HC Deb 29 July 1937 vol 326 cc3313-4
Mr. Kelly

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any statement to make on the disturbances in Barbados?

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Marquess of Hartington)

On 23rd July an agitator who had been fined by the courts for making a false declaration led about 50 sympathisers towards Government House. When halted by the police they declined to disperse. The leader and 12 others were arrested without difficulty or struggle. On 26th and 27th July disorders occurred in and near Bridgetown. The police were compelled on several occasions to open fire on the crowd, which declined to disperse and continued to throw stones and fire revolvers after the Riot Act had been read. Two rioters were killed and several injured, three critically. The volunteers were called out. On 28th July there were some further disturbances at Bridgetown and reports of sporadic looting of shops in country districts. His Majesty's Ship "Apollo" arrived at Bridgetown on 28th July and has landed a platoon of marines. The Governor states that the disturbances were unexpected and that no clear cause can at present be assigned, though the immediate occasion was the deportation of the agitator to whom I have referred.

Mr. Kelly

Has the Noble Lord any information as to whether the origin of this, despite the answer he has just given, was the wages question?

Marquess of Hartington

My information is that that is not so. I have given the hon. Member all the information I have.