HC Deb 23 June 1954 vol 529 cc413-4
28. Mr. Harold Davies

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in what area of Tanganyika a state of emergency has been declared; for what period it is intended to maintain the state of emergency; and what are the reasons for this declaration.

Mr. Lyttelton

In order to give the security forces the necessary powers to deal with an armed gang of Kikuyu which crossed the frontier from Kenya, a state of emergency was declared in the Northern Province of Tanganyika on 18th May. Its operation was restricted to a corridor on the Kenya frontier on 10th June, and it will be completely lifted as soon as the need for it has passed.

Mr. Davies

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is time we dropped the phraseology "bandits and gangs" when what we are actually concerned with is the desire of these people for freedom and dignity? Is it not time we had a debate in this House on the entire African situation?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Gentleman is completely wrong in what he says. This was a gang of 50 armed terrorists or bandits which crossed into Tanganyika, and it was for that reason that the emergency was declared.