Oral Answers to Questions — Kenya (Royal Commission)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th October 1952.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington 12:00 am, 30th October 1952

asked the Prime Minister if he will announce the composition of a Royal Commission to visit Kenya; and, in view of the urgency of the situation in Kenya, if he will make arrangements for such a commission to commence its survey immediately.

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend is not yet in a position to make an announcement though he hopes that the name of the Chairman of the Royal Commission and the detailed terms of reference will be announced quite soon. The importance of this inquiry is fully realised.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Would the Leader of the House convey to the Prime Minister that there has been too much delay, and would he consider making the composition of the Commission multi-racial?

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will convey to the Prime Minister two things? First, since there was a suggestion in the debate in another place yesterday that the Royal Commission would not begin work until January, will he represent to the Prime Minister how important it is that it should begin its work forthwith? Secondly, will he ask the Prime Minister to bear in mind, in choosing the personnel of the Commission, and in view of the multi-racial community in East Africa and Kenya, the advisability of including people other than Europeans on it?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

I am sure those expressions of opinion will be noted but, as the right hon. Gentleman realises, the Secretary of State is now in that Colony.

Mrs. White:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Secretary of State is reported to have said in Kenya only yesterday that an announcement about the Commission will be made before the end of this week? Can he explain the delay? If not, then could we have somebody who is capable of answering our questions?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

I do not know that there is any delay. I have said that it is hoped to make the announcement quite soon. I cannot carry in my mind—indeed, I have not seen—all sorts of things that may have appeared in the newspapers this morning. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to know why not, he will remember from his time in office that one is very busy in the morning of the day the House is to prorogue.