§ 5. Sir ROBERT NEWMAN
asked the secretary of State for the Colonies, with regard to the Native Land Trust Bill which has been introduced in the Kenya Legislative Council, whether, in view of the seriousness of the issues affecting native tenure of their lands, any steps will be taken to prevent the Measure passing into law until he has had the opportunity of considering the Report of the special Commission that has recently visited East Africa?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)
As my hon. Friend knows, the Native Land Trust Bill has been introduced in the Legislative Council of Kenya, and I understand that it has now been referred to a Select Committee of the Council. Much care has been given to the preparation of the Bill over a prolonged period, and I should have been glad that there should be no further delay. But I have now been approached by the Commission on Closer Union in East Africa with a request that consideration of this Measure should be postponed until I have had an opportunity of examining the recommendations which they will make in their Report. I feel that I cannot well decline to meet their views on a matter of so great importance as this, and I am therefore asking the Governor of Kenya to communicate to me the discussions in Select Committee of the Council when available, and to suspend action on the Bill thereafter pending the receipt of further instructions.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us why it is that the Bill, for which we have been pressing for years in order to safeguard the rights of the natives in their own land, should somehow have become converted into a Bill in which the native lands are still further expropriated by the whites; 1399 what is the occasion for this change in the nature of the Bill; and will he say that the original purpose of the Bill to secure for all time the native rights in their reserves should be retained in every feature in the Bill?
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that a copy of this Bill is placed in the Library of the House and made available to Members?