KENYA (DEFENCE FORCES). (Hansard, 18 March 1936)
HC Deb 18 March 1936 vol 310 cc415-6
21 and 22. Captain F. E. GUEST

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) why the Executive Council for Kenya Colony, which includes two elected members, namely, Lord Francis Scott and Major Cavendish Bentinck, was not informed or consulted by the Governor before making public his plans for disbanding the Kenya Settlers Defence Force and replacing it by a different organisation;

(2) why the commandant of the Kenya Settlers Defence Force, General Lewin, was not consulted or informed of the Governor's plans for disbanding the Kenya Settlers Defence Force?

Mr. THOMAS

The question whom the Governor should consult is one entirely for his discretion. The fact that a reorganisation was being considered was a matter of general knowledge in the Colony.

Captain GUEST

Does not the right hon. Gentleman feel that it indicates a very serious situation when a Governor has to ignore his own Executive Council; and does not he think that there are other matters in the same connection which ought to be discussed by this House of Commons?

Mr. THOMAS

I indicated yesterday that there will be an opportunity to discuss the matter, and I am sure that my right hon. and gallant Friend would not expect me to make any comment on this matter personally.

Captain GUEST

Will that discussion take place within a reasonable distance of time?

Mr. THOMAS

I do not know the exact date, but there will be an opportunity.

Mr. GARRO-JONES

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of a considerable feeling in Kenya that it would be a grave mistake to reorganise the Army on regular and more disciplined lines, and that an irregular force would be more suitable to the difficulties and conditions prevailing there?

Mr. THOMAS

I am well aware of the difference of opinion, but I do not think that there is any real difference of opinion in Kenya that the steps I have taken to reorganise the Army are upon a basis which anyone with any knowledge of the matter would consider the best, and are not challenged.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD