HC Deb 21 July 1960 vol 627 cc704-5
7. Lord Balniel

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement about the recent recrudescence of Mau Mau activities in Kenya, and the detention of persons suspected of initiating oath-taking ceremonies.

Mr. Iain Macleod

During the last few months the Kenya authorities have been investigating reports of a large increase in illegal oath ceremonies, accompanied by intimidation and extortion of money by certain Kikuyu in the Central and Rift Valley Provinces and in Nairobi. The Governor decided, on the advice of his Ministers, that the time had come when protection must be given to the victims of known instigators, under the "fire-brigade" powers specially designed to deal with a situation of this kind and to prevent its deterioration. Accordingly, regulations were made under the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance to control collections and to enable restriction orders to be made. Orders have been served upon seventy-two of the main organisers who are so far known. They are being restricted, not detained, on Lamu Island in the Coast Province.

Lord Balniel

I appreciate the firmness with which this trouble is being handled by the authorities on the spot, but may I ask my right hon. Friend if he has any information about whether these troubles are being organised from the centre, or whether they are the purely individual acts of ex-detainees?

Mr. Macleod

There is no evidence at all—I particularly checked on that point—of central direction.

Mr. Stonehouse

Can the Colonial Secretary say what arrangements are being made to allow those in detention to appeal against the detention?

Mr. Macleod

With respect, I make the point again. They are not being detained. They are being restricted, and there is a very big difference, as the hon. Gentleman knows, between the two.

Mr. Stonehouse

What is the difference?

Mr. Macleod

They are free to move within the area; they are not confined in prison; their families can be with them, and they are paid a certain amount of money. There are considerable differences, indeed. I am sorry that I was led away. I come back to the original point. The answer is, "Yes". There are arrangements for appeal to a tribunal, and the object of the appeal, wherever possible, must be to remove the order.

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