HC Deb 15 December 1960 vol 632 cc571-2
23. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons still remain detained without trial in Kenya; and what is the longest period over which any of them have been so detained.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Fifty-two detainees remained on 14th December. Four of these have been detained for eight years.

Mr. Dempsey

Is it not rather disgraceful that so many persons should still be detained, and that some should have been detained for as long as eight years? Is not this foreign to our way of life and contrary to the great traditions of British justice? In view of the fact that some of these persons may be innocent, will the right hon. Gentleman make arrangements to see that they get a fair trial very soon, or release them forthwith?

Mr. Macleod

With respect, it does not follow that these detainees are held, and have been held, without trial, because a year ago when the emergency came to an end a number of people serving sentences for very grave crimes indeed, including murder, were transferred to the category of detainee. It is, therefore, not right to say that all these fifty-two detainees are detained without trial. As far as the figures go, whereas early this year the figure was 750, it is now down to 50, and progress, particularly in recent months, has been very swift.

Mr. D. Foot

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how many persons are restricted, as distinct from being detained?

Mr. Macleod

One hundred and twelve.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will the right hon. Gentleman say why some men who have been tried and acquitted, like Mr. Achieng Oneko, are still under restriction? Surely this is a further point which my hon. Friend did not raise in his Question. Will the right hon. Gentleman give a clear reply to that?

Mr. Macleod

No—for precisely the reason given. It is not in the Question.