HC Deb 26 October 1955 vol 545 cc184-6
31. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the numbers still in detention camps in Kenya; and the approximate number being released per week.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Forty-eight thousand two hundred and forty-one on 10th October, of whom 45,406 were held on detention orders, of whom some 30,000 are in works camps under various degrees of control and supervision down to that in "open camps," where they are virtually on parole before release. The remainder are repatriates in transit to their reserves. The average rate of release during this year has been about 1,300 a month, but in September 2,520 persons were released.

Mr. Johnson

In view of these figures, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that the total being released each week is somewhat meagre by comparison with the number of 60,000—as I understand it—who are in these camps? What will he do to speed up releases, as 90 per cent. are under suspicion, not gangsters out of the forest?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think the hon. Gentleman knows very well that I am very anxious, as far as security considerations allow, to have the swiftest possible return of the people of whom it can be proved that their return is justified, but I should mislead the House if I did not also make it clear that there are a certain number of convicts who, having served their sentences, are then for public security reasons detained, and that this is not necessarily the net figure but a gross figure.