British-Protected Persons (Deportation)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Cameroons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30 July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston 12:00, 30 July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what representations he has had from the French authorities in the French Cameroons for the arrest and deportation of British-protected persons in the Northern and Southern Cameroons; and what action is contemplated in this regard.

Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston

I am surprised but very gratified to hear that reply from the Secretary of State. I have in my hands—

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

The hon. Member must ask a question.

Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston

Is the Secretary of State aware that I have in my hands three cables from different parts of Africa indicating that British-protected persons are being arrested and deported to the French Cameroons and that their lives are in very grave danger?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

There must have been some misunderstanding on the part of the correspondents of the hon. Gentleman, because there have been no requests for the deportation of British protected persons. It is unlikely that any would be made, since the extradition treaty does not provide for the deportation of British-protected persons. There have been requests for the repatriation of French Cameroonians believed to be taking refuge in the British Cameroons. In these cases the normal extradition procedure would apply but no French Cameroonians have been repatriated. The answer to this Question is clearly "None".

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

Is not the difficulty that of distinguishing between citizens of the Cameroons, to decide which people come from the French or British regions in view of the close association of these regions, and the great uncertainties about registration?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

I do not think so. I think that the people who are lucky enough to be British-protected people know it.