HC Deb 15 May 1958 vol 588 cc591-2
17. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a further statement on the situation in Aden Colony in view of the disturbances recently reported.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Since 6th March, there have been several incidents involving hand grenades or explosives in Aden Colony designed to terrorise the inhabitants and resulting in three deaths and injuries to ten people. The Governor, with my approval, issued a proclamation on 2nd May bringing Part II of the Emergency Powers Orders in Council, 1939 and 1956, into force in the Colony, and has made emergency regulations under the Orders in Council enabling the detention of persons believed to be concerned in these outrages. The Governor will use his powers and make regulations under these Orders as sparingly as is consistent with the maintenance of public safety. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement issued by the Governor on 2nd May.

Mr. Benn

While, naturally, deploring the violence which has broken out in Aden, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not, in his own mind, associate some of the discontent with the fact that political activity in Aden has been limited, some applications for the publication of newspapers have been prevented, and that, two years ago, Lord Lloyd announced that, in the foreseeable future, there could not be self-determination for the Colony?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

No, Sir. I am afraid that it has more sinister origins than that.

Following is the statement: Following two recent bomb-throwing incidents which occurred in restaurants in one of the main centres of Aden and in which 12 innocent persons were injured, the Governor has today, 2nd May, 1958, proclaimed a state of emergency in the Colony. The purpose of this Proclamation is to provide the police authorities with additional powers under Emergency Regulations to prevent such acts of violence and to protect the lives and property of the public. It is hoped that extensive use will not require to be made of the Emergency Powers or that the life of the people of the Colony will be seriously affected.