§ 20. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will announce the results of the half-yearly review of detainees under the emergency regulations by the Governor of Nyasaland.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
I have not yet received a report from the Governor, but the hon. Member is, no doubt, aware that detention orders are kept under continuous review and not limited to review once only every six months.
§ Mr. Thomson
It is now more than two months since the right hon. Gentleman made his speech at Leeds in which he spoke about a rapid rundown in the number of detainees and an early end of the emergency. Is he aware that there is a general feeling in the country that it is a scandal that, more than a year from the beginning of the emergency, 606 with the Monckton Commission already in Central Africa and the Secretary of State about to visit Nyasaland, there has not been a general release of detainees, the release of Dr. Banda, and an end of the emergency?
§ Mr. Macleod
If the hon. Gentleman will study the figures, he will see that there was a very large release of detainees in January and February amounting to about 50 per cent. of those who were held at the turn of the year. Therefore, my Leeds speech has been carried out to the full. A considerably increased rate of release is continuing. Quite frankly, I think it is possible, in referring to 3rd March, to attach too much importance to the half-yearly review. All these people were released under the continuous review, and that is by far the more important of the two.
§ Mr. Macleod
The review is related to one subject and one subject alone, not to any question of charges, the presence of the Monckton Commission or the presence of anybody else in the Federation. It is related only to the Governor's judgment regarding law and order. There is no other consideration.