HC Deb 15 November 1960 vol 630 cc178-9
7. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will arrange for the early release of Mr. Jomo Kenyatta.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) on 8th November.

Mr. Stonehouse

Will not the Colonial Secretary admit that, although he is now doing so well in so many fields, on this particular issue he is being very unrealistic? Is he not aware that leading political figures in the African groups want Mr. Kenyatta to be released, and that many Europeans now also agree that if there is to be unity in Kenya, Mr. Kenyatta must be allowed to return to civil life? Would not the right hon. Gentleman revise his position on this matter?

Mr. Macleod

As I said last week, it is a matter to which I give constant thought, and I do not think that my attitude is at all unrealistic. Again, as I said last week, there are very deep feelings indeed held on both sides about Kenyatta by people of all races. I am content to leave the matter to the judgment of the Governor.

Mr. Wall

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that a number of Africans do not believe that Kenyatta was mixed up with Mau Mau but that all the available evidence goes to show that he was directly responsible for it? Would he not agree that Kenyatta's release now might strike a blow against future confidence in Kenya?

Mr. Macleod

I am very anxious, as I said earlier, to recognise the difficulty of this position, and not try to make it worse either way round. It is, of course, true that very many Africans indeed do not accept the evidence, which appeared conclusive to most of us, that has been produced of Kenyatta's complicity in these matters.