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National Registration (Fingerprints)

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that British settlers in Kenya Colony are being compelled, when the National Registration Bill comes into force on 16th May, to submit to the taking of full fingerprints of both hands for identification purposes; and if he will take steps to see that this practice shall not be put into operation.

The Bill was passed by the Legislative Council in 1947 after full public discussion. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the measure commands wide support locally, and he sees no reason to intervene.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman why British subjects should be subjected to such degradation?

It is not degradation at all. The Committee, representing all races, recommended this in 1946.

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise the very great resentment against this infringement of civil liberties which is felt by the European population, and will he look into the matter again and do something about it?

No. The European population were represented on the Committee in 1946 which made this recommendation.