§ 3.17 p.m.
§ Mr. DONNER
I beg to move,That the Colonial Administration, while acting as trustees of the native races, must at the same time have regard to the rights and maintain the responsibilities of all races, and that in this connection this House considers that the action taken by the Government of Kenya in regard to the development of the goldfields in the Kavirondo area and for safeguarding the interests of the native population is both equitable and expedient, and that this House approves such action.I must claim the indulgence of the House, not only in view of the short time at my disposal in which to prepare a speech on so vital a subject, but also on account of influenza, which has robbed me of the greater part of my voice. It has been suggested in certain quarters that the Government have broken faith with the natives in Kenya. I submit that if the Government were to listen to such criticism at the present time they would depart from the policy of impartial justice as between the natives and the settlers in Kenya, which has been the hall-mark of our policy in the past, and would indeed break faith and trust with our settlers and with the indigenous population as well. In considering this question, it is important that we should never forget the transformation which has overtaken Kenya since the first Englishman set foot in the country. We have brought justice to Kenya by the introduction of law courts. We have constructed harbours, and roads and railways, and other means of communication. We have promoted health and successfully waged war against disease. We have achieved all these results by successfully marshalling western science and utilising the products of a superior western civilisation. The colony has, in fact, become a new country under our guidance and administration; differing entirely from the territory it was prior to our advent. Kenya is as much our creation as a book is the product of its author.
Kenya presents, in consequence, duties and responsibilities which we must fulfil, and which we cannot shirk. But with them it presents rights also. The case against the Government is that, in exercising those rights, conflict has arisen between the interests of the settlers and those of the natives, due to the discovery 188 of gold in the colony, and that the interests of the natives have been sacrificed for those of the settlers. These attacks on our settlers are nothing new. They are merely part of the long and miserable campaign of villification and abuse with which we are all familiar. In this connection, I will offer a few reflections later.
The creation of native reservations in Kenya has in no way infringed the Crown's ownership of the mineral rights, in or under the soil as the Ordinance which was passed in 1930, incidentally, by the late Socialist Administration, provided that with the advice and consent of the Central Board the Governor could exclude land from a native reserve for certain purposes, and one of those purposes was the development of mineral rights. Therefore the whole substance of the case against the Government falls to the ground automatically. The first thing any visitor to Kenya observes is that the method of native cultivation differs radically from our own. No native clan develops more than a portion of his land, and as each section of land becomes used up and exhausted the native moves to another portion.
It is common knowledge that the surface area required for reef mining is exceptionally small and enables many natives to continue working on the land which they now occupy, in some cases alongside the very plot which is being mined. From my short experience and stay in Kenya I should have thought that any native, whatever his tribe, would have preferred this fact and this possibility of remaining on one portion of the land which he now occupies, rather than being moved off perhaps 10 or 20 or 40 miles away, into an area where he is secluded and removed from his own clan and his own people, and where he himself is not known. In that connection I was glad to receive the assurance of the Secretary of State for the Colonies yesterday that up to date not so much as a single native has been evacuated.
With regard to compensation I believe that this is to be of such a nature that were it offered to a white man in similar circumstances there would be no grounds for complaint. Therefore it cannot be held that there has been a breach of faith with the natives of Kenya. It is clear that there has been no breach of faith with the community as a whole, 189 or even with those natives who are immediately affected. As the Carter Land Commission has not yet reported and may not do so until the Spring, and as the Commission is still in the colony, and moreover since its presence there coincides with the discovery of gold, I submit that the criticism of the Government at the present time is not only premature but unfortunate and unjust.
I should like to say a few words about our settlers in Kenya. It is clear to any unprejudiced person who has taken the trouble to visit this wonderful colony that our settlers are not only the only progressive element capable of setting an, example, but that they are carrying on a magnificient piece of Imperial work, quietly and efficiently, developing the country to the greatest possible extent. They are doing that not only without injustice to the natives, but with obvious benefit to the African, directly and indirectly. It is all very well for hon. Members opposite and people outside this House to say that our settlers do not care for the interest and welfare of the natives. That is not true. I have seen with my own eyes the happy relationship between our own people and the native tribes. The report of the Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament states specifically on page 24:In the case of East Africa there can be no doubt that the introduction of European rule as distinct from European settlement has been of great benefit to the native people.As for settlement, the verdict of the Joint Committee of both Houses reads as follows:It would be difficult to find any other instance of a white population settling in a native country with so little disturbance of the original population.To some people any stick is good enough with which to beat our settlers in Kenya. I am convinced that the whole problem of gold mining in Kenya is merely being used in order to continue this long-drawn-out campaign of vilification and abuse against our settlers, as if for all the world our settlers in Kenya have not enough troubles already. They have locusts; and after all we have Socialists. It is insinuated that our settlers care nothing for the natives or their welfare. Critics have gone so far as to say that the active campaign which has been pursued by the Government in Kenya for the 190 benefit and enlightenment and assistance of the natives has been carried out in the face of settler opposition. That is, of course, contrary to the facts. For years the settlers themselves have advocated some of the work which is now being carried out. The annual report of the Native Affairs Department on page 3 bears me out in this respect and refers particularly toThe relations of mutual esteem and affection established in Kenya between the European master and his African servant, the manifestation of these relations, has been one of the few bright spots in the generally gloomy aspect of the year 1931.Even if hon. Members opposite do not wish to take the facts from me, they can take them from those reports. What is so remarkable is that objection should be brought forward now when every one connected with politics and with business is thinking and talking about the inadequacy and the maldistribution of the world's gold supplies. Surely the discovery of gold in Kenya is of the greatest importance. It is absolutely essential that that gold should be prospected and worked. I remember listening last autumn to a speech by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, in which he said that if all the world's gold were collected and thrown into the middle of the Atlantic, the world would go on just as happily. I did not interrupt the right hon. Gentleman because I never interrupt hon. Members opposite, but I wondered at the time exactly what would be the reaction, on his audience if he made that speech in the city of Johannesburg.
Is it seriously suggested by anyone that Kenya is to be denied the opportunity of immense development which is offered by this discovery? The possibility of future wealth and development may not necessarily, probably will not, rival the wealth and prosperity of the Witwatersrand, but the discovery of gold will undoubtedly speed up the development and the progress of the colony to a very great extent. Some of us on this side of the House, even though we may be new Members, resent the attitude of hon. Members opposite who assume that the Secretary of State and those of us who sit on these benches care nothing for the welfare of the natives. I should like to assure them that the interests and welfare of the natives are just as close to our hearts as they are to hon. Members opposite.
191 In conclusion, I should like to say that the future prosperity and development of Kenya depend entirely upon natives and settlers living harmoniously side by side. I would emphasise with all the earnestness at my command that any attempt in this country or in this House to instil doubts into the mind of the native as to the integrity, impartiality and justice of our Colonial administration cuts at the root of faith and confidence in the Imperial Government and is a singularly poor service to the Empire. Either that attitude is misguided activity and is based on misunderstanding of the facts and should therefore cease forthwith, or else it is a deliberate attempt to destroy the present harmonious relationships between settlers and natives in Kenya and is an attempt to "queer the pitch" in regard to the future development of the Colony. The task of those who have to administer that Colony is sufficiently difficult and the problems involved are sufficiently intricate and numerous without the introduction of misplaced sentimentality and subversive interference from home. As the Government of Kenya have pursued a native policy which has been noted for its impartiality and its justice to settler and native alike, I hope that the Members of this House will join in giving the Government that support which it so richly deserves.
§ 3.32 p.m.
Sir JOHN SANDEMAN ALLEN
I beg to second the Motion.
I have much pleasure in doing so and in congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for West Islington (Mr. Donner) on the manner in which he has moved it. I am sure that all Members listened with great interest to his speech and appreciated the very able and masterly way in which he handled his subject. As. regards what he said about the settlers in Kenya, I do not propose to do more than to say that I entirely agree, and I am sure that the House as a whole will entirely agree, with his general statement as to the spirit of loyalty and earnestness which animates the settlers in Kenya. They may have certain energetic qualities which perhaps are not admired by some people, but they are good honest 192 Britishers and their one aim is to run that colony for the good of the Empire to which they are proud to belong and at the same time to take care of the natives. In regard to the natives I can assure the House that they have a very keen sense of their responsibilities. I was a member of the Joint Committee which studied the question of closer union in East Africa. We went into these matters very fully and on the whole we were satisfied as to the way in which the natives were treated. I, therefore, do not propose to take up time in discussing that aspect of the question any further.
I feel that I ought to address myself to one or two special points in connection with this Motion. Before doing so, I should like to say how pleased I am—and I am sure many hon. Members share my pleasure—that the hon. Member in his Motion has called attention to the responsibility of the Colonial administration, not merely as regards trusteeship for the native races, not merely to its responsibility for the interests of the natives, but to its wider responsibility. The Colonial administration, as this Motion states, and as is incontrovertible by any honest person who studies the question, has the responsibility of taking care of the interests of all races in that country. They have the responsibility too of seeing that all races in that country do their duty. There, I feel that we can join in expressing appreciation of the Colonial administration which is beyond reproach on that point and has kept clearly before it its responsibility for protecting the weak and the undeveloped and, at the same time, maintaining the prestige of the nation as a whole and acting justly and doing right by all interests concerned. Therefore I think one is justified in expressing resentment at the wild and careless charges which have been made with supreme indifference to the true situation.
One regrets that any highly esteemed leader in Colonial matters should have been led into the arena of controversy in connection with this matter without informing himself of the facts of the case. We regret that a dignatory of the Church should do so. The Church has plenty to look after itself and has a knowledge of the difficulties with which it is faced. The Colonial Office has also plenty to 193 look after and has a knowledge of its own difficulties and if people would stick to their own affairs and to the things which they know about and with which they have to deal this country would be much happier and Government and administration would proceed more smoothly. One cannot help feeling that if Church dignatories in East Africa confined themselves to their missionary work and did not try to do anything outside their proper sphere it would be better for all concerned.
What is the trouble to-day in Kenya? The trouble is the question of the goldfields and no doubt certain technical points will be raised in that connection during the Debate. The first consideration is that gold has been discovered in Kenya. There can be no question in anybody's mind that it will be a great thing for Kenya if we are able to develop the goldfields there in the interests of that country and of all its inhabitants, black and white. It should be borne in mind that in Kenya minerals are the property of the British Crown and not of the occupier of the land. The development of the goldfields will lead to the development of the country as a whole, and, at a time when we are going through a serious economic crisis, it is immensely important that this gold should have been discovered.
The next point which we have to consider is the character of the goldfields which have been discovered. Here there is a serious danger of ill-informed people assuming that these goldfields will be something like the Rand where an enormous amount of machinery is required for working the mineral, where an enormous amount of the surface has to be taken up and labour has to be imported from great distances in order to do so. In Kenya, apart from some alluvial deposits, the main amount of gold is found in underground veins and the outcrop of quartz is infrequent. Therefore, what is required is boring in various places. Most of the ore must be worked underground and the surface actually required will only be small. Consequently, instead of a disturbance of a huge area, only the most trifling disturbance will be involved. That is an important point which must be kept in mind. The disturbance of the natives is very small. Indeed not a single native has been evicted so far. I think that statement will be 194 verified by the Secretary of State. Any native who has been moved has been moved with his own consent and with a certain amount of compensation.
Let me, at this point remind the House of what has been said by the Mover of the Motion as one who has been in Kenya. There are many Members of this House who have studied the question and who have personal experience and they know that the native who cultivates the land very often destroys it bit by bit and uses it up and that the natives are accustomed to moving about and changing their land. I know there are certain people who regard these natives in the same light as cottagers in this country, who are settled down in stone houses, with fences enclosing all their land. The situation is totally different from that and it is that ignorance of the true position which has misled many people. The House will therefore excuse me for having taken a few minutes in explaining that aspect of the situation.
The next point which we have to consider is the method of operating these goldfields. The first step is to obtain a licence to prospect. That licence is obtained under the Mining Ordinance already referred to and that has nothing to do with the other Ordinance with which we shall deal later on. That distinction ought to be kept clearly in mind because there has been a good deal of muddling of the two things in connection with the attacks upon the Government on this question. The prospecting licences are granted for a year and are renewable. In the case of land within a native reserve they can only be obtained with the consent in writing of the Native Land Trust Board. This consent has, I understand, been obtained in every case so far.
Turning to the Mining Ordinance, Article 14 lays down the position of the native land trust boards as owner on behalf of the natives and any compensation to be devoted by them to the use of the natives concerned. Article 26 lays down reasonable compensation for disturbance to crops, etc. Prospecting licences having been obtained and a reasonable prospect of success ascertained, the next step is to stake out claims and have the same registered, and all that is done under the Mining Ordinance. These claims run for one year, but they are renewable for periods of one year. If these claims are aban- 195 doned, any disturbance of land has to be made good, holes filled up, and so on. Article 43 provides that the Government may grant a lease to holders of the claims of prospecting licences for not less than five years and not more than 21 years. These leases are subject to renewal and also subject to surrender on terms. It is, therefore, quite clear that any exclusion of land through a lease is temporary, not permanent, in most cases. This, of course, raises an entirely new point, which was not in the mind of anyone when the previous Ordinances were laid down.
Now let us see how we stand up-to-date. So far no leases have been issued, no land has been alienated, and not a single native has been evicted. Some natives have, by their own consent, been moved to other parts of their land or that of their neighbours, and compensation granted accordingly. There is, therefore, no grievance of any kind at present, and all action so far taken is under the Mining Ordinance. It is just as well to have this clear and so dispose of the wild and foolish talk that has been going on about the poor native, who is really quite happy, because, as a matter of fact, this has given employment to many just at a time when employment is badly needed, owing to the fact that the European farms are suffering on account of the severe economic troubles and arc unable to employ the natives. It is proving a Godsend to the natives, and if the gold is developed further, it will give much more employment to many natives. Moreover, the situation is not like that on the Rand, where labour had to be imported, houses built, and so on. The native here will be living with his wives—a very important point, as those who know the conditions in Africa understand—and also on his land, and at the same time getting employment and earning money.
That being so, where is the grievance up to date? There is none. As I have already stated, so far only a number of prospecting licences have been issued and a number of claims registered. The question, therefore, resolves itself into the point of what will be the effect on native reserves when the leases are issued, in accordance with the Mining Ordinance, to the parties whose claims have been registered. To understand this, we must turn to the Native Land Trust Ordinance 196 of 1930 and see how it affects the position. This provides, in the first place, for permanent possession for the natives of native reserves; and, in the second place, it establishes native land trust boards, which administer all the lands in the reserves. It also establishes local boards in each administrative district, which must be consulted. Article 15 authorises the Governor to exclude from the native reserves, with the advice of the Central Board, land required for the development of minerals, after approval of the local native councils and local boards. The Article also requires thatWhere any land is excluded from the native reserve under this Section the Governor shall by notice in the Gazette add to such native reserve from suitable and, if possible, contiguous, unalienated, and unreserved Crown land, an area equal in extent and, as far as possible, equal in value to the area excluded,and so on.
This Ordinance has been amended, after consultation with the Central Native Land Trust Board and the First Native Commissioner, and here lies any grievance that anyone might have, particularly in the superficial way in which they look at it, but a real study of the facts will remove from the minds of unprejudiced people any questions that may have worried them so far. Further, what is most important, the Ordinance has been amended after consultation also with the Land Commission appointed to study native reserves and Sir Arthur Kitson, the eminent geologist and expert, all of whom have approved of the amending Ordinance under the special circumstances of the case, because it deals with a completely new problem. The Ordinance only covers land excluded temporarily from a reserve for development of mineral resources under a lease, and stipulates that during the period of currency of such lease it shall not be obligatory on the Governor to add to native reserves on such lands, provided that on the expiry of such lease the land shall revert to the native reserve, and the compensation meanwhile shall be paid to the local native fund concerned that is entitled thereto. It also provides that in connection with these leases the local board, etc., shall be consulted, rather than the local native council, which covers a much bigger area.
I do not want to go further into that point, but I want to emphasise the 197 importance of these changes not being exaggerated. Here is a new problem, involving the temporary exclusion of land. If you are going to act on a literal interpretation of the old Ordinance, every acre that is excluded under a lease will have to be replaced by some acre, to be found somewhere, as near as you can get it, but it may be 20 miles away. In this way you would very soon have your native reserve in that part looking like a chess board, and you would not know where you were, in and out all the time, the very opposite of what we have all aimed at in connection with native reserves. What is the surface involved 1 It is estimated that up to date there are 1½ square miles affected out of one reserve alone of 2,300 square miles and three reserves of 7,000 square miles. The whole thing is absolutely absurd. The Governor has gone round and explained it to the natives most carefully. He has taken the pains to go round himself and explain the position to them. The natives understand it, and if it was not for agitators here and there, they would be perfectly content. I am sure that the country as a whole looks with profound disgust at the way in which people are trying to sow distrust in the minds of the natives, who are being so loyally guided and cared for by our Government, with the long view, not the short view.
The Land Commission was appointed on the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Closer Union, with Sir Morris Carter, retired judge, as chairman, and the terms of reference to the Commission, which were not challenged in either House, were to study the amount of land adequate for native reserves. They are the proper body to advise on this question and they are the body which has been consulted, so what is the use of complaining about that? The natives are in the very best hands. No one can judge what should be done piecemeal. What is needed is a comprehensive survey of the situation when licences are issued and leases granted and there is a proper and full estimate made of the land permanently required for land permanently excluded. Why all this ridiculous fuss, as if we were robbing the natives of a square mile here and there and were not going to give them at least as much, if not more, in exchange? It is a most unfair and improper reflection on the 198 honesty and integrity of our administration, and I record the strongest protest against it. I feel privileged to be able to second this Resolution, and I ask this House to decide, with no doubtful voice, on the merits of this case, and to send a message of entire confidence in the Colonial Secretary, who has devoted so much time to the service of that which has been put under his charge and who has already shown how deep is his interest in these matters by watching them so closely. We want to send a message of confidence also to the Governor in Kenya, who is acting so faithfully, and to the colonists there. Let us give a vote of confidence to them all and have done with this miserable, petty, bickering and mischief-making, which have been going on far too long.
§ 3.51 p.m.
§ Mr. LUNN
I beg to move, in line 3, to leave out from the word "races," to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words:in Kenya, should develop the resources of that country for the benefit of the native races, and in so doing must ensure that any native, dispossessed of territory which was solemnly reserved for native occupation in accordance with the pledged word of His Majesty's Government, has an equivalent area of land provided outside the native reserves, and that the whole of the profits derived from minerals discovered shall enure to the Government in the interests of the native population.I should like to sympathise with the hon. Member who moved the Motion in the physical difficulties which he was under through influenza. I should also like to agree with him in his statement with regard to the short time that has been allowed to prepare for this Debate. I may say to him that I am a Socialist and I wish that I could be as destructive of this Government as the locust is known to be in East Africa. I say that quite sincerely. This Motion has been inspired by the Government, and they knew yesterday when they were answering questions that it would be put down to-day. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion usually puts forward a very modest speech on these matters. I do not think that I have ever heard him speak so strongly as he has done to-day. I am going to ignore that defence of the exploiter which was largely contained in his speech. That was really all I could see in the speech.
199 I am satisfied that what is being done in Kenya just now and in this Motion is tantamount to a repudiation of all our declarations in East Africa. I believe that it is a resuscitation of Imperialism as we knew it in 1899, and, while I have almost ceased to be astonished at the actions of the Prime Minister, who could be quoted in this matter with much stronger views in support of the natives than I shall use, I am disappointed to know that after his actions in the past he should be a supporter of a Motion like this. He was responsible for the Native Land Trust Ordinance of 1930. If he had any consistency in him, he would be defending everything that is laid down in that Ordinance. Our Amendment is a modest approval of the declarations that have been made by all the Colonial Secretaries since the War. We do not seek to go away from the position that has been laid down. I am satisfied, however, that in this Motion and in the action of the Government the pledged word of Great Britain is being broken.
I am sorry that the Government are at the back of a Motion like this. Many people in all parties, as I said yesterday at Question Time, are alarmed at what is happening. In the House of Lords today there is a Debate on this very subject. It is not raised by Labour Members, but by men who know Kenya and East Africa better than any of us who have spoken, and who will show their indignation at what is taking place. There is indignation in the Church, and we cannot ignore the Church in its opinion in this matter. It is not usual for the Archbishop to rush into the Press, but the Archbishop of Canterbury has come out on this matter because he knows, or at all events he fears, the possibilities to missionary work, to missionary societies and perhaps to missionary funds from what is being done by the Government to destroy the interests of the natives. More than that, there is the attitude of the general community. As has been said by both hon. Members who preceded me, there is an agitation in the country on this matter, and some parts of the Press have been full of condemnation of the Government in what is taking place.
After spending many years in building up our honour with native populations, we are in a single day to tear up our 200 pledges, and millions of natives in all parts of the Empire will no longer trust our word. We remember the consequences of tearing up a scrap of paper some years ago, and I believe that this tearing up of a scrap of paper by the Government may be as far-reaching in its consequences to the Empire through the attitude of native populations towards us. Kenya is not a self-governing colony; it is a Crown colony, and the responsibility for what is happening is not upon Kenya but upon the Home Government.
The Mover and Seconder of the Motion did not have regard to the fact that there are 3,000,000 natives in Kenya, but devoted the whole of their time to the defence of the position of the 17,000 European settlers. However turbulent the East African Protectorate was before 1920 it has been no less difficult since that time, and I feel satisfied that what is being done by the Government will have a great effect upon our trusteeship, and that our word will be regarded as an empty one. May I quote the declarations of previous Colonial Secretaries on this matter. They were not members of my party, but members of all parties. In 1923, the Duke of Devonshire, and in 1927 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery), who was Colonial Secretary for many years, and who has a knowledge of the Empire which is supreme among men of my acquaintance, laid it down that:In the administration of Kenya His Majesty's Government regard themselves as exercising a trust on behalf of the African population, and they are unable to delegate or share that trust, the object of which may be defined as the protection and advancement of the native races.They went on further to declare that:Primarily, Kenya is an African territory, and His Majesty's Government think it necessary definitely to record their considered opinion that the interests of the African natives must be paramount.That has not been the attitude of the Mover and Seconder of the Motion to-day:If and when those interests and the interests of the immigrant races should conflict, the former should prevail.Those were the declarations of two Conservative Colonial Secretaries many years ago, and they have been confirmed by every Commission that has been to East 201 Africa. They were confirmed by the Ormsby-Gore Commission. They were confirmed by the Hilton Young Commission, and they were confirmed by the Joint Committee on Closer Union in East Africa which sat for many months dealing with this problem. Then in the Native Lands Trust Ordinance of 1930, Lord Passfield left no one in doubt when he laid it down that certain land in Kenya was to be reserved for the use and benefit of the native races for ever, but he did provide, I agree, that if any land was needed for ordinary public purposes, that was to be dealt with, and that other land contiguous to the native reserve was to be provided for the natives of equal value and of equal extent. Further, if land has to be taken for any purpose it is laid down that there shall be a formal inquiry by a competent tribunal, and I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman to say to-day whether or not there has been such an inquiry by a competent tribunal? It is important that we should know who has advised him upon this matter, and whether or not he is carrying out the declaration of those who have gone before and have dealt with this particular subject?
Then I might say that, under the Mining Ordinance, Section 12, no African can be a prospector for gold. A person must be able to read English, and must be able to understand the difficult regulations if he wishes to be a prospector for gold. But when the hon. Member who seconded the Motion sat on the Joint Committee on Closer Union it was not thought that gold would be found in Kenya. The report of the Joint Committee on Closer Union, paragraph 10, says:The whole area is essentially dependent for all economic progress upon agricultural and pastoral industries. Comparatively few mineral deposits likely to attract enterprise on any considerable scale have been discovered, and the economic advance of all races must to a large extent depend upon the success of agricultural crops and stock raising.That was the declaration in this report which was published in 1931, and almost immediately after they had concluded their sittings, gold was found in the Kavirondo Reserve. As soon as it was learnt that gold had been found, prospectors were on the job from all parts, and they have only to pay £25 to begin. They are coming from everywhere, so I 202 am informed, tearing up the land belonging to the African.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
I am sure that the hon. Member would not wish to make any mistake. If he means that the prospectors come from different parts of Kenya, he is accurate, but if he means that there is a great influx of people from outside, he is quite inaccurate, as shown by the figures I gave yesterday.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The figures in my answer clearly referred to the last four months of last year compared with the last four months of previous years.
§ Mr. LUNN
That may be the fact, but the right hon. Gentleman knows what will be sure to happen if gold is produced, or likely to be produced, in sufficient quantities, and, with the regulations he has laid down, Kenya will be flooded by the type of people who go on such occasions. That means that tribal life in Kenya is in danger of being destroyed, and we shall find that our honoured pledged word will be like poison to the natives in this area. It is said that this is only temporary. What is meant by "temporary"? Is it 21 years, 25 years or 33 years, and that then it can be renewed? If it is any of these periods it is almost a lifetime. I say that it is a breach of faith on the part of the Government, and I do not accept the apology of the Colonial Secretary published in the Press on 19th January. I think that he has to say something more to us to-day to justify the position which the Colonial Office has taken up. We want to see the evil that has been done remedied. We want to see our prestige restored in the eyes of millions of people of all races and colours, and I should like to ask him to see to the repeal of the Bill that was rushed through the Kenya Parliament in much less than a month. May I quote to him what was said on 15th December by the Chief Native Commissioner in moving that Bill, which received the Royal Assent, I believe, on 12th January?The Commissioner agreed that the Bill would not be popular with the natives, for 203 it involved a conception of the use of land foreign to native ideas, and no amount of compensation would induce them to agree to the leasing of land voluntarily. ' I am afraid, he said, ' we shall have to hurt their feelings, wound their susceptibilities and in some cases violate their most cherished and sacred traditions by moving natives from a piece of land on which they had the right to live and setting them up on another piece, the holders of which would have the right to eject them. We have to face these difficulties '.We on this side of the House, and I think many people in the country—even Conservative university students recently passed a resolution favouring the defence of the native interests in Kenya, as was reported in the "Times" a few days ago —stand for the maintenance of the Native Lands Trust Ordinance of 1930, and all that it implies. If it is the fact that gold is the property of the Crown and is worth working—and I hear it is very rich in some parts; in fact, Sir Albert Kitson, the great geologist, who has just returned from Africa, said in a speech at the East African Dinner Club, on the 17th January:Only last night I had a letter saying that these two American ladies, one a New Zealander and the other an American, are just about, to leave Kenya for a well-earned holiday. For three weeks they never took less than 30, 40 or 60 ounces of gold a day out of the stream "—And gold is £6 an ounce !and later the yield reached 250 ounces, and even 325 ounces a day, before going back to 60 ounces. Now they are through the very rich patch.They got something like £17,500 in three weeks; and we spend on education in Kenya £130,000 a year. Yet all that is laid down in this Ordinance, or in the Mining Ordinance, with regard to the production of gold is that a 5 per cent, royalty should be paid to the Kenya Government. Can the right hon. Gentleman justify a position like that?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Does the hon. Gentleman mean that the late Labour Government approved a Mining Ordinance dealing with the working of 204 minerals and the royalty to be obtained in respect of minerals, and did not intend that to apply to gold?
§ Mr. LUNN
Whether it did or did not, I say that 5 per cent, is not a sufficient royalty for the Government, and I think the right hon. Gentleman will bear me out that there was a new Mining Ordinance in August of last year. I should say that this gold should be worked by the Government, and under Government control. That would be the best guarantee that the destruction of native property would be reduced to a minimum. That is the line I should take. There could be a competent staff who would co-operate and consult native interests, and we should be able, perhaps, to convince them that although we were not keeping our pledged word to the letter, we were doing our best to keep to it. But to foster and to encourage a mad rush as may take place, will be disastrous and a betrayal of our declared word to all the natives in all parts of the Colonial Empire. All the other services—railways, steamers on the lakes— are State owned, and why not these rich deposits if they are to be found in Kenya? I have heard to-day that it may possibly be as rich a goldfield as ever there has been known in the world. If that is so, I would like to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman that we should not pass a Motion such as that on the Order Paper to-day, but that it should be withdrawn. I would like to appeal to him in that way, because I fear the consequences of the interpretation of the Motion. If it is not to be withdrawn and is to be passed, then, as we said a few months ago when the Morris Carter Commission was appointed, that we should refuse to guarantee to be bound by the declaration of that Commission, we must equally declare that we are definitely opposed to the policy of the Government which they are pursuing at the moment with regard to the finding of gold in Kenya.
§ 4.14 p.m.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
The question which is now before the House is by no means a party question. It is a question for the House of Commons. It is a question in which we are all interested in whatever part of the House we may sit, and I think it is very fortunate that we have had this early opportunity after re- 205 assembling of going into the matter. The thanks of the House are due to the hon. Member who was fortunate in the Ballot and put down this question for discussion, no less than to the Government Whips who arranged, I believe, that this question should be given a very early place, if possible, on the Order Paper. On the other hand, I think it is most unfortunate that the Secretary of State did not take the House of Commons into his confidence somewhat sooner. Our trouble with regard to this matter has been, that information concerning it has arrived piecemeal, and it has been extremely difficult to arrive at what the facts really are. In order to form a correct conclusion we must first know the facts.
The problem is essentially full of difficulties. It is perfectly obvious that when a goldfield is discovered in the midst of a densely populated native reserve all sorts of questions immediately arise. Gold rashes always create difficulties, and a gold rush in the middle of a native reserve in Kenya presents, I suppose, more difficulties than one could imagine with a gold rush, elsewhere in the world. In the first place, we have to remember that the Kavirondo Reserve is densely populated, and in the second place we are not at present aware what the extent of the goldfield may really be. We are only in the early beginnings, but it is perfectly clear that we should take steps at the outset to make future development as easy as possible and try to avoid difficulties that we may see looming ahead. As to the development of the minerals, let the House make no mistake: the minerals belong to the Crown. That has been asserted before, and it cannot be gainsaid. The natives have no right to the minerals, which are the property of the Crown. Such rights as the natives have are surface rights on the land, though, of course, it is obvious that directly one attempts to get under the surface to the minerals below one must, to a greater or less extent, interfere with the occupation rights of the natives on the surface.
I would like to say at the outset that I do not wish to question in the slightest degree the sincerity of the Governor or the Secretary of State or their desire to do everything perfectly fair and right in this very difficult matter. I am sorry, rather, that it should have been suggested from the other side of the House 206 that people who are interested in this matter, and who are only anxious, as we are all anxious, to do the right thing, are to be regarded as disturbers and petty interferers between the natives and the Government. Very far from it. We desire not only to help the Government to do the right thing, but to see that the right line of policy is followed out, because that must be for the benefit not only of the natives but of the Colony as a whole, and it is the greatest mistake to imagine that although the natives are in such an enormous majority in the Colony they are the only people there. The Colony consists of a number of Europeans, a very considerable number of Asiatics, and these millions of natives, and any action the Government take in a matter like this must have regard to the interests of the Colony as a whole and not of any section of the inhabitants.
I am sorry, also, as I said just now, that the House of Commons was not taken sooner into the confidence of the Secretary of State, and that the action which has been taken has had an air of secrecy. That air of secrecy and rapid action have given rise to a great deal of the uneasiness which has been experienced throughout the country. No matter to what part of the country one may go, north, east, south or west, one finds the serious Press of the country disturbed by the action which has been taken, and I hope that one result of this Debate will be so clearly to bring out the facts of the position that that uneasiness may be finally allayed. Hon. Members will no doubt have seen the correspondence in the "Times." Two points particularly referred to in that correspondence are, first, the allegation, that there has been a breach of faith and that we have gone back on our word and on the Native Land Ordinance of 1930; and, secondly, the great anxiety exhibited as to the methods to be adopted for the development of this goldfield. Its successful development will undoubtedly be of enormous benefit to the Colony.
I am not one of those who suggest that because gold has been found in a native reserve it should not be worked; that would be ridiculous. What I am anxious to see is that it is worked in such a way that the interests of the natives, no less than the interests of any other inhabitants of the Colony, are not damaged. 207 Therefore, a close and impartial scrutiny of the facts is demanded, and I hope the House will bear with me if I go back into past history in order to bring the matter into its proper perspective, because it is somewhat difficult to understand the full implication of the present position unless we look at what happened in past years. It was not until the Uganda Railway was built and the fine nature of the land was discovered that an invitation was sent to settlers to come to the Colony and questions as to the land first arose. Land was then given out by the Government on very easy terms to incoming settlers. The first trouble that arose with the native tribes over land was with the Masai. A treaty was made with the Masai in Sir Donald Stewart's governorship. He, realising the difficulties surrounding the land question, appointed a Land Committee with Lord Delamere as chairman, and I would like to quote a sentence from its report in 1905:Everyone is of one opinion in agreeing that when once the Government has given its word to the natives in fixing a reserve that the reserve so fixed should be absolutely inviolable. It therefore becomes of all the more importance that the greatest care and forethought should be taken to prevent any subsequent interference with an area which has once been fixed by the Government as a reserve.Unfortunately, a few years later the Government decided that it would be necessary to break the treaty made with the Masai and to remove them to another portion of the Colony, or Protectorate, as it then was. There was a great outcry over what was called the Masai move. The matter was taken into the courts, which decided that they were unable to interfere in a matter of treaty-making between the Government and the chiefs. In 1315 the Lands Ordinance was passed, and the question of reserves and the marking out of reserves necessarily came still more to the front. After the War there was an increase in the white settlement, and that, again, brought up the question of the reserves and their demarcation. Hon. Members may perhaps remember that there were unfortunate riots in the Kikuyu country, headed by Harry Thuku. One of the causes of the discontent put forward was that the ownership of their land was being called in question. In 1923, when there were difficulties with the Indian inhabitants, a White Paper was issued, to which the 208 hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) has referred and I will not again quote the famous declaration of trusteeship made in that White Paper. In 1925 a commission was sent out headed by the present First Commissioner of Works. They made a very interesting report, from which I would like to quote a sentence:There is probably no subject which agitates the native mind to-day more continuously than the question of their rights in land, both collectively as tribes and individually as owners or occupiers. … Uncertainty in regard to future land policy is certainly the principal cause of disquiet among the natives, more particularly of Kenya and Nyasaland.In 1927 the home Government issued another White Paper, in which the principle of trusteeship was again stressed. In 1929 the Hilton Young Commission Was sent out to report on closer union. In their report they referred to the sentence I have just read from the Parliamentary Commission's report, and they say:We agree with the Parliamentary Commission in this respect,And then continue: —But the question of title is in itself of dominating importance. When in any territory it becomes necessary to fix the boundaries of what are to be reserved as native areas, then it is absolutely essential that the title of the natives to their beneficial occupation should be indefeasibly secured. Native confidence in the justice of British rule is jeopardised by even a suspicion that the complete inviolability of their beneficial rights is in any circumstances whatever liable to infringement or modification.The next year the then Labour Government issued another White Paper—I must apologise to the House for making these quotations, but I think it has been rather important to show the chain of circumstances—in which they discuss the expropriation of native land for public purposes and say:Where an aggregate area of land has been solemnly assured to the native population it must not be lessened. Other land. therefore, of superficial extent equal to that which has been compulsorily expropriated, and thus, in effect, abstracted from the area of the native reserves, must in every case be obtained from the areas not previously allocated to the natives, and where practicable placed freely at the disposal of the persons or the tribe to be extruded from their accustomed territories.It was on the basis of that declaration that the then Government insisted on the provision being inserted into the Native 209 Lauds Trust Ordinance providing that where land is taken from a reserve, land of equal area and as far as possible equally valuable should be put in reserve to make up that which has been taken from it. That Ordinance, which was passed so lately as 1930, has been referred to as the native Magna Charta.
In 1931 we come to the sittings of the Joint Select Committee. It sat for many months at the other end of this corridor, in the King's Robing Room, and had before it native witnesses drawn from various territories of Africa, who frankly and freely said to the representatives of Parliament what they thought 'about their grievances, and particularly about their grievances in connection with the title to land. The Joint Select Committee in their report dealing with Kenya said:In view of the nervousness among the native population as regards the land question, a full and authoritative inquiry should be undertaken immediately into the needs of the native population, present and prospective, with respect to land within or without the reserves, held either on tribal or individual tenure. Pending the conclusion of this inquiry, no further alienation of Crown land to non-natives should take place except in exceptional cases with the sanction of the Secretary of State.Following on that, the Secretary of State appointed the Morris Carter Commission to go into the matters to which the Joint Committee referred. I should like to take this opportunity of saying that when the terms of reference of the Morris Carter Commission were considered it was thought advisable—and I, being at the Colonial Office at the time, concurred— that the working of the Native Land Trust Ordinance should be referred to the Morris Carter Commission so that they could report on it, especially with respect to the difficulties which might arise in connection with the goldfields. That was one of the matters which was particularly referred to the Morris Carter Commission. I have tried shortly to summarise the history of the last 30 years, showing how closely this House and the home Government is involved and the interest that it has constantly taken in an endeavour to see that the rights of natives and then-land shall, as far as possible, be made absolute and secure.
When we come to the discovery of gold in 1932, events move very much quicker. 210 It was only in July of last year that the Governor took the opportunity of visiting the goldfields, and he then gave an assurance to the natives that there was no intention to deprive them of their land. The natives asked him to take a native oath, which I believe consisted in dividing a dog, or something of the sort. He naturally refused to take an oath of that kind, and he said that his word should be sufficient. The word of the Governor should be sufficient. I am sorry to have had it reported to me that the natives are saying that they now understand why the Governor refused to take the oath.
On the 17th October, the Chief Native Commissioner issued a circular—that is to say the circular was dated on that day —giving explanations to the natives in the reserves as to what was happening. Very naturally and obviously, prospectors going to the reserves and putting in their prospecting claims upset considerably the natives, who see their land being marked out without knowing what is going to be the result. So this circular was issued. It has been said by Archdeacon Owen in a communication which he has made to the Press of this country that that circular was sent to him and other officials for translation at a very much later date, and he has also made the statement that when the amendment to the Ordinance went through the Legislative Council the natives in the neighbourhood had not had any notice of it.
§ Sir PHILIP CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I would like to say at once, if the hon. Gentleman will permit me, that I understood from the Governor that the circular had been circulated in the mining districts. Archdeacon Owen's district was not concerned, because it came outside the mining area, and he would, therefore, not get the circular because his area was not concerned. The circular was distributed to Missions in the districts concerned and the missionaries were, I understand, asked to arrange for translation and further circulation. Apparently this was not done. It has now been translated into Swahili and the vernacular and is being circulated.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for the explanation, but I think that there was some delay in the circular being circulated.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The Governor himself and the Chief Native Commissioner attended native meetings to explain exactly what was taking place. I think that that is very much more important.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I agree that that was extremely important. As the right hon. Gentleman suggested later in the House, it was very important that the Chief Native Commissioner should have gone round. I think I remember him saying what a very excellent Circular it was and that he approved of it entirely.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
It is not a very big point. I am only regretting that the Circular did not go out sooner and that it was delayed. On the 7th December the hon. Member for Central Bristol (Lord Apsley) asked the Secretary of State if he could make a further statement as to the policy that the Government was adopting with regard to the discovery of gold in the native reserves in the northern Kavirondo in Kenya, and to whom the mineral rights of the district belonged. The Minister replied:I am not yet in a position to make a detailed statement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th December, 1932; col. 1597, Vol. 272.]Then he goes on to speak about the mineral rights belonging to the Crown. That was on the 7th December. The Secretary of State was not in a position to make a detailed statement. On the 18th December I, personally, and I daresay other hon. Members, received cabled information from Kenya that an amending Ordinance was going to be introduced into the Legislative Council on the 21st. Hon. Members will perhaps remember that I put a question down asking for information. Then came the Christmas Recess. I am not quite sure of my date, but I think that it was on the 31st December, or very early in January, that the Governor's assent was given to the amending Ordinance which had passed through all its stages. The great rapidity with which action was taken, without the people of this country being fully aware of what was taking place, has, I am sure, given rise to a very great deal of the uneasiness and suspicion which has been evidenced in 212 the correspondence which has taken place in the public Press.
I should like to refer for a minute to the Ordinance itself and to the effect of the amendment. The original Ordinance of 1930 provides that land may be taken for certain public purposes, including mineral development, but with this proviso:no land shall be excluded from a native reserve under this Section unless the Central Board is satisfied that the proposed exclusion has been brought to the notice of the local native council;and further:Where any land is excluded from a native reserve under this Section the Governor shall by notice in the Gazette add to such native reserve from suitable and if possible contiguous unalienated and unreserved Crown land an area equal in extent and as far as possible equal in value to the area excluded.The amending Ordinance says:It shall not be obligatory on the Governor during the period of the currency of such lease or of any renewals thereof to add to such native reserve any land as is provided under Sub-section (2) of this Section:Provided that at the final expiration of the currency of such lease the land so excluded shall revert to the native reserve concerned;and further:Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Sub-section (1) of this Section where land is excluded from a native reserve under this Sub-section it shall not be necessary for the Central Board to bring the proposed exclusion to the notice of the local native council or of the natives concerned.There we have in a nutshell the amendments that have been made. One amendment is that it shall no longer be necessary to bring exclusions to the notice of the native local council, and a second is that it shall not be necessary to add an equal area of land to make up for the land excluded.
On the 19th January, the Secretary of State issued an explanation to the Press. The gist of the explanation, contained in the statement then made, was the temporary nature of the exclusion and the small area that was likely to be excluded. I grant that the area may be small, but we do not know yet what developments may take place. I grant also that when a mining lease is worked out and becomes useless and the land reverts to the reserve, that might be called a temporary 213 exclusion. Let us look a little closer at what that word "temporary" means. Suppose that any hon. Member had a certain area of his acreage taken away from him temporarily, and that he was told that it might revert in 25 or 50 years to his heirs; he would consider that he had been fairly permanently excluded from that land. I do not think that the Secretary of State is quite justified in placing the stress that he does on the temporary nature of the exclusion.
When you come to the case of an African native who is, or may be, excluded from his holding for a matter of 25 years, if the mining leases are not renewed for a considerable period of time, from the African native's point of view there can be very little doubt that he would regard such exclusion as permanent.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The hon. Gentleman is not now quoting his own argument, but he is quoting my defence. Will he take it from me that my defence is not at all similar to that which he is now seeking to make it. I have always laid enormous stress on the point that the native will get land.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon, but I was quoting from his own statement. Let there be no mistake about that. I will quote the words:It is clear from the terms of the Ordinance "—he says—that the exclusioncontemplated in the original Ordinancewas a permanent exclusion.The Ordinance simply says "exclusion." He then goes on to say:It will thus be seen that the total amount of land likely to be excluded from the reserves is relatively very small. Moreover, the exclusion is only for the duration of the lease.I do not think I have incorrectly quoted the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I should prefer to make my own case. I think the hon. Gentleman will do me the justice to admit that I have stated perfectly plainly that the Governor has said that each native will get land, and that I have said very plainly more than once that I should not regard it as satisfactory to take away a native's land and give 214 him nothing, or merely to give him compensation in cash, but that I think it is essential that the individual's land should not be diminished.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
The whole point, as I understand it, is that, within the law which the right hon. Gentleman laid down, the total area of the native reserve was not to be diminished. I quite appreciate that there may be extreme difficulties in finding suitable land in the neighbourhood, and that it might be necessary to expropriate land that had been given to other persons, or to spend money on land that is more or less useless in order to make it useful, by irrigation or by taking some action with regard to it so that it would be of use to a native whose reserve has been diminished. I should like now, again quoting from the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, to refer to the concluding portion, in which he said;It has already been stated that exclusion for a mining lease is not a permanent exclusion, but it may well be that a further area of land should ultimately be added to the reserve as additional compensation to the natives as a whole for the temporary exclusion of land included in a lease and for disturbance of land so occupied and damaged in working. But this aspect of the problem cannot be dealt with piecemeal.I should like to ask the Secretary of State if he can give any assurance that what he appears to indicate there will be given effect to. I gather, from that concluding portion of his statement, that he is prepared to add land to the reserve where the area has been diminished for the purpose of development by mining leases. It is very difficult, of course, to find out what the feeling of the natives is with regard to action such as has been taken. It has been stated, and I think it is only natural to expect, that a good deal of uneasiness, to put it no higher, is being felt by the natives, and not only by the natives of one tribe, because there are means of communication between different tribes, and, when a tribe like the Kikuyu see the action that has been taken with regard to the development of this mining field in the Kavirondo country, they will, I think, say very easily, "If action like this can be so lightly taken, 215 and if the law which was to give us security of title to our land can be so easily altered by the Legislative Council, with the approval of the Secretary of State, for the purposes of gold, why not our land at some other date for some other purpose?" It will give a shake to the confidence of the natives right through the country.
This Motion asks the House to say that what has been done is both equitable and expedient. Before I could commit myself to saying that what has been done is either equitable or expedient, I should like first to hear what the Secretary of State has to say in fuller explanation and in giving us fuller facts surrounding the whole difficulties of the position. But, whatever explanation the Secretary of State may give us, a very great responsibility rests upon this House, and I do not hesitate to say that, unless an assurance can be given that such action will be taken in the future as will not shake the natives' confidence in our word, we may in the long run lose more than can be repaid by all the gold in Africa.
§ 5.51 p.m.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The whole House is under a debt of gratitude to the hon. Member who drew this place in the Ballot, and has not only given us an early opportunity for a debate on this subject, but has given us the opportunity of hearing a very interesting speech, delivered in physical circumstances which he combated successfully, and on account of which we listened all the more closely. He had something of real interest to say from personal knowledge on the spot, and, in Debates on questions of this kind, personal knowledge acquired on the spot is sometimes of more value than theoretical knowledge advanced with more certainty by persons less fully acquainted with the subject. I should have been very glad if this Debate could have taken place earlier, but I do not think that either I or the Government can be charged with any dereliction of duty in that regard. After all, it is for the Opposition to select the subjects which they wish discussed, and it will be within the recollection of all who were present in the House at the end of last Session that I answered a question, before the Debate on the 216 Adjournment came on, giving precisely the terms of the amending Ordinance and stating that it had been introduced with my full approval; and there was every opportunity then for anyone who wished to do so to debate this matter. I should have been only too glad, because I am always most anxious to give the House the fullest information possible, if either Opposition had chosen at that time to raise this question, either on the Consolidated Fund Bill or on the Motion for the Adjournment. Therefore, the Government cannot be charged with any dereliction of duty as regards not having given information or not having afforded to the House an opportunity, and we were very glad to get this opportunity now, as soon as the House reassembled.
Two points of view have been expressed in the speeches already delivered. There was the point of view which was taken, as he said quite frankly, by the hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn), who was rather pleased with my hon. Friend's simile of the locusts and the Socialists, which I thought was a very good one. The hon. Gentleman said perfectly frankly that he wished to do as much damage as a horde of locusts, that he wished to take any opportunity he possibly could of hitting this Government in any way. We all realise that it is the duty of an Opposition to oppose, but I think it is the duty of an Opposition to exercise a certain sense of responsibility when Imperial affairs are being dealt with. In very marked contrast with the tone of the hon. Gentleman's speech was the much more temperate speech of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R Hamilton), who is acquainted with the earlier stages of this matter. I am afraid I must take up a certain amount of time, because I wish to make to the House the clearest statement that I possibly can, and to put absolutely frankly to the House what the position is, how it has arisen, what is happening, and what has been done, and then to ask the House whether anything else could reasonably have been done.
There is a large measure of agreement on the facts in this case. In the first place, with one or two negligible exceptions, I think everyone agrees that it is in the interest of Kenya—of the native just as much as of the settler—that the gold which is found there should be 217 worked, and worked to the best advantage. It is also common ground, or, at least, I thought it was until I saw the Socialist Amendment on the Order Paper, that the minerals in Kenya are the property of the Crown. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland, speaking as an ex-chief justice, made that point perfectly clear, and, of course, he is quite right. It is laid down in the Order in Council of 1902 that the minerals, on whatever land they may be found, are the property of the Crown. That is also declared by the very Ordinance of which the Labour Government settled the terms, and while they were in office there was continual correspondence on the matter with the Kenya Government. It is also implied in the Native Land Trust Ordinance. Therefore, when these minerals are worked, whether under land which is a native reserve or under the land of a settler, the law is the same with regard to the right to work them, and there is no claim that the whole of the product from the winning of these minerals should be set aside for the natives.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I think that practically all the prospecting that has taken place has been inside the native reserves. I want to meet the hon. Gentleman's point, but I do not quite understand it.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It happens that the gold so far discovered is within the native reserves, but supposing that just outside that area minerals are being prospected for under the land of a white man—as may well be the case, though I do not know, and am not speaking with certainty—surely the hon. Gentleman is not going to say that, although the minerals found there belong to the Crown, and the Crown has the right to grant a prospecting licence, they shall all go to that white man? If he would not say that, he cannot really say that minerals found under a native's land should all go to the native. We all want to deal fairly 218 generously by the native, but do not let us put forward a claim which cannot possibly be justified either in justice, law or common sense.
Let me take the next point, which I think the House should fully appreciate. Everything that has taken place up to the present moment has taken place under the Mining Ordinance which was passed shortly after the Native Lands Trust Ordinance, for the terms of which the right hon. Gentleman and his Government were responsible. It was a practical working Ordinance; although it demands amendment in certain degrees, as all mining legislation does—there is a proposal on foot for amendment at the moment—its broad principles do not require alteration. The whole of the prospecting which is taking place at the present moment, and which gives the man who prospects with success and stakes out a claim a potential right to a lease, has been done under the Mining Ordinance. This Ordinance was passed before my time and has nothing whatever to do with the amending Ordinance which has just passed through the Kenya Legislature. The whole issue therefore narrows down to whether this particular amending Ordinance, the terms of which I announced to the House when we were in Session before Christmas and which governs the granting of leases during the short period before we get the report of the Land Commission, is just and expedient and whether it involves a breach of faith.
Let me observe this: No one has suggested a practicable alternative to what has been done. Everybody agrees that gold is to be worked. An hon. Gentleman on those benches to-day suggested that it ought to be worked by the Government. Frankly I disclaim that proposal entirely. There would be many objections to it, and it would be unfortunate that the Government which has to make regulations to deal with the whole of this matter should be itself the operator. Of all the technical speculative enterprises into which a Government could enter, gold-mining is the worst.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
The hon. Member who made that suggestion also made an alternative suggestion that, in the absence of a Government ownership, a kind of public-private company should 219 be formed in which the Government should be a shareholder.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
What does that mean? Either it means that the Government take part in the actual risk and invite other people to subscribe some money as well—
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
It is an experiment which I am sure I should not wish to attempt except in very special circumstances. But what does it mean? We are dealing with this very speculative proposition, that the Government find part of the money and invite other people to come in. If the Government went into business in that sort of way, they might soon find the people they dealt with saying, "All right, you have invited us into this enterprise; if it goes right, we will share the profits; if it goes wrong, we expect the Government to bear all the loss." How impossible this kind of speculation would be. I submit, and I am sure that the majority of the House will agree with me, that that would be a very impracticable and undesirable alternative. That being so, let me take the facts and see whether the action which we have taken is reasonable in itself and whether it has been taken on the best and most authoritative advice; and, if that be so, whether there is anything in the spirit and intention of the Native Lands Trust Ordinance which should debar us from taking action which on the face of it is reasonable but which seems inconsistent with the spirit and intention of that Ordinance.The letter killeth and the spirit maketh aliveis a very great and true saying, and it would be absurd to pretend that the text of that or any other Ordinance is textually inspired, and that its details can never be amended. What matters is the principle, and indeed one of the functions of the Morris Carter Commission— the Land Commission—the terms of reference of which have not been challenged by anybody in this or the other House specifically, is this:To review the working of the Native Lands Trust Ordinance, and to consider how any administrative difficulties that may already have arisen can best be met, whether by supplemental legislation or otherwise, without involving any departure from the principles of the Ordinance.220 Therefore, I say, it is the spirit and principle of that Ordinance that counts. What are the facts? At the end of 1931 miners prospecting under the Mining Ordinance discovered gold in the Kavirondo reserve. The Government of Kenya took the very wise step of calling in to their advice on the technical side —the planning and the prospecting, and so on—the ablest man that they could have called in: Sir Albert Kitson. He has a unique, long, and practical experience in all parts of Africa; he has a great knowledge of and sympathy with the natives; and he made a very extensive survey, not only of the part where prospecting is now taking place, but of the whole area which it was thought might possibly be of a gold-bearing character. He has put the whole thing extraordinarily well in a letter to the "Times" of 17th January, which probably most hon. Members have read. He gave a very plain account of the kind of mining which was likely to take place in that area. I commend that account given by Sir Albert Kitson to anybody who wants to know the real facts.
