§ 41. Mr. Tiffany
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the British military administration of ex-Italian Eritrea has forbidden the formation of political parties and trade unions and the assembly of more than three persons; that permission has been granted to an employee of the British military administration, Mr. Woldab Wolde Mariam, to form a party which is opposed to the reunion of Eritrea to Ethiopia; that leaders of the popular movement of reunion of Eritrea to Ethiopia have also requested permission to form a political party; and whether their request will now be granted.
§ Mr. Lawson
I think my hon. Friend has been misinformed. There is no restriction on the free expression of opinion nor on the right of association and assembly in Eritrea. The Chief Administrator is, of course, empowered to intervene should the exercise of these rights lead to a breach of the peace, and an assembly is only prohibited if it is for subversive or illegal purposes.
§ Mr. Tiffany
Is not that veto being used extensively and, in fact, preventing the formation of parties and trade unions?
§ Mr. Lawson
Well, I should not like to think that it is so. If anybody has any information to that effect, I would be very pleased to examine it.