Oral Answers to Questions — Nyasaland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1959.
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many African graduates were resident in Nyasaland at the time of the declaration of the state of emergency; how many of them have been arrested; and how many are still in detention.
In view of the fact that such a large proportion of the educated leadership of the African community has been arrested, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will give an assurance that as soon as the Devlin Commission's report is published he will either formulate charges against those who are still in detention or release them to go back into the service of their fellow-Africans?
I will do all I can to help to restore conditions of normality as soon as possible. I regret that those who have had these special opportunities have not yet realised that the best way to help their country is to co-operate with the Nyasaland Government which shares so many of their aspirations.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is comments just of that kind which alienate African opinion? Is it not somewhat improper that before the Devlin Commission has even reported, the right hon. Gentleman should utter expressions of opinion of that kind?
Certainly not. I do not think that there was anything improper in the reply. If answers are to be given to Questions, the question may arise whether the Questions should be asked and not whether answers should be given.
In view of the nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter at the earliest opportunity.