Trade Union Officials (Detention)

Oral Answers to Questions — Uganda – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1945.

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Mr. Creech Jones:

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the president, secretary and others of the Uganda Drivers' Union have been arrested; and whether intimidation is being practised and military Forces still employed in the Protectorate.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information regarding the arrest of the president, secretary and members of the Motor Drivers' Trade Union in Uganda.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

The Governor has reported that he has ordered the detention under Uganda Defence Regulation No. 23 of five persons, including the president and secretary of the Motor Drivers' Trade Union, because he has reasonable cause to believe that they had recently been concerned in acts prejudicial to the public safety and that by reason thereof it was necessary to exercise control over them. There is no justification whatever for the suggestion that intimidation is being practised; and the additional military Forces are being progressively withdrawn.

Mr. Creech Jones:

Will the Minister say what precisely are the grounds for these arrests, what acts these men have committed and whether any opportunity will be given for an investigation to be made? Are they detained or imprisoned, and will they have an opportunity of answering any charges made against them?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

As I said, they are under detention under the Regulations, and it is not the practice, any more than it is the practice in regard to cases coming under Regulations in this country, to give specific details of the charges which were made.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Were the offences committed such as would have resulted in the general secretary and chairman of the Transport Workers' Union in this country being arrested if they had committed the same offences here?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

The hon. Member must realise that these events in Uganda were concerned not only with an industrial dispute, but with a very serious and organised disturbance.

Mr. Creech Jones:

Will these detained people have the right to appeal against their detention?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

The normal procedure under these Regulations.