HC Deb 04 February 1913 vol 47 cc1984-6
53. Captain GILMOUR

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how long he anticipates it will take to secure a settlement of the conditions under which settlers in British East Africa can secure farms and grazing lands; and if he will take steps to accelerate this decision, in view of the fact that applicants have been in certain cases already kept waiting for over a year for a settlement of their application?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

Pending the preparation of a Crown Land Ordinance for the East Africa Protectorate, I have approved of the Governor's proposal to publish in the "Government Gazette" of the 15th of February a notice of sale of farms to be held at Nairobi on the 19th of May. One hundred farms will be put forward, of which fifty are in the trans-Nzoia district, averaging 3,000 acres. The rest are scattered through highlands varying from 320 to 5,000 acres. The conditions of sale will be advertised in the "Gazette," and will be generally as follows: A non-transferable occupation licence for three years, subject to conditions as to development and personal occupation or in special circumstances occupation by European manager, to be followed by lease for ninety-nine years, with revision of rent every thirty-three years. Rent to be fixed at 10 cents of a Rupee per acre per annum, the sale, which will be by auction, being intended to determine the premium to be paid in respect of the licence. An upset price will be fixed for each farm. Bidding at this special rate will be restricted to those who have never acquired grant from Government direct, and each purchaser will be limited to one farm. Attendance at the sale must be personal save in very exceptional cases—for example, where an applicant who has already been to the Protectorate to inspect the land is prevented by unavoidable circumstances from going out again at the time of the auction.


asked the Secretary for the Colonies whether he has consented to an arrangement by which country land in British East Africa shall be granted on lease at a rent in no case to exceed 10 cents per acre, until the reassessment in the thirty-third and sixty-sixth year of the lease; and whether this will apply to the Laikipia lands or other valuable lands suitable for stock grazing?


I have agreed to the inclusion in the draft Land Ordinance of provision for fixed rents of 10 cents per acre for agricultural and 5 cents per acre for grazing land, with minimum rents of Rupees 15 and Rupees 20, respectively. It is intended that these rates shall be of general application, as the fact that grants will be subject to a premium to be determined by auction makes it unnecessary to differentiate rents according to the value of land.