HC Deb 20 July 1961 vol 644 cc1441-2
6. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now make a statement regarding the release of Jomo Kenyatta from restrictions in Kenya.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) on 13th July.

Mr. Brockway

Is not the refusal to liberate Kenyatta really obstinate resistance to what is an early inevitability? Is it not the case that the Government, Legislature, all the African parties, including the African Loyalists during the emergency, and the European, Arab, Asian and religious leaders are all pressing for his release as a condition of the unity and stability of Kenya?

Mr. Macleod

Of course, it is true that many people of different races have been calling for this and pressing for it for some time. I have no wish to appear obstinate in this matter. I have a duty to fulfil, and so has the Governor. We will discharge that in the best way we can, and I will inform the House as soon as possible of any decision.

Mr. Turton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the release of a man whom the Governor quite recently described as the leader to darkness and death at a time when violence and oath-taking is on the increase would cause grave concern to many people both in Kenya and in this country?

Mr. Macleod

It is, of course, the security aspect of the matter that is in the minds of the Governor and myself. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will read the whole of the statement from the Governor to which he refers.

Mr. Farey-Jones

Will my right hon. Friend have carefully in mind the fact that millions of people would regard the release of this gentleman as an affront to the conscience of the free world?

Mr. Callaghan

Can the Colonial Secretary give us any guidance as to how far the last statement was accurate? Is public opinion in Kenya in favour of or against the release of Kenyatta?

Mr. Macleod

I am in no position, nor is anybody in the House, to judge on the first part of that supplementary question. As for the last part, as I indicated in my first supplementary answer, it is unquestionably true that in all races and all communities there has been a considerable change of thought on this matter quite recently.

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