§ 17. Mr. David Steel
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs how many complaints he has received about treatment of members of the public by the staff of the United Kingdom High Commission in Nairobi since the passing of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1968; and what action he has taken.
§ Mr. Whitlock
We have received no specific complaints, but have seen a copy of a letter sent from Nairobi to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary contain- 1286 ing general allegations about the High Commission staff. The writer of the letter afterwards called on the Acting High Commissioner to discuss these matters.
All complaints have been investigated and only one has been substantiated. The need for courtesy and consideration in dealing with applications is, of course, fully understood by the staff concerned, and to ease the considerable pressure under which the staff were working, the staff in the sections concerned have been strengthened.
§ Mr. Steel
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that Answer, particularly the last part, will be received with satisfaction? Is he aware that there will be great sympathy with the staff of the High Commission in Nairobi in the very difficult task it has to perform? Has any thought been given to the possible employment of Kenyan-Asians in the High Commission, who would then deal with their own people?
§ Mr. Whitlock
Local people are employed in the High Commission offices in Nairobi, and I am confident that the people who are there are competent in every way to carry out the task with which they are charged. I should like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the staff for the way in which they have carried out their task in extremely trying conditions.