Earl Mountbatten, Chief of the British Defence Staff, said in Nairobi today that 'anybody who wants to put rocket bases in East Africa needs to have his head examined.' He explained that as 'Supremo' of Britain's defence forces he was debarred from commenting on the political aspect of military decisions.
Various shots of Press Conference being held at Government House.
Shots taken of Lord Louis in Garden.
Shots taken at Garden Party held at Govt. House.
Lord Louis being introduce to local notables.
Mixing with crowd who were all keen talk with him.
Mountbatten talks with Asian people.
Taking with chiefs from many parts of Kenya.
Lord Louis mixes with chief for photographs.
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Background: Earl Mountbatten, Chief of the British Defence Staff, said in Nairobi today that 'anybody who wants to put rocket bases in East Africa needs to have his head examined.' He explained that as 'Supremo' of Britain's defence forces he was debarred from commenting on the political aspect of military decisions. But on the question of rocket sites from a purely military view 'of all the stupid places to put them would be here in Kenya.' A glance at the world map would show that rockets would be of no military use in Kenya. Mountbatten smiling said that he refused to answer any questions which, in his opinion, might have a political connotation. 'Too often recently we have seen military people making political speeches and the next thing we hear is that they have taken over the Government' he said. On the new military base here in Kenya he was asked what its future roll would be, he stated 'Very naturally we would like to keep the base, but its future has nothing to do with the Chief of Staff, it is a political matter....but again I'd need my head examined if I said we would not like to keep it'. With ten rows of medal ribbons on his khaki jacket he stated that 'I had to wear this because it takes a little of the Navy emphasis off my appearance'. He also said that the last time he had worn this jacket was at the Quebec Conference in 1943 when he was appointed supreme commander of the Far East. He had not answered a single question that 'could have Mr. Macmillan on the telephone tomorrow morning'. That ended the press conference. This afternoon the whole of Kenya's smart set turned out to a garden party at Government House, which the Governor of Kenya, Sir Patrick Rennison was holding in Earl Mountbattens' honour. Lord Louis walked amongst the crowd of four thousand people and talked with them on many subjects, conversing with the Asians in their own tongue. The highlight was when he was being introduced to the African Chiefs that had come many miles to see the 'Bwana mkubwa' (Big chief).