HC Deb 20 January 1959 vol 598 cc8-9
31. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the total number of Africans in detention camps in Kenya on the latest convenient date; and how many have been detained four years, or longer, without trial.

Mr. J. Amery

There were 3,932 persons detained under Emergency Regulations in Kenya on 31st December, 1958. I am asking the Governor if he can provide information on the second part of the Question, and I will circulate a further reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Minister aware that most of these detainees, nearly 4,000, have been imprisoned without trial for more than four years? Is this not a disgraceful state of affairs? Is not the Mau Mau emergency virtually at an end, and is he not aware that very many of these prisoners and detainees have, in fact, been acquitted of charges in courts of law? Can he give an assurance that these prisoners and detainees will soon be released?

Mr. Amery

The hon. Gentleman must remember that the emergency is not yet over. Eighty thousand detainees have already been released. Releases last year were at the rate of 1,100 a month. We are now down to a hard core of people who are considered to require full rehabilitation. A number of them have had their sentences to prison cut short to enable them to have the benefit of rehabilitation as detainees.

Mr. Dugdale

Did I correctly hear the Minister to say that he did not know how many were detained without trial and he has sent to the Governor to find out? In that case, how can he say that there are not very many, and it is only a hard core? Does he not know how many there are?

Mr. Amery

I am afraid that the right hon. Gentleman is either growing hard of hearing or has not read his hon. Friend's Question correctly.

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