As the inquiry into the cause of these deaths is still being held, I am unable at present to add to my reply to the hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) on 26th March.
I will place in the Library a copy of the inquest proceedings when the magistrate has announced his findings.
While not wishing in any way to prejudge the findings of the inquiry, may I ask the Secretary of State whether he agrees that it is clear that the original explanation that these men died after drinking contaminated water was wholly inaccurate and misleading? Does not this whole incident lend considerable support to the demand of the Opposition for a judicial inquiry into conditions in camas in Kenya?
I think that the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, despite what he said by way of introduction, tries to anticipate the findings. In answer to the second part of his supplementary question, I do not believe that an independent inquiry is justified. As I have said, the Attorney-General of Kenya will consider whether further action is necessary when the magistrate's findings are made known.
Is not it clear from the evidence given by Kenya officials during the inquest that the control by the prison department in Kenya over what happens in these camps is inadequate? That has always been the basis of the demand made by the Opposition on the need for a full, independent inquiry into conduct in the camps, because we fear that the Colonial Secretary himself is not being kept properly informed on what is going on there.
In view of the great anxiety about this, could not the right hon. Gentleman undertake to make a statement to the House when he receives evidence of what further action is considered necessary?