HC Deb 10 June 1953 vol 516 cc224-5
48. Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that on 29th January last Elijah Njeru Gideon died from shock resulting from multiple injuries inflicted by beating carried out under orders, with a view to obtaining information as to the whereabouts of hidden firearms used by a Mau Mau gang; how far such action is sanctioned by existing regulations; and what action he proposes to take to punish those who ordered it.

Mr. Lyttelton

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply circulated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs on 22nd May. The police investigation into this death has been completed and the Attorney-General is considering legal action against those responsible.

Mr. Hastings

Does the right hon. Gentleman regard this as a unique case or have other cases been reported to him in which torture has been used to try to secure confessions?

Mr. Lyttelton

There are two other cases under investigation now, speaking from memory. I do not want to add anything about it while the Attorney-General is considering what action is appropriate, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that where allegations are made we shall seek most diligently to get any evidence to bring any malefactors to justice.

Mr. Fernyhough

Could the right hon. Gentleman make clear to those in authority that we in this country will not countenance treatment of that kind? [HON. MEMBERS: "He has said that."] He did not say it; he said there was an investigation.

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member should be reminded that the Government in Kenya have on two occasions issued a public circular in which it was stated that this brutality was entirely against their policy and that anybody who was guilty of it would be prosecuted with vigour.