HC Deb 02 December 1953 vol 521 cc1136-7
13. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the fresh evidence submitted to him demonstrating the incorrectness of his original information, he will instruct the British Ambassador at Cairo to withdraw the charge made by the Chargé ďAffaires against Mr. Joseph Murumbi of being an emissary of Mau Mau.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

It is true that on 28th August Her Majesty's Chargé ďAffaires at Cairo did, in a communication to the Egyptian Government, refer to Mr. Murumbi as: variously described as Vice-President of the African Union, an illegal organisation, and as a representative of the Mau Mau movement in Kenya. That description was in accordance with reports in the Egyptian Press relating to interviews with Mr. Murumbi. Those reports were not at the time contradicted by Mr. Murumbi. Since that date Mr. Murumbi has stated that he is not a representative of Mau Mau and is, in fact, opposed to the movement. Her Majesty's Government are glad to hear this and trust that this Question and answer have clarified the position.

Mr. Brockway

While I appreciate that recognition, may I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he is aware that Mr. Murumbi repudiated those reports while he was in Cairo, when he called a special Press conference for the purpose and issued a statement to the Press agencies in Egypt? As many of us who know Mr. Murumbi have no doubt upon this matter, and in view of the correction which has appeared in "The Times," will the right hon. and learned Gentleman make it clear that the charge is withdrawn?

Mr. Lloyd

In my answer I dealt with the information in the possession of Her Majesty's Chargé ďAffaires at the time the communication was made to the Egyptian Government. With regard to the latter part of the supplementary, I think that today's Question and answer have dealt with that.