HC Deb 01 August 1956 vol 557 cc1392-3
43. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many people were killed and injured in Aden on 9th July when the police fired on demonstrators in connection with the labourers' strike; and on what authority the police opened fire.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Four people were killed and fifteen injured. Also four policemen were injured. The police, who were being attacked by an unlawful assembly in circumstances endangering public security, opened fire as authorised by Section 97 of the Aden Criminal Procedure Ordinance.

Mrs. Castle

Is this not really a most alarming state of affairs, that four civilians should have been killed and 15 injured by fire from the police when they were meeting in connection with a demonstration arising out of the general strike? Although this may have been an unlawful assembly in Aden, does it not seem to the people of this country a perfectly normal piece of civilian activity, and will not the Colonial Secretary look into the question of the general administration of the police in Aden in view of the violence used on this occasion?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am perfectly satisfied with the excellent work achieved by the Governor of Aden, who has just left the Colony, and also the work that will be done by his successor who will arrive there shortly—[Laughter.] I am also quite sure that the action taken prevented a far more serious outbreak with far more grave consequences.

Mr. Bevan

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that his assurance that he is perfectly satisfied with all the administrations for which he is responsible is not only becoming boring but more and more inaccurate? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]

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