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Lords Chamber

Volume 179: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1952

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House Of Lords

Wednesday, 26th November, 1952

The House met at half past two of the clock, The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.


The Lord May—Sat first in Parliament after the death of his father.

New Coinage

2.36 p.m.

My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to make a brief statement about the new coinage. With the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen, my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has sent to me a set of approved pieces of the new coins, and I have arranged that this set shall be exhibited in your Lordships' library. They are there now for your Lordships to see.

University Of St Andrews Bill Hl

My Lords, I beg leave to introduce a Bill to make provision for the reorganisation of University education in St. Andrews and Dundee, to amend the constitution of the University of St. Andrews, of University College, Dundee, and of other bodies or institutions concerned; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a first time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 1a . —( The Earl of Selkirk.)

On Question, Bill read 1a , and to be printed.

Part-Time Justices' Clerks

My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they can now make any announcement with regard to the payment of compensation to part-time justices' clerks who may lose their employment in consequence of the passing of the Justices of the Peace Act, 1949.]

My Lords, this difficult question is still receiving the consideration of Her Majesty's Government. I regret that I am not yet in a position to make any further statement.

Kenya: Fort Hall Clash

2.38 p.m.

My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they can make a statement about the clash between the police force and an African crowd in the Fort Hall area of Kenya on 23rd November, and whether they will appoint a Committee to inquire into the incident.]

My Lords, your Lordships will recollect that this Question was really answered during a statement which I made in this House yesterday, similar to one which was made in another place by my right honourable friend and which was considerably amplified by a debate which took place on the Adjournment in another place last night. I have nothing further to add to the observations which were then made by my right honourable friend.

I am much obliged to the noble Earl for his perfectly fair reply to my request for a committee of inquiry, but is the noble Earl aware that, at about 3.30 yesterday afternoon in another place, the Secretary of State said that he would give this proposal his most earnest attention and consideration, and that at about 9.30 last night, in the debate on the Adjournment he announced his decision to turn it down? If those are the facts, then surely this proposal has not yet been given careful and earnest consideration. Does the noble Earl share my view that the decision has, in fact, not been taken on the merits of the case but as a result of Party politics? I am sure he will agree that that is most undesirable in the case of matters of this kind, which affect profoundly the welfare of people in the Colonies.

Let me assure the noble Earl at once that this decision was not reached in any sense of the word as a result of Party politics. My right honourable friend and I discussed this matter at a reasonable hour last night, before the statement which my right honourable friend ultimately made in another place, and we agreed, for reasons which ho gave at that time, that it would be unwise to hold a court of inquiry.

I am obliged to the noble Earl. In my experience in the Colonial Office, however, no matter of any importance to a Colony has been decided by the Secretary of State without consulting the Governor of the Colony. May I ask the noble Earl, it being unlikely that such a consultation could have taken place in the course of six hours, whether the Governor of Kenya was consulted before this decision was taken?

No; the Governor of Kenya was never asked whether a court of inquiry should be held. The question which was put to my right honourable friend by a right honourable gentleman in the other place was whether Her Majesty's Government would institute a court of inquiry. On that point, my right honourable friend and. I had a discussion at some length, reaching the conclusion which he has already announced in another place.

Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932

2.42 p.m.

My Lords, there are four Motions in my name under the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932. The procedure laid down in the Schedule has been carried out in each case, and if it is to the convenience of the House I will take these four Motions together. I will therefore formally move that the Orders be approved in respect of the Urban District of Rothwell, the Urban District of Stocksbridge, the City and County of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Urban District of Belper.

Moved, That the Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section one of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the Urban District of Rothwell, a copy of which Order was laid before this House on 21st November, be approved;

That the Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section one of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the Urban District of Stocksbridge, a copy of which Order was laid before this House on 21st November, be approved;

That the Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section one of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the City and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, a copy of which Order was laid before this House on 21st November, be approved;

That the Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section one of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the Urban District of Belper, a copy of which Order was laid before this House on 21st November, be approved.—( The Earl of Selkirk.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Cost Of Parish Council Elections

2.43 p.m.

asked Her Majesty's Government whether they have any proposals to reduce the present high cost of the election of parish councillors. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise to ask the Question which stands in my name, but, before dealing further with it, I should like to offer sincere congratulations to the noble Lord who, I understand, will reply, upon his recent appointment as Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs. I can assure the noble Lord that nowhere will the Minister in charge of Welsh affairs receive a warmer welcome than in any meeting of a Welsh parish council. The question which I am raising to-day is really a small one, but I think it is of some importance and of general interest throughout the rural parts of the country. Let me make it plain that I am not blaming anyone or any Government Department or any Party for the state of affairs which gives rise to it. Indeed, the change in the law which was quite recently made, and which has been the cause of all the trouble, was actually asked for and much desired by the parish councils' organisation. Perhaps I ought to say here that I have an interest in the matter because I am a Vice-President of the Parish Councils' Association. It was at their suggestion that the alteration was made.

Unfortunately, some of the results were as unfortunate as they were unexpected. I might just remind the House that the old method of electing a parish council was the show of hands. The parish meeting assembled, names were put before the meeting and all those present were asked to show, by raising their hands, which members they wanted to serve on the parish council. That went on from, I suppose, 1894 until 1948, but it was not a popular method, though it was cheap. It was not popular because it was not secret. I need not suggest some of the possible abuses which that method involved. In 1947, the Committee on Electoral Law Reform issued a Report in which they said:
"We regard some form of poll as the only satisfactory and practicable method of election, and we do not think that the exercise of the right of a parish to this method of electing its council should depend on its possessing sufficient financial resources."
As a result of that Report, there was passed in 1948 Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, which brought it about that in future there was to be a secret ballot for the election of parish councillors, along exactly the same lines as the secret ballots for electng district and county councillors and Parliamentary candidates.

But what was not foreseen was the cost of this method as it fell upon small parishes. The cost is occasioned by the payment of fees to returning officers, and very largely by printing and stationery, and the situation which has now arisen in some parts is really little short of absurd. May I remind your Lordships that the present law is that a parish may spend in any one year up to a 4d. rate, without asking permission from anyone. It may spend up to 8d. in any one year if it has the permission of the parish meeting; and if it wants to spend more than 8d. it must have the permission of the Minister. So far as I know, no other local authority is constricted in this way; but that is the practice and the law with parish councils.

I now turn to the actual costs in a few parishes in the 1952 elections. I am quoting, I admit, only extreme cases. The number of cases in which the cost has amounted to a 6d. rate is so great that I do not propose to mention them here to-day; but I have ascertained that in the parishes of Bonby and Minting in the parts of Lindsey the cost was a 7d. rate, in the parish of Hinxworth in Hertford shire it was 7½d., in Cublington in Buckinghamshire it was 7 ½d., in Stevington in Bedfordshire it was 8d., and in Freystrop in Pembroke it was 9d.;and the record for the whole country is apparently taken by the parish of Monk silver in the county of Somerset, where the rate was 10 ½d. Perhaps I should add, quoting from the Press, that the 300 villagers of the Parish of Edingale in Stafford shire refused to pay a bill of £27 for their parish council election. To meet the bill, which amounts to an 8d. rate, a parish meeting was called. The hall was filled, but nobody would propose, second or support the resolution. My Lords, I feel that we have something to learn from that.

So it comes to this. You have here actual instances of parish councils spending in one year on electing themselves more than double what they have the power to spend on their own initiative in that year—that is before they begin to think of any other expenditure, before they begin to pay their own clerk or post a single letter, even with the consent of the parish meeting. I have quoted the name of one parish which has more than exceeded what it can spend in a year. Indeed, if that parish did not obtain the consent of its parish meeting it would very nearly finish the whole of its three years' existence before it had paid for its own election. My Lords, is that state of affairs satisfactory? Is that system efficient? I beg leave to suggest that it is neither, and that something ought to be done about it. I would concede that it would be reasonable if parish councils spent up to a 2d. rate on their own election, but more than that I think calls for some investigation and correction.

Briefly, what are the results of this state of affairs? What is happening on an ever-increasing scale in the country to-day is that before the election takes place certain negotiations go on in the parish. Some attempt is made to make the number of candidates fit the number of vacancies. The sort of conversation that might very easily take place is that when a man has taken all the necessary steps to put his name down for election as a parish councillor, he may be told by an official—and it would be quite true in many cases—"If you stand, the election in this parish will cost £30; if you do not stand it will cost nothing." That is surely most undesirable. It has about it a ring of the East European variety. The presentation of a single list of candidates is not something which I think we in this country should encourage. It is, in fact, just what we do not want, and it will certainly result in an ever increasing number of uncontested elections. Again I ask—is that really what we want?

What are the remedies. I must propose some remedies before I sit down. The first suggestion I have to make is one about which, I frankly admit, parish councils could do something themselves. It is the only one in respect of which I think they could help. It is that something should be done so that we may have fewer and larger parish councils. The powers exist already for that to be done under the Local Government Act of 1933. There is admittedly great reluctance to amalgamate parish councils, and still more to amalgamate parishes. But I feel that they could do something about that themselves.

The other suggestions I have to put forward are suggestions in connection with which someone else must help, because I do not think the parishes alone can do what is necessary. Surely, fees could be reduced. These fees are payable to returning officers, and these returning officers, I understand, are already full-time officials, paid a full salary for their work. Is it really satisfactory that they should be paid these extra fees at election times? Surely some arrangement could be made by which a full-time official would receive a comprehensive fee or salary for all that he did in the year, and his work, such as it is, in helping at the election of the parish council, would be included in the total year's work. I am casting no asper- sions on returning officers. I am sure they do their work excellently. It is not their fault that they receive these extra fees. But I do suggest that an inquiry might be made to see whether these fees could not be at least pruned, if not abolished altogether. The other major expense is printing and stationery. Some of it, of course, there must be, but I doubt very much whether some economy could not be made in that direction.

Thirdly, suggestions have been made, both in 1948, when the Bill was before Parliament, and since, that some at least of this expense should be spread a little more widely by charging it either to the rural district council or to the county council, or to both. I know that there is, naturally, opposition to this suggestion. I am aware that it was rejected in 1948. But we have learned a. good deal since 1948 on this particular matter, and I do plead that this suggestion should be reconsidered. It might well be reasonable and air that the cost should be more widely spread amongst the population. I therefore ask Her Majesty's Government to investigate this matter again, to see whether there is not some way of removing what appears to be, at least in some cases, almost an absurd position.

2.54 p.m.

My Lords, I must crave your indulgence on this, the first occasion upon which I have ventured to address your Lordships. I do so only with the greatest diffidence, because I am conscious of what a bad speaker I am. I wish earnestly to support the plea made by the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, for some reduction in the exorbitant cost of parish council elections. As Lord Merthyr has pointed out, this cost bears very hardly on small rural parish councils, with low rateable value—so much so that many of them, having been badly "stung" by contests in the 1948–49 elections, have decided no longer to have contested elections. Whether that is good or bad I do not know, but I am certain that it is a state of affairs which was not foreseen by those who framed the Representation of the People Act. With one suggestion which Lord Merthyr made I cannot agree at all. That was his suggestion that county councils or rural district councils should subsidise the poorer parishes. That, in my opinion, would be an entirely wrong approach. We do not wish to maintain, by means of a grant-in-aid, the present high level of costs; we want to reduce them drastically.

In this connection, I have a proposal to make which I will endeavour to explain to your Lordships. As most of your Lordships know, parishes having a population of less than 300 souls manage their parochial affairs through a parish meeting, at which every Government elector is entitled to express his or her point of view on parish affairs. I belong to such a parish, and I find that the system works admirably and costs us nothing beyond our annual precept of £3. To illustrate how well and cheaply it works, let me take the case of a neighbouring parish situated two miles away. This parish has a population of 392 people. For some reason or other (I think possibly they thought it was grander) they decided to have a parish council and elected representatives, with the result that the 1949 election—and, I venture to say, their only contested election—cost them a 6d. rate. It is really too ridiculous a situation. Here are two tiny rural parishes side by side:one runs its affairs for £3 a year and the other runs its affairs for £3 a year plus the cost of a 6d, rate every time there is a vacancy on the council. My suggestion, therefore, is that we should broaden the basis of parish meetings, and that they should be much more widely extended. I would propose that the minimum number of people living in a parish to qualify it for a parish council should be raised from 300 to 500. That, I suggest would be a start, and it would enable us to see how the idea worked. I believe that if we had that rule it would relieve dozens of parishes up and down the land of the cost of election expenses. Finally I commend and endorse what Lord Merthyr has said about the cost of polling officials; I think that point requires some investigation.

