§ Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state the number of workers from the Pongwe Sisal Estate in the Tanga province of Tanganyika who have been tried; what were the charges against them; and what is the number who have been imprisoned.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Police investigations into allegations of intimidation by leaders during a strike on the Pongwe Sisal Estate resulted in five arrests on 19th September last year. Charges against one man were withdrawn, however, and two others were later acquitted. Two were found guilty on charges of unlawful assembly, common assault, intimidation and besetting and were imprisoned.
A further strike followed the arrests, and some 700 men from the Estate attempted to march to Tanga. About 400 strikers, who reached the boundary of Tanga Township, there ignored repeated requests to disperse and warnings that otherwise they would constitute an unlawful assembly. The police were eventually obliged to use tear gas and make baton charges. In the course of this action 48 men were arrested, but charges against 21 were subsequently withdrawn. The remainder were found guilty on charges of unlawful assembly; of these 25 were imprisoned and two fined.