Bahamas and British Honduras the new constitutions for internal-self-government which were introduced in January, 1964, are working well: in Bermuda a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of the Legislature is considering constitutional change and I hope that their recommendations will lead to advance there also.Economically, Bermuda and the Bahamas are heavily dependent on tourism, and British Honduras on an increase in agricultural production. I was glad to see the expansion which is taking place in all three.In Washington I had most useful talks with representatives of the United States Government over a wide range of colonial affairs.I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those concerned with drawing up the full programmes which enabled me to see so much of the countries and meet so wide a cross-section of the peoples.