2.57 p.m.

My Lords, it is the custom in your Lordships' House for the next speaker after a noble Lord has made a maiden speech to offer him the congratulations of the whole House. But, quite apart from that custom, I know that I shall be expressing the feelings of the whole House in offering the congratula- tions of every one of us here to the noble Lord, Lord Dorchester. I understand that the noble Lord has sat in this House for a great number of years—upwards of twenty-seven I believe. It is good that he has at last—if I may use the expression —broken the ice. I am sure I am expressing the feelings of the whole House when I say that we sincerely hope to hear him many times more in the future.

In rising to support my noble friend Lord Merthyr I should like to give your Lordships an example of what happened in my own parish of Great and Little Hampden, in Buckinghamshire, three years ago and this year. As Lord Merthyr has said, it was a great idea that these parish councils should be elected by secret ballot. I know that in my own parish the idea was welcomed most enthusiastically. The parish council of Great and Little Hampden has five seats, for which, three years ago, eight candidates stood. But afterwards they were very surprised, and somewhat horrified, when the bill came in. This amounted to a 3d. rate. The effect of that in my parish this year when the elections came round again was as follows. Four people put their names forward to be candidates for the parish council. One of those four said that he would stand only on condition that there were not more candidates than there were seats. If there were more candidates than seats he was going to withdraw. As it happened, when nomination day came, there were still only these four nominations. The result was that when four members had been elected, the returning officer had to write to a previous member of the parish council to tell him that he would have to regard himself as re-elected, so that we could have five members on the council.

My next point is perhaps slightly away from the question, but I think it affects the matter. A small parish like mine, which has 245 electors, has to contend with three separate polling days—for the county council, for the rural district council and for the parish council. Can something be done to spread the costs of these three elections more evenly? Would it be possible for these elections all to take place on the same day? I do not know whether that can be done, but I throw out the suggestion that something might be done to co-ordinate election duties. Or could some simpler system of secret voting be devised? I have not given notice of these suggestions and I do not expect to receive a reply from my noble friend today. However, possibly one or two of my suggestions may fit in with what the two previous speakers have said, and I sincerely hope that some thought will be given to the whole question of the cost of these elections.

3.2 p.m.

My Lords, I should like to join in the congratulations and thanks which have been extended to the noble Lord, Lord Dorchester, for his most interesting contribution this afternoon. I express the hope, which is not merely verbal, that he may join in our discussions more frequently in the future. Without striking a wrong note, I would say that the name of Dorchestet will always be associated in the annals of the Party to which I have the honour to belong with one of the greatest of epic struggles for liberty and freedom that ever took place in this country.

I am sure that we are all grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, for raising this question. The parish councils may be the smallest unit in our system of local government, but they are the most ancient. Their history goes back to the time of the Tudors, more than 500 years. They began to decline with the onward march of industrialism, following the Industrial Revolution which began about 1760. There are some people who think that this country, in pursuit of the aim of being the workshop of the world, took a wrong turn. Be that as it may, in the 'nineties, with the passing of the Local Government Act of 1894, there was a deliberate attempt to revive interest in our village communities. I believe it is on record that an ancestor of the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury (whom we all congratulated yesterday and who, I see, is not in the House to-day), one who was perhaps the greatest statesman in the line whom we have had, when told that it was proposed to set up parish councils, growled, "Councils! Give them circuses!"

I think that to-day we are beginning to realise the importance of our village communal and I venture to suggest that any handicap to the proper functioning and flowering of this life ought to be given serious attention. All Parties are responsible for this handicap. We must remember that in 1894 your Lordships' House returned the Parish Councils Bill to another place with 800 Amendments (the House seemed to be more vigorous in those days than we are to-day), and one of those Amendments was to limit the councils to a 4d. rate. We have to remember, too, that the parish councils have been further handicapped by the de-rating of agriculture and agricultural hereditaments. I know that when the recent Act was under discussion in another place a plea was made for some alleviation of the provisions of that Bill, and while the then Home Secretary did help in some ways he was not prepared to meet the question raised by the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, this afternoon.

I am one who was born within the sound of Bow Bells, but, like most townsmen, I have a longing for our countryside. I want us now to take every possible step we can take, following the agreement of all Parties that we must develop agricultural and rural life, to help our village and rural communities. We may talk about the, number of tractors we have on the land and the efficiency of our agriculture. I hope that the beauties of the countryside will never be sacrificed to efficiency, and that the human beings behind the production figures, the men and women who work on the land, will have the right to be considered and consulted and will have a voice in framing their own village communal life. It is not for me this afternoon to go over the wide range of powers which the parish councils have. Backed as they are by a growing and powerful national association, I feel that the handicap to which the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, has drawn our attention should receive the attention of Her Majesty's Government because until we make the men and women in our villages feel that they are as important as our urban population, that constant drift from the villages to the towns will continue. Therefore, I hope that the question which is before the House will receive the most urgent attention of the Government.

3.9 p.m.

My Lords, I should like to say one word because, while I entirely agree with what my noble friend Lord Merthyr and other noble Lords have said, I hope that, if the Government consider this matter, they will consider revising the system of parishes. In my area, my parish was amalgamated with three other ecclesiastical parishes into one civil parish, which has a parish council. These four parishes have very little in common. They are in different valleys and do not even use the same market town. The unit as it now is is too big to look after the parish pump and too small to have enough money to do anything worth doing. I think parishes should be either larger or smaller. The only other thing I want to say is how much I agree with the noble Earl, Lord Buckinghamshire, in hoping that in rural areas in future it may be possible to hold the various elections on the same day.

3.10 p.m.

My Lords, I feel sure I speak for all your Lordships when I say that we have in the past waited far too long to hear the noble Lord, Lord Dorchester, and I hope that we shall not have to wait so long to hear him again. Turning to the Question of my noble friend Lord Merthyr, here again I should like to begin by thanking him for his kind references to myself. I assure him that I shall take the first opportunity of going to a parish council meeting in Wales, though I hope he does not want me to go to each one, because my job then would be far too arduous.

The noble Lord's complaint was that, in the more extreme cases, once a village council has elected itself it has really finished for the next three years because that is all it can afford to do. That is a state of affairs which might be welcomed in another place! I agree with the noble Lord that it is a bad thing, and I think it is a shortcoming of the 1948 Act which has become generally recognised. I do not think that I would dissent from anything which the noble Lord has said; perhaps he cited extreme cases, but I believe what he said to be broadly true. On the other hand, I was glad to hear him say that he did not feel—and this seemed to be the opinion of noble Lords generally —that we ought to go back on the 1948 Act and to revert to the old system of election by a show of hands. This was a reform that was overdue, and to revert to the show of hands is not the solution of the problem. But clearly the problem has got to be solved. Like most problems, however, it is not as simple as it looks, because the scope of reducing the cost of parish council elections is limited.

I will certainly bring to the attention of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary the suggestion of the noble Earl, Lord Buckinghamshire, and the noble Lord, Lord Raglan, that the various local government elections should be held on the same day. That is a possible factor towards economy, and it is something well worth considering. The suggestions made by my noble friend Lord Merthyr are what I might call the schools of solution of this problem that have been adumbrated already. There are various difficulties to both suggestions. First of all, there is the question of the fees of county council officers. It is possible that if those fees could be waived that might be a way of overcoming this difficulty, but I must make it clear that my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has no jurisdiction whatever with regard to those fees. It is laid down in the Act that county councils may prescribe the scale of fees, and it would need legislation to change that. But, as I say, at the moment my right honourable friend has no jurisdiction whatever in this matter; nor, indeed, would the County Councils' Association be willing to alter their view on that point at the present time, though it is a field to be explored.

The other alternative which the noble Lord suggested is that some of the expense should be charged to rural district councils or county councils. That particular suggestion was put forward when the Representation of the People Act of 1948 was considered. At that time it was resisted on the ground that to do it would be contrary to the long-established principle that each local government area should bear the cost of its own elections. I do not say that that principle is sacrosanct, but it is a principle which obtains everywhere else, and I think we should be careful before changing a principle of that kind.

I am sure the House will agree with me that this is a complicated problem, and it is not one that can be resolved overnight. I can, however, say this to the noble Lord who has raised the matter to-day. He is probably aware that my right honourable friend the Home Secretary received a deputation from the National Association of Parish Councils on the 17th of this month to discuss this particular question. He told that deputation that he was prepared to consider their suggestions, which I may say run very much on the same lines as those made by the noble Lord, although I do not think all the suggestions we have heard this afternoon were then put forward. May I say, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, that we welcome the additional suggestions which have been made this afternoon and which may all help toward a solution of the problem? My right honourable friend has promised to consider these suggestions, and is at the present time considering them. I am sure the noble Lord will appreciate that, before anything can be done, a number of consultations will have to take place, with such people as the Minister of Housing and Local Government, the County Councils' Association, the Parish Councils' Association and the Rural District Councils' Association. I can assure the noble Lord that we are looking into the matter and trying to reach a solution, and I hope that in due course we shall be able to find a way of improving what I agree is an unsatisfactory state of affairs.

Kenya: Emergency Legislation

3.17 p.m.

had given notice of his intention to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish a White Paper setting out the emergency legislation at present in force in Kenya; and whether they will issue at suitable intervals statements showing the progress made in restoring public order in that Colony. The noble Viscount said: My Lords, I have on the Paper a Question relating to East Africa, and also a Motion. I should explain how that came about. It is a few days since I put the Question on the Paper. Then, over the week-end, matters became very urgent in East Africa, and finding a vacant place after my Question I put down the Motion. I am well aware that your Lordships do not like to have Motions presented to the House at short notice, but I must plead that it is not my fault but is due to the circumstances. But at least your Lordships were advised of the type of debate which we should have by the Question which I had already placed on the Paper. As a matter of convenience, if I have your Lordships' consent, I will not ask my Question, but will hope to catch Sir Robert Overbury's eye and be called for the Motion.

Collective Punishment In Kenya

3.18 p.m.

rose to call attention to the policy of collective punishment in Kenya; and to move for Papers. The noble Viscount said: I beg to move the Motion which stands in my name on the Order Paper. Your Lordships will observe that there is no content in the moving for Papers—that is to say, I am not asking for any particular information. That being so, I think my purpose, which is a serious one, would best be served by announcing at once that I shall not proceed to a Division; in fact, at the appropriate time I shall ask the permission of the House to withdraw my Motion. The important thing is that this House should consider the circumstances, and that we should see where we and our consciences stand lit the present time. There are two sides to this question. The first is the riot at Kirawara, and the second the newly-announced scheme of collective punishments. The two are, of course, closely associated. The first has been debated fairly fully elsewhere, but is relevant to what I shall say this afternoon.

I should like, first of all, to say that all that I have in mind, and all that is in the minds of my right honourable friends, is to put a stop, in the right and permanent way, to the system of horrors of which we have had many instances recently in East Africa. If we have any difference of opinion at all with the Government, it is on this point: Is their method the just or the effective way of securing our common purpose? Further, I would say this. I speak with a very deep and real sense of responsibility. We have a responsibility to those scattered people of our own race who are cultivating their farms in distant parts of the Colony and who feel themselves to be, and indeed are, in constant danger of their lives. We have a responsibility also for the lives of those millions of Africans in East Africa whose casualties are now mounting, and the prospects for whom are extremely dark.

This question cannot be considered as a Kenya question. It goes far wider than that. I need only indicate some of its aspects. For example, what will be the effect of these happenings in Kenya upon the schemes for federation of Central Africa? Is it possible that African opinion, which has resisted the federation schemes which the Government have put forward, can be anything but inflamed by what has occurred in East Africa, and more than ever determined not to hand over their fate to people of another race? What is going to be the effect also in West Africa, where the most promising developments have taken place, and where we seemed to be on the way to enlisting the best type of African leadership on behalf of our common aims in the Commonwealth? What about South Africa? How does this link up with South Africa, where a policy of separation is taking place which—we are entitled to say this here—outrages the sense of conscience of most people in this country? For instance, an African woman and her husband going with her children through a doorway marked "Europeans only," or into a waiting room marked "Europeans only," may be brought before the court, and her young people may be whipped. Such sentences have been passed by South African courts. Will there be any conjunction in the African mind between the attitude of the white race towards the East African and towards the South African peoples? And, most important of all from the Commonwealth point of view, what is going to be the effect of this on our Indian connection, which is in many ways the most precious thing of the Commonwealth, because the Indians also are deeply involved in South Africa. So far as one can make out, in the main they are sympathetic to the African cause in East Africa.

