Legal and Judicial Posts (Native Appointments).

Oral Answers to Questions — West Africa. – in the House of Commons on 15th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies how many native African magistrates and judges have been appointed to West African colonial courts during the last ten years and are still presiding; and whether consideration is being given to the need of substantially increasing the number of these appointments?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

According to the information at present available in the Colonial Office, the following legal and judicial posts in West Africa are held by Africans:

Nigeria:

  • 1 Judge.
  • 3 Magistrates.
  • 1 Crown Counsel.

Gold Coast:

  • 2 Judges.
  • 2 Magistrates.
  • 1 Crown Counsel.
Suitable African candidates are considered for these posts as and when vacancies in the establishment occur.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask what percentage that is of the total number of judges and magistrates in the Colonies, and whether he is satisfied that all the legal ability among trained Africans is being used in this direction?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

I am afraid that I cannot answer the first part of the question without notice. With regard to the second part, judges like other people remain in their posts, and vacancies can only be filled as they occur.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Can we have an assurance that suitable applicants for vacancies are sympathetically considered?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

Yes, Sir; I said that in by reply.