['Mau Mau terrorism' in Kenya, and the UK Foreign Office.] Typewritten Foreign Office briefing document titled: '(a) The political and economic effect of MAU MAU in KENYA.'

'Mau Mau terrorism' in Kenya, and the British Foreign Office [Kikuyu tribe; Jomo Kenyatta; Sir Philip Mitchell; Sir Evelyn Baring]
Publication details: 
[United Kingdom Foreign Office, Whitehall, London. Circa 1953.]
SKU: 21253

The Mau Mau uprising began in 1952, and the atrocities committed by the rebels were matched by those of the British, whose Attorney General in Kenya, Eric Griffith-Jones, wrote to Governor Baring in 1957 that the colony's detention camps for Mau Mau suspects were 'distressingly reminiscent of conditions in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia'. He advised that suspects be beaten mainly on their upper bodies, and that those administering violence should 'remain, collected, balanced and dispassionate', also commenting: 'If we are going to sin, we must sin quietly.' Among the victims of British brutality was Hussein Onyango Obama, grandfather of President Barack Obama. From a batch of Foreign Office documents, including material from the Information Research Department (for whose activities, financed from the budget of the Special Intelligence Service, otherwise MI6, see The Times, 17 August 1995; and also Michael Cullis's obituary of Sir John Peck in the Independent, 20 January 1995). Duplicated typescript. Headed: '(a) The political and economic effect of MAU MAU in KENYA.' 8pp, foolscap 8vo. Paginated '(a) 1' to '(a) 7', including interpolated passage on '(a) 2A'. Complete, with catchwords to all but the last page. Divided into five sections, headed: 'What is Mau Mau?', 'Action against Mau Mau terrorism', 'Sir Philip Mitchell's dispatch on East African economic problems' (with subsections on 'Population Problems', 'Labour problems and Wages', 'Social Welfare'), 'Royal Commission for East Africa', 'Development plans for Kenya'. The first section begins: 'Before considering in detail what the secret society called Mau Mau is, and what are its aims; it will be as well to examine traditional background of the tribe of Africans involved – the Kikuyu.' The section includes an 'account of the barbaric rites practised at Mau Mau initiation ceremonies', from 'the Nairobi Correspondent of The Times' (9 October 1952). The section on 'Mau Mau terrorism' begins with a description of the police response to 'the murder of Chief Waruhiu', and discusses the activities of Jomo Kenyatta. The points of Sir Evelyn Baring's 'programme for the economic and social development of Kenya' (28 October 1952) are enumerated in the last section, followed by a description of Governor Baring's'defence plans'. No other copy traced.