HC Deb 13 June 1961 vol 642 cc168-9
1. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now make a further statement on the situation in Kenya.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Iain Macleod)

As regards the political situation, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement which my hon. Friend made on 30th May, in reply to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan). As regards the security situation, the Kenya Government are taking all necessary measures to counter subversive activities in the Rift Valley and in Meru district. Fifteen persons who administered or helped to administer oaths in Meru have been dealt with by the courts and seventeen cases are awaiting trial. A curfew has been imposed on the affected part of the district since 25th May and movement into and out of a specified part of the Imenti forest area is prohibited. Police and K.A.R. are operating in the forest with the object of tracing and arresting any remaining oath administrators.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Colonial Secretary aware that there is a great deal of confusion and dismay in Kenya about the political situation? There is a need for some clarity from him. Does he accept the interpretation Lord Salisbury has expressed in the correspondence columns of The Times, namely, that he has established a new principle in his treatment of the Kenya position? Does he now accept the advice of some of his supporters on the benches behind him that the best way to establish stability in Kenya is to release Jomo Kenyatta?

Mr. Macleod

Regarding the letters in The Times, as another letter from one of my hon. Frends pointed out a day later, I had said this before on a considerable number of occasions. As for the political situation in Kenya, it is important to remember that there have been a great number of votes since the Legislative Council met. On all those the Government have commanded a substantial majority, and in every single case a majority of elected representatives as well.

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