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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The mechanics of rebuttal: the British and Nyasaland governments' response to the Devlin Report 1959
Author:Baker, ColinISNI
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Malawi
Central Africa
Subjects:commissions of inquiry
government policy
state of emergency
political violence
History, Archaeology
Great Britain--Colonies
Nyasaland African Congress
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/29779241
Abstract:On 3 March 1959 the Governor of Nyasaland, Sir Robert Armitage, declared a state of emergency over the whole of the protectorate of Nyasaland, proscribed the Nyasaland African Congress and arrested and detained Dr. Banda, the president-general, other executive committee members and over a hundred district and branch officials. Fifty-one Africans were killed and many more were wounded. Subsequently the numbers in detention rose to over 1300. In March 1959 the British government set up a commission of inquiry into the recent disturbances in Nyasaland, headed by Mr. Justice Devlin. During the course of the inquiry the British and Nyasaland governments became increasingly conscious of the fact that the commission's findings might be critical of their actions, and as a consequence they were keen to learn of its probable or actual contents as early as possible. When they did learn of the contents they prepared a rebuttal in the form of a despatch from the Governor and then rejected large parts of the report in debates in parliament. This paper examines the mechanics of preparing and delivering that rebuttal. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]