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Communist Activities

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent he is in receipt of regular reports on Communist activities in the Colonies; by whom these reports are rendered; and at what intervals.

Governors furnish my right hon. Friend with regular reports, for the most part at monthly intervals, upon all political matters in the Colonies. The only exceptions to this rule have been in the case of a few of the smaller territories, but contact on political matters is maintained with them by normal correspondence.

Is my hon. Friend aware that any perfectly honourable trade union or nationalist leader in the Colonies can now be branded as a Communist agitator by a Governor with whom he may have had some disagreement; and can he say what steps he is taking to obtain clear evidence of Communist affiliations in such cases?

I do not accept that suggestion. I am quite certain that any reports which come from a Governor are based on the most careful and carefully scrutinised evidence.

Is the Under-Secretary himself satisfied that any criticism which has been made of political activities in these districts has been confined to Communists; and has he not some disquiet himself?