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Banned Book

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what grounds the Governor of Kenya has forbidden the circulation of the book entitled, "Struggle for Kenya," by D. H. Rawcliffe.

I am informed that the circulation of this book has been prohibited in the public interest. This is within the Governor's powers, and I do not propose to intervene.

Can the Minister of State tell us the objection to this book? Is it regarded as seditious, and, if so, why was the author not prosecuted? If it is not seditious, are we to take it that it is the policy of the Kenya Government to ban the circulation of any books that are not favourable to the Kenya Government?

Under the Kenya Penal Code, the Governor in Council, if he is of opinion that the importation of any publication would be contrary to the public interest, may in his absolute discretion by order prohibit the importation of that publication. I have looked through this book myself and I am certain that there are passages in it, indeed chapters, which would be calculated to inflame public opinion and racial relations in Kenya under present circumstances.

Are we to take it, then, that the Minister of State is saying that, because this book contains a considerable and well-documented criticism of the colour bar in Kenya, the Kenya Government are justified in banning the book?

Is my hon. Friend aware that all right-minded people will be only too glad to know that the Kenya Government are stopping the circulation of subversive literature which is adding to the bloodshed in Kenya?

Is the Minister of State also proposing to ban the recent report of the Parliamentary delegation to Kenya which takes the same view as many sections of this book?

In view of the unsatisfactory reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.