Nigeria gained a new status, not after unrest and quarrels, as other colonial territories did, but on the basis of practical experience of the federal system it decided and with general agreement to maintain it. The bill is the result of the unanimous request of both houses of the federal legislature and it will certainly, I am sure, agree today unanimously in this House. Not only did they ask for independence, but they also unanimously called for membership of the Commonwealth. We are delighted that they have done so. We are very pleased that the Prime Ministers` Conference last May unanimously adopted this proposal. My last duty was to convince my master that the staff had to be knocked down before leaving, never an easy task. The governors were not very paid, he had children at school and his wife was of a thrifty disposition. He postponed the discussion with various apologies until the last day. When he finished, I had already emptied my desk and my room, and since he didn`t want Mom to attend our conversation and some hotel employees went up and down the hallway, he decided we should have him in the elevator.
We were on the sixth floor and there were other guests going downhill. When they tried to join us with « Hello, » my master rejected them with a wave of the hand and some incoherent marbles. That`s how we went up and down three times. I managed to find an agreement on the hotel staff. Our driver was more of a problem. He had been excellent in every respect and had informed us of the cricket scores, so that my master, who felt more friendly than a servant, objected to a silver gift and decided to give him a book about cricket that he had spied on in the Hatchards. I slipped into a $20 bill. I`ve never been happier to leave a hotel.
With regard to Nigeria`s trade figures, I have found that, although Nigeria has dominated this trade, our share of Nigeria`s total trade has fallen by 9% over the last ten years. And Nigeria is expanding its trade with the Europe of the Six. The European Economic Community of Six imports about $30 million worth of goods from Nigeria each year. It is a very important part of the economy of this new and independent African nation. We therefore have a certain responsibility not to cause significant economic damage to this new independent African state because of our isolation and incomprehension and our lack of unification with the European Economic Community. I now turn to the question of Lagos and his position in the state. I would like to express myself with the utmost care and restraint on this issue, for it is full of emotions; and a carefree or indelicate attitude, or too much haste or a lack of consideration for deep-seated feelings and beliefs, may well defeat the federation`s purpose and undermine the cause of unity in Nigeria.