HC Deb 15 March 1926 vol 193 cc9-10
11. Mr. SNELL (for Mr. W. BAKER)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that at an inquiry presided over by the Chief Justice of Kenya, Colony it was established that an assistant district commissioner had subjected natives to punishment and/or detention without trial at the instance of local settlers; and whether he will state what action, if any, the Kenya Government has taken to deal with these irregularities and prevent their recurrence?


I have seen in the local Press a report of the finding of the Commission of Inquiry, which showed that in one case an assistant district commissioner had detained and used as a porter a native against whom a complaint had been received to the effect that he had overstayed the leave granted by his employer. On the officer's departure on leave the trial was expedited by his successor after the native had been detained for 35 days. While I entirely agree with the view of the Commission that "the sooner it is realised that extrajudicial forms of punishment cannot be applied by officers of the Administration the better," I have no reason to suppose that the case represents more than an isolated error of judgment on the part of a single officer. I will, however, draw the attention of the Governor to the hon. Member's question.