HC Deb 22 July 1958 vol 592 cc216-7
55. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the passport of Mr. Ignatius Musazi, President of the Uganda National Congress, was seized as he was about to leave Entebbe for a conference in Stockholm; and whether he will take steps to secure freedom of travel for members of the Legislative Councils of Uganda and Kenya.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Mr. Musazi's passport was retained after coming properly into the possession of the local authorities. This is a matter within the discretion of the local authorities and it is not the practice to disclose reasons in such cases.

Members of the Legislative Councils of Uganda and Kenya are allowed the same freedom of travel as other members of the public, though they would normally out of courtesy ask leave of the Governor to be absent from the territory.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will the Colonial Secretary please intervene in this case? Is he aware that Mr. Musazi is a leading and generally respected politician in Uganda, and that it undermines the dignity of a Parliamentary institution for a Council member to be treated in this way?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Callaghan

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House the nature of the conference at Stockholm that this gentleman's presence would so much infect?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It was a conference sponsored by a Communist-front organisation.

Mr. Hale

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that both the gentlemen referred to in the last two Questions are distinguished African leaders; that one of them is a professing Christian who built a Christian church at his own expense on the location; that one of them is over 90 years of age? What is the good of him talking about the Declaration of Human Rights at Strasbourg and his predecessor saying it is going to be applied to the Colonial Territories if we have these crimes on our conscience and this—[Laughter.] I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he agrees with his colleagues who laugh when we talk about imprisonment for seven years without a trial being a crime, and, if so, what quarrel he has with Khrushchev?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have nothing to add to the quite careful answers I have made to both the Questions I have been asked.