Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Rhodesia (Native Boy's Sentence).

– in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a 10 years old African boy was sentenced in Northern Rhodesia for a sexual offence to four years' detention in a reformatory and was sent about 1,000 miles to serve this sentence in the Transvaal, where he was handcuffed under the guard of a policeman; that the sight of this handcuffed child in the streets of Johannesburg has caused public concern; and whether he will at once take steps to amend the penal law of Northern Rhodesia so as to reform the treatment of juvenile offenders?

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

I was not aware of the incident described, but my hon. Friend has been good enough to supply me with certain information. The Governor of Northern Rhodesia is being asked to furnish particulars as to the alleged occurrence.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that this meant taking a native child from a Colony to a Dominion and that it was an additional penalty that he had to make a journey of 1,000 miles to a place of punishment? Will he take steps to see that a reformatory in the Colony is established?

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

Yes, Sir. That is why I wanted to obtain accurate information, because, in general, juvenile delinquents in Northern Rhodesia are committed either to a separate section of the central prison or to a reformatory training school which is run under the auspices of the Salvation Army in Northern Rhodesia.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Would my right hon. Friend say whether procedure such as that indicated in this case can ever be justified?

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

The first thing to find out is whether, in fact, it happened.