Meetings (Ordinance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Somaliland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1959.

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Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby 12:00 am, 23rd July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that Ordinance No. 1, 1959, issued at Hargeisa, Somaliland, on 5th March, gives power to any police officer not below the rank of assistant superintendent to enter any house or building where he has reason to believe that a meeting of an unlawful association is being held; and whether he will name the unlawful associations in respect of which this power has been used.

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

Yes, Sir. So far as I am aware, this power has never been exercised, but I am awaiting confirmation from the Governor about this, and will write to the hon. Member as soon as I am able.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby

Has the hon. Gentleman attempted to find out the state of Somali public opinion about a Measure like this, which is highly unpopular? He says that it has never been used, but in view of next year's close association of the British Somalis with the Italian Somalis, is it not rather pointless to pass legislation of this kind against unnamed associations—allegedly illegal associations? Is it not rather futile?

Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Preston North

I have not heard of any strong reactions of public opinion, but that is not surprising, seeing that this power has never been exercised.