HC Deb 08 February 1962 vol 653 cc596-7
21. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Northern Division of the United National Independence Party of Northern Rhodesia has been refused the right to re-register its divisional headquarters.

Mr. Maudling

The Registrar of Societies refused to register this divisional branch of U.N.I.P. as a society because on the application as submitted to him he considered it likely to be prejudicial to peace and good order. A second application is now under consideration.

Mrs. Castle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has told the House that the ban has been lifted on this organisation but repeated evidence keeps coining to me of administrative interference with the political decision that he has taken? This is not the first case of refusal to reregister which I have brought to the attention of his Department. Is it not clear that the people on the spot are not carrying out his policy in the spirit in which he intended?

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir. The Registrar has a clear duty in this matter. He took a decision which was confirmed by the Chief Secretary, and the applicants can appeal to the Governor if they wish to do so. The chance to appeal is still open. In the meanwhile, they made a second application which is being considered in the normal way.

Mr. Wall

Is it not a fact that the impartial report to which my right hon. Friend referred puts the blame for these disturbances wholly on the political party concerned with this question and, therefore, is it not wise to have a certain amount of circumspection before considering reregistration of the society?

Mr. Maudling

I think that we can safely leave these applications to the Registrar and to the appeal machinery to which I have referred. I do not want to interfere with the discussions of the people on the spot.

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