HC Deb 12 May 1927 vol 206 cc573-4
41 and 42. Mr. GILLETT

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether any petitions have yet been presented against the Conscription Bill in Kenya; and whether he will state the number of signatures to such petitions;

(2) whether he will state the terms of the telegram which he has received from the Anti-Conscription Committee of Nairobi; and whether any answer has been sent to the committee?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)

I am not aware that the petition has actually been presented, but its contents are no doubt known to the Acting Governor. I have informed the Acting Governor that he may allow the Measure to pass through all stages in the Legislative Council and that it should then be reserved and sent to me with a full report by him. With the hon. Member's permission I propose to circulate the terms of the telegram from the Nairobi Anti-Conscription Committee in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The telegram from the Anti-Conscription Committee was as follows:

Signatories of anti-conscription petition now number 1,500 against about 3,000 of the whole Kenya electoral roll at the time of the elections. Fifty-six per cent. of the roll recorded votes where seats were contested. Hence, if contest of country (this apparently means "representative of country") total voters only 1,700 signatories of the petition far exceed all voters actually recorded in the last election despite advocacy of conscription by the Government and the Press. Signatures 860 Nairobi, 230 Mombasa, 410 country districts. Signatories claim the honouring of repeated official pledges "no general consent, no compulsion."

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