The most amazing kind of nonsense has been talked by one or two critics. We have had described to us how in a little native reserve there is to be a vast area of extensive mining like the Rand near Johannesburg, Nothing, of course, is further from the truth. If subsequent discovery should lead to the finding that there is an area of wide lateral extent with gold all through it, then you have an entirely new situation to deal with which will have to be met in a new manner, and which will require separate action. But what you have to-day is mining of two kinds. You have, first of all, a great many people engaged on alluvial mining in the beds of the rivers. There are some larger rivers, and also a great many small tributaries, in the valleys or beds of which the gold is found. What is happening there is that people have gone prospecting; the natives are there, but all that kind of alluvial mining in the beds of the rivers is not going to disturb anybody. Nobody has been turned out of his holding, and it provides remunerative employment for a number of natives. Apart from that, there are these veins or bands of gold which are found in different parts of the reserve. Those are being discovered now, and are being prospected under the 221 Mining Ordinance. Where an actual claim is filed then it may lead to a mining lease. But even where a lease is granted for lode mining the amount of surface which is required for working quite a substantial mine is very small. As Sir Albert Kitson said in his letter:In the event of a reef proving to be sufficiently large, rich and continuous in length and depth to make a large mine eventually, the surface required for residences, mining plant, etc., will of course be greater,"—he is saying that very small areas will be required in some cases—but the area even then required would be a matter of acres only—probably from 20 to 40 acres in each case.That is the kind of area that would be required. It has also been said that the Government are going to take hundreds of miles and devastate them. Do let us, even if we are going to disagree about action, at any rate get some fairly accurate appreciation of the facts.
§ Mr. MOLSON
Might I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman just for one moment? If as a matter of fact the disturbance is going to be so small, what is the need of having a special Mining Ordinance? As he himself admits, even if we are carrying out the spirit of the earlier Ordinance, we are amending an Ordinance which was carried for the purpose of giving confidence to the natives.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
If the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to listen to the rest of my speech, he will see why it is necessary. Under the letter of that Ordinance as it stands you could not give a lease for this purpose. But perhaps he will be good enough to allow me to explain to the House exactly why that is. As I said, it was very fortunate that the Kenya Government should have had the advantage of Sir Albert Kitson's advice. I am sure that in planning the lay-out they could have no wiser advice. In addition to that, I think it was fortunate that the Land Commission which was sent out to Kenya in response to and in accordance with the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee and reached in Kenya in August of last year, should have been on the spot and able to consider the whole position. That commission is invited to report upon the whole question of the sufficiency of the existing reserves and on what additions should be made. I am bound to say that I think 222 that the mining question is not the most difficult question with which the commission, will be faced. They are extraordinarily well equipped for their task. There is Sir Morris Carter; he has a unique experience in dealing with this matter of native reserves. There is Mr. Hemsted; a very able native commissioner, now retired, who, incidentally, was for many years a district commissioner in this very Kavirondo area, and knows it like the back of his hand. There is also Captain Frank Wilson. They are, I think, as able a body as you could possibly get to report on this matter.
The problem with which the Kenya Government was faced was the granting of leases, and how these leases were to be granted in the interim period before the Carter Commission makes its final report and before that report can be considered and legislated upon. It would be a report of very great importance dealing with a large number of matters which, obviously, require considerable time for consideration. The problem is urgent in the sense that it is obviously very undesirable to hold up the proper sequence of development of this mine-field. It is not a problem of any great magnitude. The Governor has estimated—it is an outside estimate—the area for which the surface is likely to be required in this interim period as being 1,000 acres, which is one and a-half square miles out of a total reserve area of the Kavirondo area reserve of over 7,000 square miles. That gives one some idea of the magnitude of the matter. Let me put to the House the authoritative advice which the Government of Kenya took in order to decide the right, equitable and practicable course to follow. The Chief Native Commissioner was consulted. This is his recommendation. The Commissioner of the Province who knows the area was consulted. There is the Native Lands Trust Board who are the trustees for administering the reserves.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
There is none on them now, it is quite true, and it would have been very foolish to force it. I will tell the right hon. and gallant Gentleman why. If I may say so, it is very curiously informed criticism to come from him. The Trust Board has 223 to administer the reserves in which many different tribes are interested. There are conflicts of interest between these tribes and very often these disputes as to whether a particular tribe, or a particular section of a tribe, has a right over a bit of land. Nothing could be more futile than to put on to this Board of trustees who have to administer the whole in the interests of all tribes a representative of one tribe. Anyone who knows anything about the matter—the Select Committee drew attention to it—realises that it would be asking for trouble if you did anything like that. [Interruption.] The Native Lands Trust Board has recommended it. Sir Albert Kitson has recommended it. The Government of Kenya recognised that the Carter Commission were charged with a great judicial inquiry covering the question of the reserves, their adequacy and their administration, and they rightly said that they could not take even a temporary step without being sure that the Carter Commission thought that it was a right course. The Carter Commission had the whole matter put to them and the Commission said, "This is what we think is the wisest course to take in the interim period before you get the final report." So far from saying that this was a rushed Ordinance taken without consideration, I would say to the House that no Member has ever known of a case of Colonial legislation which was more carefully considered and which had behind it a greater chain of authority than the legislation which has been challenged to-day. The terms of the Ordinance grant surface leases up to 21 years, and renewal, if necessary, and at the end of the time the land reverts to the reserve. I have given the Governor's estimate of the acreage. At the outside it is probably a question of moving, or partly moving, 300 natives, including their families. That is the outside estimate.
In dealing with an exclusion from the reserve, taking the small bits of surface which are part of the reserve, you have two definite problems to consider. I beg of the House to approach this matter in a practical way and to get it quite clear. You have, first of all, the problem of the individual native who is, or may be, displaced. You have, secondly, a different problem. It is the problem of the 224 adequacy of the reserve as a whole. I will take the case of the individual native first. The last thing in the world such a man wants is to be taken miles away from the place where he is living and farming and put among people whom he does not know. That is what the Amendment to the Motion suggests. The Amendment, if it means anything, says that you ought to take the native and settle him upon other land right away outside the reserve.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Will the hon. Gentleman try to obtain some little knowledge of the facts? There is no adjoining land which can be taken. Therefore, if you were to add the nearest land you could get you would have to take them away at least 20 miles, or probably more, in order to settle them. I think that any natives to whom you made such a proposition would say, "Save us from our friends!" The native wants to be allowed to go on occupying and working his land as near as possible to the place he occupies to-day where he has an opportunity of remunerative employment, and has, for the first time, a good market. All the talk that this development was something which would be disastrous to the native is utterly untrue. What have you got? You have, on the one hand, as my hon. Friend who knows the position so well said, unemployment created because prices have fallen and only a certain number of natives can be employed on the farms. You have natives seeking work. You have an unemployment problem as we have to-day. You have the natives failing to get a reasonable price for their produce because there is not a market. The export market price has fallen and the local market price has fallen, and now, apparently for the first time, there is a chance of employment and a remunerative market for what the native is producing. It is one of the most hopeful things that could happen to the country. It would be criminal, unless it were absolutely unavoidable, to take such a man away from where he is to-day and put him some 20, 30 or 40 miles away, as the Labour party suggest. Therefore, that man is going to be left, either on part of the holding where he and his people are now, or, if it is not prac- 225 ticable, settled among his neighbours. The hon. Gentleman suggested that it cannot be done. The responsible administrators on the spot say that it can be done, and I prefer to take their word against his insinuation.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Not only is he going to get this land, but there is to be compensation. The measure of compensation is to be at least as much as would be paid to a white settler if you were taking the mineral rights on part of the holding away from him. It is laid down in the Ordinance. Great care has been taken in the matter. I want to go into detail to show the House how meticulously careful they have been. It has been provided that not only should a man have the land but that he should have full compensation. They have taken the very wise course that cash compensation shall not be paid over to the native in a lump sum, but that it shall be paid into a local fund in order that it shall be paid out in instalments, which, I think, is a very reasonable and practical thing to do. We are following exactly the course envisaged during the time of my predecessors should development take place. That is the problem of the individual native, and is there anybody who can say that the individual native is not being dealt with fairly?
Then there is the problem, which I said was a separate one, of the adequacy of the reserve. Of course, if the reserve were so crowded that the temporary displacement of a few hundred people was going to cause a crisis, your reserve problem would be upon you at the present moment. It would mean that the ordinary increase in a year or two would land you in a difficult position. That is not what we are up against. What we are up against is the ultimate adequacy. The Carter Commission will report upon the matter, and they can be trusted to do so in a thoroughly practical 'and sympathetic manner. It would be impracticable to deal with the matter in any other way. These leases, as Sir Albert Kitson has pointed out, are very small in extent, some of a few acres only, 20, 40 or 50 acres it may be, for varying periods. Some have a short time to run; it may be five, years, or possibly a surrender sooner. Some are for 21 years. Suppose 226 you stuck to the absolute letter of the law and said, "Whenever you make a lease, however small or for however short a period, you have to add another bit of land of the same size to the reserve," you would be in a ridiculous position. It would be utterly impracticable, and no man with any common sense would deal with it in that way. The Lands Trust Ordinance entirely failed to envisage mining development as it is likely to take place. That is the simple fact. We have to deal comprehensively with the adequacy of the reserve when we know what is likely to be the full extent of the mining operations and their effect upon the reserve, and we shall certainly do so.
The suggestion that we are not going to add land to the reserve is quite without foundation. What I ask the House to agree to as being reasonable is, that we should deal with the matter when we know the effect upon the reserve of the mining upon the surface of the reserve which is likely to take place. I think that that is a very reasonable way of dealing with the whole of the matter. The whole administration is carried out with sympathy and common sense. Is there anything in the spirit of the Ordinance which precludes us from taking those very reasonable steps? Section 15, which has been quoted, provides that where exclusion is made the land shall be added. Charges of breach of faith have been bandied about, but they have not been founded on the intention or the spirit of what is being done, but based on a technicality. We had better make a careful examination of the Ordinance itself, because if their charge means anything, it means that wherever you take land from the reserve, lease it for however short a term, it is an obligation under the Ordinance to add equivalent land.
The House will be surprised to learn, those who have not read this Ordinance will be surprised to learn, that the Ordinance itself, in Section 7 and the following Sections, provide that leases may be granted of land which is not for the time being in beneficial occupation of the natives, up to 99 years in certain cases, without any provision being made as to land being added to the reserve as compensation. If we were dealing with land which at this moment was not actually being occupied by the natives, land which had not a native sitting on it 227 I, or the Governor of Kenya, could, without any breach of this Ordinance, give a surface lease for 99 years without adding a quarter of an acre to the reserve. How ridiculous, therefore, is this charge of breach of faith. We propose not to deal with the letter of the law but with the whole spirit of it, which is to deal fairly with the individual native and to see that the reserves are adequate as a whole for their purpose. That is what we propose to do.
There is only one further matter which is dealt with in the Ordinance on which I was challenged. It is the provision which says that it shall not be necessary to bring to the notice of the Native Council each particular case of proposed exclusion. The object of the Clause as it originally stood contemplated quite plainly that permanent exclusion of a definite piece of land for a separate purpose required that the Native Council should be summoned in order that it might know. The object of bringing the Native Council together is that they may know the facts; it is for information and consultation. Here, however, the Governor of Kenya thought, and I think he was perfectly right, that the way in which he could best bring the whole of these facts and the whole of the position to the notice of the natives was not only that he should go round himself, but that the Native Commissioner should go round and have meetings of the natives in places where they were likely to be affected and explain the whole position to them, and, in addition, to circulate to those who can read the Memorandum to which reference has been made. As a matter of common sense, that is far and away the most practical method in which the Governor of Kenya could have brought the general question to the notice of the natives themselves. It would be really absurd every time you wanted to make a small lease to collect together a Council which consists of 64 people, many of them coming from parts of the reserve utterly unaffected by the matter in question, when you have the general explanation given and when you have the further provision made that every single lease has to come before the special local board, on which the individual natives concerned in the area will be represented. Are we not carrying out the spirit of that 228 provision when we follow the line which we have adopted?
I have dealt at considerable length with the position as it stands. I have dealt with what the Government of Kenya, with my full approval—I take full responsibility—has done in this matter, and I submit to the House that all that has been done has been done on the highest authority. By that I mean on the best informed authority that could be obtained. It has been thoughtful and practical. I want to pay a tribute to the men on the spot. I do not mind how much I am criticised in this House. We are here to be shot at; that is all right, but do not make unduly difficult the lot of administrators in the provinces of your Empire, who are actuated by the most disinterested motives. It is right to say that the Governor of Kenya or the Chief Native Commissioner in Kenya or the men serving under them are actuated by nothing but the most disinterested motives in serving the interests of the natives. They are really as good judges as to what is keeping faith with the native as any of us.
