HC Deb 07 December 1961 vol 650 cc1506-7
7. Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that members of the United Federal Party in Nyasaland have been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, of arson of their own houses, of fabricating charges of the arson of these houses against members of the Malawi Party and of giving false evidence against the latter; and what action has been taken by the Nyasaland Government following these verdicts.

Mr. H. Fraser

Yes, Sir. Three members of the Mbobo branch of the United Federal Party, including the chairman Victor Chijalo, were convicted of arson and attempting to defraud by false pretences and have been sentenced to 18 months' hard labour. One further case of conspiracy involving an official of the United Federal Party is still sub judice.

Mr. Fisher

In the light of the fairly widespread charges of arson and intimidation which were made against the Malawi Party prior to the elections in Nyasaland, is it not rather scandalous that the United Federal Party supporters should themselves have committed these crimes and falsified the facts in order to discredit their political opponents? Can my hon. Friend say that these houses are no longer included in the itinerary of the "Voice and Vision" tours of hon. Members?

Mr. Fraser

It is not for me to comment, except to see that the law takes its full and due course in Nyasaland, and this we are ensuring.

Mr. Healey

In view of the very wide publicity which was given to the falsehoods by the "Voice and Vision" organisation and by the Federal Government, can the hon. Gentleman say what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking through their information officers in the Federation to correct this false propaganda?

Mr. Fraser

It is not for Her Majesty's Government to enter into matters of propaganda. It is far more effective for the facts to speak for themselves, and these facts speak outstandingly.