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Sierra Leone (Regent Chief)

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate the situation within the Small Bo tribal authority of Sierra Leone since S. Kata was appointed Regent Chief in view of the opposition to his appointment.

As I told the hon. Member in reply to a letter which he sent to me on 3rd April, the power to make such an appointment is vested in the Governor, who has informed me that the great majority both of the inhabitants and of the members of the tribal authority are not opposed to the Acting Chief, and that conditions generally are peaceful. In considering whether or not a commission of inquiry should be appointed, the Governor will be guided by the advice of the Executive Council, in which there is a majority of African members.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that, according to the information I passed to him at least three weeks ago, the taxing authorities are having difficulty in finding males in this territory because they have all gone to other territories as a protest against the present arrangements? Will he again ask the Governor to look into this matter?

The Governor is now considering whether a commission of inquiry is appropriate.