HC Deb 15 December 1954 vol 535 cc1744-6
16. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in which detention camps in Kenya there are cases of typhoid; and what progress is being made in the elimination of the epidemic.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Manyani, Mackinnon Road, Kamiti, and Langata. In the last two there are only sporadic cases; and in the first two fewer cases are now occurring, and the infection is milder, with a lower mortality rate.

49. Mr. Foot

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what facilities are given to the Moral Rearmament movement to conduct propaganda in the detention camps of Kenya.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Facilities are granted on application to the Commissioner of Prisons to members of religious organisations to visit their adherents and hold services. I understand that the Moral Rearmament group has not asked for any facilities, though certain officers in the camps are members of Moral Rearmament groups.

Mr. Foot

Does the Minister think that it is wise to grant these special facilities to the Moral Rearmament movement, in view of the attitude taken about its activities by bodies such as the Trades Union Congress?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have made it quite plain that no special facilities are granted, nor have they been asked for.

Sir D. Savory

Is my right hon. Friend not aware of the extraordinarily good influence exercised by those who have carried out this Moral Rearmament campaign, and of the extraordinarily good effect it has had on the mentality and objectives of many of the Mau Mau adherents?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am certainly aware of the high quality of individual people who are Moral Rearmament members, particularly David Warauhu, and people of his kind, in work in Kenya.

Mr. S. Silverman

Will the Minister bear in mind that neither religious leaders nor anyone else will be able to produce a much better frame of mind among prisoners while they still have nothing to lose but their chains?

51. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what penalties may be imposed on persons held in detention camps in Kenya who refuse to do work inside or outside the camps.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Detainees refusing work lawfully required of them may be subject to one or more of the following punishments: confinement on a reduced diet for a term not exceeding seven days; deprivation of privileges; reprimand. Refusal to work is a minor offence, but if it happens for a third time, that or subsequent offences render the detainee liable to corporal punishment.

Mr. Benn

Is the right hon. Gentleman seriously telling the House that detainees who are held on suspicion and who have not been tried are liable to flogging for a third offence of refusing to do what amounts to forced labour? Will the Minister look at the whole range of problems in Kenya brought forward by my hon. Friends, which are causing increasing dissatisfaction in this country?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

First, it is not flogging. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is it then?"] Corporal punishment of not more than 12 strokes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] The use of the word "flogging" conveys a totally different impression, as hon. Members know. Second, it has not been imposed on anybody. But, in the view of the Government of Kenya, so important is the need to turn the detainees to useful work that they must reserve the right to deal with minor offences, which, if committed often, constitute major offences.

Mr. Benn

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.