HC Deb 06 April 1955 vol 539 cc1178-9
70. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Africans have been executed in Kenya since the emergency began; how many of these were charged with murder; how many have been charged with capital offences each month; how many of these have been hanged; and for what offences.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

From the beginning of the Emergency to 25th March, 1955, 861 persons were executed, including 266 convicted of murder. A month by month table of executions up to the 25th February was published in the OFFICIAL REPORT on 10th March—Vol. 539, c. 80. During the four-week period 26th February to 25th March, four persons were executed for murder, 1l for unlawful possession of arms and ammunition and 10 for consorting with terrorists. I am asking the Governor for month by month figures of those charged with capital offences, as opposed to those convicted and executed, and will write to the hon. Member.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the fact that, of the 860 Africans who have been hanged, fewer than one-third have been charged with murder, he will speed up the modifications of these capital charges which he has frequently indicated there would be?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I certainly have that very much in mind, but the illegal possession of arms and ammunition, and, indeed, consorting, may sometimes be almost as dangerous as the act of murder itself.

Mr. J. Griffiths

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is likely that before we return here the date for the armistice will have been concluded in Kenya, and if he will indicate whether he is considering what is to be the future policy in Kenya in regard to the emergency?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As the right hon. Gentleman will know from his past large experience, those considerations are very much in my mind, and I am never for a moment not conscious of them.

Back to