HC Deb 02 May 1927 vol 205 cc1254-5
25. Mr. DALTON

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received a copy of a petition now being organised in Kenya by Lieut.-Colonel Daniel Driscoll against the Conscription Bill, on the ground, among others, that it excludes the oath of allegiance to His Majesty in order that the organisation created by the Bill may be available, untrammelled by the penalties of military law, in the event of certain contingencies; and what steps he proposes to take it; the matter?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I do not propose to intervene in the matter before the Bill is further discussed in the Legislative Council in Kenya.


Is it not desirable in regard to this matter to take counsel with the Governor in order to see whether there should not be an oath, of allegiance?


I am prepared to discuss this matter with the Governor but I would remind the hon. Member that where troops are raised for compulsory service, as under our National Service Act, the oath of allegiance is not required, and it is on that ground that the military authorities thought it was unnecessary.


Is it not well known to the right hon. Gentleman that the oath of allegiance may be extremely valuable in regard to a force raised in Kenya having regard to the history of that Colony?


I have no doubt about the loyalty of the Force, whether it has an oath of allegiance or not.