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Mr Jomo Kenyatta

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will now make a further statement of his policy on the release of Jomo Kenyatta.

No, Sir; the Governor made the position in regard to Kenyatta's release very clear in his statement of 1st March.

Does not the Secretary of State know, particularly after his recent talks with Mr. Nyerere and others, how strong the feeling throughout the Continent is? Is he not aware that Mr. Kenyatta—as he is now officially described by the Government—denounced violence in much rounder terms than were used by that distinguished Commonwealth statesman Archbishop Makarios when he was in similar circumstances, and that public opinion, including white European settler opinion, in Kenya was, if reluctantly, reconciled to Mr. Kenyatta's release some months ago, when the Governor made a very unfortunate broadcast? Will the Secretary of State look round the Commonwealth, learn from history, and accelerate what is an inevitable process which can do nothing but help the Government in reaching a peaceful solution in Kenya?

I have always thought it a fallacy to compare Mau Mau with other even violent nationalist movements such as Eoka. There were elements in Mau Mau, as the House knows very well—though it may not wish to allocate responsibility—which set it quite aside from comparisons of that kind. Of course, all these matters were taken carefully into consideration by the Governor and myself before we reached this decision.