HC Deb 04 February 1960 vol 616 cc1219-20
45. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Prime Minister if the speech of the Secretary of State for the Colonies at the opening of a Commonwealth Exhibition in Leeds on 7th January, 1960, relating to the emergency in Nyasaland, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we fully applaud the sentiments expressed in the speech of the Colonial Secretary; but is he aware that words are not enough and that on the day following the Colonial Secretary's speech the Governor of Nyasaland repudiated the speech by say- ing that the state of emergency in Nyasaland must go on? Has not the time arrived for clearing up the instructions to be sent to our men in Zomba?

Mr. Butler

Her Majesty's Government's policy is as expressed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies and his word is the word to which importance should be attached.

Mr. Gaitskell

As the Secretary of State spoke of an accelerated rate of release of those who were detained and made his speech nearly a month ago, can the right hon. Gentleman say exactly how many people have been released since then?

Mr. Butler

The latest information I have is that on 13th January there were still approximately 407 Africans detained. In regard to the general statement of my right hon. Friend, the further releases, including the references he made in his speech, which I have here, to individuals, depend upon the security situation.

Mr. Gaitskell

The Secretary of State made this speech nearly a month ago, and it appears from the figures given by the right hon. Gentleman that there have been practically no fresh releases since then. How does the right hon. Gentleman explain this discrepancy?

Mr. Butler

There is no discrepancy. This is a gradual process depending upon the security situation, and what my right hon. Friend said represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government in this regard.