HC Deb 10 March 1959 vol 601 cc1068-9
38. Mr. Foot

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons have now been detained under the emergency regulations promulgated in Nyasaland; how many of such persons have been removed out of the territory to Southern Rhodesia or elsewhere; to what extent the emergency regulations provide, as in Kenya, for a right of appeal to an advisory committee and for detained persons to be furnished with a statement of the reasons for their detention; or how far those detainees will be informed of the reasons for their detention and given an opportunity to make representations thereon.

47. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many of the African members of the Nyasaland Council have been arrested under the emergency.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The latest information available to me is that 142 persons have been detained under detention orders made by the Governor under Emergency Regulation 24 (1). Included in this number is Mr. Chipembere, the only member of the Nyasaland Legislative Council to be detained. In addition, 113 persons have been detained under Emergency Regulation 24 (7) for a limited period of twenty-eight days. Of the total of 255 detained, 102 have been removed to Southern Rhodesia.

Persons detained under detention orders made by the Governor can lodge objections in writing to an Advisory Committee already established, and it is the duty of the Chairman of the Committee to inform objectors of the reason for their detention. Detainees are informed of their right to lodge objections against their detention.

Mr. Foot

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that, although it is a good thing to have an advisory committee, it is no substitute for trial in a court of law, and since allegations of a conspiracy to murder have been put forward, is it proposed to take legal proceedings against any of those supposed to be implicated?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That is a matter for the Attorney-General in the territory concerned. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well that in problems of this kind there is often great difficulty in finding people ready to come forward as witnesses.

Sir R. Robinson

Can my right hon. Friend say whether any arrangements have been made to look after the welfare of the families of the detainees?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Yes, Sir, there are.

Mr. Rankin

But would not the Secretary of State agree that, since a member or the Nyasaland Council is involved in this, at least he should bring him or arrange that he should be brought to trial?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As I have said already, it is not for me to bring people to trial; that is a matter for the Attorney-General.