HL Deb 25 May 1966 vol 274 cc1385-6

3.34 p.m.


My Lords, the House will know of the tragic incident on Monday in which two young British surveyors lost their lives. This incident took place in an isolated area of Buganda, and, as far as I can ascertain on the basis of reports so far received, there is no reason to think that it indicates a general threat to the British community.

The British High Commissioner in Kampala is in touch with the Uganda Government authorities, both about this incident and about the safety of British citizens generally. The High Commissioner has been making contact with members of the British community in the disturbed area and advising them to avoid unnecessary travel. There appears to be no immediate danger in areas outside Buganda.

The whole House, I am sure, will wish to join me in expressing the deepest sympathy to the relatives of these two young men.


My Lords, may I first of all associate myself and those who sit on these Benches with the last words of the noble Earl the Leader of the House?

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Earl for what he has said. I suppose it is difficult for any of us to know exactly what is happening in Uganda at the present time, but, having regard to the particular circumstances of that country, it is possible that there will be even greater unrest in the future than there is at the present time—and there are a great many British subjects there. Parliament will be rising for a fortnight's Recess to-morrow evening. I hope, therefore, that the noble Earl and the Government will be satisfied that there are adequate arrangements for the safety of British subjects in Uganda should the situation take a turn for the worse.


My Lords, may I join in expressing deep sympathy for the relatives of these two young men? Is it possible for the noble Earl to give us any information about the Kabaka?


My Lords, I am grateful to both the noble Lords. I am afraid that, in spite of up-to-the-minute inquiries, I have no information about the Kabaka. Obviously I share the anxieties expressed or implied by the noble Lord, Lord Wade, but I have nothing to say on that subject, although, as I have said, I made inquiries only a few minutes ago. I can assure the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, that the Government will do all in their power to look after the British subjects. He knows the country well and realises the difficulties involved; but I do not want to say anything to suggest that the difficulties already in our minds are greater than might appear.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Earl to bear in mind that there may be several Buganda in this country, particularly the three children of the Kabaka, who include the son and heir, who may in future wish to apply for political asylum owing to the danger to them of going back to Uganda?


My Lords, the noble Lord, if I may say so, has done well to point out a very touching aspect of this problem, of which we shall certainly not lose sight.