Friday, June 13, 2014

British Parliament Hansard on Ganapathy Case

Hansard : British Communist Party MP, Phil Piratin raising questions to Secretary of State for Colonies, Creech Jones on the 23rd March 1949 on Ganapathy's appeal.

HC Deb 23 March 1949 vol 463 cc356-7 356

Mr. Piratin asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that Mr. Ganapathy, the former President of the Pan-Malayan Federation of Trade Unions, has been sentenced to death in Malaya; and if he will state the charges upon which the death sentence has been passed.

Mr. Creech Jones
This man was tried on 15th March on a charge of unlawfully carrying a revolver and six rounds of ammunition. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He has appealed and the appeal is still pending.

Mr. Piratin
As he has appealed, I hope the appeal will be successful and may I ask—

Mr. Speaker
If there is an appeal I gather the matter is sub judice and the hon. Member cannot ask further questions.

Mr. Piratin
I would like to ask a question of a general kind and not attempt to deal specifically with the incident. Is there a law in Malaya which permits the authorities to send a man to gaol for carrying a revolver?

Mr. Creech Jones
I have made a complete statement to the House regarding the emergency regulations and the new ordinances necessary under the existing emergency

(Taken from http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1949/mar/23/death-sentence-appeal#S5CV0463P0_19490323_HOC_114)

Hansard: British Communist Party MP, Phil Piratin raising questions to Secretary of State for Colonies, Rees Williams on the 4th May 1949 on Ganapathy's was hanged.

HC Deb 04 May 1949 vol 464 cc1008-9 1008

Mr. Piratin asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the appeal by Mr. Ganapathy against sentence of death in Malaya has been heard; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rees-Williams
On 1st March last this man, when challenged near Rawang in Selangor by a party of special constables, showed fight and grabbed a revolver which he had in his belt. After a short struggle he was overpowered, and the revolver was found to be loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Mr. Ganapathy was charged and convicted of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition under the Emergency Regulations. Both assessors (one European and one Indian) found him guilty without retiring. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. The Ruler in Council has declined to exercise the prerogative of mercy in his favour, and he was executed this morning.

Mr. Piratin
Is the Minister aware that the announcement he has just made will be met with widespread disapproval in the Labour movement in this country as Mr. Ganapathy was a leading trade unionist in Malaya; and, further, is the Minister equally aware that this penalty of death for the carrying of arms in Malaya is something which does not conform with what he has often declared is the Western way of life, and will he therefore remember what he previously said in this particular matter?

(Taken from: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1949/may/04/death-sentence#S5CV0464P0_19490504_HOC_101)

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