HC Deb 22 February 1939 vol 344 c388W
Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make a statement regarding the recent disturbances in British Guiana, and the loss of life on one of the sugar plantations?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The Governor of British Guiana has reported that, on the 15th February, there was a stoppage of work on several plantations in various areas, and that on the 16th February, police reinforcements were sent to one of the estates, in consequence of a report from the manager that serious trouble was likely. The police arrested five persons for disorderly behaviour on this estate, but they were heavily pelted with bricks, bottles and sticks. A number of police were struck and injured, the manager of the estate was assaulted and a car with wireless telephone was attacked. In the afternoon the crowd, with cutlasses and sticks, attempted to rush the factory and the police opened fire after repeatedly warning the crowd to disperse. I regret to say that three persons were killed and four received gun shot wounds, one of these has since died. Twenty-three police were injured in the course of the day. The situation is now reported quiet and the Governor proposes to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the incidents at the estate with the least possible delay.

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