I should like also to pay a tribute to the men who are doing the prospecting. They have been attacked. I have seen attacks in the Press, violent attacks, statements that there have been rows between them and the natives. That is not true. I have talked to Sir Albert Kitson, who has had great experience of African natives, and he told me what the relationship was between these settlers and the men working for them— admirable. You have there an example of exactly the kind of relationship that you want in a minefield. You may perhaps get just the type of mine where the local native is able to find work in the locality and still lead his own life. You have a relationship between the white settlers and the native that is one of the things of which we may very well be proud. I want to say to-night in this House that I wish the people out there, not only the Government but the white settlers, to be assured that the House of Commons is not going to see them traduced, without some protest.
There are two classes of critics. There are those who are genuinely anxious to see and to be assured that native interests are fully safeguarded. I think it would be wiser if even the critics who 229 fall into that class would take care to acquaint themselves with the facts before they express opinions in public. We might expect a very distinguished ex-Colonial Governor-General to come to the Colonial Office to find out the facts before he makes statements publicly. The Colonial Office are not very unapproachable. They are prepared to give the facts when they are approached. There are those who are genuinely anxious—I range myself on their aide and I think the whole of the House of Commons will do so—that the native interests should be safeguarded, and I say that responsible men out in Kenya, officers of the Government, are just as jealous of the rights and privileges of the natives as any of us are, and that we can, on the facts as we now know them, have complete confidence in them.
Our record as a Government in this matter, as it is challenged, is not so bad. Look at what we have done in Kenya since the National Government have been in office. The Carter Commission has gone out. We sent that Commission out as soon as things could be arranged after the Joint Select Committee had reported. Lord Moyne was sent out on a special mission with regard to the equity of native taxation. We did that. A Native Betterment Fund is to be set up in the next Estimates, in accordance with Lord Moyne's recommendation. I am entitled to refer to these matters when our record as a Government is challenged and our character is being attacked as people who are not considering the native interests. While there are critics who are genuinely anxious, and I am with them, to see that the native interests are protected, I say advisedly that there are other critics who seek on an occasion of this kind to attack the Government of Kenya and the Government at home, and who are not slow to try to stir up trouble between the natives and the white men. Critics of that kind are serving no interests at all, least of all the interests of the natives whose interests, happily, are in more disinterested keeping. I have given this very full explanation to the House and I ask the House to support the action which the Government in Kenya have taken as being wise, just and practical, and to repudiate one of the least founded charges ever 230 advanced, namely, the charge of breach of faith.
§ 5.43 p.m.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I should like to begin by extending my sympathy to the right hon. Gentleman and, indeed, to make him the apology which I think is due from a good many of us in this House. He was perfectly right in saying that we could have raised this question last Session. He answered very fully questions put to him then, and we could have brought the matter up then. Perhaps we in this House neglected some of our trusteeship of the native races in not bringing up the matter then. I thought then, and I will frankly say now that I thought the right hon. Gentleman was making the best of a bad business and that there was nothing we could really do to help the situation. I felt then, and I still feel, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that the right hon. Gentleman has perhaps a little more conscience on these matters than most of his predecessors, and that in dealing with the situation which he had inherited he was making the best of it.
I have not said a word on this issue up till now in the Press or in public, because I did not raise the question when I could have raised it. The most heartening thing about the whole business is the way in which, although we professional defenders of the natives did not do our duty, public opinion in the country did its duty. The fact that this matter has been taken up not only by Lord Lugard but by even the "Times," the "Observer" and the "Manchester Guardian," is a really wonderful tribute to the decency of English public opinion. The case is not perhaps as strong as might have been made in the past, but at least we have people on the other side of the House as much as on this side saying that we have not done quite the right thing by the Kenya natives. Within the ambit of the Native Land Ordinance I think the right hon. Gentleman has done his best. He had the Ordinance to work, and he has thrown in our teeth to-night the most damaging section of that Ordinance, the section which says that, although land cannot be alienated, the land in a reserve may be leased up to 99 years. He rightly asked 231 what is the difference between a 99 years' lease and complete alienation.
I remember the insertion of that section in the Native Lands Ordinance. It was put in by the Kenya Legislature. Everyone in this country who knew what it meant protested against it. We debated the question in this House, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, I am not sure who it was, assured us that the provision was intended solely that the Government might lease areas in the native reserve in order to establish experimental farms and allow the experience of some white settler to extend to the natives themselves. As a matter of fact, as the right hon. Gentleman has shown, the insertion of this provision has knocked the whole of the Native Lands Ordinance sideways. But the good sense of the country has realised that it is not so much the letter of the Ordinance which matters as the assurance that was given to the natives at the time when the Native Lands Ordinance was passed. They had their Magna Charta at last. All the old land history of the past, the removal of the Masai, the cutting down of the reserves of the native races was to come to an end. The natives got their assurance. I am not certain that they were satisfied with it, perhaps they were not so satisfied as we were in this House, but still it was their Magna Charta, a pledge, that in future the natives were not to be deprived of that which they valued more than life itself, the land on which to live and work for themselves.
The right hon. Gentleman has told us that there is an unemployment problem in Kenya. There is no unemployment problem in Kenya as we know it here. It is almost possible to say that there is no unemployment in the whole of tropical Africa. All that is required there is that man should scratch the land and it will bring forth all the means of life. An unemployment problem only arises when man is divorced from the land. There is still land enough in Kenya for the natives to live on their own, and while they have enough land there will be no unemployment problem. That is why the long history of British administration in Kenya is one long struggle to solve the labour problem, to get labour at a reasonably cheap rate by taking away the land so that the natives have to work for a 232 master. [Interruption.] Hon. Members will remember the evidence given by a settler that if the natives were to retain their land there would be no settlement of the labour problem in Kenya. As long as they had land to work themselves they would never work for a master. It is not an unemployment problem; the trouble is that there is too much employment.
That, however, is a side issue. The question is: Can we do anything now to restore to the natives the confidence which was given them by the passing of the Native Lands Ordinance Act? At the first temptation that charter of the natives seems to have been broken. From the point of view of the natives in the Kakamega Reserve the officers of the Government have done their best for the individual native. He will still be able to work where he has worked before. He will have better markets for his vegetables, better opportunities to earn his hut money—as long as it is not increased—and he will have a far better chance than the natives in Northern Rhodesia, or the Transvaal. But that is not the point. The point is, how can we restore faith in the British word in the whole population of Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda? They have an incredible faith in the white man's word. The white man who lets down the white man's word is considered to be the worst enemy of the British race by the white settlers. We have to be far more scrupulously careful about carrying out our word in East Africa than we have even in paying the American Debt. Admitting that up to now the Government have done everything possible in the case, I still ask them to do something more. It is not good enough to say that we will leave it to the Morris Carter Commission. That Commission is not responsible for Britain's good name, although I am quite prepared to trust any Member of this House to be as careful of an Englishman's good name as I am myself. Party does not come into a matter of this sort at all. What we want is to be sure that in future we shall convey to the native races the certainty, the confidence, that our word is as good now as it has been in the past. That can still be done.
It is true that we are not compelled by the Native Lands Ordinance to add to the reserves. It is perfectly true that 233 the Morris Carter Commission may report an increase in these reserves, but that is not good enough. I should, like a statement from the Government saying that whether the area of land alienated for mines is large or small, even if it is only half an acre, they will see that the native reserve in Northern Kavirondo is increased by the same amount. It can be increased because adjoining the reserve there is an area which has not been developed and which can be repurchased by the State from the profits of the gold mining. This could be added to the native reserve, and we should be keeping not merely the letter but the spirit of our promise. It would not be very expensive. It would not cost £200,000,000 —only about £2,000. And it is worth it.
I beg the right hon. Gentleman to do one other thing. Hitherto the idea in East Africa has been that the native should work for himself in the reserve but that outside he should only have an. opportunity of working for a master. Now that we are bringing all the fruits of Western civilisation into this part of prehistoric Africa, now that it is important that the old communal system should be able to compete with modern industrial development and civilisation, we should take the obvious step of allowing the native to get away from his tribal system, allow those spirits in the tribe who want to leave the reserve and do something for themselves, those who have some individual initiative and enterprise, to get away from the reserve.
Do hon. Members know that the native in Kenya, not in Tanganyika, is not able to buy a square inch of land, is not able to lease any land? He cannot buy a bit of land; he cannot hold any land even in his own reserve in his individual name —and this at a time when our education is gradually spreading among the natives. There is no opportunity of individual development, which to my mind is the only possible means of preventing the exploitation of the old tribal system when modern capitalism is imposed upon it. Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to ask the Governor of Kenya, in view of the possible industrial development in the colony, whether it is possible to repeal whatever law it is which prevents the native from acquiring land either by lease or purchase outside the reserve? It is a horrible injustice that they should not be allowed to hold 234 land. That is about the best for which one can hope from the present situation. With the law as it is the right hon. Gentleman has done his best, but in addition we have to prove conclusively that we are carrying out the last letter and detail of our promise that the native lands shall no longer be diminished in quantity by any temporary or permanent alienation. Secondly, we should use this opportunity of giving that elementary right to the native of allowing him in a world of individualism, in the industrial world which is coming upon him, to own his own house and his bit of land so that he can fight for himself in the new conditions instead of being preserved helpless, ignorant, children for ever as under a glass case.
The right hon. Gentleman has tackled many problems during his short time at the Colonial Office in a way which has given me great hope for the future. I think he does want to make the British Empire a bit more British. He is trying to make British culture extend itself. He and I think of Egypt as a place where we have more or less ruled for 50 years, where our precious officials, excellent men, still talk bad French. He has done something in Cyprus almost radical. He has done something in Malta. I am not quite certain how that experiment is getting on. He is doing something in Palestine. He has done even more in Malaya. He is trying to fit these fellow native subjects of ours for the new struggle of life by giving them a chance of knowing the only language which is worth knowing in that struggle. I am not at all certain that that is not the right spirit. It should be applied in Kenya in the same way. I say, give a man a chance, take him out of his tribe, or let him get out of his tribe, and let him try to become a civilised individual.
I think that the right hon. Gentleman and the House may congratulate themselves on this Debate. It is a very useful thing that in this House we should discuss these subjects. As I sat in my place this afternoon I thought to myself: "I wonder what it would be like if they had a Debate on this subject at Cape Town?" Well, if the right hon. Gentleman made there the sort of speech he has made here, I think he would have some trouble with General Hertzog. We have some rather good standards, rather good old- 235 fashioned principles, or prejudices if you like, in this country. We have the ideal that we are trustees in this House of our less fortunate fellow citizens elsewhere. I say to the right hon. Gentleman, carry on the good work.
§ 6.4 p.m.
§ Dr. WILLIAM McLEAN
At the outset I would refer for a moment to the principles of colonial development. These are, briefly, that unless it is possible to produce something portable, such for instance as cotton, tea or gold, it is not possible to continue to advance the standard of living of a rapidly increasing native population. Populations have doubled themselves largely owing to improved sanitary and other conditions which we have given to the natives. The alternative to development is to leave the native with the superstitions and the diseases which are associated with the primitive state of most of these people. That, of course, is unthinkable, and, as the Secretary of State informed us, development is necessary. Turning from the economic aspect to the moral one, which I think is the more important, I remember that many years ago a young official was concerned with the removal of a native village from a low-lying, unhealthy mud flat, for a distance of a mile to a higher and healthier site. At first the villagers were rather shy about it, but when they saw the well-planned new village they became quite enthusiastic and full of joy. However, the joy of the officials who were concerned with the project was rather damped by criticisms made in this House, from which it was made to appear that we had dragged the weeping villagers from ivy-covered cottages and had sent them into the wilderness to build for themselves. The picture was so grotesque, unreal and unfair that I am afraid many of us said some very hard things about politicians.
Those of us who have had long experience among natives know, as the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) said, that it is very difficult to understand the working of the native mind; but one thing is certain, and that is that the allegations which we have heard recently regarding Kenya will almost certainly have a most harmful effect upon the native, for the reason that they tend to shatter that confidence and 236 trust in the officials and in the Government, which means so much to these native people, who look upon the officials and the Government very much as a child looks upon a parent. It takes long years of endeavour by sympathetic officials to build up such confidence. The garbled accounts which will run through the villages of the criticisms in this country will certainly do very much to destroy that confidence. Much of the criticism regarding Kenya seems to have been based on a misunderstanding. That is a great misfortune; in view of the native psychology it is a great pity that so much publicity has been given to it. Even if there were any wrong to be righted, surely there are much quieter and more effective ways of doing it.
I would say a word in praise of our Colonial service. It is undoubtedly one of the finest services in the world. It entails a life of hardship in unhealthy, tropical countries, in most cases; a life which means devotion to native interests and demands a continual exercise of the very best human qualities. The Secretary of State and the Government as well as the local authorities are to be congratulated on the care which they have taken to plan the economic development of Kenya so that the native shall not suffer, in fact so that he will gain very materially. I believe that by recognising that fact this House can do much to restore a great deal of the prestige which will certainly have been lost through recent unfortunate criticisms. Although criticisms are made in good faith and with the best intentions, it does not lessen the damage done.
