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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 Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire 12:00 am, 27th July 1959

The hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. Foot) raised two matters of very great importance. One is the question of the tragedy at Hola, and the other is the question of detention without trial, and he referred specifically to Kenya, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I will in the course of my observations, and without keeping the House too long, deal with those points as adequately as possible.

First, with regard to Hola, we had a very full debate on the subject on 16th June. On that occasion the hon. and learned Member was not fortunate enough to catch Mr. Speaker's eye. I was very interested indeed to hear what he had to say. Before I come to the various points that he made—they were picked up by subsequent speakers—I should like to put him right on two matters which he mentioned, both of which have considerable importance.

In the closing part of his speech the hon. and learned Member said that it was necessary if somebody wanted to leave the closed camp at Hola to confess that he had given up his Mau Mau tendencies and go through the ritual of confession. If the hon. and learned Gentleman will look at paragraph 10 of the White Paper that we are considering he will see that the detainees were given the opportunity of going out to the open camp. The choice whether they remained in the closed camp or whether they were released to the open camp was theirs to make. If they agreed to work on the scheme, for which they would be paid, and to co-operate with the Government, they would be released to the open camp. Many took advantage of this offer. There is no requirement at all at Hola that in order to do that confession must be obtained.