HC Deb 30 November 1949 vol 470 cc1138-9
31. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in view of happenings in Nigeria and other parts of the Colonial Empire, he will consider the advisability of providing the police with tear gas bombs and prohibit them from carrying lethal weapons.

Mr. Creech Jones

Colonial Governments are already in possession of tear smoke equipment and I would refer to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) on 2nd November. The question whether, in addition, the police should have lethal weapons is one which each Colonial Government must determine in the light of conditions in its territory.

Mr. Rankin

Would my right hon. Friend bring his influence to bear on Colonial Governments to avert the use of lethal weapons, especially in view of the fact that incidents have been occurring with somewhat disturbing frequency in other parts of the Colonial Empire?

Mr. Creech Jones

As I have already said, I have addressed a number of circulars to the Colonial Governments on this matter and I am certain that the use of these weapons by the police occurs only in the very last resort.