HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 c801
41. Mr. David Jones

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that, following the permission of his Department to the people of Eritrea to form political organisations, Eritrean districts opened Ethiopico-Eritrean Unity Associations offices at Keren, Massawa, Adi Caieh, Senafe, Saganeiti and Adi Ugri, that huge assemblies took part in these inaugurations, particularly in Adi Ugri where 100,000 people participated; and whether he will take particular steps to bring these demonstrations of Eritrean public opinion before the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Mr. Bellenger

I am aware of the activities of this association, but reports of these meetings appear to have greatly exaggerated the number of people who attended them. There are, in Eritrea several political parties and different views are held on the subject of union with Ethiopia. No special permission is required for the formation of political organisations in Eritrea, where freedom of speech and association are recognised, and political parties have existed throughout the period of Military Administration. It would not be feasible to lay before the Council of Foreign Ministers records of the views expressed at all the political meetings in Eritrea. Resolutions passed at them are in any case usually communicated by their organisers to each of the Foreign Ministers.