§ Mr. de Rothschild
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what representations have been made to him on behalf of interests and organisations in Sierra Leone against the passage of the Deportation, Sedition, and Undesirable Literature Bills, and of the Trade Union and Trade Disputes Bill; what are the grounds of these representations; and what action he proposes to take with respect to them?
Mr. M. MacDonald
I have received two telegrams relating to the legislation in question. The first protested against the Deportation, Sedition, and Undesirable Publications, the Trades Unions and the Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Enquiry) Bills; the second against the passage of the Deportation, Sedition and Undesirable Publications Bills.
As regards the second part of the question, the grounds stated in the first telegram in respect of the Deportation, Sedition, and Undesirable Publications Bills were to the effect that they purported to deprive the entire inhabitants of freedom of organisation and expression of public opinion, and that they were repugnant and unwarrantable; and in the second telegram, to the effect that the Bills mentioned were unwarrantable and oppressive.
As regards the third part of the question, I am informed that the Deportation Bill will be debated again on the 20th June and that the Sedition and the Undesirable Publications Bills were passed on the 23rd May with very little opposition. Before making any further statement I should wish to await a report of the discussions in the Legislative Council and to consider this with the actual text of the Bills.434W
§ Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a Bill has been presented to the legislative council of Sierra Leone to regulate the deportation from Sierra Leone of undesirable British subjects, including British protected persons who are natives of that dependency, and as the Ordinance provides that a judge may in his discretion accept and act on less than legal evidence and that no writ of Habeas Corpus or other process calling in question the legality of any order made under this Ordinance shall have any effect, he will advise His Majesty to withhold his assent to this Measure?
Mr. M. MacDonald
I have not yet had an opportunity of examining the text of the Bill to which the hon. Member refers. I shall, however, have such an opportunity before it becomes law and will bear in mind the points to which the hon. Member refers.