HC Deb 10 March 1960 vol 619 cc606-7
2. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has studied the notice circulated last November by the Director of African Affairs of the Lusaka Municipal Council, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Blackburn, warning employees that any active participation in the boycott or in political activities harmful to the council' s interests would result in their discharge for inefficiency: and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Iain Macleod

As I have told the hon. Member, this, under the Municipal Corporation Ordinance, is a matter for the Municipal Council of Lusaka. It would not, therefore, be appropriate for me to comment.

Mrs. Castle

Does not the Colonial Secretary agree that this circular which covers all employees of the municipality down to the very humblest is a gross form of political intimidation? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the astonishing phrase that an employee who does not at all times act in the best interest of his employer is obviously inefficient, and will he take steps to amend the Municipal Corporation Ordinance in order to enable him to deal with these totalitarian edicts?

Mr. Macleod

No. Frankly, I think it would be quite wrong if we in this House had authority to intervene in matters of this sort which concern the municipal council of Lusaka or the municipal council of any other municipality in any of the Colonial Territories. As the hon. Lady knows, this particular matter related to the beer hall boycott some time ago, and I would have thought that her fire ought to have been directed at the boycott rather than at the measures which the municipal council took about it.