HC Deb 24 July 1929 vol 230 cc1278-80
33. Mr. AYLES

asked the Under- Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the Conscription Act for Kenya has been put into operation; whether he is aware of the opposition that exists in that Colony to the Act; and whether, before anything further is done to operate it, he will institute an inquiry into the desirability of its continuance?


My Noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies is giving careful consideration to my hon. Friend's suggestion that an inquiry should be held, but in view of the fact that the Ordinance has been on the Statute Book for two years and actually in operation for more than one he is not disposed, without further consideration, to ask the Acting Governor to institute any such inquiry.

As the reply to the other parts of the question is necessarily of considerable length, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it with the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

My Noble Friend is informed by the Acting Governor of Kenya that the extent to which the Ordinance has been applied to date is as follows:

The commandant and staff officer and a Central Defence Committee have been appointed. Defence Force districts have been formed, and local Defence Committees appointed. Rifle ranges have been constructed in districts preparatory to training which it is proposed to carry out when the regulations which are being drafted under Section 31 of the Ordinance have been formulated and approved.

The Acting Governor reports that it has been decided to make the following exemptions under Section 13 (2) of the Ordinance:

  1. A. Ministers of religion who have undergone a ceremony of ordination in a recognised church.
  2. B. Duly accredited members of missionary bodies except from liability to perform certain services of a non- combatant nature under conditions accepted by Protestant and Catholic leaders.
  3. C. Judges.
  4. D. Members of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council.
  5. E. Officers and non-commissioned officers of the King's African Rifles and the Police and Prisons Services.
  6. F. Officers of the King's African Rifles Reserve of Officers.
  7. G. Persons in receipt of disability or wound pensions from Armed Forces of the Crown.
  8. 1280
  9. H. Persons discharged for misconduct from such Forces.
  10. I. Provincial and District Officers and Magistrates subject to certain conditions now under examination.
  11. J. Such persons as the Governor in Council may exempt on conscientious grounds.

A Sub-Committee of the Executive Council has been appointed to consider applications for exemption. The Acting Governor states also that as the numbers enrolled now amount to 5,172, it is not intended to reconsider certain Sections of the Ordinance as originally proposed, and that no necessity has yet arisen to enforce the penalty clause.

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