§ 26. Mr. Fenner Brockway
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many supporters of Seretse Khama are members of the African Advisory Council in Bechuanaland; how many sub-chiefs or headmen who are supporters of Seretse Khama have been deposed; why public meetings other than those called by the native authority or subordinate native authorities are not permitted; and on what authority a collective fine of eighteen head of oxen was recently imposed on the people of Paje.
§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
As I said in reply to a Question by the hon. Member on 16th December, the feelings of individual inhabitants of the Protectorate towards Seretse Khama, even if these were known, have nothing to do with their eligibility for appointment to the African Advisory Council or for holding office as sub-chief or headman.
It is a matter of native custom that nobody may call a public meeting without the knowledge and consent of the native authority or subordinate native authority concerned.
My information is that no such fine as that referred to in the last part of the Question was imposed on the people of Paje.
§ Mr. Brockway
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether, if it is not theoretically the case that one is not deposed because one is a supporter of Seretse Khama, he does not know that in fact there are no supporters of Seretse Khama on the Council, although there is obviously a majority of the tribe who support him, and that 11 headmen and sub-chiefs who are supporters of Seretse Khama have been deposed? Is it not time that the Government began to reconsider the whole case of Seretse Khama?
§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
The first part of the hon. Member's supplementary question just is not true. As to the second part, that also, unless he will bring to me names to substantiate what he said, is just not true.