HC Deb 26 March 1928 vol 215 cc792-3
11. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many members the European and Indian communities, respectively, are entitled to elect to the Legislative Council in Kenya; how many Indian representatives have been elected; how many have taken their seats; whether any Indians are nominated; and, if so, whether they have taken their seats?


The numbers of members which the European and Indian communities in Kenya are entitled to elect to the Legislative Council are eleven and five respectively. One Indian member was elected last year and has taken his seat. The other four Indian seats were temporarily filled by members nominated by the Governor up to the 31st of January, 1928, when their appointments terminated. An election for the four seats in question was fixed for the 3rd of March. I have received no report as to the result from the Governor, but I understand from the Press that no candidates were nominated. The Governor has power, in the absence of duly elected members, to fill the vacancies by nomination of suitable persons from the electoral roll: but I am not aware what action, if any, is contemplated in this respect.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is a very serious matter that the whole Indian community refuse to elect, or that no Indian gentlemen can be found to stand for the Legislature; and must it not show that there is a serious state of affairs?


I am leaving the matter to the Government's discretion.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think, in view of the absence of appointments, or of nominations for the election of Indians, that he should take some steps?


I am prepared to await fuller information.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it is no Indians will come forward for election in Kenya?


I should like to have notice of that question.