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Jehovah's Witnesses

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the reasons for restraining the missionaries of Jehovah's Witnesses from entering or remaining in the Gold Coast, Kenya and other Colonial Territories?

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Selkirk (Mr. Macdonald) on 19th July.

While having no particular or personal interest in this movement or sympathy with it, and not having ready access to the answer which the right hon. Gentleman has no doubt before him, may I ask him if he would also bear in mind that it would be rather unwise unduly to restrict freedom of conscience or belief in any particular society?

I appreciate that very fully, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will read the reply to which I have referred him I think he will find there are some reasons for adopting this course.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is alleged that this Watch Tower movement has been confused with another movement of the same name; and will he go very carefully into this question because it is an important one?

I received a very large number of letters from hon. Members on this subject, and I went into the matter very carefully indeed. I noted at the time the point raised by the hon. Member, but I am satisfied that what has been done by the Governors in these particular territories was justifiable.

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply given to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, I wish to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.