HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2058-9
43. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the military progress made in Kenya to date towards resolving the Mau Mau trouble.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

By the end of 1954 the improved situation in the reserves permitted the transfer of the main military effort to the prohibited areas. The first of a number of operations in these areas, "Hammer", was recently completed in the Aberdares with encouraging results. We have destroyed the immunity of the forest gangs. A second operation started on 22nd February in the Mount Kenya area.

Mr. Hughes

With his unrivalled knowledge and sources of information on this matter, can the Minister say whether we are any nearer to the end of this trouble than we were at the time mentioned in the statement to which he has just referred?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I would hesitate to dogmatise. One can say that as a result of military operations, quite apart from the purely military results, the military have been able to leave the special areas largely in the hands of the civil administration and it has proved possible to maintain law and order in those areas with the minimum of military backing.

Mr. J. Griffiths

May I ask if the Secretary of State can reply to the question I sought to put last week arising out of the situation in Kenya? In view of what happened quite recently, and looking at it from this distance, does he think that there are obvious attempts to undermine the multi-racial government and that he should make a pronouncement that the multi-racial government has come to stay and call on all sections of the community in Kenya to support it—not forgetting speeches which have been made recently?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I do not think it necessary to reaffirm that Her Majesty's Government are entirely behind the multiracial experiment and that were it to break down the powers of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom remain absolutely as they were before.