I say, therefore, that in the light of this wide view and the poignancy of the news that we receive, we must approach this subject with a sense of responsibility. But what do we mean by "responsibility"? I raised the question yesterday when there was before the House the matter of these young police officers, boys of twenty, twenty-one and twenty-two, who had been put into a position of great danger and immense responsibility. It would be very unfair and unjust to say, "These young men were doing their duty," and to ask, "Are you going to desert young men in danger?" Of course not. But we want to know who gave them the orders: who was responsible for sending them to face an angry crowd of 2,000 people. Who has the power to make such orders? The responsibility certainly is not theirs and should not be placed upon their shoulders. Who above them was responsible? I am going further than that. I am going to ask: What about ourselves? The British Colonies are governed by Her Majesty and by Parliament. This is a House of Parliament, and the responsibility for what is happening in Kenya today is our responsibility. It cannot be shuffled off on to the shoulders of anyone in the locality, or anywhere else. That being so, I shall examine the Kirawara incident briefly, and then the new plan for the imposition of general punishment.

The Kirawara trouble was a riot, and these boys saved their lives in the end, I suppose, by shooting; and there were many casualties. I am glad to say that the figure of 42 casualties has been reduced to 32 in the figures given this morning. We ask that there should be an inquiry. That is entirely in accordance with precedent—my noble friend Lord Listowel, who has recent official experience of this, will tell your Lordships that. The Secretary of State said last night, "Everything is known." I say: No; nothing is known. All we know is that a Government communiqué was issued about the shooting, the attack and the casualties. We do not know whether the crowd even heard the order not to advance. We do not know whether there was any other way but the one way in which they could retreat. Mr. Lyttelton said that there was no question but that they were marching to the attack; and that, of course, I accept. But in the instance I am going to give, which was one that came into my own experience, there was also the square and also the armed troops. We do not know what the crowd was angry about. We were told that it was angry about the institution of a police post. I saw in one message that they had been forced to construct it. I do not know whether that is true. I should like to know. All these things require that Parliament, which is responsible, should be informed of the facts.

I cannot speak of recent experience and in any case my experience of this area is very slight. The locus classicus I

do know is an occasion at Amritsar in 1919. There was a crowd in the square of Amritsar and an officer, thinking that the Punjab was in a state of disorder, thought it was necessary to he firm and turned his guns on them. I heard the debate in the House of Commons on that occasion, which was not unlike the debate which took place last night. Mr. Montagu explained the dangers of this thing and the necessity for putting ourselves right with Indian opinion. I can see him now: he was a great British statesman. But it did not do for the House of Commons. It was the House of Commons which was called "the House of the hard-faced men." It was elected after the war. Mr. Montagu made such a "flop" of it that Mr. Churchill had to come in and defend the position. I was a Whip at the time—I have never been in any Coalition Government, thank heaven! At the end of the debate it was necessary to bring in Mr. Bonar Law, in order to steady the House of Commons and to explain that what was required was firmness; and calmness was the result. I can see him now at the Box, removing some liquid which Mr. Montagu had to stimulate him, addressing the House and assuring them, and the House feeling that the right thing was being done. It fell to my lot years afterwards to be the Secretary of State. Had the grim action at Amritsar done anything? It had poisoned the minds of the people in thousands of villages in India. Every year there was an Amritsar celebration, and that unhappy event made the ultimate process of reconciliation far more difficult. This is now thirty years ago, but, after all, you hear and see a lot of things as you grow old, and you have to profit by them. I devoutly hope—though without any real hope—that this incident at Kirawara will not be regarded in Africa as an African Amritsar.

I should like to pause here to thank the noble Earl for his constant courtesy and helpfulness in my requests in this matter. The noble Earl will no doubt say: "It is all very well for you to say this, but what do you suggest?" It is a fair question to ask, and we will try to give the answer. What we suggest is that the Government should draw on intelligent African opinion to help them govern an African Colony. That is our suggestion. We have men of the Christian faith, and men educated at our universities, who were at one time willing to help us to stabilise the situation. I am speaking here from what I have heard, and if the noble Earl says that I am wrong, of course I shall immediately accept it. I am told that these gentlemen went to the Governor and said "We are willing to pacify the people if you will allow us to do so." I am told—and I have sought the best sources of information; if I am wrong I shall be corrected, I hope at once—that what the Governor said was, "Yes, but what I want to know is this: Are you prepared to denounce Jomo Kenyatta?" They replied, "Jomo Kenyatta is on trial; how can we denounce him while he is yet on trial?" They were then told that if they were not prepared to denounce Jomo Kenyatta their help was not welcome in pacifying the Kikuyu. I ask whether any noble Lord here, if he were an African, would denounce his compatriot until he had been tried. The same informant told me that Jomo Kenyatta's position with the Kenya African Union was very weak and that they wanted to get rid of him.

That is one point. The second observation I would make is this—and here again I have confirmed my opinion by consultation with people who knew India before I did. One of the most menacing signs to-day is the adoption of passive resistance by the Africans.

A NOBLE LORD: You mean Kenya, not India.

No, I mean India. I remember very well—forgive my being full of reminiscences, but one learns from experience—an outburst at Peshawar, when Sir Denys Bray, who was a member of my Council and a man of very great experience, said that the worst sign was that the "redshirts," as they were called, under their leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan, were then being taught exactly the same passive resistance as is now being taught to the people of Africa, which was to bare their shirts as the troops approached and offer themselves as victims. Now, that same spirit is abroad in Africa. I am told that the Kikuyu are semi-Orientalists in this respect. I do not know and I should like that explained, if possible. But it is certain that in South Africa the leadership of the African movement has been assumed by the Indians and accepted and followed by the Africans. My Lords, you can do a great many things by force— with bombs and aircraft; but the one thing you will not beat is the passive resistance of the Oriental race. We could not do it in my time. We talk about 20,000 people. I remember being told that 200,000 people were lying down in Bombay as passive resisters. How can you cope with that? In the end it won, because it was a moral force and their cause was right. We have to bear that in mind with regard to Africa, too.

That is our suggestion. What is the Government's plan? There is one nauseating thing I wish to mention and that is this cleansing process. I do not know whether the "Wizard of Oz" is on the Health Scheme, but apparently he goes round and carries out what is called a cleansing process. Apparently he kills a sheep and the people are instructed to eat the sheep's eyes. That is Governmental action, to deal with the national insurgency of the Kikuyu. I believe there are private ventures of the same kind. It is altogether a disgusting affair. The Times said that the wizard was seemingly in Government employ. But the main means employed is these round-ups, which have become much more severe, even though localised, under the recent regulations. What are these round-ups? I shall first tell your Lordships what I was told by a person who had just returned from East Africa, and then I will read the passage from this morning's Times, so that your Lordships' House, in judging my Motion and in judging its own action, may be fully apprised of all the details and facts.

My friend has told me that what happens is this. Night—dawn—troops rattle into a village settlement. Everybody has to turn out. They are all assembled in one place. The first thing is aircraft overhead. And there are dogs. What sort of dogs do you have for pursuing African women with their little children? Is this just a joke? I am told that the Kikuyu regard much of this business as just a joke, but I do not think it a joke to turn dogs on to village people who have committed no crime. There are little aircraft overhead. The aircraft do not alarm me greatly; these are only reconnaissance aircraft. Nevertheless, it is only a short step from reconnaissance aircraft to offensive aircraft. I do not believe and I cannot believe that that would happen. But one may be permitted to be anxious. These people are then rounded up. Somebody calls them over and tries to find marks.

The noble Viscount has made a statement, as I understand it, that numbers of these Africans—chiefly women, according to him—are rounded up by dogs. This is the first information that I have had on this matter. I understand that he received that information from a private source. Perhaps he will be good enough to divulge where the information comes from.

Certainly: it comes from The Times, and I shall give the noble Earl the quotation presently.

The noble Viscount said, apart from The Times, that it comes from a friend who has lately come back. He is giving this information to Parliament and the country, and I think that the source should be divulged.

I have already said that so far as my recollection goes—I will verify it before the end of the debate—it comes from The Times newspaper, and I have promised to give the quotation before the end of the debate.

But the noble Viscount mentioned the fact that a private individual had communicated something to him.

If the noble Viscount will not give me the name, how can he expect me to give an answer fully to the points which he is making? So far as my knowledge goes, what he has said is completely, utterly and absolutely unfounded.

I have already said that I have sought all sources of information in order to get a complete picture. I will tell the noble Earl privately, but I certainly could not give the name of my informant in debate without his permission. But I may say he is a responsible person. The particular point is this charge that the parties are accompanied by dogs, and my recollection is that that statement was made in The Times. If I am wrong I shall no doubt be corrected. I will either give the quotation from The Times or withdraw my allegation. That is the general picture. These people are rounded up and they are inspected to see whether they have any of the marks that ate commonly associated with membership of the Mau Mau. Some are left and others are led away, sometimes in chains—in chains, my Lords! Does the noble Marquess want to know where that comes from? It comes from a photograph which appeared in The Times. These are people who have not been proved guilty of any offence —and they are paraded in chains. They are only Africans, But that is a fact which the noble Marquess will not challenge. Then these people are sent into a camp; and those who are considered worthy of detention are kept in prison. Then, under the new orders, their crops, their cattle, their bicycles, are taken away. None of these people, as I say, have been proved guilty of any offence. This is a method of British justice. If a man's bicycle is taken away, and he lives some distance from his work, how can he get to his work and feed his family? According to the last statistics available, the wages of a labourer are £4 to £6 a month. But he cannot earn even that if his bicycle is taken away. He may have an accumulated store on his allotment, but that has beer seized and his cattle taken away. If his milk cow is taken away, where do the children get their milk from, when the collective punishment has been inflicted upon the whole family?

That is the sort of question which people are going to ask; and if I can stimulate the inquiry, here or elsewhere, I intend to do it. I am told—and this information is from a friend; I shall certainly give the name of my friend, but the noble Marquess will see that I cannot do so without asking his permission; I do not think he will have any objection—that these charges are nothing to do with Mau Mau at all. These people are asked: "Have you paid your taxes? Where is your tax receipt?" If they reply, "I have not got a tax receipt," then "Inside you go!" It may be a just thing to collect taxes; I am sure it is. People should pay their taxes. But I do not think any House of Parliament would agree with this sort of police raiding, inflicted upon people (if it is true), merely because they have not paid their taxes. That is the picture given to me. The noble Marquess thinks that have spoken with heat. I do not think I have spoken with inaccuracy. The noble Marquess will read what I have said.

I have never accused the noble Viscount of misrepresenting the facts. I asked, what was the source from which he got his information. In his original speech he said: "I got this from a friend who has just come back."

The noble Viscount did say that. And he added: "and it is confirmed by information I have read in The Times." He knows that what he says goes out from this place and will be read by many people. He says the person is a person of great authority. I ask, who is he? This is a serious charge. I do not know whether it is founded or unfounded, but it is a serious charge. The noble Viscount knows it to be a serious charge. From what source then does this information come? The noble Viscount says that he cannot possibly tell us the source of his information. I do not think he is treating Parliament or the public properly.

I will repeat what I said before: that I shall substantiate what I have said from written documents. I read no newspaper but The Times; I have not The Times to hand at the moment. If, during the course of the debate, I cannot substantiate what I have said by quotations from The Times, then I shall withdraw what I have said. I added—which is true—that I sought contact with anyone who had come back from Kenya, in order to make the picture more complete. The noble Marquess accuses me of either concealing information or of not gibing him accurate information.

I have never said that. I said merely that the noble Viscount had made a serious suggestion, and I asked him to give us the source from which he obtained this information.

He has revealed one source from which he got his information. I did not say that he had misrepresented the situation. I said that I was not in a position either to confirm or to deny the charge he made. As the noble Viscount has made this charge, in a speech which will receive very wide publicity, he ought to give us the source from which the information came. He has not given it and he says he will not.

No. It would help me very much because I have not the least desire to be inaccurate in a matter of this kind—if the noble Marquess would specify, here and now, which are the statements for which he requires authority.

The noble Viscount made certain statements with regard to dogs, and he gave as his authority a man who had come back home. I want to know exactly what the man said. In any case, I shall have to read what the noble Viscount said, because I cannot remember exactly the facts. I should like to know exactly, in the words of the man, the information which he gave to the noble Viscount and which we, apparently, are not going to get in this debate.

