§ Squadron-Leader Donner
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the riots which took place recently in Jamaica.
Mr. Creech Jones
I assume that this question refers to the disturbances which took place at May Pen on 13th and 14th of November. The following official statement was issued in Jamaica on the evening of 14th NovemberOn the evening of 13th November, following a meeting of labourers in May Pen, an attack was made on a police patrol in a Service vehicle. An Inspector was hit by a stone, and damage was done to the police vehicle. The Inspector, and a policeman who accompanied him, fired two revolver shots into the air. There were no casualties. On the morning of 14th November, a sergeant-major and six policemen in a police vehicle visited a point about a mile and a half from May Pen, where work undertaken by the Parochial Board was in progress. Disorder was taking place between different sections of the labourers, and the sergeant-major left the police vehicle to make inquiries. A part of the crowd of labourers then attacked and damaged the police vehicle and assaulted the police. Several of the policemen were injured and the police opened fire. One member of the crowd was killed and three injured. No further disorder was reported. A number of arrests has been made. Strong police reinforcements were at once despatched to May Pen and the situation is now quiet. His Excellency the Governor has directed that a Commission of inquiry should be immediately appointed. An announcement regarding the membership and terms of reference of the Commission will be made as soon as possible.
I have received no further information about these disturbances. I have informed the Governor that I shall await the report of the Commission of inquiry which he has appointed. In doing so I expressed the hope that the Commission would treat the matter as one of urgency.