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British Honduras (Public Meetings)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why a ban on the holding of all public meetings was imposed in British Honduras on 15th March; and if this ban has now been lifted.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Emergency Act introduced in British Honduras on 13th February last, which prohibits meetings of seven or more people without the special permission of the police, is still in operation.

Regulations requiring the grant of permission for the holding of public meetings were made in February because the activities of the People's Committee had resulted in acts of violence and a general state of tension in the Colony. Since there is as yet no evidence of change in the Committee's aims and methods, the Governor considers it desirable to retain the Regulations but he has informed me that public meetings are permitted subject to certain conditions.

Does my right hon. Friend or the Governor really believe that the activities of this Committee are the real cause of any unrest there may be in this Colony?

I understand that their activities were held to be responsible for acts of violence quite recently. It is my desire that there should in all Colonies be the utmost freedom of speech, but we have to give the Governor some discretion when it leads to acts of violence.