The noble Marquess will not tell me what are the statements he requires me to substantiate, so my position is rather difficult. The only thing the noble Marquess has mentioned is dogs. I will verify the point about dogs, before the end of this debate. If there is anything else, let the noble Marquess tell me, and then I can give him chapter and verse for it. I am not making a speech of this seriousness without a good deal of consideration and under the sharp urge of conscience.

Now let me read some speeches made in the Kenya Legislative Council yesterday—they are all reported in The Times. Here is one extract:
"Mr. Whyatt replied that he could not accept the implication that Africans had been deliberately victimised by the police. A necessary method of hunting evil-doers during the present emergency"—
that is not a reference to the dogs that have been referred to—
"had been by large-scale sweeps and searches, and it was inevitable that some innocent Africans should suffer temporary inconvenience. The remedy lay with the Africans themselves. If they ceased sheltering criminals and cooperated with the police, the sweeps and searches would cease to be necessary."
That is a plain statement. I think Mr. Whyatt is an official. Now let me read what Mr. Humphrey Slade, a European elected member, said:
"The punishment that the African understood involved ridicule, loss of property, corporal punishment in the presence of his friends—things with nothing left to the imagination. In the names of those in his constituency who had been murdered, robbed and assaulted, he demanded the death sentence for Mau Mau offenders."
It would be right. That is the type of punishment that the members of the Legislative Council of Kenya desire. Now let me read a description, if the House will be patient with me, for, since I have been challenged, I must produce my evidence:
"Sterner measures against Kikuyu in settled areas were initiated to-day "—
not "guilty Kikuyu," but "Kikuyu"—
"when between 2,000 and 3.000 men, women and children, with their household goods, sheep and goats, were collected from farms in the Leshaw ward and confined behind barbed wire."
Has the noble Marquess any comment to make on that statement?
"The operation went off smoothly. The men, impassive and inscrutable, were taken in lorries to a prison camp at Thomson's Falls, where they squatted, each clad in a dun-coloured blanket. A police officer at a table in the middle then interviewed each in turn."
I would ask the noble Marquess to listen to these words—these are people who have been rounded up by the police, two or three thousand men, women and children:
"In the middle of the enclosure stood a newly erected gallows, encased in corrugated iron, with a broad set of steps leading up to it."
These men, women and children, not convicted of any offence, not charged with any offence, so far as I know, sit round, and in the centre there is a sign of British justice and fairness, the only remedy—the gallows. The report goes on:
"This has been erected because the policy now is to hang local murderers, when convicted, in local prisons, instead of in Nairobi. Ordinary criminals in huts at one end of the enclosure were being used as couriers to marshal the newcomers and armoured cars patrolled the perimeter."
Here are two or three thousand men, women and children, all our fellow-subjects, relying upon the mercy and justice of the British race—and this is the way they are treated:
"Women and children were taken to buildings on a racecourse half a mile away. The women, wearing blue or bright yellow dresses, appeared to treat the move as a picnic."

The noble Viscount dropped his voice at that point. Did he say "picnic"?

Yes, "picnic." I have never heard a charge laid against a critic that he dropped his voice! The words are:

"The women, wearing blue or bright yellow dresses, appeared to treat the move as a picnic."

Picnic, yes. I am told that the passivity of the Kikuyu is not a good sign. According to this report—it is all from The Times:

"… they laughed and talked as they unloaded sacks and jerricans. They, at any rate, will be comfortably accommodated under cover during the night, which is cold and rainy hereabouts."
Does that mean that the other people, not women and children, would be left out in the rain, behind the barbed wire? The report adds:
"It was a grim job for the soldiers from Lancashire, and it was evident from their faces that they felt it to be so."
I am not surprised at that!

As the noble Viscount is reading it, perhaps I might read out the paragraph which he omitted. It is as follows:

"The whole operation, distasteful though it may have been, was carried out with decorum and humanity. There was no question of ill words or buffets, and it is evident that the administration's efforts to curb such tendencies have had an effect."

That is a subsequent paragraph. I have not yet reached that paragraph, having been checked in the meantime by the noble Lord on a question of order. I did not omit that paragraph it is a subsequent paragraph.

No, it is not, because the words follow the phrase

"it was a grim job for the soldiers from Lancashire."

That is quite true. But I do not know that the noble Marquess is arty better off. It is a distasteful job. It may be a subject for merriment—I do not know. I think that this statement in The Times is one of the most distressing comments on British administration that I have ever read in my life. That is what we want investigated, what I am inviting the House to comment on, and what I am asking the noble Marquess to justify. I omitted the words "it was a distasteful job." I will put them in now. I am glad to hear that as a job it was distasteful—I am not surprised. It is a discreditable job. It is going to bring contempt on us, and it is going to shorten the period of our beneficent rule in Asia.

My Lords, in conclusion, there are absent from this scene two features. There are no Russians involved in this. It is not suggested in any quarter that this has anything to do with the Russians. Furthermore, we have heard nothing about America, the other big player on the international stage. But I should hardly imagine that the newly elected Republican Party, deriving from Abraham Lincoln, will approve of this type of treatment for African Negroes. I move my Motion because I think this conduct is wrong, in that we shall be a party to punishing the innocent in order to punish the guilty.

Before the noble Viscount finishes his speech, will he not spare just a moment to give us his opinion upon the cases, among others, of Commander and Mrs. Meiklejohn and the conditions that lonely farmers have to face on their farms? He has been so vigorous and vituperative about other matters for the past half an hour, and it seems a pity that he should sit down without just a slight reference to those people.

The noble Lord, Lord Blackford, probably omitted to notice that the very first sentence of my speech referred to the dangers of our own people in Kenya. The whole burden of my speech was to show that I did not think these methods would, in the end, protect them. In my view these methods are wrong, and they will be ineffective. I am sure the noble Lord will acquit me of being lacking in sympathy towards people in that state of danger. In fact, the first sentence I spoke referred to their danger and the necessity for their effective protection. I beg to move for Papers.

3.53 p.m.

My Lords, I understand that the noble Viscount did not pursue his Question, which was to ask whether Her Majesty's Government would publish a White Paper setting out the emergency legislation at present in force in Kenya, and confined his speech to calling attention to "the policy of collective punishment." He raised some other issues. With your Lordships' permission, I wish to stick to that one point only. In the debate which we had in your Lordships' House on October 29, I asked the noble Earl who is to reply to-day one or two questions which, if they were not fully answered, no doubt left in his mind, as was intended, my doubts whether the Mau Mau outbreaks which had started in August were sporadic and local or were symptoms of a far greater and more widespread movement. The events that have taken place in the last three weeks suggest tome that the movement is on a far wider scale than had been suspected, and in point of fact it has spread substantially to most of the Kikuyu tribes. I want to take your Lordships' attention from Kenya to what has been going on in certain other parts of the world, because it has bearing on what I propose to say about collective punishment, which is the only subject matter of the noble Viscount's Motion.

When troubles originally broke out in Malaya they were attributed to a limited number of disaffected persons, notably Chinese, and to some people who had come over the border or borders of Malaya to incite them to commit acts of terrorism. In the years which have elapsed since then, what has developed in Malaya has been seen to be not a series of sporadic outbreaks of banditry and terrorism but a form of civil war in which a very large part of the population is involved, and from which all that part not directly involved is suffering. The dividing line between sporadic attacks, general lawlessness and, finally, rebellion is one which at any given moment it is practically impossible to define. As I ventured to suggest on October 29, it is perfectly true that if the occurrences in Kenya were sporadic outbursts of lawlessness, the right method of dealing with them was by police methods. But the conclusion, which was equally justified, and which I certainly intended, was that if this was not a series of sporadic outbreaks by a few disaffected persons (I am coming to that point in a moment) but was the forerunner of what appeared to be armed insurrection against order, generally by large masses of people, it follows that ordinary police methods are no longer appropriate. Indeed, that has been found to be the case in Malaya. The mistake which we probably made in Malaya was in not realising soon enough that what had begun here and there with murder and banditry was an organised rebellion against established authority. Had that been realised earlier, the police measures which were adopted in the first place would certainly, I submit, have been modified to include the military methods which we have since had to adopt—and very late.

The purpose of my Question at the end of October was to ascertain from Her Majesty's Government whether they thought these outbreaks would be confined to a few isolated cases. I asked specifically whether there was any sign of armed insurrection. In the last few weeks it has become manifest and patent that murders here and there have been replaced by fairly large bodies of people doing things which were so near armed insurrection against law and order as to require different methods from those which had been adopted—that is to say, plain police methods. It is undoubtedly for that reason that troops were moved into Kenya and have taken part in the measures which are in progress, for trying to curb and restrain what looks like a large movement of people, counted by hundreds of thousands, against an established Government. The noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate, in referring to the situation in Africa generally, was, I think, entirely justified in saying what he did about passive resistance—to the effect that passive resistance is one of the most difficult things in the world to cope with. But I could not agree, any more than I think any others of your Lordships here will agree, that, even if passive resistance is difficult to deal with, it follows that passive resistance is invariably resorted to for legitimate motives. There is a vast difference between using a weapon for legitimate motives, or for what some people might call legitimate motives, and using it for obviously illegitimate ones, including murder and banditry.

Passive resistance, when used in conjunction with armed insurrection, requires to be dealt with, whether that is easy or whether it is difficult. We have here in the United Kingdom, and in most parts of Europe, one element upon which we rely for the maintenance of law and order. That element is the collective responsibility of people—peoplegenerally, not the police—to enforce law and order. The people of this country, and of all civilised countries generally, are on the side of law and order. They are in favour of Governments' keeping and maintaining law and order. That is the collective responsibility of a community:to see that the community governs itself, with the assistance of the police only to deal with isolated cases of transgression. The moment the collective responsibility of a community to maintain order breaks down, the situation is entirely and completely altered. Where you have public opinion and a community generally opposed to lawlessness, the remedy is to catch the offender, or the few offenders, and punish him or them. Where, however, the collective sense of responsibility for order has broken down, it seems to me that the only remedy is to ensure that collective retribution shall take the place of individual punishment, to insist on collective retribution, or collective punishment, in the areas in which collective responsibility for law and order has vanished.

The noble Viscount's Motion deals with collective punishment. Collective punishment is, clearly, as distasteful to my noble friends on this side of the House as it is to the noble Viscount and his friends on the other side of the House. But, as I see it, it is the only remedy for the failure of collective, responsibility to maintain order on the part of the community. We have seen examples throughout the miserable years of the last war, in every country to which war came on a large scale, of the collective disobedience of people to armies and to authority. We commended it when that collective feeling was directed against our enemy, but we also accepted—as indeed happened—that the reply to it from our enemy (and we ourselves have occasionally had to do it) was collective punishment, because where a community is opposed to authority, you can deal only with a community; you can no longer deal with individuals.

I submit that in Kenya we are on the verge of a rebellion against authority. The next stage of rebellion against authority is civil war. Civil war is a form of warfare, and in war certain measures are required to be taken. And, distasteful as they may be, they cannot be as distasteful as war itself. No measure of collective punishment can ever he as distasteful as the crimes which have been committed and which that collective punishment seeks to stop. The noble Viscount, in his speech, made, so far as I can remember—he will correct me if I am wrong—one, and I think only one, suggestion which was designed to be constructive. That was that use should be made of such African leaders as were available and had offered their services to deal with the populations which are now involved in this series of outbreaks. Apart from that, his remarks were wholly critical—critical of what is being done, and critical of the administrations and parts of those administrations which are carrying out the work.

If a suggestion is required about what can be done constructively to deal with mass movements of this sort, I offer as my contribution this; that where outbreaks have taken place in an area, that area should be treated as practically on a war footing; that it should be cordoned off and that transit in and out should be regulated by passes, as happens in time of war in a war zone. Where that is not effective, I personally support, and I think many of your Lordships will support, the inevitable and distasteful necessity of collective punishment, in which, admittedly, innocent will suffer as well as guilty. The innocent, however, suffer—and let this be remembered—because they have been unwilling, on account of fear or on account of misplaced loyalty, to do their own duty in denouncing the people who have committed crimes, the duty which rests upon every citizen of every country and which has been the background of the whole of our civilization in this country.

