HC Deb 20 February 1907 vol 169 cc830-1

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the white population of the British East Africa Protectorate would prefer to be under ordinary English law than under the Indian Penal Code; and whether, now that the railway population of East Indian British subjects has left, he will consider the advisability of not retaining this code in force among a population in which East Indians are a comparatively insignificant factor.


I am aware that the Colonists Association of the East Africa Protectorate have expressed a desire to be under English law rather than under the Indian Codes, but there are practical reasons which seem to the Secretary of State to render the adoption of the latter undesirable, and he is of the opinion that the association are inclined to overrate the extent of the differences between the two systems of law. At the same time he recognises that the Indian Codes are not in all respects suitable to the conditions of the Protectorate, and he proposes, as opportunity serves, to substitute for them local ordinances based on the Codes, from which such specifically Indian provisions as have been found to be undesirable can be omitted. The Secretary of State cannot admit that the East Indians are a comparatively insignificant factor among the population of the Protectorate, as the statistics of the population in Nairobi and Mombasa, the two principal towns, are as follows:—Nairobi, 579 Europeans; 3,071 East Indians; total population, 13,514. Mombasa, 200 Europeans; 5,550 East Indians; total population 25,800. The total number of Europeans in the Protectorate is about 2,000.