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Newspaper (Ban)

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Governor of Kenya has banned the importation of the "Labour Monthly" newspaper; why this step was taken; and if he will take steps to rescind this order.

Yes, Sir. The importation of this newspaper was banned as a result of recent articles in it glorifying Communism, revolution and mutiny. My right hon. Friend sees no reason to intervene in the matter.

Is not the Minister aware that this paper, which has now been published for some 27 years, is in the Library of this House and is accessible to every intelligent Member who desires to read it? If that is the case, why should it not be equally accessible at least to white citizens in Kenya?

I have not heard of any demand by white citizens in Kenya for this paper, and the Government do not think that it is a good thing to put before any of the people in that country.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it would be a good thing if the Governor prohibited other subversive papers in Kenya for stirring up strife amongst a primitive and ignorant people?

Is not the Minister aware, as he should be, that this is one of the finest and best journals, that it is a highly valuable educational organ particularly in doing away with racial discrimination and racial superiority and, above all others, should be circulated in those areas? Will the Minister see that it is circulated?

Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that this paper has not been guilty of publishing the Communist manifesto to celebrate its centenary?

Can my hon. Friend say whether the Governor concerned is the same one who recently said that he hoped soon to retire from work and take up farming?