I hope that the answer to the Question which the noble Viscount would have asked, had he not let it go by default or withdrawn it, would be that Her Majesty's Government will, from time to time, as occasion suits, make available to Parliament either the full text or summaries of the emergency legislation which is being enacted in Kenya. I have no doubt that Her Majesty's Government will also, from time to time, make statements about how the situation develops. I can see no reason whatsoever why emergency legislation which is passed out there should not be made available to us in this country. I think it should be, for all the many reasons which the noble Viscount and others have mentioned; the responsibility of this Parliament and, much more, the responsibility of the people of this country, for the administration of Crown Colonies; and for other reasons; and, more especially, because it is knowledge of those measures, and knowledge of the facts which have led to the taking of those measures, which alone will allow public opinion to judge whether the attitude taken by the noble Viscount in his speech or the attitude of those who are to speak later to-day is the more justified and the more correct.

One final remark I should like to make is about Mau Mau in particular. Here, I believe, every member of your Lordships' House will be associated with what I say. This movement, which is far more serious, rapidly as it may have grown, than anything that has happened, perhaps even in Malaya, is fundamentally the nastiest, filthiest movement that we have seen in modern history. To be a Communist and wish to fight in Malaya may be a misguided activity, but it is politically comprehensible, even if we do not agree with it. For people to murder and rebel and break out against authority on account of black witchcraft and superstition strikes not only at the root of law and order but also at the root of every moral teaching that has ever been given by any Church or any organised form of religion; and, as such, it is the most disgusting and filthiest phenomenon that has happened to us in our lives.

4.11 p.m.

My Lords, I do not propose to confine myself strictly to the Motion, but I can promise that I shall confine myself to Kenya and not wander beyond its borders. I must say that I most deeply regret the speech which was made by the noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate, opposite. I regret the way in which he seemed to show so little sympathy with those who have been suffering from these appalling crimes. So little sympathy was apparent throughout his speech with his own fellow countrymen and those Africans who themselves have had to suffer through these murders, that I could not help feeling that his speech would have encouraged what he himself dreaded might come—a suspicion of British rule throughout Africa. Statements which he has made, even if he withdraws some of them later, will probably have been cabled by now to different parts of the world, and exaggerated and sometimes, I believe, inaccurate statements which he made will probably create and deepen that very suspicion the growing up of which he said his speech was intended to avoid.

I am rising to speak, however, because the Church of England, with other churches, has a large number of missions in Kenya which have been doing very great and striking work during the last fifty years. There are at present 110 missionaries of the Church of England serving in Kenya. Nineteen of them, some with their wives and children, are in the area most affected. They are remaining at their posts with very great courage in the midst of all sorts of difficulties and dangers. I feel sure that, with the sympathy which we must feel for the planters and farmers, settlers and others, we have also sympathy with those missionaries who are staying out there. There are nineteen missionaries in Kikuyu itself. Perhaps I might remind the House that Kikuyu is only a comparatively small part of Kenya. Kenya is five times the size of England, while Kikuyu is about the same size as Surrey, and these nineteen missionaries, scattered over a district as large as Surrey, would be in considerable isolation.

I should like to say a word about this movement, Mau Mau, which is responsible for most of these outrages. It has been in existence for some ten years, but became organised only some three years ago. It is both anti-European and anti-Christian. It administers oaths with all kinds of weird and gruesome rites, which call disaster upon any that break them. It binds those who take these oaths to renounce Christianity and kill Europeans when caned upon to do so. The movement is directed and inspired by the lowest type of witchcraft. It is a witch's brew of sorcery, hatred and murder. It has been responsible for most of the horrible and cruel outrages which have been committed recently on Africans and Asiatics as well as on Europeans in Kikuyu. It has spread with great rapidity, attracting to it a number of young criminals who have carried out the murders and atrocities which it has instigated.

The effect of the movement on the Christian Churches—I am not speaking only of the Church of England—has been grievous. In some cases the missionaries have been deserted by the greater part of their congregations. It is estimated that in Kikuyu 90 per cent. of the population have taken this oath, and probably a proportion of 90 per cent. of the Christians have also taken it. I am informed, on very good authority, that many of those who have taken the oath have done so under threat, with the deepest reluctance. But 10 per cent., and in some districts many more, have remained faithful. Some of these have been killed and others tortured, but everywhere there are faithful individuals and groups who are refusing to take the oath. It is only right to say that among these there are some who have never belonged to any Christian church.

The Christian churches have expressed emphatic and uncompromising opposition to the Mau Mau movement. In a recent statement, reported in to-day's Times, the Christian Council in Kenya declare:
"This is no struggle between white and black. It is a struggle between good and evil, between those who seek the way of peaceful growth and those who seek by violence to gain their own ends at the expense of all others. These violent men must be dealt with."
The more that is known of this movement, the more determined will this country be to restore order, to protect Europeans and Africans alike and to punish those guilty of these horrible and bestial crimes. On this there is no difference of opinion between any Party. As the Secretary of State has said, the Queen's Peace must be restored.

But this movement would not have spread so rapidly if there had not been some genuine grievances to which it has made an appeal. A policy of repression by itself is not sufficient. Positive reforms are also required. Therefore, it is greatly to be hoped that as soon as possible the promised Royal Commission will start on their work. There are two causes above all others which appear to be at the root of the restlessness in Kenya and which have been stirred up by this Mau Mau movement. This restlessness spreads far beyond the actual adherents of Mau Mau. There is the land hunger. There is a passionate anxiety on the part of most Africans to own land. It is regarded as their security for old age. It is necessary for their ownership of cattle, which among the Bantu peoples are their chief measure of wealth. With the increase of population and through the removal by the coming of civilisation of the traditional checks of famine, war and disease, the land set aside for the African is no longer sufficient. And it must be added that, with the scarcity of land, there is often found incapacity to use it to the best advantage. The attempts which the Government have been making to teach the people more modern and improved methods of agriculture have been hindered again and again by agitators and by the ignorance of the people themselves. This is one of the problems the Commission must consider.

The other is a different problem, spiritual rather than material. I prefer to state it in the words used by Sir Philip Mitchell, until recently the Governor of Kenya, in an article in The Times of September 25. In lids article he says:
"It is a problem of human nature, of men and women and children, of their needs and hopes and fears, of their relations with each other and with a world which for the vast majority is changing with a ruthless speed in ways totally beyond their experience. The central figures in all this are the African man and woman, emerging from the dark forest of superstition, sorcery, and ignorance. If the world appears to them to hold only hard-faced strangers in search of profits and dividends it is unlikely to appeal. If it appears as a welcoming, living Christian society, offering faith, hope and charity, human friendliness and sympathy, and fair opportunities for a better life, they will certainly turn to it with a new enthusiasm. These may seem unusual matters to pose to a Royal Commission; none the less, these are the problems."
The suppression of disorder is the immediate task of the Government. But care should be taken that nothing is done which will alienate loyal Africans—and there are still many loyal Africans in this area. Nothing should be done which, when order has been restored, will leave behind bitter resentment. In this matter I am bound to say that I feel—as I suppose on both sides of the House we feel —anxiety about collective punishment. On the other hand, it must be remembered that those who are restoring order have a most difficult task, and we must avoid a censorious and over-critical attitude to them. We here are not exposed to the dangers which face them day by day; nor are we called upon, as some of these young men are called upon, to make sudden decisions in moments of unexpected crisis. We all have sympathy and admiration for the settlers, farmers and others who are remaining at their posts and homes in these days of great danger. Missionaries and journalists have paid tribute to the restraint and moderation show by most of the European community in Kenya. It is vital that this restraint should continue, for without it there will be little hope for the future. The immediate necessity of action, and sometimes of hard action, to bring to an end a reign of terror and violence, must not be allowed to destroy the necessity of a long-term policy which will enable Europeans and Africans in years to come to live and work together.

4.23 p.m.

My Lords, I am sure that we have all listened with a great deal of interest and profit to the extremely constructive contribution which the most reverend Primate has just made to our debate. I was grateful to him for touching on some of the underlying causes of the trouble in Kenya, and I am sure that what he has said will be considered by Her Majesty's Government and by the Government of the Colony. My excuse for taking part in this debate is that I was a Minister at the Colonial Office when we had to deal with a somewhat similar problem in Malaya. I have been in Malaya twice since the war, and I had to deal with the matter when the Government of Malaya asked for our advice at the Colonial Office. We had a similar problem—a small band of terrorists, and a large number of peasants assisting them. Our problem was to find out how to prevent these peasants from helping the terrorists, and how to induce them to support the Administration. Put in that simple form, I think there is a close parallel between what is happening in Kenya and what has been happening for a much longer time in Malaya.

Again, I think we have a common starting point. The aim of every one who has taken part in this debate is to put down this Mau Mau movement as soon as possible; to restore law and order, and to enable Kenya to make peaceful progress. I should not like it to be thought that the Labour Party are not as sympathetic to this policy as are the Government themselves. We have on several occasions said that we support the Government in restoring law and order in Kenya; and only last night, in a most controversial debate which took place on the Adjournment in another place, the Opposition, who initiated this debate and asked for it, did not press the House to a Division. I expect the explanation of that is that they wished to indicate their basic agreement with the Government on the necessity of restoring law and order in Kenya.

I believe that we have got to see this problem of collective punishment in the right perspective. In the first place, I think the expression "collective punishment" is perhaps a little misleading. The word "punishment"(I am not a lawyer, but I believe the lawyers would support me) is only used in a technical sense of the sentence passed on a law-breaker. What, in fact, this policy involves is trying to prevent people from co-operating with forces of disorder and to induce them to co-operate with the forces of law and order. I feel that the policy we are discussing this afternoon could perhaps be more accurately described as collective inducement arid deterrent, rather than as collective punishment; collective inducement to help the Administration in the restoration of law and order, and collective deterrent to people who would otherwise throw in their lot with the terrorists and co-operate with them. Surely, that is the light in which we have to consider this problem. Is this policy of collective inducement and deterrent the best policy for effecting what we want—namely, to induce people who, but for intimidation by the other side, would be on our side to co-operate with us, and to induce people who are at present neutral not to go over to the other side but to give us their assistance?

My grave doubt about this policy is that it may make the situation in this regard even worse than it is at the moment. According to the Government of Kenya, most of the Kikuyu who took the Mau Mau oath did so under duress; that is what is reported as being the view of the Government of Kenya. There is, of course, a hard core of Mau Mau fanatics but, according to the reports that have beer received in London, the bulk of the tribe has been blackmailed into supporting it. The people who have been blackmailed by the ringleaders of this plot are those we want to get at. We must seriously consider whether the right way of doing this is to impose these severe penalties of deprivation of property, eviction from homes and prevention from earning a living in the ordinary way. These penalties, which are meted out collectively to a large number of people, will fall, in the majority of cases, on individuals who, even if they have taken the Mau Mau oath, did so only because they were too afraid of the other side to say "No." The danger is that in other parts of Kenya, where at present Africans have been helpful, or at least completely neutral, these severe sentences may stimulate sympathy with the Kikuyu and resentment against the Government. I put this view forward before, in regard to Malaya, so at least I am consistent. I may be wrong, but I am consistent. To my mind, the fatal weakness of this policy of collective deterrent and inducement as a means of preventing crime and bringing about co-operation with the Administration is that the penalties imposed by the Government cannot be made sufficiently severe to inspire more fear than the fear of reprisals by the other side. If only we could be just as barbarous as the people who are against us we might have a chance of success in applying these methods. But obviously we cannot wield the knife and indulge in the atrocious and barbarous practices in which the Mau Mau leaders have indulged.

I should like to press home this parallel between the problem of the Chinese squatters in Malaya and the Kikuyu in Kenya. For the most part, these squatters, too, had been blackmailed into helping the Communist terrorists. General Templer, whose work in Malaya I think we all equally admire, has almost completely stopped this assistance to the Communists from the Chinese squatters. The way he has done it is by giving them police protection. That is the first and, I think, the most important of the elements of this new policy—I say "new policy," but in fact, of course, it is an old policy, though General Templer has done it perhaps on a bigger scale and more rapidly. He has done it, in the first place, by giving police protection, by setting up villages with a police post, so that the squatters have confidence that the Administration can protect them from attacks by Communists; and, secondly, by giving them a legal title to their land and political rights—by making them more satisfied citizens. For the most part, these squatters have now been resettled in these villages, and they are having a very much better life than they ever had before when they were scattered about in the jungle. Therefore, this problem has already been solved in Malaya, mainly by police protection and, in the second place, by showing the squatters themselves that the Administration is on their side and anxious to help them.

