HC Deb 30 November 1949 vol 470 cc1136-7
37. Mr. H. D. Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether consideration has been given to payment of compensation to the wounded and to the relatives of those killed in the Enugu incident; and on what terms.

Mr. Creech Jones

The matter is one for the Nigerian Government, and one to which I am sure they will give careful consideration. I am asking the Governor to keep me informed.

Mr. Hughes

Are the terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry wide enough to include consideration of recommendations on this point?

Mr. Creech Jones

This is a matter for the Nigerian Legislative Council itself.

44. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a further statement about the riots in Nigeria.

Mr. Creech Jones

There is, at present, not much to add to the information I gave the House on Monday. No further disorders have been reported from anywhere in Nigeria. Trade union leaders in Lagos decided a few days ago to cancel a public meeting there in order to avoid the possibility of disturbance. According to latest information from Enugu the "go-slow" at the colliery still continues, and the safety position in the mines is causing anxiety. Discussions are continuing between the authorities and the miners. I am glad to say that the Commission will start its work in Nigeria before the ensuing week-end.

Mr. Gallacher

Is this not a very peculiar riot when nobody was injured by those who were alleged to be rioting?

58. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the further disturbances at Port Harcourt and elsewhere in Nigeria; whether the police attempted to disperse the rioters by other means, such as the use of tear gas, before opening fire; to what extent these outbreaks were related to the disturbance at Enugu in which 18 miners were killed; and whether the commission of inquiry will be required to investigate the economic causes as well as the immediate circumstances of these incidents.

Mr. Creech Jones

As I explained in my statement on Monday last on the further disturbances at Aba, Port Har-court and Onitsha, the police endeavoured to disperse the crowds by baton charges and the use of tear smoke, before using firearms. The relationship of these disturbances to the events at Enugu is a matter for the Commission of Inquiry, whose terms of reference are wide enough to enable them to inquire into the causes as well as the circumstances of the disorders. I have no doubt they will do so.

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