HC Deb 07 November 1934 vol 293 cc1018-20
25. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has ascertained that a right of appeal against the District Commissioners' Courts in cases of sentence of death exists in Somaliland; and, if not, whether he will take steps to ensure that this right of appeal shall exist?


A District Officer can only try offences punishable with death if he is specially empowered by the Commissioner to do so in the absence from the Protectorate of either the Commissioner or the Secretary to the Government, who are the officers empowered to hold the Protectorate Court. In such cases a right of appeal lies to the Protectorate Court.

26. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered memorials sent to him containing various grievances of the population of Somaliland on the administration of justice and other questions; and whether, in order to examine the legitimacy or otherwise of these grievances, he will send a commission of inquiry to the Colony with instructions to take evidence from Somali witnesses


I assume that the hon. Member refers to a number of memorials submitted by a certain Haji Farah Omar. I have examined these and am satisfied that they are either untrue or much distorted and exaggerated. I should add that I have received other memorials from the responsible leaders of many of the tribes in the Protectorate, who upon learning of the action of Haji Farah in addressing me, have hastened to assure His Majesty's Government of their confidence in the methods of the present Administration and to repudiate Haji Farah's claim to speak on behalf of the inhabitants of the Protectorate. In the circumstances I do not propose to take any action on the matters raised in his memorials.

27. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that the expenditure on education for the population of British Somaliland, which numbers 350,000 persons, is £500 per annum, he will take steps to increase the educational facilities in this Colony?


The financial position of the Protectorate unfortunately precludes at present any increased expenditure on education, but the Commissioner has under consideration schemes for the extension of educational facilities, to be introduced as soon as the financial situation permits.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say to what extent the increase is to be incurred, and what money is to be provided for the purpose?


I am sorry to say that there is no money available. My hon. Friend knows that Somaliland is in receipt of a very large grant-in-aid from this country. We have in hand plans which we should like to put into operation when times are better and we have the money to spend.


Is not less being spent now than formerly?


I would like notice of that question.