asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action has been taken following the proposal of the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia to release from detention in that territory persons originating in Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland, subject to their repatriation to their country of origin.
I am informed that the detainees to be repatriated to Northern Rhodesia will be provided with free transport, food and accommodation to their destinations. The actual dates depend upon the completion of the necessary administrative arrangements.
I am seeking information from the Governor of Nyasaland about the detainees from that territory and will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realize that some of these people who have been detained under Southern Rhodesia law — I am not now speaking of those who happen to be in prison there, but who are detained under Nyasaland law — are persons who for many years have earned their living in Southern Rhodesia, and that if they are repatriated they will have their homes broken up and will lose their jobs and so on? Will he exercise his protecting power over these people, who are British-protected persons, who have been working in Southern Rhodesia?
I have every desire to help those people who wish to return as soon as possible to settle in areas where they can find means to support their families. The Government and I are at one in that desire.