HC Deb 14 April 1960 vol 621 cc1457-8
22. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why he has authorised the introduction in the Northern Rhodesian Legislative Council of the Preservation of Public Security Bill, which gives the Governor absolute power over all publications in the territory.

Mr. Iain Macleod

These powers do not exist in normal conditions, and can only be invoked when the Governor is satisfied that a threat to public security exists.

Mr. Brockway

May I welcome the right hon. Gentleman on his return—

Hon. Members: Hear, hear.

Sir L. Plummer

He has been setting the people free.

Hon. Members: Some of the people.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that journalists belonging to all parties and having different racial views have protested very strongly in Northern Rhodesia against this Bill? Will he take steps to see that it is administered in a way which does not mean that there will be any restriction on liberty of writing?

Mr. Macleod

Yes, certainly. That will be watched closely. I am sure that the journalists who protest about this are, to some extent, under a misapprehension because, as I have explained many times to the House, the object of this legislation is to prevent and not to encourage, situations which lead to emergencies. I believe it will have that effect.

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