Oral Statement to the Trusteeship Council on Prohibition of Entrance to the Trust Territory of Tanganyika

by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York
February 5, 1959
Publisher: American Committee on Africa
4 pages
Type: Testimony
Coverage in Africa: Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Coverage outside Africa: United States, United Kingdom, United Nations
Language: English
The statement says during the summer of 1957 I was in West Africa for a project in Nigeria for which I had some responsibilities; I hoped that on my way home I would be able to visit some areas of the continent that it had not been my privilege to visit before; on investigation I learned that I did not need to procure a visa to Tanganyika or to countries in the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, but that visas were necessary for Kenya and Uganda; I obtained the necessary visas at the British Consulate in Leopoldville. The statement says it is not germane to my appearance before the Trusteeship Council to discuss my travel difficulties in any other territory than Tanganyika, but parenthetically it should be mentioned that apparently I am a "Prohibited Immigrant" in all of the British territories of East and Central Africa; I first knew that I might face difficulties when I was turned back from Northern Rhodesia in Ndola; I then took a plane from Elizabethville in the Belgian Congo to Entebbe-Kampala in Uganda; I had no difficulty with the immigration authorities in the Entebbe airport; but on the following day immigration officers of the Uganda government asked me to accompany them to their office for questioning; it was then that they told me that they had made a mistake the day before and that I would have to leave Uganda at the earliest opportunity. The statement says upon my return to New York, I wrote to the Governor of Tanganyika to inquire as to the reason for my "prohibited immigrant" status, and raising some of the problems this presented to me. The statement says perhaps it is rather fruitless to theorize about the possible reasons which could have caused this action to be taken against me; and yet itis inevitable that such speculation will take place both by me and by others; it is relevant to point out that only in British East and Central Africa have I, to my knowledge, been prohibited; I have travelled in Africa three times between 1954 and the present. The statement says I have visited Tunisia, French West Africa, Liberia, Ghana, Togoland, Nigeria, Cameroons; French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo, Angola, and the Union of South Africa. The statement says the Committee is a recognized group in the United States which, within the American tradition, is sympathetic to the desire of the African people for independence; the organization opposes racial injustices and inequalities at home and abroad; and a distinguished group of Americans form the National Committee of the organization which includes 18 members of the Congress of the United States. The statement says the Trusteeship system of the United Nations is founded on the idea of promoting the "progressive development towards self-government or independence" of the people in Tanganyika. The statement says because Tanganyika is a Trust Territory, it seems to me that this Council has a responsibility to look into the circumstances which give rise to a "prohibited" status even to the representative of a private organization. The statement says it should be clear that the reasons for excluding a person from a Trust Territory are reasons which stem from an understanding of the United Nations Charter and. not from the whim of a colonial official alone. The statement discusses Entebbe airport, the Principal Immigration Officer, Dar-es-Salaam, the Immigration (Control) Ordinance of 1947, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), and Great Britain.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Peter Weiss (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections