HC Deb 30 June 1960 vol 625 cc1548-9
31. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the number of detainees from Nyasaland; and when he proposes to release them.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Twenty; they will be released when the Governor is satisfied that this can be done without serious prejudice to public security and order.

Mr. Stonehouse

Does the Colonial Secretary not realise that it simply is not good enough to leave this very important matter to the decision of the Governor? Does he recall that all sorts of dire consequences were predicted if Dr. Hastings Banda were released, but that he himself took action and those predictions have been found to be absolutely false, the situation in Nyasaland being quite tranquil? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the danger that the Nyasaland Constitutional Conference will run into heavy weather unless he takes action to release the political detainees before the Conference begins?

Mr. Macleod

The cases of all these men are under review the whole time, not just at the six-monthly review. I could not associate the holding of the Constitutional Conference with matters like this. I have made it clear on many occasions that these are not matters about which one can bargain; they are matters which must be considered only in the context of law and order.