HC Deb 07 April 1948 vol 449 cc148-9
20. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many have been arrested, imprisoned or detained in connection with the present unrest in the Gold Coast; for what offences have they been apprehended; and whether all those thus affected will be brought to trial.

Mr. Creech Jones

I have not this detailed information, but the Governor is sending it, and I will inform, my hon. Friend. I understand, however, that all arrests and imprisonments have been for specific offences arising out of the disturbances. No persons have been detained otherwise than for specific offences, although removal orders were made against six persons.

Mr. Sorensen

Has the Secretary of State seen the announcement in the Press, that something like 2,000 people have been apprehended by us; and will he pay particular attention to this matter, and examine the possibility of releasing some of that large number?

Mr. Creech Jones

I have no information whatever that any persons have been detained, other than those who are charged with offences and the six persons of whom the House already has information. I should like completely to repudiate these Press statements that there are 2,000 persons behind barbed wire.

22. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give particulars respecting further disturbances in the Gold Coast; and to what extent these were between the local inhabitants and Nigerian soldiers.

Mr. Creech Jones

There was some renewal of disturbance in Accra on Easter Monday, when a crowd armed with sticks attempted to loot the stores of African petty traders. Prompt police action dispersed the crowd, and the curfew was reimposed. In one other town also an attempt was made to renew looting, but order was quickly restored. I strongly deprecate the suggestion, which is not supported by any news reaching me, that Nigerian soldiers were concerned in these disturbances.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the Secretary of State say that there were no Nigerian soldiers? Surely, it is easier to try to get local militia, or soldiers, or police, than soldiers or others from other Colonies?

Mr. Creech Jones

The question of security forces in West Africa is, of course, a matter which is receiving continuous attention. So far as the Gold Coast disturbances were concerned, to which the hon. Member refers, Nigerian troops were not involved.

Mr. Drayson

Is the Secretary of State aware that these disturbances are the direct result of the presence in the Colony of trades union advisers from this country; and will he have these men recalled immediately?

Hon. Members


Mr. Erroll

It is perfectly true.