Basutoland Native Courts (Fines)

Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th October 1944.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East 12:00 am, 19th October 1944

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs into what fund are paid the fines imposed by the native courts in Basutoland; what persons are financially concerned therein; and to what uses these receipts are put.

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

Fines imposed by the native courts in Basutoland are at present paid to the Chiefs authorised to hold courts, and form part of the emoluments which they receive in respect of their responsibilities and obligations under native custom. Proposals have, however, recently been formulated by a local committee of chiefs and officials for the establishment of a Basuto National Treasury. As part of this scheme, it is proposed that such fines should in future be paid into that Treasury, the Chiefs being remunerated instead by fixed allowances. A memorandum explaining the scheme has been circulated throughout the Territory, in order that the views of the general body of the population may be obtained.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Is it a fact that the native chiefs, who order the courts, take the fines imposed, as part of their own perquisites, and when is that coming to an end?

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, if my hon. and gallant Friend will read my answer, he will see that that is the case. With regard to the second part, we are taking steps at present. We realise that the situation is unsatisfactory, and we are anxious to put an end to it as soon as possible.