HC Deb 20 June 1951 vol 489 cc56-7W
81. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the strike of the police in the Sudan; what are the objections to the police forming a Sudan police federation; why it is necessary for the constitution of such a federation to be submitted to the Assembly; and if he is aware that no approval is required for membership of a police federation in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the police strike in Khartoum.

Mr. H. Morrison

Following is the statementMembers of the police in Khartoum and Omdurman refused to perform their duty between 5th and 10th June. Some members of the police at Atbara and Port Sudan demonstrated and later confined themselves to barracks in sympathy. The Sudan Government enrolled special constables, who maintained order, assisted by troops of the Sudan Defence Force. There was no general deterioration of public security. A police officer and a special constable had, however, on one occasion to fire on looters one of whom was killed and another wounded. Police in all four towns have now returned to work. A proportion in each centre have either been dismissed or discharged at their own request. Approximate figures of men not re-engaged are: Khartoum and Omdurman, 250; Atbara, 35; Port Sudan, 64; out of total strengths of 1,068, 173 and 488 respectively. The Acting Governor-General has appointed a commission under the chairmanship of a judge to ascertain the cause of the unrest. The Sudan Government have raised no objection to the formation of a police association. The members of the police force have always been aware of this. The Sudan Government have, however, insisted that the rules and constitution of any such association must be subject to their approval. This is in accordance with practice both in the United Kingdom and in the Colonies where the constitutions of police federations are laid down by statue or by regulations under ordinances as appropriate. It is clearly necessary that any association or federation within the force that is responsible for preserving internal security within a country, the members of which have taken an oath of loyalty, should be subject to the approval of the Government of that country. The case of Sierra Leone is no exception to this rule. As regards membership of federations which have been approved, this is open to all members of the police forces concerned.