HC Deb 24 October 1947 vol 443 cc9-10W
Mr. Skinnard

asked the Secretary, of State for the Colonies the reasons for the initial ban on the book, "How Russia Transformed Her Colonial Empire," in the Gold Coast; and what procedure is followed by the Government of the Gold Coast in arriving at such decisions.

Mr. Rees-Williams

A consignment of 200 copies of this book was seized by the Comptroller of Customs under Section 27 of the Gold Coast Customs Ordinance which prohibits the importation into the Colony of "Books, Newspapers and Printed Matter which in the opinion of the Comptroller (subject to any directions of the Governor), are seditious, defamatory, scandalous or demoralising." In the exercise of these powers the Comptroller is advised by a Committee consisting of the Director of Education, the Public Relations Officer and an African Member of the Legislative Council. The final decision rests, however, with the Governor and in this case the Acting Governor after full consideration of the views of the Advisory Committee, decided that the disadvantages of allowing the book in question to circulate in the Colony were not sufficiently weighty to justify banning it. The consignment was accordingly released.