Oral Answers to Questions — Kenya (Banned Periodical)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes 12:00 am, 27th July 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the latest development in discussions regarding the banning in Kenya of the periodical "Labour Monthly"; and which articles in the two issues immediately preceding the ban were not considered suitable for circulation in Kenya.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

I am not aware of any developments, or that any discussions have taken place. This is a matter within the competence of the Governor, who is not required to give reasons for the ban, or to indicate which articles were not considered suitable for circulation in Kenya.

Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes

Is the Minister aware that the last three issues of "Labour Monthly" contained eight contributions from hon. Members of the party opposite? Does he not think it a most unfortunate thing that so-called supporters of his party can contribute so freely to a subversive publication?

Hon. Members:

Answer.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

The hon. and gallant Member has asked for my opinion. If he asks for facts, I will give them to him.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

Does that mean that when a publication has been banned by a Government and it includes a number of contributions from the colleagues of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State, the right hon. Gentleman himself has made no inquiries from the Governor and has not asked him the reasons for banning it or what was the nature of the particular article of which he disapproved?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

The question of banning any periodical is in the absolute discretion of the Governor and it is not part of our duty to contest his ruling, as the right hon. Gentleman knows full well.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

I did not ask the hon. Gentleman whether he contested the ruling, but whether his right hon. Friend had ever asked the Governor his reasons for banning the publication and what were the particular items to which he took exception?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

That question does not arise out of the Question on the Order Paper.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

With great respect, it seems to arise absolutely directly. Is the hon. Gentleman unable, or unwilling, to answer the question?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

I am not prepared an answer without notice.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does the Minister realise that there is a strange contrast between the banning of this paper in one place while Communist literature is still allowed to circulate in another place? Does he think it is more dangerous than in another place? Can he say if there is any other area in which "Labour Monthly" is banned?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

I think the right hon. Member for West Bristol (Mr. Stanley) ought to know better—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes, I mean that and the right hon. Gentleman knows that what I say is perfectly true. When more and more self-government is given to Colonies they must have a lot of these detailed decisions in their own hands. We cannot have self-government, on the one hand, and interference from Whitehall in every little detail, on the other.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

Does that diatribe mean that the Secretary of State for the Colonies never asked the Governor what were his reasons for banning this publication?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams Lieut-Colonel David Rees-Williams , Croydon South

I have already said that the right hon. Gentleman had better put that question down and he will get an answer.