HC Deb 23 March 1938 vol 333 cc1193-4
38. Mr. McEntee

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the decision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Seychelles in an action for defamation brought by a road contractor against a local newspaper, which had charged him with inefficiency and incompetence in carrying out road construction paid for, to a substantial extent, by the British taxpayer, out of the Colonial Development Fund, and that the making of the road justified vigorous comment; whether any action was taken by the Governor to recover money wasted in the work on this road; and what steps are being taken in future to avoid any further contracts being allotted to the said contractor?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The judgment of the Chief Justice of Seychelles, to which the hon. Member refers, has been brought to my notice. I learn that a report on the subject is being forwarded by the Governor of the Colony, and I will consider on receipt of the Governor's report whether any action on the part of the Colonial Government is called for.

Mr. McEntee

Will the Minister also consider the passing of this contract for payment by the Governor himself, in spite of the fact that the road surveyor, who ought to have been consulted, was not consulted?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

That is obviously one of the points that has to be looked into.