Surely, that is the right way of solving this same problem in Kenya. Surely, the first and most essential thing is police protection for all these people who are fundamentally neutral and have helped the other side only under duress. What I very much fear is that the old policy, the policy of collective deterrents and collective incentive, when it is carried out —and it has already begun—will be described in terms which will probably be exaggerated and will certainly be used as a criticism of white administration in many parts of Africa. This is just the thing that people have been looking for. I have already seen reports of this kind in the West African Press. I am quite certain that, although I have not seen the reports, the same sort of thing is already circulating in Central Africa. We know what a delicate situation we have there. Everyone wants federation in Central Africa by consent. At the moment, many Africans are opposed to federation, and the Government are trying to enlist their support. This is the sort of thing that can obviously be used by those who want to point out what a risk the Africans would be taking by increasing the power of the local administration.

I cannot help feeling that although these negative criticisms are, I believe, quite justified, anyone who has the temerity to make them should at the same time suggest one or two possible lines of constructive alternative policy. I should like to see, as a first step, the setting up of a conciliation committee in Kenya, composed of members of the different races. The terms of reference of such a committee would be to consider immediate steps which could be taken to remedy the most acute forms of discontent among the African population. I am quite certain that the recommendations of a committee of this kind, with African membership, would carry much more weight with the Africans than any recommendations, even if they were equally good, made by the Administration. I believe that this suggestion has been made already. I hope that it is being considered by the Government of Kenya, and I hope that they will act upon it, because in a situation of this kind I cannot see how such a committee could do anything but good.

The second thing I should like to suggest is that the Government of Kenya should make as much use as possible of what we might call the moderate Africans. There are African members of the Legislative Assembly. There is one African member of the Executive Council, and there is a reconstituted Kenya African Union. These people have said that they would go to the Kikuyu area and try to persuade their fellow Africans to give up Mau Mau and help us. I hope that that offer, which was made a long time ago, will be accepted by the Government of Kenya. I see the difficulty, and I think the Secretary of State was perfectly right in pointing it out. The ban on public meetings obviously cannot be lifted, but I think it might be modified. The Secretary of State pointed out that it would be dangerous, in present circumstances, to have meetings of a large number of people. But surely it could be modified to allow meetings of, say, twenty or thirty people. Meetings of that size would be quite large enough for the Africans themselves—and, of course, a number of Kikuyu who would sit without special authority and be able to meet the leading figures in the different Kikuyu villages.

The last line of policy that I should like to suggest has already been mentioned by the most reverend Primate and therefore I will not stress it; that is, the urgency of sending out the Royal Commission. There has been a great deal of delay. I do not blame the Government, because I believe they have done their best about it. But we ought to stress the importance of not losing a day further, if possible, in the appointing and sending out of this Commission to Kenya. May I make one further suggestion? As we all know, a Royal Commission takes a very long time to report. The noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, is one of the oldest hands, if I may put it that way, in Royal Commissions, and I am sure he will support me. Its work takes a long time, and the fruits of its work take some time before they are translated into action. They have to be considered by Governments, and it is always a long time before any effective action results from Royal Commissions. Will the Government consider asking this Royal Commission to publish an Interim Report, dealing first with those matters which could be settled fairly quickly, in order to avoid the lapse of time, which is so serious in present circumstances, between the improvements in economic conditions and so on, which the Royal Commission will undoubtedly suggest, and the application of these recommendations? Those are one or two practical suggestions, which I very much hope the Government will consider, because I do not believe that a policy of this kind alone, a policy which is bound, unfortunately, to leave a legacy of hatred and bitterness, even after law and order are restored, without a constructive policy associated with it, can bring about the state of affairs which we should all like to see in Kenya —the restoration of the status quo.

4.41 p.m.

My Lords, I should like to confirm what my noble friend, Lord Listowel, has said. I personally, and so does I am sure every noble Lord on these Benches, support the necessary measures to restore and preserve law and order. I should also like it to go from this House that we sympathise with the settlers, with their families, and with the many Africans and Asians who are affected by these terrorists. I hope there is no doubt about that, and that nothing that has happened in the course of this debate will in any way make that less clear. I believe we all, on all sides of the House, feel this.

I do not think that anyone who has not actually lived in these conditions, unless he has a powerful imagination, can really understand the feeling which people who are in this position have. May I mention a personal experience? Many years ago I took my wife and baby for a holiday to Sumatra. It happened to be a very unfortunate time because there was a revolt by the Batak people. When we reached our destination we found that the people had recently murdered the chief of police and had also murdered a missionary and his wife, set their house on fire, and put the heads of the two, alongside their little daughter of four years of age, on the lawn outside. I can well remember my own feelings, responsible as I was for my own wife and my son, under these conditions. Every drum-beat at night sent a shiver down my spine. I can therefore well imagine the conditions of terror in which these outlying settlers must be living. Therefore, we have sympathy with them and we want to do everything possible to help them and the innocent people of all races in Africa who are affected.

There is one point which I must take up immediately and which, I think, has given a wrong impression, though I am sure that that was not intended. It was something which was said by the noble Lord, Lord Rennell. He said that Communism in Malaya could be understood. If the noble Lord thinks that we can "understand" the criminal blackguards in Malaya who will cut off the two hands of a tapper because he will not subscribe to the Communist Party, then I can only say that words fail me. I do not think that the noble Lord could have meant that. Terrorism in the jungle is as bad as terrorism in Kenya. Criminal terrorism is bad anywhere. I hope the noble Lord, when he reads this to-morrow, will realise that he can be very easily misquoted.

It is not my purpose or my duty to defend the noble Lord, Lord Rennell, but I did in fact know that he was going to make a remark of that kind. His intention was to suggest that it was not surprising that there was Communism in Malaya after what the people had been through during the war, when they had no help from overseas and were being encouraged to light against the Japanese enemy. I am sure that Lord Rennell did not mean his remark in the sense that Lord Ogmore suggests.

Even if that is true, I do not accept the, principle. I do not accept that Communists in Malaya have the right to go into insurrection in the jungle or elsewhere; and we ought not to encourage them in any way, either in this House or elsewhere, for they have been a perfect nuisance in Malaya as they are everywhere else.

Now I should like to say a word on the general topic which we are considering. The Government reaction to this criminal terrorist movement in Kenya has been twofold. First of all, there is the particular action they have taken, which has been described by the noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate; the removal of 2,000 people from the area in which the unfortunate Commander Meiklejohn and Mrs. Meiklejohn were living. Then there is the second, more general reaction of the Government—namely, the powers taken against squatters which have also been defined in this House. They are very wide powers; and as we heard yesterday from the noble Lord the Under-Secretary of State, they can be exercised by any district officer anywhere. It would seem to be a new departure in our Colonial practice to give such wide powers to large numbers of officers, some of whom may be comparatively junior. But, of course, it may be necessary.

The effect of the Government measures on the Kikuyu have not in fact been particularly happy, and they have not had the success that they were intended to have. I am bound to quote a newspaper, since when we are in Opposition the Press is one of the most important sources of information we have. I will not quote from The Times—it has been quoted many times to-day already. My quotation is from The Manchester Guardian, and it runs as follows:
"The events of last week-end have produced the tensest atmosphere in the Colony since the emergency was proclaimed five weeks ago. Senior police and military officials believe that Mau Mau terrorism, far from being checked, is now at the point where large-scale clashes with Government forces may be imminent. Terrorism and fear of the Government now appears to have a stronger grip on the Kikuyu tribe, who are showing few signs of attempting to co-operate with the authorities.
"One official who returned here to-day after a fortnight in one of the Reserves even said despair and the beginnings of what could easily lead to mass hysteria were combining to make the situation as ugly as at any time in recent history."
So I think that what this House is concerned with is not whether measures should be taken—of course measures must be taken to deal with terrorist outbreaks —but whether the measures which are being taken are successful and whether they are likely to result in what we all hope will be the conclusion, namely, peace and security in Kenya. That is the point to which I wish to address myself, and it is, I am sure, in the minds of all your Lordships.

There are certain actions which have been taken which may have worried your Lordships as they have worried me. First, there is this question of cattle deaths. I do not want to make too much of it, but to Africans cattle and land are their two forms of security. Land is a tribal or family form of security—individuals cannot, as a rule, own or hold land, under tribal conditions. But cattle are a personal form of security; in other words, cattle are something like the banking accounts of the individual or even of the family. Before a young man there can get married he or his father has to produce so many cattle—"bride cattle." These same cattle often get into a bad state of decrepitude and disease but are bandied about just as a torn and dirty 10s. or £1 note in this country may be bandied about. The intrinsic value of a cow is simply that it is still warm and can move if required.

The effect of this is that anything which affects cattle is of the greatest importance in native society; and I think that the fact that the Kenya Government seized 3,000 cattle, 1,000 of which died in a few days, must have had a very considerable impact upon the native mind. Here is one-third of the whole region's "banking account" liquidated. I cannot understand why proper provision was not made for those cattle. We are not dealing with intangible things, like tribal custom or the effect on the native mind. Here is something about which surely any Government could make arrangements— namely, the care of cattle—and they failed to do so. I am quite certain that if the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, who has already been mentioned, had been handling 3,000 cattle, not one of them would have died, at any rate except through natural causes. Many of your Lordships here are farmers and landowners. I am sure it must have shocked you to hear this as much as it did me.

The powers of the district officers I have already mentioned. That matter also calls for inquiry by the Government and for an answer to be given to this House by the Government as to whether in fact these powers are necessary. If they are necessary, all well and good; but is it necessary for such very wide powers, including the closing down of markets and the burning of huts, to be exercised by such a large number of often young men as is at present the case in Kenya? If it is, all well and good—we do not object; but we should like to know about it.

Then there is now a demand in Kenya for the death penalty and even, in some cases, a retrospective death penalty for those who have been concerned in the leadership of Mau Mau. That, again, may be necessary, but I personally do not like retrospective legislation. I think the Government ought to be most careful before they yield to the demand in some quarters in Kenya for retrospective legislation. What we do not want to achieve in Kenya is lasting bitterness. That is an effect which we should all regret. When you allow people's cattle to die, when you burn their homes, and so on, there is a danger of lasting bitterness. Anyone who has ever discussed the South African War with the Boers even to-day will realise how much the burning of homesteads has caused bitterness in their minds.

My noble and learned friend says. "And the 'Black and Tans' in Ireland." I am dealing with the South African War, which is still a bitter memory in the minds of many South African Boers. It may have been necessary—I do not know; I have never gone into the question and it is not for me to judge, in any case; but, whether it was necessary at the time or not, I am sure the disadvantage in friendship between us and the Boers ever since has far outweighed any slight military advantage there may have been at that time. Therefore. I would again risk the Government, when dealing with property, cattle, huts and the like, to look at this question not only from the immediate security point of view but also from the point of view of the long-term relationship between ourselves and the Kikuyu tribe.

Two wider questions arise and I want to put them because no one else in either House, so far as I know, has mentioned them. They are questions in which I am always very much interested. First, there is the lack of police in the Kikuyu area, and the lack of information. Here successive Governments over many years can blame themselves. The Colonial Office can blame themselves over many years, and Colonial Governments can equally blame themselves, because anyone who has had anything to do with any Colony at all knows that the police are the Cinderellas of the Colonial service—the poor relations. The effect is that if ever there is a Budget which has to be cut, it is the poor who are cut first. The police Vote is always cut, or was until recently.

When I went into the Colonial Office in 1947, Mr. Creech Jones asked me to look into this question of the police. I found that the greatest police force in the world, the largest police force, the Colonial police, had not a single officer of any kind in Whitehall. There was not one person, let alone a Department, in Whitehall who was responsible for the uniform, for the training and for the various conditions of service of the police. It was from then on, under Mr. Creech Jones's administration, that we started. We formed a police department in the Colonial Office in Whitehall. There had never been one before. When we went into it, we found that most extraordinary things, were happening. For instance, in Hong Kong the married police were housed in a disused gaol, a condemned gaol, arid had to pay out of their wages for the cells that they occupied. We found that in West Africa the police were issued with one pair of boots, and if the boots got wet or went to be repaired, they had to go without boots until his boots were available. They were issued with one uniform, and if the uniform got wet the man had to remain in it until it dried on him or he went off duty. Successive Commissioners of Police had pointed out these things, time after time. I am not blaming the police. I sympathise with them and admire them for the way in which they stuck to their jobs in conditions of great adversity and with so little regard from those in authority.

