HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 c1330
41. Mr. David Adams

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies the grounds upon which the native leader in Jamaica, Bustamente, has been interned by the Governor; the place and proposed duration of internment; and when it is intended to bring the prisoner to trial?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. George Hall)

The detention of Bustamente was ordered on 8th September because of his inflammatory utterances culminating, in spite of a personal warning from the Governor, in a speech inciting to bloodshed, racial war and revolution. He is detained in the same compound of the internment camp in Jamaica as other non-enemy internees who have been detained for security reasons, and receives the same treatment; and he will be detained for as long as is necessary in the interests of public security. Detention was ordered by the Governor under the Defence Regulations and he will not therefore be brought to trial. He has not made objection under the Regulations to his detention.

Mr. Adams

Does my right hon. Friend consider that it is in harmony with the traditions of this House that this man should not be brought to trial?

Mr. Riley

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is publicly reported in Jamaica that Mr. Bustamente, some weeks before his arrest, visited the Governor of Jamaica and offered, as a leader of the natives, to use his influence to secure the co-operation of Jamaican labour in the war effort, and that that offer was turned down; and, if so, why was it turned down?

Mr. Hall

That is another question, but I understand that Mr. Bustamente and the Governor are personal friends. That does not, however, prevent Mr. Bustamente from making the type of speech to which I have referred, which placed the Governor under the necessity of taking the action which I have described.

Mr. Riley

I am fully aware of Mr. Bustamente's combustible politics; I know him personally, and I want to know whether his offer was turned down.

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