HC Deb 24 November 1959 vol 614 cc194-5
28. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is satisfied with the degree of political freedom in Uganda; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Macleod

It is very difficult to calculate the degree of political freedom existing in any society—[Laughter.]—such as whether one should have standing orders—but I am in general satisfied that in Uganda now there exists a full degree of political freedom consistent with the need to maintain law and order.

Mr. Stonehouse

Does the Minister realise that that Answer will sound absolutely ludicrous to people on the spot? Although it may be perfectly appropriate for his Administration in Uganda to ban the Uganda underground movement, is he aware that the Uganda Freedom Movement, along with several other similar movements, is banned and the leaders are at present rusticated? When the right hon. Gentleman goes to Uganda, will he consider making a statement about the future of the Uganda Protectorate in order to allay all the anxieties which are felt and allow people to have the political freedom to which they are entitled?

Mr. Macleod

I will, of course, study the situation in Uganda very closely when I am there next month. I do not think that the question whether one should make any statement or not arises out of this Question. As the hon. Gentleman knows very well, there are several similar movements—indeed, they are copies of each other—which have been restricted, and they were proscribed for the reason I gave, because it was thought that their development was inconsistent with the need to maintain law and order.

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