HC Deb 09 July 1930 vol 241 cc408-9
28. Mr. DAY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is proposed to amend and alter the existing procedure for the trial of Europeans on capital charges in Ashanti, Gold Coast Territory, so as to enable individuals charged on a capital charge to be represented by counsel and tried by jury; and can he say what action is being taken in the matter?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Dr. Drummond Shiels)

The situation as regards criminal trials in Ashanti has been radically altered by the establishment of the West African Court of Appeal, which can entertain criminal appeals from Courts in Ashanti. It is not considered that it would be practicable to alter the procedure in the case of Europeans only, and whatever alterations are made in the procedure will apply to accused persons of all races alike. There are serious difficulties in the matter of finding the necessary personnel for juries, even in capital cases, but the Governor of the Gold Coast has submitted a full review of the whole situation which is at present being considered.


Can my hon. Friend say when a decision will be arrived at with regard to that report?


No, Sir, I cannot give any date. We have just received the report, but we have not had time to consider it.