HC Deb 13 June 1961 vol 642 cc183-4
19. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will now make a further statement on the recent riots in Zanzibar, and the developments which have followed.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I deeply regret to inform the House that in the riots there were 66 deaths and that 320 persons were injured, of whom 91 were admitted to hospital. The total number of arrests so far is 1,205. It has been decided to set up a Commission to inquire into the causes of the disturbances; the terms of reference and membership will he announced in due course. Although some tension remains, the situation has been quiet since 8th June and the security forces are in control. At the request of the British Resident, my senior police adviser is flying to Zanzibar this week to advise on the reorganisation of the police force.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is the Secretary of State able to tell us anything about recent political developments in Zanzibar and the rearrangement of the Government and the effect that these may have on security and on constitutional developments in Zanzibar during the next few months?

Mr. Macleod

On the immediate point, a Government has been formed from the combination of parties which secured most seats at the election. Obviously, at this stage one has no announcement of any kind to make about further constitutional conferences or advance for Zanzibar.

Mr. Wall

Has my right hon. Friend received any information from the official Opposition that they intend to boycott the Legislative Assembly?

Mr. Macleod

I am told that the present position is as my hon. Friend suggests, that the official Opposition do not intend to take part in events in the Legislative Assembly. If this is so, I regret it very much, because they are a most formidable majority indeed, comprising support from the majority race in Zanzibar, and it would be a great pity if their voice were not heard in the councils of the islands.

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