HC Deb 28 March 1961 vol 637 cc1120-1
23. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in view of the obscurity of Appendix II to the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to Kenya of January 1954, Command Paper No. 9081, he will consider publishing a further explanatory memorandum indicating how many references in this document are regarded by Her Majesty's Government as applying to Jomo Kenyatta; and what evidence Her Majesty's Government have about action taken by Kenyatta to prevent the administering of such oaths.

Mr. H. Fraser

My right hon. Friend does not consider that any commentary on the information about oaths supplied by the Parliamentary Delegation in 1954 is required to demonstrate Jomo Kenyatta's guilt on specific charges relating to Mau Mau. This guilt was fully established in the courts. As regards the last part of the Question, I have no information bearing directly on the administering of oaths. At the trial, it was alleged in Kenyatta's defence that he either knew nothing of Mau Mau or sought to denounce it, but this was not accepted by the magistrate.

Sir R. Glyn

Is my hon. Friend aware that Kenyatta is mentioned by name in two Mau Mau oaths published in the Report and, by inference, in many of them? Is he further aware that there have been reports recently of further subversive meetings and oath takings in Kenya? Would he agree that, in those circumstances, Kenyatta should not be released until he has openly repudiated Mau Mau and deprecated the administering of these obscene oaths that have resulted in the deaths of many innocent people?

Mr. Fraser

My right hon. Friend has made it perfectly clear that Kenyatta's release is a matter for the Governor to decide. As to the other part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I would point out that the oath-taking bestialities were not the main purport of the charge against Kenyatta; but that of the management of the Mau Mau society. I am unable to go any further about the release of Kenyatta than the statements made from this Dispatch Box by my right hon Friend.

Mr. S. Silverman

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that Kenyatta was convicted, amongst other things, on the evidence of a witness who was subsequently convicted in the same court of perjury, and that it was, therefore, the evidence of a totally unreliable person? Is he further aware that Kenyatta has long ago completed the sentence that followed his conviction, obtained in that way, and that it is quite clear that there will be no settled Government in Kenya until he is released.

Mr. Fraser

That is a matter of opinion, but what we maintain, and what my right hon. Friend maintains, is that we will not release Kenyatta until there is no risk to law and order in doing so. That must be the prime consideration of anyone endowed with the office of Secretary of State for the Colonies.

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