§ 6.12 p.m.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
This House has been discussing a matter of very high importance. It touches a fundamental point in the relations between the Governments of the British Empire and the native populations. The question is not to be brushed aside on the ground that it is brought forward merely by persons who do not know what the facts are, that it is the outcome of prejudice or ignorance or a desire merely to attack the settlers of Kenya or the officials on the spot or the Government here. Such explanations are absurd when the whole country knows that attention was drawn to this matter in the first place by the greatest living British Colonial admini- 237 strator, Lord Lugard, who knows more about these matters than any other man in this country, who is also the representative of Great Britain on the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations, where continually month after month and year after year he has been dealing with these very land questions as affecting mandated territories.
My hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton), who spoke to-day and made such a well-informed and fully documented speech, has spent years of his life in Kenya. For many years he was the Chief Justice of the Colony, and he would not speak in the terms he used without drawing upon his long experience there. The correspondence which has taken place in the Press has emanated largely from men with a life-long acquaintance with these native questions—the Archdeacon of Kavirondo and many others there. I do not profess to any personal knowledge of the colony, although I travelled all through that country many years ago and learnt much of the excellent reputation that was borne by this particular tribe whose lands are in question. That was 30 years ago. They were then a tribe of primitive simplicity, one of the few tribes that still dispensed completely with clothing, and they bore the reputation of being a tribe that maintained the highest standard of morality of any in that part of Africa.
This matter cannot be brushed aside as being one of trivial importance. The Colonial Secretary said "After all it is only a question of one-and-a-half square miles." He is really not treating the House fairly when he tries to reduce it to those dimensions. As a matter of fact several hundreds of square miles have been or are being opened up for prospecting. Only a few days ago there was published the report of the geologist who is employed there, Sir Albert Kitson, who speaks of a prospecting licence being applied for to cover nearly 6,000 square miles. His report, says the "Times":will considerably widen the area of native land affected by the gold discoveries.Gold appears to extend also in the Kikuyu country. The "Times" report from East Africa comments—The land question will be even more difficult in Kikuyu.238 Nor is this matter one merely of temporary small leases for a few weeks or months, which obviously could not be dealt with by giving equivalent grants of land elsewhere. These leases may be given, under the Ordinance, for a period of five to 12 years, and then they are renewable; and when it is suggested that the natives are merely stirred up to alarm by criticisms in this country and speeches in this House and correspondence in the Press, that is not the fact. There was published a few days ago the annual report of the Native Affairs Department of Kenya Colony. There these words are used:The area of the discovery is situated in a densely populated and closely cultivated part of the native reserve. In fact the natives regard the entry of European prospectors with great misgiving, fearing for the security of their land.The report further states:In spite of the sensible manner in which the natives have hitherto accepted the situation, it would be idle to deny that they view the advent of our prospectors with profound distrust.And again:In spite of all explanations they remain bewildered and are genuinely nervous as to their fate.These are not expressions used by people who are ignorant of the matter or by those who, for evil motives, desire to attack this or that section. These are extracts from an official report of the Native Affairs Department of the Colony. Therefore, this House is obliged to treat the matter with the utmost seriousness. The right hon. Gentleman in the public statement which he issued said that the criticism was due to "misunderstanding" and I think that word has been used more than once in the Debate to-day. There is no misunderstanding whatever. The matter is crystal clear. An Ordinance was passed in Kenya—it is true under pressure from the home Government— which said, in terms, that if land had to be taken away from the native reserves for mining purposes, an equivalent area should be given in exchange. It said further that no action of that kind should be taken without the native councils being informed and having an opportunity of making their own representations in defence of their own interests.
Those were perfectly clear pledges. The native reserved lands were guaranteed to them for ever. The natives relied upon 239 those pledges. Now, with the full approval of the right hon. Gentleman, an amending Ordinance has been passed which says that when land is taken away for that purpose, equivalent land need not be given. It says further that the native councils need not be informed and need not be given any opportunity of representing their own point of view and defending their own interests. There is no misunderstanding and no possibility of misunderstanding. The previous Ordinance said those two things and the new Ordinance simply repeals them. The right hon. Gentleman says that no pledge has been broken and he chides those who suggest that there has been a breach of faith in this matter. That is not the view of the late Governor of Kenya, Sir Edward Grigg, who, in a letter to the "Times" published on 6th January, said it was a very great mistake ever to have given those pledges which necessarily had to be broken because they went too far. He wrote:When Lord Passfield incorporated in the Ordinance the pledge which has now been broken he knew that in the opinion of every member of the Kenya Executive Council that pledge could not with certainty be honoured and, therefore, ought not to be given.He says that he himself advised the Government at home not to give that pledge. He says that that advice was disregarded and that "another pledge has, in consequence, been violated." That being the publicly expressed opinion of the late Governor of the Colony, the right hon. Gentleman cannot now get up in the House and say that the pledge has not been violated. He may say that the pledge ought never to have been given, that it was foolish and that it had to be withdrawn. He may, indeed, say that circumstances have arisen which compel us to violate it, but he cannot say that the pledge has not been violated, because it is perfectly clear that it has been violated. That is the seriousness of the whole situation. I make one other quotation, this time from a distinguished British official who has spent many years of his life in Kenya, Dr. Drake-Brockman. This is what he says in a letter in the public Press two or three weeks ago:During my 16 years as an official in different parts of East Africa the natives frequently asked me whether the Government ever intended to take away their lands, 240 and I venture to think that most officials at some time or other have had the same question asked them. The natives are always assured by us that the British Government never broke its pledges.He also says:Should we break our pledges to the Kavirondo now, without finding an equitable solution of the difficulty, the result may be far-reaching, probably far beyond the confines of Kenya Colony, and may shake the very foundations of our African Colonial Empire.So, we are not dealing with any matter so small and unimportant as the Colonial Secretary would wish the House of Commons to believe. What has been the right hon. Gentleman's own defence of the action which he has taken? He says: "After all I have urged that the individual native disposssessed should be provided with other land among his neighbours." Those well acquainted with the Land Customs of the Kavirondo realise that it would be extremely difficult to achieve that purpose, but in any case that is not the pledge that was given. The pledge given was not that if any area of land was taken away from the reserve those dispossessed should be pushed in among those who were left. The pledge was that the area of land for the reserve should not be diminished and that if one part were taken away other contiguous land should be provided.
Then the right hon. Gentleman tells us that there is no land available, that there is no contiguous land and that in any case what the native wants is to obtain land near by, and not to remove 20 or perhaps 50 miles to some other part of the country and to a strange location where he would feel himself isolated and out of his accustomed surroundings. Later the right hon. Gentleman said: "Of course, if the mining area is considerable and the native reserves prove to be overcrowded then it would be necessary to provide more land." These two arguments are inconsistent with one another. Our complaint is that he has not said specifically, now, that if the mining development of this goldfield, which may take an enormous scope because the reef appears to be very rich, does require any appreciable area of native land to be withdrawn for any appreciable period—I do not say a few weeks or months—then, as a matter of principle, an equivalent area of land will in fact be provided. That pledge has 241 never been given, and that, if I may venture to say so, is the mistake which the Government have made from the beginning. Had they said that at the outset the strong feeling that has been aroused here and in Africa would have been at all events mitigated. But they never said that, and the reason why the official explanation published by the Colonial Office did not allay the misgivings aroused was because it seemed to go out of its way not to say that. The official statement said:It has already been said that exclusion for a mining lease is not permanent exclusion. It may well be that a further area of land should ultimately be added to the reserves as additional compensation to the natives as a whole for the temporary exclusion of the land included in the lease."It may well be" that that should be done, and the Government are to await the report of the Morris Carter Commission; that is to say they are giving to that commission the authority of the British Government to override, if they think well, a pledge definitely given to the native population in the Ordinance which has now been amended. That is the gravamen of the charge which is made— that instead of specifically saying "In all of the circumstances, we, the British Government, will adhere to the pledge given in the 1930 Ordinance," they say, "It may well be that circumstances will arise in which it may prove desirable to adhere to our pledge and revert to the previous situation."
What then, in the view of many, and I think of all on these benches, is the course that ought to be taken? Clearly, the goldfield must be developed. There is universal agreement upon that point and some modification is unavoidable in the present arrangement with regard to native lands. I do not share the view and I do not think any of my hon. Friends share the view which has been expressed opposite that it might be desirable for the Government of the Colony to undertake to operate this goldfield. I think that would be the worst possible course. In the first place, it would be a very speculative enterprise for the Government of any Colony to develop a goldfield. It would risk public money and would very likely lose it, or, at all events, might lose it. In the second place, and much more important, the function of a Government is to govern, and to regulate the relations between employers and em- 242 ployed, where necessary to protect the rights of the natives who are employed and to deal with all the social questions that arise when a considerable mining population is gathered together. If the Government then is in the position of an employer of the natives, it cannot take the attitude of impartiality which is desirable. Therefore, that proposition ought to be ruled out from the possibilities of the case.
The Government ought certainly to exercise a large measure of control to see that the goldfield is developed in a properly considered and well-planned fashion and, further, it ought to secure for the benefit of the Colony a very considerable proportion of the wealth which is drawn from its soil. A royalty of 5 per cent, seems to be quite inadequate and, since the natives are the vast majority of the population of the Colony, this levy ought to be largely devoted to the advantage of the native population. Again, in our view the Government would be wise to state frankly, here and now, that the principle of land for land will be maintained, and to state it without qualification and without going into all sorts of ingenious explanations of the difficulty of obtaining land and so forth. They ought to say: "This is a matter of principle, the British Government are pledged to it and that pledge will be maintained." Thirdly, it is essential that the provision in the Ordinance should be restored which gives to the native councils the full right of consultation and of making representation before any action is taken in these matters so closely touching native interests and native sentiments.
As I said at the outset, we are dealing here as a House of Commons with a matter of fundamental importance in Imperial administration. Our military force in the great portion of Africa for which we are responsible is very small. We have to depend upon moral force; and so far from it being the case that these criticisms are likely to arouse and stimulate discontent in the African possessions quite the contrary is the case. It is much more calculated to allay, and what is more important to obviate, discontent if these millions of native population, some of whose leaders are intelligent and well-acquainted with these affairs and watch the course of public events, as it affects them and 243 those whom they represent—if these natives know that in this House there as recourse from decisions made on the spot. The right hon. Gentleman says that we ought to depend upon the administrators in the locality. They sometimes make mistakes. The history of the British Empire has given many instances of that, and it is right that the African peoples should, by this Debate, be helped to understand that the House of Commons is very sensitive on these matters and very determined to ensure the rights of subject populations, and to secure for them justice as scrupulous as any accorded to our own citizens.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. WISE
All those who have hitherto spoken in favour of the Amendment to this Motion seem to me to have concentrated on urging the Government to do something which the Government have already announced they have every intention of doing, and to that extent to be belabouring a very dead donkey. They have announced themselves that they will give land for land taken from the natives, but they are prudently waiting to see how much land they want to take from one area to give compensation in another. The idea of distributing land piecemeal would be quite obviously wrong. I think the House should know more of the facts of the occupation of the country by the British. The native population at first was grouped into a series of hostile tribes, separated from each other in most cases by very large stretches of wholly uninhabited country, on which they used to drive their herds for pasture, while keeping their more athletic young men well armed to see that no raiding party removed them. Those vacant areas are almost entirely such lands as are now outside the native reserves.
The actual lands inhabited by the tribes, in which they have their dwellings and their villages, are almost all secured by the arrival of the British administration, and not only that, but the British administration has made it possible for them to maintain their lands. Had it not been for the presence of the British officered police, undoubtedly very grave changes would have taken place in the composition of those native reserves already. For instance, the Kisii would 244 almost certainly have removed vast stretches from the Southern Kavirondo, and as the sole reason for the existence of the reserves is vested in the British Crown, surely it is in reason that the British Crown should have some discretion in the adjustment and re-allotment of them as the economic circumstances of the country demand. Had the British not gone there to administer the country, it would now be very nearly a desert, and even the happy naked Kavirondo, to whom the right hon. Gentleman referred, would probably have ceased to exist, though I think that the particular Kavirondo with whom we are now dealing never were naked in their lives. The absence of clothes was confined entirely to the Zulus, who live well to the south.
Inside this structure maintained by the British Government there is an extraordinarily complicated system of native land tenure, which varies from tribe to tribe. In some tribes there are very large native landowners, and the bulk of the population are only tenants at will on their estates. It is quite untrue to say, as has been said, that the Kenya native has not in fact owned his land. His title may not be recognised by our courts, because he has no title deeds, but it is well recognised by the native courts, and the decisions of the native courts are maintained by the district and provincial administration. It is impossible to give the individual native a title as we know it. For one reason, even the boundaries of his land very often exist only in the imagination of a defunct great-grandfather, and no living witness can be produced who can swear where the boundary actually was. On the other hand, as the hon. Member says, they will produce witnesses, none the less.
In the particular area under consideration, the system of land tenure is, I believe, almost entirely on the clan basis. There is, in fact, no private ownership there. Cultivation of the land in large areas belongs to certain clans and is cultivated by their individual members. In other words, in spite of what the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) has said, this is almost the easiest area in all Kenya Colony to remove the population from one part and find them the land on which they can grow their crops near by, because that 245 land belongs to their clans. On the other hand, it is not easy to add an equivalent acreage, say, 1,000 acres or whatever the sum is, of the native reserve well away from Kakamega, which is not on the borders of the North Kavirondo reserve, and to allot that land well away from the native reserves and then start what will have to be a snowball movement. Clan "A," having given up its thousand acres, would have to be given a thousand acres from Clan "B," which would take another thousand acres from Clan "C," which in turn would ultimately spill over to the new area. It is not practicable.
