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Political Meetings

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies under what conditions political meetings of Africans are now permitted in Northern Rhodesia.

Permits are required for meetings in public places and may be withheld only if there is reason to apprehend a breach of the peace. Such conditions may be attached as are considered necessary to maintain public order.

Can the Colonial Secretary now say whether he has investigated the allegations and charges made by Mr. Kaunda, leader of the United National Independence Party, about intimidation and interference with his supporters in the Northern Province? Can he give information to the House on that matter?

I am in communication with the Governor of Northern Rhodesia on some of the matters raised with me by Mr. Kaunda when he was in this country. The position is that permits can be withheld only if there is reason to apprehend a breach of the peace.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no one, certainly not myself, is alleging that the Administration in Lusaka is withholding permits unnecessarily, but what some of us are worried about is the local administration in the Northern Province? On that particular point I should like him specially to take up the matter with the Governor.

I was aware that that was the particular point to which earlier inquiries had been directed.