HC Deb 27 April 1960 vol 622 cc7-8W
Mr. Marquand

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he is yet in a position to make a further statement about the casualties among United Kingdom citizens in the disturbances in South Africa in March.

Mr. Alport

I have on a previous occasion undertaken to keep the House informed of casualties among United Kingdom citizens and British-protected persons in the recent disturbances in South Africa.

The High Commissioner has been continuing his inquiries and has now been informed, I regret to say, that at Sharpeville four Basuto were killed and 14 were injured, of whom 11 are still in hospital. This includes the one Mosuto injured, of whom I informed the House on 24th March. With one exception all these casualties have been confirmed by the Basutoland authorities. In addition, the Basutoland authorities have heard a report that a fifth Mosuto has been killed and his name has been forwarded to the Union authorities for confirmation.

I am sure that the House will wish to express its sympathy with the relatives of those killed and with the injured, and its wishes for their speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, the judicial inquiry established by the Union Government into the disturbances at Sharpeville has opened, and the Basutoland Government have made arrangements for legal advisers to be available to advise, and, as necessary, to represent, citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies involved in the disturbances who may wish, or be required, to appear before the judicial commission or against whom charges are brought. The services of these advisers will also be available to the dependants of those killed.