HC Deb 23 June 1954 vol 529 cc393-5
1. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in view of the statement in the report on the psychological aspects of the Mau Mau movement, prepared by Dr. J. C. Carothers for the Kenya Government, that most Kikuyu probably realised that the Mau Mau campaign would fail and only wanted an assurance of security, he will renew steps to bring about an end of the fighting.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Oliver Lyttelton)

The Kenya authorities have never had any other aim than to end the fighting at the earliest possible moment. All possible steps have been and are still being taken to achieve this. The terms on which surrenders will be accepted have been widely publicised.

Mr. Brockway

In view of the fact that only a few weeks ago several hundreds of Mau Mau were prepared to lay down their arms, would the right hon. Gentleman try to renew that situation and, in particular, consider whether there are no Africans now in detention, as well as outside detention, who might serve as a bridge to bring that result about?

Mr. Lyttelton

I cannot accept the implication in the second part of the supplementary question. On the first part, I am, of course, sympathetic with the object and we shall do all we can.

Mr. E. Wakefield

Does not the Report of Dr. Carothers suggest, in paragraph 22, that the best method of giving Kikuyu the assurance of security is by what he terms "villagisation"? Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he accepts that conclusion?

Mr. Lyttelton

There are many other things in the Report besides that in regard to villagisation—[HON. MEMBERS: "What?"] I apologise, but this jargon is not mine. I agree that it is a dreadful word. Where it can be done voluntarily, I think it has a contribution to make in the Kikuyu areas. Where it is not done voluntarily other questions arise and we must proceed with circumspection in this matter.

13. Fernyhough

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the estimated current cost per month of the efforts to suppress Mau Mau in Kenya.

Mr. Lyttelton

Of the order of £1 million.

Mr. Fernyhough

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that that means that the military expenditure is now running at four times what it was at this time last year? Does not the right hon. Gentleman believe that the time has come when he ought to pursue a policy of economic reform with the same vigour and determination as he pursues a policy of repression?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member is completely misinformed. He is not right when he says that this is for military reasons only. He asked: … what is the estimated current cost per month of the efforts to suppress Mau Mau in Kenya and this figure includes the cost of police, rehabilitation centres, administration, and so on.

Mr. Fernyhough

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that when I asked an identical Question last year he told me that the cost was £250,000 a month and that, therefore, my suggestion that it is four times greater is right?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member attached the entire expenditure to military forces, and in that be is incorrect.

Mr. J. Griffiths

May I ask a question on the cost of the emergency and its effect on the whole economy of Kenya? When will the Secretary of State be able to tell the House the result of his discussions which, I understand from the Press, are now taking place with the Finance Minister from Kenya? Will he include that information in his statement about Kenya?

Mr. Lyttelton

Probably it would be better for me to make a separate statement on the financial question. There is a possibility that it may be concluded very shortly, but the discussions are still going on and I am not in a position to say anything today.

Mr. Hale

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have now got a war in Kenya in spite of all he said 12 months ago, a war in which a large majority of the population appear to be opposed to this country? In the circumstances will he either refer the matter to the Security Council of the United Nations or take steps to bring it to an end?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member is entirely wrong again. He says that a large proportion of the population is against the Government. It would be untrue to say that the overwhelming proportion of the Kikuyu are against the Government. The hon. Gentleman seems to be entirely unaware that there are other tribes in Kenya besides the Kikuyu. This is not a war in the ordinary sense of the word. We have now got on top of the situation.

Mr. Alport

Has my right hon. Friend's attention been drawn to a recent incident in which 7,000 Kikuyu turned out to assist the authorities to capture and bring to justice certain terrorists belonging to Mau Mau? Surely that proves that there is a very strong opinion among the Kikuyu tribe in favour of the authorities.

53. Sir R. Acland

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what change of policy has been made, or is in preparation, as a result of the publication of the Carothers report on the psychology of Mau Mau.

Mr. Lyttelton

Dr. Carothers' report is under consideration by the Kenya Government and I am awaiting their recommendations.

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