HC Deb 30 March 1955 vol 539 cc371-2
46. Mr. Turner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give figures as to the establishment of rehabilitation officers at present working in the Kenya detention camps; and how far recruitment for this purpose from the United Kingdom is being sought.

Mr. Hopkinson

There are 12 permanent posts, 26 contract posts and a number, at present 22, of temporary posts. In addition, 14 officers are seconded for rehabilitation work. Recruitment for 11 vacancies is proceeding locally in the first instance, and recruitment from overseas will depend on the results.

Mr. Turner

How far do recruitment difficulties lie in the language difficulty? Are my right hon. Friend's Department and the Home Office prepared to provide language courses for Africans?

Mr. Hopkinson

The value of these officers depends very much upon their knowledge of Swahili and Kikuyu. From that point of view, it is far easier to meet the demand locally than from this country. We have in fact recruited one officer in this country, but I will bear in mind the point which my hon. Friend has raised.

Mr. J. Johnson

How many of these officers are African? Is there likely to be any number of Africans for these posts? Are they not more likely to gain the confidence of African detainees than are Europeans?

Mr. Hopkinson

I made that inquiry of my Department this morning, but I could not be given an answer. I will find out, and will write to the hon. Gentleman. I agree that Africans like Mr. Waruhiu and others can do, and are doing, magnificent work in rehabilitation.