HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 cc199-200
13. Mr. R. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that arbitrary deportations are contrary to the Charter of Human Rights, to which Her Majesty's Government subscribes; and what was the number of trade unionists deported from Aden following the recent dispute at the Aden base

Mr. Fisher

I am aware of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I am not aware that any persons have been deported from Aden in circum- stances which contravene the provisions of that Declaration. The answer to the second part of the Question is 67.

Mr. Edwards

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many of the 67 trade unionists deported were born and bred in Aden, they have never left the Colony before in their lives, and their wives and families have been left in Aden to fend for themselves? Is not this a clear violation of Article 9 of the Declaration of Human Rights? Is he aware, also, that a British trade unionist, who is also a justice of the peace, was refused permission to go to Aden to help these trade unionists to settle their problems? Should not something be done to end the industrial turmoil in Aden?

Mr. Fisher

I will look into the point which the hon. Gentleman raises about that individual. On the wider question, he is misinformed. Nobody who was born in Aden or even whose father was born in Aden has been deported. Of the 67 people deported, 63 were Yemeni, migrant workers from the Yemen, and 4 were from the Protectorate of South Arabia.

Mr. Wall

Is my hon. Friend aware that many of the Aden trade unionists seem to be motivated not by a desire to improve the conditions of their members but by questions of international politics? Can he tell us how many strikes have been fomented there during the last 12 months?

Mr. Fisher

I think that my hon. Friend is broadly right, but I do not know the number of strikes. I will look into it and let him know.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Is the Minister aware that the trade union movement in Aden is affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and is one of the best trade union movements in the Arab world? Is he further aware that, so far as it has a legitimate interest in politics, its resentments could be greatly eased by more vigorous action by Her Majesty's Government?

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