HC Deb 06 November 1929 vol 231 cc1034-5

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Kenya Native Lands Trust Bill has now received the approval of His Majesty's Government; and whether any new amendments have been made to the draft ordinance for presentation to the Kenya Legislature; and, if so, what are the principal points covered by such amendments?


Yes, Sir: the Governor of Kenya has now been authorised to proceed with the Native Lands Trust Bill. Amendments in the Bill as previously drafted have been arranged by my Noble Friend with the Governor with the object of securing the fullest protection of native interests. These include provisions to the following effect:

  1. (i) If land is taken away from a Native Reserve for public purposes, there shall be added to the Reserve an area equal in extent, and, as far as possible, equal in value, except in the case of land taken for the track of a road or railway, or merely for the site of a building, thus ensuring that the total area of a Reserve will not be diminished.
  2. (ii) Fair compensation to be made to the natives affected by any exclusion of land from a Reserve so as to cover all disturbance or loss incurred by them.
  3. (iii) Leases of land in a Reserve will be limited to 33 years, save in exceptional cases when, with the prior sanction of the Secretary of State, leases not exceeding 99 years, may be granted.
  4. (iv) If, as a result of the consideration which is being given to the Report of the Commission on Closer Union in East Africa, a High Commissioner is appointed in East Africa, that officer will be substituted for the Governor of Kenya as President of the Central 1035 Board which will be set up under the Bill for the management and control of the land in the Native Reserves.


Are we to understand from that answer that the white settlers will still be allowed under this new legislation to have leases of land inside the native reserves on 99 years' leases and thus deprive the natives of that land?


I should require notice of that question.