HC Deb 26 June 1907 vol 176 cc1382-3

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies with regard to the sentences passsed on Mr. Grogan and other Europeans concerned in the flogging of natives at Nairobi, whether they spent their term of imprisonment in the native gaol; whether sentence was passed about ten o'clock in the morning, when the prisoners were removed to a portion of the gaol, the only one in Nairobi, which had been divided from the rest of the prison; whether the same evening, Mr. Jackson, the acting Commissioner, arranged that the prisoners should be taken to some rooms above the police station which had been specially cleared for them, but the prisoners elected to remain in gaol for that night; whether a bungalow, situated in the best residential part of the town, which had just become unoccupied, was rented by the Government for the detention of Mr. Grogan and his companions until their sentences expired; whether he is aware that the prisoners had all their meals sent in from one of the hotels or the Travellers' Club; that they were allowed to smoke, while friends and relatives were permitted to visit them daily; will he explain why these lapses from prison discipline were allowed to occur, and who is the official responsible; and what action has been taken in the matter by the Colonial Office.


The facts are as stated by the hon. Member. The Acting Commissioner is the officer responsible for the treatment of these persons while in prison. The reason which he gives for removing them from the ordinary gaol was that it had been medically condemned as insanitary for Europeans. In these circumstances the Secretary of State considers that their removal was justified; and he does not consider it neccsary to express any opinion on the subsequent relaxations of prison discipline, which are matters which must be left to the discretion of the responsible officer on the spot.

SIR J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)

Why is this preferential treatment accorded to Mr. Grogan?


said there was a good deal of feeling between the official and non-official European classes in the Protectorate. They had consistently adopted the policy of supporting our officers on the spot in their administration of the law. If our officers had found it possible and advantageous to make some relaxations of prison discipline with a view to producing a better state of opinion, he thought full discretionary power should be given them.


Does the right hon. Gentle man think this relaxation of the rules —


Order, order! That is a matter of opinion.


Is such relaxation usual in the case of prisoners confined for flogging natives?


I do not think any white prisoner has been recently confined for flogging natives. A very severe example has been made of this case, and I now consider this matter must be left to the discretion of the local authorities.


asked whether Mr. Grogan was still a magistrate, and whether it would not be better to remove this "Daniel come to judgment."


said he was not discharging his magisterial functions now.