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Recruiting (Press Advertisements)

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give instructions for the withdrawal of advertisements appearing in the national Press appealing for recruits for Sandhurst, the illustrations of which show soldiers with their guns at the ready for internal warfare in Kenya; and whether he will ensure that any future recruiting advertisements are so designed as to avoid giving any impression of armed suppression of colonial people for whose welfare and development towards independence this country is responsible.

No, Sir. These advertisements were designed to show routine training and exercise of troops in the field. I cannot accept the implications of the hon. Member's Question.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the advertisement appearing in The Times yesterday the copywriter gave an impression of trigger-happy adventure in Kenya? This can create a most unfortunate impression. May I ask the Minister whether these matters, and other related questions, have been discussed with the newly-installed administration of Mr. Ngala?

No. As I said in the Estimates debate, the presence of our troops in these stations is a contribution to stability and the preservation of law and order, which is of inestimable benefit to the ordinary folk of all races since they are the first to suffer if law and order breaks down.