In successive Governments, both in this country and in the Colonies, the police had been regarded as a reactionary institution. That truly does sound extraordinary. In fact, the police are the very foundation of law rind order, and unless you get a police service which is competent, trustworthy and reliable, you will never get any sort of civilised life in a community. What did we find in the Kikuyu country? We found that the Kikuyu had one police officer to 350,000 people, if that was the figure —it was an enormous number. There were many thousands of Kikuyu to one police officer. In this country—I shall be corrected by the noble and gallant Viscount, Lord Trenchard, if I am wrong—we try to get one police officer to a thousand people. I do not say that we always get that, but that is roughly the figure. In my own county it is approximately the figure: one policeman to a thousand people. In Kikuyu-land, it is one policeman to very many thousands, a figure which I regret to say I have forgotten.

Then, very few district officers can speak the Kikuyu language. Presumably there are no detectives, and no information or intelligence is corning out. These are long-term matters. I have mentioned to your Lordships previously in debates in this House, before this Mau Mau question arose at all, the necessity for police intelligence, and so have other noble Lords. I think the noble Lord, Lord Rennell, has mentioned it previously. We keep on mentioning these things, but nothing seems to be done about them. Unless we get, in places like Kikuyu-land, a proper police service with proper information and intelligence, we shall never know from one moment to the next when these troubles are going to arise. After all, a big issue like this does not come up like a sudden storm. There is bound to be a cloud on the horizon. It is significant that Sir Philip Mitchell, the former Governor, rather "Pooh-poohed" any danger of insurrection or anything like that, only a few months before he ceased to be Governor, showing, therefore, that his own political intelligence from the Kikuyu was extremely defective.

I should like to raise another fundamental question. I have mentioned time after time, and I intend to go on mentioning it, that there is no interest in this country in Colonial matters until something goes wrong. No one can deny that. I regret to say that, except for the faithful few in both Houses of Parliament, the same observation applies to Parliament also. There is not the great interest there should be in this question and, therefore, we never discuss the fundamental matters underlying the sort of problem with which we are faced in Kenya. There are underlying questions which have already been referred to by the most reverend Primate and by my noble friend, Lord Listowel: the question of land and the question of the impact of Western civilisation far too quickly upon an ancient tribal civilisation. Even much of the dispute about the White Highlands may well be affected by something of that kind. But we never discuss any of these things here or in another place because, as I say, these fundamental questions do not arouse sufficient public interest in this country. In these changing times, when new and powerful forces are ranging over Africa and the East, I do not see how we are going to carry on unless we do discuss and try to arrive at a conclusion on some of these fundamental questions. If we do not do that, we and the public will be constantly faced with a succession of eruptions, political and criminal, and be constantly staggered in regard to why, and how suddenly, they have arrived. In fact, to a greater or a lesser extent, they can almost always be foreseen.

Finally, I should like to support the most reverend Primate, the Lord Archbishop of York, in his request to the Government, that, as soon as possible the Royal Commission shall go to Kenya. It has been most unfortunate that the Royal Commission has been delayed for so long. The name of the chairman seemed to be in the melting pot so long that it almost melted away. At last it did come out of the melting pot. But the names of the members are still there; we do not know who they are. We have not had a certain time for the departure to Kenya of the Royal Commission. All this breeds uncertainty and suspicion in an atmosphere where suspicion is rife. I ask the Government to make up their minds quickly about this Royal Commission, and to get it on its way, so that we may have a real Report on some of the fundamental matters which I have mentioned.

5.3 p.m.

My Lords, I do not feel that I have sufficient knowledge to enable me to express a worth-while opinion on this subject of collective punishment. All I feel sure of is that on both sides of the House there is complete unanimity in regarding this as an odious business, involving the Government in what I am sure they feel is an odious responsibility. But it is equally a very odious thing for the authorities to know that there are people who are aware of the names and identities of men who have committed particularly brutal and barbarous murders but who do not come forward and give that information. Whether the mentality and the customs of the Africans concerned are such that they would regard collective punishment as a normal state of affairs, I do not know. As I have said, we in this country can regard it only as an odious necessity. Something has been said this afternoon about the responsibility of the Government for protecting the settlers and their wives and children. Again, there will be complete unanimity about that, and about the expressions of sympathy which have gone out to those settlers who, far too often, are spoken of as having exploited the country, while nothing is said about what they have done to develop it. Of course, we all join in those expressions of sympathy to the settlers who, while this terror continues, must be in such constant anxiety about their families.

While it has been rather briefly mentioned to-day, I should like to emphasise a point which is very much in my own mind; that perhaps the main responsibility of the Government in this matter is to the Africans who are themselves concerned by it. Here in this country, over long years, we have devoted much effort and pressure—devoted churchmen and administrators have given the whole of their lives—to bringing the Africans forward into civilisation and here, suddenly, almost like a bolt from the blue, we find ourselves involved in a movement which threatens to send those Africans back into barbarism. I cannot help feeling that here also, perhaps, there will be agreement that the main responsibility is to the Africans themselves, to prevent that fate befalling them. While, as I say, I do not venture to express an opinion about this question of collective punishment, there are just one or two things that I should like to say. First, I hope that in his speech the Government spokesman may feel able to say that the Government will pay the closest attention to the results which follow from the system which I am sure they have been forced to adopt. Secondly, this business has come rather quickly upon the Government, and they have had to come to very rapid decisions and to act swiftly. I hope that we may have an assurance that the Government will keep under continuous review the possibility of alternative methods to collective punishment in dealing with this matter. If I may, with great respect, venture to say so, I think that two such assurances would be of great help, both to the people here and in Africa.

The only other thing I want to mention, and that very briefly, is this question of an inquiry into the shooting which has been mentioned this afternoon. Something was said about the youth of the officers who had to give the order. In the Navy, at any rate, officers have to take very heavy responsibilities at a much younger age than the age of the officers concerned in this matter. I think something was said about the authority by which these officers acted. I am not acquainted with military law, but surely there is a covering authority for all officers to protect the lives of their men if they are endangered. As I understand it, the lives of these men were in great danger. After all, enlisted men cannot adopt the methods of passive resistance, and lie down on the ground if they find themselves threatened in such a manner.

I should like to ask the Government whether they will reconsider this question of ordering an inquiry into this matter. I can see great advantages from having such an inquiry. I believe that it would have a great effect, at a time when the Government are faced with this great emergency and when they have to take drastic and ruthless steps to deal with it, if we were able at the same time to show that, wherever possible, there would bean inquiry into what was being done. It would be very reassuring indeed if it were to be seen that, side by side with the actions which the Government have got to take, they will, wherever possible, hold an inquiry into incidents of this nature. What possible harm can be done by having such an inquiry? I can see only good coming out of it. To begin with, I think it would greatly reassure public opinion at home if the Government were to show that inquiries are held into such matters. Perhaps it will be found that something was done which was wrong and which should not have been done. Surely only good can come of recognising that fact and acting upon it. If, on the other hand, it is found that what was done was perfectly correct, what could he better for our prestige than to say, "We have had an inquiry, and it has been found that what was done was perfectly correct" My Lords, for those reasons I would ask that the Government should have another look at this question of holding an inquiry. I hope that they will yet decide to do so, because I believe that the effect of their doing so could leave nothing but an excellent impression, both here and in Africa.

5.10 p.m.

My Lords, I feel sorry this afternoon that it should fall to my lot, in replying to this discussion on behalf of the Government, to tell the noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate, quite categorically and frankly, that I thought the speech which he delivered to your Lordships' House on this occasion was one of the most lamentable and dreadful things I have ever heard. Fortunately, the attitude which he adopted was not followed by any other noble Lord, either on those Benches or on these, and I trust, therefore, that when he thinks over again the remarks which he has made, he will realise the damage they will undoubtedly cause in Kenya, and will take the earliest opportunity of withdrawing many of those very unfortunate outbursts. In the whole course of his speech, the noble Viscount never gave the House any indication whatever of what counter-action he would propose to the Government of Kenya or to Her Majesty's Government at home to deal with this outbreak of murder, violence, abominations and atrocities. Fortunately, as I say, the noble Viscount was followed by other noble Lords in this House who did nothing at all to prejudice the difficult situation which undoubtedly now prevails in Kenya.

I take it that the real purpose of this debate is, first, to inquire again from the Government whether they will set up a committee of inquiry to look into the unfortunate disaster of last week, and, second, to extract further information from the Government about the policy of collective punishment which has been adopted in Kenya. I should like in the first place to make a few brief remarks upon the emergency legislation which has come into effect, with particular reference to the policy of collective punishment. All the emergency regulations which are in force in Kenya to-day were made under powers which were conferred upon the Government by the Emergency Powers Order that was passed in this country away back in March, 1939. That Order was not, therefore, in any sense whatever, a part of the war legislation, under which, as the House may remember, a number of Acts were passed through immediately on the outbreak and the declaration of war. This Emergency Powers Order covers almost every single one of the Colonies, and was originally made to deal with a situation such as now prevails in Kenya itself.

I should like to take this opportunity of reading a few lines from Part II of the Order, so that the House can see at once the power which rests in the Governor of any Colony in the event of an outbreak of disorder, or in the case of other forms of emergency. Part II, Section 6 (1) reads as follows:
"The Governor may make such regulations as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of the territory, the maintenance of public order and the suppression of mutiny, rebellion and riot, and for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community."
A copy of the regulations which have been approved was placed in the Library as soon as we received them in this country, and I am, obviously and naturally, willing at all times to send any noble Lord a copy for his own personal use, if he should desire me to do so. As all these Orders are available for every one to see, I hope that the noble Viscount who moved this Motion—though in fact he did not pursue his Question—will not press me now or at a later stage to agree to the publication of a White Paper setting out the emergency legislation which is in force.

May I intervene just to ask the noble Earl this? He very courteously supplied me with a duplicated copy of this Order—I received it last night. May I assume that it is not a private document?

Certainly, It has been placed in the Library, and the noble Viscount has an unlimited right to use it whenever he wishes.

The first duty of a Government, as is well known to every noble Lord in this House, is to maintain law and order; and if the existing laws are found to be inadequate or totally insufficient to deal with outbreaks of terrorism and violence, then I have no doubt in my mind that the Government must seek additional powers even though those which they do seek and are given are of only a temporary nature. None of us, either on this side or the other side of the House, I think, can look with favour upon these emergency powers which the Kenya Government, with the full concurrence of Her Majesty's Government at home, have taken. But we are fully satisfied that this outbreak of murder, mutilation of cattle, and other abominable crimes can be dealt with only by the most unusual and stringent measures. The emergency regulations now in operation are, as I have said, of a temporary nature, and they will automatically expire at the end of the emergency. Every noble Lord in the House to-day, as in former times, has always been jealous of granting large additional powers to the Executive, but on occasion it is necessary to grant to Government such powers, to be used in times of grave emergency and to help, or to try to help, to restore peace and tranquillity in the area.

When we come to the question of collective punishment itself. I know that there are many people who are unhappy about the procedure, which is one that is generally abhorrent to those of us who live entirely within a civilised community. But I should like, if I may, to remind noble Lords—as indeed Lord Ogmore, I think, did a few moments ago—that there are within Kenya hundreds of thousands of people who are inhabitants of that territory and who are living in the midst of people who are indulging in the most diabolical crime. It is very easy, after the crime has been committed, and in the vast areas of that country, for the perpetrators to escape, unknown and undetected. But we believe that this system of collective punishment which is now being pursued by the Government of Kenya will help enormously to restore order and to lessen the outbreak of violence within the Kikuyu area. The intention of the Government of Kenya—again with the concurrence of Her Majesty's Government at home—is to confine this collective punishment to small areas where there have been serious outbreaks of crime or where there have been Mau Mau meetings. No property of any sort will actually be forfeited, in whole or in part, except on the Governor's personal authority, which at all times will be carefully exercised. The noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate, asked whether thought that was a just and effective way of dealing with the present outbreak of violence. I maintain that in all these circumstances it is just, and it is an effective way of trying to put down these hideous crimes which have developed in that territory. I would remind the House in passing—I do not want to wander over many parts of the world, as has been done in certain instances by noble Lords who have spoken to-day—that in Malaya the introduction of collective punishment undoubtedly has been a substantial success.

I should like to reply to one or two of the individual questions which were addressed to me this afternoon. The noble Viscount, Lord Stansgate, raised the question of dogs pursuing women and children. If the noble Viscount had asked me at an earlier stage, I could have told him exactly what these dogs are and for what purposes they are used. He will and they are employed in exactly the same manner as police forces in this country use them for catching certain criminals. But to say, as the noble Viscount undoubtedly endeavoured to convey, that these dogs are savage and attacked women and children, is completely and utterly without any foundation whatever. The noble Viscount will forgive me. That is not the British way of performing any particular function. We are not cruel and brutal and it is monstrous to make out to your Lordships and to the country that these dogs are employed for some brutal and frightful purpose.

