HC Deb 22 June 1950 vol 476 cc162-4W
Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) what steps have been taken to deal with the Masinga Rule Movement in the Solomon Islands;

(2) why in June, 1949, 250 people were arrested on Ulawa and in August, 1949, 144 people on Santa Anna, Solomon Islands;

(3) what steps are being taken to promote technical education and restore native councils at Auki in Malaita.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The "Marching" or "Masinga" rule movement which developed during the war in the Western Pacific had, by 1947, acquired a subversive character manifesting itself in disobedience to Government authority and attempts to coerce the local population into obedience with its dictates, including the establishment of non-Government courts which imposed fines on those who were unwilling to co-operate. After firm measures in the latter part of 1947 by the local police force, the movement lost ground but recrudesced a year later, particularly in Malaita, and further arrests had to be made at Ulawa and Santa Anna.

There has been a general improvement in the situation over the last year, but fulfilment of plans for the political and social development of the Protectorate have inevitably been slowed down. A native boarding school financed from Colonial Development and Welfare funds with special emphasis on agricultural training was opened at Auki last October, but the establishment of native local authorities which has been successfully achieved in the western part of the Protectorate, has had to be postponed in Malaita.

I am consulting the High Commissioner as regards the actual number of arrests made at Ulawa and Santa Anna, and asking him for the latest news about the local councils. I will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as I have received a reply.