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Hola Camp, Kenya (Report)

Part of LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL (GENERAL POWERS) BILL [Lords] (By Order) – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Armstrong Mr Christopher Armstrong , County Armagh 12:00 am, 27th July 1959

Whatever happens in the future, whether we have a Labour or Conservative Government in power, and whatever the future constitution of Kenya, we have to keep in this service and attract to it men of the quality required to run it as it should be run. If we bear in mind how suddenly and enormously this service had to be expanded to deal with the flood of the most perplexing kind of prisoner, it is surprising what a high proportion of its officers have turned out to be men with a sense of vocation, who take a real interest in and try to help the, at first sight, not very attractive human beings with whom they have to deal.

It is important that we should try to keep a sense of perspective about the Hola incident. I would ask the House to consider carefully whether, from the point of view of the service itself, it is not fair to compare this incident with a disaster such as an air crash or railway accident, in which many people—often entirely innocent people—lose their lives due to a human error of judgment or a misunderstanding.