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Northern Rhodesia And Nyasaland

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1962

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Federal Troops


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now strengthen the police forces of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and advise the Governors of both Protectorates not to invite Federal troops into the territories, in view of the danger that the use of these troops will provoke disorder and violence.

I am satisfied about the strength and capability of the Police forces in both Territories. The second part of the Question relates to a hypothetical situation.

Surely, if the Colonial Secretary is to be consistent with the answer given to my second supplementary question on Question No. 25, he will be quite firm that Federal troops will not be asked into Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland? Is he not aware of the extreme danger that would result if Sir Roy Welensky's troops went into these two Protectorates?

The Federal Government are responsible for defence and have the right to station troops anywhere in the Federation. The use of troops in support of the civil power is only at the request of the Governor.

While we all welcome that assurance by the Colonial Secretary, may I ask him if he will now take steps to make inquiries into the authenticity of the reports that Mr. Greenfield and the U.F.P. threatened unconstitutional action?

I do not regard that as being the view of the United Federal Party or the Prime Minister.

Ought not the right hon. Gentleman to inquire into this matter more closely, in view of the fact that, at the emergency congress already referred to, it was decided to make a request to the Federal Government to keep as many Federal troops in Northern Rhodesia as possible in order to show the flag? Is not this the direct use of Federal troops for political intimidation?

I do not think so. I have already said that Federal troops are for defence purposes and must remain the responsibility of the Federal Government.