1 OCTOBER 1948, Page 4

The African Conference sitting at Lancaster House this week is

a singularly interesting event. Nothing df the kind has ever taken place before. Last year there was a conference of African Governors, and no one questioned the value of that. But the present gathering, which brings to fruition hopes long maturing in the present Colonial Secretary's mind, has much greater possibilities. It brings together rank-and-file unofficial members of the legislative councils of, I believe, every British dependency in Africa. All those from West Africa and many from East Africa are native Africans, most of them of a high order of ability. The majority, loyal though they are to Great Britain, have never seen Great Britain before. They will be given the opportunity of seeing many parts of it in the next few weeks. One has already been struck by our patchwork fields as seen from the train. The contacts they will make will certainly not be to ,heir advantage only.