HC Deb 02 March 1925 vol 181 cc7-8
11. Mr. SNELL

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the total cultivable area in the Kenya Colony and Protectorate; how much of it is included, respectively, in the highlands, lowlands, and coast lands; how much of the cultivable area in the highlands is in the exclusive possession of Europeans and how much in that of natives: how much of the cultivable area in the lowlands and the coast lands has been alienated to Europeans and how much has been included in the native reserves; and how much cultivable area is included in the land yet available for alienation to non-Europeans?


I regret that I have not the information necessary for a detailed reply to the points raised by the hon. Member, as no census of cultivable land in Kenya has, to my knowledge, been made, while as regards the lands alienated, my information as to the division among highlands, lowlands, and coast lands is not definite. I may observe that the area for which these particulars are required amounts to 215,000 square miles. In the circumstances, I am consulting the Acting Governor of Kenya, and on receipt of his reply I will inform the hon. Member, in order that he may repeat his question if he desires he do so.


Is it not possible for the Colonial Office to obtain this information without great trouble or expense?


I am afraid is will be impossible to obtain an estimate of the cultivable land without a complete economic survey, but the area of the lands already alienated to European occupation, and lands delimited as native reserves, probably could he obtained.


Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that figures for the land actually cultivated are given in the Annual Report of the Native Affairs Department?


Yes: the Reports of the Native Affairs Department and the Agricultural Department, published each year, give the acres of land actually under cultivation, but. that is very different from the cultivable land.