I have no idea what the breed of dog is; but, whatever the breed, the dog does not do what the noble Viscount says it does. I turn to another matter mentioned by the noble Viscount—namely, that of the cleansing ceremonies. Mention has been made in the Press about these ceremonies for the cleansing of Africans of Mau Mau oaths which they have taken. I think it is important now, although I did not think so until I heard the noble Viscount's speech, that we should make a clear and categorical statement of exactly where the Government of Kenya and Her Majesty's Government stand in this matter. There are a large number of Africans who have taken this oath and it is most important that those who believe in the supernatural power of the oath should be enabled to rid themselves altogether of the obligations which the oath has imposed upon them. The initiative in this matter came from the elders of the tribe and, acting on their advice, the Government of Kenya agreed to encourage people to cleanse themselves by whatever means would be acceptable to the individuals concerned. In consequence, these cleansing ceremonies take a variety of forms in different localities, but it would be utterly wrong to say that the Government sponsor any particular form of ceremony. The main and important fact in the cleansing ceremonies is that these ceremonies, whichever they may be, are conducted by the people themselves in a manner regarded by them to be satisfactory for the purpose.

I do not know who pays the witch doctor. I have no idea. What I am endeavouring to point out is that these ceremonies were drawn up and urged by the tribal leaders themselves, and in point of fact were not undertaken by Her Majesty's Government or by the Government of Kenya.

Before I come to the question of an official inquiry into the unhappy events of last week, I should like to thank the most reverend Primate, the Lord Archbishop of York, for the observations which he made in the course of his speech. At the same time, I should like to offer my thanks to the many missionary societies of all denominations who are working in Kenya and who have done so much for the cause of civilisation in that part of the world. They may be situated in an area hundreds of miles from their nearest neighbours, but they are still carrying on their duties, without fear of the consequences to themselves or to their cause.

I come to deal now with the unfortunate incident which occurred last week when a number of Africans were killed and injured. I would ask the House to bear with me until I deal with certain important details and try as nearly as possible to give the House a correct summary of what occurred. It was on November 22 at half-past ten in the morning that a police corporal and eight askaris, of whom only four were armed, found a mob of 2,000 people, armed with pangas, in the market place. The mob advanced and stoned the police. After warning the crowd, the corporal advised his men to open fire, but he was forced to retire. He went to call for reinforcements, which ultimately arrived under the charge of Inspector Blackwell, with two European officers and twenty-two African policemen. They arrived just after mid-day on the same day and took up their positions on two sides of the market square. Let me assure the noble Viscount here and now that I understand, so far as my information goes, that all entrances to the market square were by no means barred to the crowd.

Apparently, after the arrival of the police, the mob became frenzied. They were harangued by a youth and a young woman and after a certain time Inspector Blackwell arrested the youth, who called upon the mob there and then to rescue him. After the crowd had been warned, Inspector Blackwell and one officer each fired a warning sten gun burst into the ground. There can be no doubt that the mob was well aware of the purpose of firing the sten guns, for thereupon they all lay down. But ultimately they got up again and attacked in a most determined manner. The Inspector ordered fire to be opened at a very short range and, naturally enough, the mob then bolted. The wounded were quickly succoured and taken to hospital. The total confirmed casualties up to last night were sixteen dead and seventeen wounded. So far as our information goes at the moment, it appears that the immediate cause of the mob's anger was the police post which was being built at Kirawara. As my right honourable friend stated last night, the mob leader, the youth who was arrested, was said to have been dumb until last week, when he recovered his speech, saw visions, prophesied that God would appear at 13.00 hours, that aeroplanes would fall to the earth and police bullets would turn into water. I do not know whether the noble Viscount saw visions to-day when he made his speech, but there may be some association between the two.

The noble Earl must be aware that this sort of thing is very common. When we were flying in Arabia in the First World War, we were picking up papers in which the population were informed that our air machines would do exactly the same thing. There is nothing unusual about this. It is the mark of people who are savage.

That is true, but there was much that was unusual in the noble Viscount's speech, about which I feel very bothered. Apparently the mob was Mau Mau inspired, as all their articles of European clothing had been removed and piled up beside the market place. According to the Governor's telegram, the discipline of the police was excellent; their fire was opened and ceased on command. I maintain that it was the duty of these police officers, however young, in the situation in which they found themselves at that moment, to act as they thought right. It was not for them, whatever their age, to ring up headquarters for advice—indeed, as I understand life in the Service, there is no worse sin than that. These officers were rained, they had character and they had courage. I have not any doubt whatever that what they did was absolutely correct, proper and right. The first burden which falls on any officer, whatever his age may be, is to look after the safety, security and welfare of his men. That, indeed, they did, to, I believe, their everlasting glory and credit.

What is the purpose of opening a committee of inquiry into this unhappy and disastrous event? It is clear from the accounts I have given to your Lordships and from the account given by my right honourable friend in another place last night, that all the facts are known; that everything has come quite clearly and easily before the public eye; and that, in the circumstances, there was nothing left for the police officers to do than to defend themselves, to defend their men, and put down down as best they could this frenzied mob of wild Mau Mau enthusiasts. Having listened to noble Lords in all parts of the House advocating that an inquiry should be opened, with the best will in the world I do not feel that I can suggest to my right honourable friend that he should reconsider the decision he made last night, I think in a proper and normal manner.

I should like to reply to a few of the other questions which have been addressed to me to-day. I hope that the Royal Commission will go out to Kenya at the earliest possible date when the names of the other members of the Commission have been published. I see the point mentioned by the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, that it might be wise for the Commission to make an interim Report, and I will certainly bear that in mind before the date of the departure of the Commission from this country. The noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, asked whether I had any further information about the deaths of the cattle which had been rounded up. A telegram has been sent to the Governor of Kenya, but at the moment, unfortunately, I have no further information which I can give to the noble Lord.

I would say this in conclusion, having answered, as I think I have, the principal questions which have been addressed to me. I am afraid, and I have always been afraid, that this outbreak of disorder might do more than anything else to damage that spirit of co-partnership for which we have all been working. It can, in fact, only exacerbate relations between the races and leave in its trail a spirit of bad feeling, which may, in point of fact, take a long time to heal. But, at the same time, I should like to pay my tribute to all those law-abiding citizens— Europeans, Africans and Asians—who in these difficult times have offered their support to the Government. I have no doubt that the House will have been impressed with the restraint which they have all shown ever since this emergency began. To them I would offer my support, to the police in Kenya, and to all those who are connected with law and order, who are carrying a very difficult task upon their shoulders, but who, in our judgment, in doing so are helping to rebuild a more stable, solid and firm future for that, at the moment, unhappy Colony.

5.35 p.m.

My Lords, the noble Earl has made a very good speech, and I have no complaint to make. I would not have moved this Motion, or made my speech, if I had not felt it was my duty to do so. In saying what I did, I tried to make it absolutely truthful—and it turns out that in the matter of the dogs I was right. I mention that only because I am anxious that no one should think I was loose in collecting material; I was trying to get the right material.

On the matter of these dogs, the impression the noble Viscount made on the House—though I do not know that it was the impression he intended to give—was that in a barbaric moment the police loosed dogs on the civilian population, including women and children. What, in fact, happened was that police dogs were used for the apprehension of individual criminals, in the same way as is done in this country. I think I am justified in saying that that was a slightly loose description, and I am glad that the matter has now been cleared up.

The noble Marquess puts his own gloss on what I said. I said nothing about bloodhounds attacking children. I said that these round-ups were accompanied by dogs. I asked the noble Earl what the dogs were, and he did not know. Following on what the noble Marquess has said, I suppose they were Pekingese.

Whole families were being rounded-up indiscriminately, and the parties rounding them up were accompanied by dogs.

Dogs were not biting and gnawing women and children. They were merely rounding them up in the normal manner, as is done in this country. To say that they were attacking women and children is without any foundation.

I never said that they were attacking women and children. I said that villages were surrounded by forces which included dogs, and that is the truth. I will leave it there.

So far as what the noble Earl said about the good will of Kenya is concerned, I think that one of the saddest things about this is that in Kenya there were signs among members—I am thinking particularly of Mr. Blundell—of a real desire to bring the races together. I made no mention of the dangers to the settlers. My first sentence was that we had a responsibility for the settlers, and that is what I feel. The whole burden of my case is not that I want to abandon settlers to savages, but to point out not only that I regard what the Government are doing as morally wrong, but also that I believe it will be ineffective. Indeed, it has already proved to be ineffective. That is the burden of my case. The noble Marquess, Lord Willingdon, interrupted me about the Air Force. I have the same feeling about all the victims of this thing. I do not think the method we are taking is the right method.

I am not experienced in African affairs, as is my noble friend Lord Ogmore, but I have had a certain experience of Indian affairs, and I try to relate the two. This throwing off of European clothing is supposed to be a sign of entering on some savage rite. I am told that in Africa, as it certainly was in India, it is a sign of national independence. Mr. Gandhi when as a young solicitor he agitated in South Africa for the rights of Indians in South Africa, wore a frock coat. When I had the honour to present Mr. Gandhi to King George V, Mr. Gandhi flaunted his khadr—I did not like it myself. If you have imagination, there is something in that. The khadr and the Empire meeting was the beginning of the reconciliation between India and our country. I think it is jejune and rather childish to produce these stories about throwing off their hats or their boots as if it was the preparation for some savage ritual.

The noble Earl spoke as if the powers now being exercised have been usual in Colonial administration. I read about General Templer's efforts. I am not sure that they are successful, and I do not know of similar powers existing anywhere else.

In that case I am wrong, and we are dealing with this case in an entirely exceptional way. The noble Earl says that he thinks it right to confiscate property. I should like to ask my noble friend Lord Ogmore about this matter. I am told that all cattle are marked with the mark of the individual owner, and that what happens is this. The cattle are rounded up, a certain amount are sold for the benefit of revenue and the rest are sent back to the tribe. But suppose that a man who does not get his cattle back is innocent, and that the man who does is the criminal? That is how the burden falls, because it is individual property which is being individually sold. I may be wrong about this, and I have got into enough trouble this afternoon by trying to get information from what I thought were qualified sources. But perhaps the noble Earl will go into this matter and find out whether, when we take property without any criminal charge being made, we return it. Or is it just the luck of the dice, as you might say, who gets his cattle and who does not?

The noble Earl hinted that there had been no helpful suggestion. My two practical suggestions are these. Of course the Colonial administrators do the work. I think it is a crime and a cowardly thing to try to put the responsibility for Kirawara on to the shoulders of these young men. The person responsible was the person who, knowing the state of the country, sent those three young men without police support—I do not know about Inspector Blackwell—into this difficult situation. We want art inquiry as to what orders were given. Were these men simply told to go to a village where they would find a mob? Who briefed them? Who took the responsibility? These are things that we must know. The purpose of the inquiry is to reassure our friends in Africa, our African friends, that this sort of thing does lot happen without the most vigilant scrutiny by the British Parliament. That is one suggestion, and the precedent for that is complete. I think it was the Hunter Commission—it is thirty years ago now —which looked into the business to which I have referred.

Finally, our broad suggestion is this. If you are going to govern Africa you must get the assistance of Africans, and what you have done is to alienate Africans. I am told that Africans who were friendly with us a week before Kiriwara were no longer friendly when my informant met them again. That is a very dangerous thing, because 30,000 settlers cannot control a Colony of 5 million without at least the assent and, I should hope, the good will of the African. Therefore, to put a point on this, I should say to the Government: In appointing this Commission, do remember that you must have trusted Africans. In my opinion Mr. Baldwin made a great mistake in India when he appointed the Simon Commission of white men. The Commission's Report was a miracle, as one would expect from the noble and learned Viscount, but it was a psychological mistake; and the work of the Simon Commission—I do not know how many there were, but Mr. Baldwin called them "seven of God's good men" or some such words—was disastrous. We tried to make it good by appointing Mr. Shankrin Nair, and a parallel Commission. Therefore, the practical suggestion I make is that the Commission should be appointed quickly and that it should include at least a large section of Africans in whom the Africans have trust. I am very grateful to those noble Lords who have listened and, in common with your Lordships, I have been trying to discharge a duty which I would never have refused. I shall not press the Motion, because there is no point in it. I beg leave, therefore, to withdraw it.

Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.

House adjourned at a quarter before six o'clock.