One Kamerun Party (Arrests)

Oral Answers to Questions — Southern Cameroons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston 12:00 am, 15th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the fact that leaders of the One Kamerun Party in the Southern Cameroons have been arrested and many members of this organisation detained by the British authorities, thus preventing normal political activities in connection with the 1961 plebiscite, if he will take immediate steps to release them.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Such arrests as have been made in the Southern Cameroons are in accordance with normal legal process and I could not intervene unless some irregularity were shown.

Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston

Is the Secretary of State aware that many hon. Members have received cables protesting against the arrest of national and local leaders of the One Kamerun Party? Does he not agree that the British authorities should be above the political battle and should allow normal facilities for all parties, left, right and centre, so that they can function effectively in the conduct of the plebiscite?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Certainly. We are indeed above the political battle and, as my Answer was meant to make clear, nobody has been arrested in this party for political activities or because of their membership of the O.K.P. One or two people have been arrested. I believe, through normal legal processes.