HC Deb 01 August 1958 vol 592 cc214-5W
Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many municipalities in Northern Rhodesia have suspended night passes during the period of experimental suspension from 1st November last year to 30th April; and if he will make a statement on the results of this experiment.

Mr. Profumo

, pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, Tuesday, 20th May, 1958; Vol. 588, c. 70], supplied the following further information:

The experimental period has been extended to cover the six months 1st May to 31st October. Although the experiment started last November in the smaller townships and the township areas for which Government are responsible, owing to technical difficulties over amending byelaws it did not in fact start in the municipalities until 1st May. The position now is that the regulations have been suspended from 1st May for six months in the municipalities of Lusaka, Kitwe, Chingola and, additionally, Broken Hill and in the mine townships of Nkana and Nchanga as well as in the small townships where they had already been suspended earlier.

The preliminary assessment in the small townships is that there has been no increase in crime which could be directly attributed to the relaxation of the Pass Laws. No useful assessment for towns with substantial populations can be made until the end of the extended experimental period.

The reaction of Africans to the suspension of night passes is reported to have been one of satisfaction that the laws have been relaxed. There has as yet been no indication that undue advantage has been taken of this relaxation, which has in any case not made any great difference to African habits; they normally retire early in the evening.

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