Detainees

Oral Answers to Questions — Nyasaland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland 12:00 am, 9th April 1959

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many detainees in or from Nyasaland have asked for legal advice; and what answer has been given to them.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

Only one detainee has asked for legal assistance and he later withdrew his request. Every help will be given to those asking for legal assistance.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

The Minister will be aware that extremely serious charges have been made against these people. Surely, it is desirable that they should have legal assistance? May I return to the question that, without any prejudice to what the Minister was saying in reply to earlier questions, no harm could be done is they were given some idea of the charges against them?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

That is not the Question the hon. Gentleman asked. I have answered the Question and I cannot add to my reply now.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will ensure that all detainees from Nyasaland, even those now held outside the territory, are informed of their rights of appeal to the commission which is to consider their cases when this commission is established.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

The right of appeal is to the Advisory Committee established by the Governor, not to the Commission of Inquiry which I have set up.

All persons detained, either within or outside Nyasaland, under detention orders made by the Governor, are made aware of their right of appeal to the former.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

But is the Minister satisfied that they know of their rights, because in previous cases there have been grave doubts as to whether detainees, particularly those outside the jurisdiction, were aware of their rights?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I am not aware of other cases where detainees have been outside the jurisdiction, and I do not know to what the hon. Gentleman is referring. I am certain that in this as in other cases they are fully aware of their rights.