HC Deb 13 February 1917 vol 90 cc436-7
36. Commander WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with reference to palm-oil leases in the Gold Coast Colony, whether these leases are now being granted without safeguarding the rights of the native tribes to the soil and to the palm trees by arrangement between the ignorant chief and the white capitalist; and, if so, why the policy of Lord Harcourt has been reversed?

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

Ordinance 16 of 1912 which was passed with a view to safeguarding the rights of the natives of the Gold Coast in these respects remains in force; and I have not heard that leases are being granted in contravention of its provisions. There is no recent correspondence on the subject.

Commander WEDGWOOD

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the late Sir Kenelm Digby made a report on this question about three years ago, and will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries whether there has been any change in practice on the Gold Coast since that dispatch was accepted by Lord Harcourt?


I will, of course, make any inquiries that may be necessary, but there has been no change of practice so far as any information which reaches me goes.

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