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
Did the hon. Member not say at the beginning of his speech that land was going to be given for land?
§ Mr. WISE
I said that land will be given for land, but not in these piecemeal and small dollops, which are totally impossible, and also not until the Government of the Colony has made up its mind whether or not the land will be permanently alienated. We do not even know if this land is going to be occupied for two years or three years. It may be for only one year, for all we know. The goldfield may have much or little gold in it; if it is like previous gold finds in Kenya, it has very little. There is another point on which I think we must dwell as well. We can admit that this displacement can be done in this area with less trouble than in almost any other part of the Colony. The question is whether the displacement should be done at all, and I will ask hon. Members to consider the financial position of Kenya Colony. It has a debt of about £16,000,000.
§ Mr. WISE
No Income Tax, but also no incomes. How that debt was incurred is not our concern. It may have been wasted money, and in very many instances it probably was, but there the debt is—£16,000,000, with interest and sinking fund of at least £800,000 a year. What the revenue of the Colony is this year I cannot say, but in 1926, which was a prosperous year, it was under £1,500,000, of which about £600,000 or rather less was produced by the Hut Tax and about the same amount by the Customs. In this last year, whatever the revenue may amount to, the Hut Tax has 246 almost certainly fallen, because there has been less employment of natives on European farms, and therefore the district officers will undoubtedly have been far more generous in giving exemption certificates than otherwise would have been the case. The Customs are obviously going to return practically nothing, because nobody in the Colony has any money. In other words, the Colony is faced with the position that it has barely enough revenue to pay interest on its debt, let alone find money for the administration of the Colony.
On top of that distress comes a discovery which may produce a great deal of revenue, and to my mind, and I imagine to the minds of the majority of Members of this House, it would be the most gross breach of trust to neglect the opportunity of collecting revenue in this way. It may be that that 5 per cent. royalty is too low, but if it is 5 per cent. on the gross output of gold, I do not think it would be too low. Five per cent. royalty on the gross output of gold is, I am sure all hon. Members will agree, a very heavy tax.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I am speaking from memory, but I think that when a lease is granted special terms may be given. I am pretty certain that the provision in the Mining Ordinance is that it is 5 per cent, gross.
§ Mr. WISE
I am grateful for my right hon. Friend's information, and I think we can all agree that under these circumstances the amount of revenue which the Colony will derive if these gold mines are a successful venture will possibly be the one thing which can save this unfortunate Colony from complete financial collapse. The financial collapse of Kenya Colony is not going seriously to affect Great Britain, or at the moment the 17,000 European settlers out there, because they are already so badly hit by the general depression that any further blow is almost likely to be unnoticed. The people who are going to suffer in any financial collapse are the 3,000,000 natives. In the last 20 years we have been carefully and deliberately educating them out of their capacity to satisfy themselves on their own land, and we have created in them the desire for the products of civilisation, which have now become necessities to them. Before the 247 arrival of the British a blanket was unheard of. When we had been there a few years, it was a luxury worn only by head men, but it is now a necessity to almost every adult male there; and unless employment is maintained and they can get some form of money, we shall be depriving them, not only of odd luxuries, but of what are now their real necessities of life. For this reason, even if this meant the complete expropriation of land from the reserve, I still think it would be in the interests of the natives that that expropriation should be carried out; but it does not mean that, and in spite of everything which the Native Land Trust Ordinance of 1930 said—in some ways it was a good Ordinance, and in some it reflected the cloudy mind of Lord Pass-field—we should still exploit these gold-fields.
We have been endeavouring for many years to teach the natives of Kenya Colony to work. In their reserves their work is largely gone. The work of the man, before the days of the British administration, was that of protecting his herds. The herding was always done by the younger men, who carried their spears, and the other work of the man was the administration of the tribe. When he was young enough be was a soldier, and as he got older he became a statesman. When the raiding of cattle and the general looting of sheep and goats was drastically put a stop to by the intervention of outside authority, Othello's occupation was largely gone, and in the reserve to-day the young man, if he does not go out to work or if he does not go to school, is extraordinarily bored, and he is in many ways a very difficult problem to handle. He is apt to revert to his ancestral habits and to try to blood his spear.
We have started instructing these people in the art of manual labour. Whether that is good or not I cannot discuss, but we have done it. Owing to the separation of the Colony into reserves and settled areas, we have always had difficulty in shifting gangs of workmen out from the reserves to work on coffee or sisal plantations. No district officer enjoys large gangs of people passing through whom he has to have medically examined and whose thumb prints have to be collected on contract forms, most of whom he receives back three months later 248 having left their employment without leave. Now an opportunity is arising in which the natives can get work in their own reserve and next door to their own territory. I cannot believe that the general opinion among the North Kavirondo is in any way against the exploitation of this gold. I am certain that the local natives on the Njoma will, if it is put to them, approve of the exploitation, and if it can be left to the local native council I cannot anticipate any trouble at all provided that the reverend Archdeacon of Kavirondo will confine his efforts to writing to the "Manchester Guardian" and not to propaganda among the native—
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
If the hon. Member knows the Archdeacon as well as I do, he will know that he is the only man in East Africa who speaks the white man's voice in favour of the natives.
§ Mr. WISE
I must repudiate that because every officer of the administration does the same thing. I feel that this gold must be worked, that it is for the good of the Africans that it should be worked; I also feel that the Government is entirely fulfilling its trusteeship for the interests of the native population.
§ 6.48 p.m.
§ Mr. GEOFFREY PETO
We have heard a most interesting speech from the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Wise), and I am glad to have been able to learn from him a good deal of the country which I myself have visited. We have had from the Secretary of State the most clear and comprehensive answer, and I cannot believe that anybody can fairly misrepresent the case now that that answer has been made. I am sorry, therefore, to have heard the view taken by the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) even after the Minister's speech. Ex-Ministers of this Government ought to feel their responsibility, especially if they insist on sitting by the side of the Government. Whether they go on sitting beside us because they hope to attack us more securely from that position, or because they still hope to support us, or because it pleases their constituents for them to have a foot in 249 each camp, I do not know, but it is a great pity that an hon. Member who has held the high office of Home Secretary and particularly an hon. Member who has been the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, should take the opportunity of suggesting and going on to suggest after the Secretary of State's explanation that the Government are in some way taking an unfair advantage of the natives in favour of the white man. That is most dangerous propaganda.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I said that they would destroy the confidence of the natives if they pursued their present policy.
§ Mr. PETO
That is the sort of insinuation to which I object, and exactly the sort of insinuation that will mislead the natives in Kenya. We know perfectly well that it was not because of the natives of Kakamega that the Under-Secretary resigned from the Government, although the natives might be under that delusion. He resigned because his chief pointed out to him that his cod-liver oil would cost him more and that he had better go while the going was good. Ex-Ministers should remember the effect of their words on the black races for whom we are responsible. It was not Lord Lugard who first raised this question of the Mining Ordinance, as the right hon. Member for Darwen said. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) first raised the question on 20th December. That was the beginning of the whole correspondence. What does it amount to? Can the hon. Gentleman put forward a constructive idea and tell us what we ought to have done? Every time a mining lease is granted he wishes the Government to buy a bit of land from some adjoining owner and put it into the Reserve. It would mean endless additions of little bits to the Reserve. Can the House imagine a more unbusinesslike proposal? Is that what our ex-Ministers have to offer us? What constructive proposals have we got? The hon. Member knows the difficulties for 250 he was in office for a year, and answered a question to the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) on 18th February last. He was asked:Can we have an assurance that, if any land is taken from the natives, land of equal value elsewhere and as convenient for the tribe will be found?To this the hon. Member replied:That point will be borne in mind."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1932; col. 1826, Vol. 261.]That was when the hon. Gentleman was in office and knew the difficulties. I want to ask the Liberals who are sitting next to us and opposing us, and to the real Opposition opposite who oppose this Mining Ordinance, what they wish the white man to do. First of all, successive Governments invite the white man as a settler in Kenya, and then certain Members of the House and many people outside imply that he is an intruder and an oppressor and has no right there at all. They have gone there with their families and their money to settle and have done an enormous amount for civilisation and progress in that country. What do hon. Members want them to do? They pass a Mining Ordinance, and prospectors go out and find gold. The Socialist Opposition say: "That is all right, but you must not mine; that would be very wrong. Now you have found the gold, the Government will do the mining." The Liberals would let the private individual do the mining, but on the terms that the Government would have to buy a bit of land 30 or 40 miles away and put it in the native Reserve. Is it not time that we treated the white man fairly in that country?
I was glad to hear the sympathetic and appreciative speech of the right hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under Lyme. He is a strong individualist, and I wonder that he does not come over to this side. He made a sympathetic speech, understanding the difficulties and not attempting to misrepresent the position. I welcomed that spirit, and I wish that we could all, whatever our party points of view, realise that it is wrong for people in authority to make attacks on the Government, and insinuations, which are worse than attacks, that we are not treating the black man fairly. Everybody knows that the black man is being looked 251 after in East Africa to-day as he has never been looked after in any part of the world, and it is our proud boast that it is so. I hope that after this very clear and lucid Debate and the speeches from the Colonial Secretary and from the benches opposite, we shall have heard the end of these attacks and reflections and insinuations against the white man in Kenya and East Africa generally, and that we shall do our best to encourage everybody to develop the gold mining industry for the good of the country.
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I do not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken in all the observations that he has made, but it seems to me worth while making one observation on the general tenour of his speech. In common with many other Members who have spoken in support of the Government's policy, he seems to indicate a sort of resentment against the fact that we are critising or even discussing Government policy in Kenya. Hon. Gentlemen must make up their minds which way they are going to have it. If they insist on being strong Imperialists and regard this House as responsible for the well-being of people in various parts of the Empire, they must not complain if we in the exercise of our right as Members of the House call attention from time to time to aspects of Government policy. As far as I have been able to observe, no one who has spoken in this Debate deserves to be subject to severe censure, because we are all agreed upon wishing to do what is best in the interests of the people in this area.
The subject under discussion was introduced in an excellent speech. I will not make any reference to the somewhat caustic way in which the hon. Member who moved the Motion compared us to certain insects, except to say that there are various types of insects—some of which bite and some of which crawl. The Government, no doubt, are very grateful to him; perhaps they have given him some assistance in devising the form of this Motion. It looks singularly like a vote of confidence in the Government drafted by one of its supporters. I have no doubt that the Colonial Secretary would not be unwilling to accept paternity. This subject has attracted a 252 good deal of attention, and as the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) rightly says, it has received attention from people who are leaders in various walks of life who have an interest in these matters for one reason or another. Take for instance Lord Lugard. He has had a lot of experience in Africa as an administrator. Then there is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, after all, has an interest in this matter as being responsible for widespread missionary efforts in that country, and he is entitled to regard this matter from his own point of view.
I gather that in another place this afternoon the Government has received a far more vigorous condemnation of their policy than they have had even in this House. I observe in the speech of the Colonial Secretary and in the speeches of others an attempt to minimise the importance of this problem. First of all, they have tried to make out that the area involved is not very great. Let me take a passage from a letter from Sir Albert Kitson in the "Times" on 17th January, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. Sir Albert says:Perhaps it may be advisable to say clearly what the requirements for the development of the goldfields really are. The field comprises a strip of country extending, roughly, west to east some 30 miles and north to south some 14 miles, with an area of 420 square miles, or 286,000 acres.Surely we cannot argue that the area is not a very substantial area.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I did not suggest that it was not a large area. What I said was that we should consider how much surface we may take from the natives. I said that the estimate of the Governor was two square miles.
§ Mr. JONES
I have no desire to misrepresent the right hon. Gentleman; I am merely pointing out what might be involved in the whole question on the evidence of Sir Albert Kitson himself. Take another observation which is significant. Sir Albert Kitson made a speech recently at a dinner and, if hon. Gentlemen will look at a publication called "East Africa" of 19th July, they will find that he made repeated assertions that this goldfield is one which offers very substantial prospects of development. Let me make just one quotation. 253 He says:On the evidence so far adduced geologists can say that there is every promise of much bigger reefs being discovered.I leave out a part of the speech, and Sir Albert Kitson continues:I feel that we have seen nothing like the best of the field yet but it all depends, of course, on the results of deep sinking.Not only is that the case, but there is this further point which the House must bear in mind. It is not merely gold that is involved in this matter. Sir Albert Kitson makes it very clear that diamonds too may be involved. I do not say that the diamond mining will be of any substantial proportions, but no one knows. All I am saying is that it is no use arguing as though this problem were meagre and insignificant, and not worth all this stir and trouble. There is abundant evidence that we are in the presence of a development which may be of very vast significance, not only to the economic future of this area but to its political development as well. May I make this quotation from the "Times" leading article, and I ask the House to follow it:Lord Lugard's letter gives expression to a widespread uneasiness not confined to the familiar school of critics that are always so ready to blame officials. … A cash payment can never, in any real sense, compensate a tribe.… The principle at stake is far reaching and calls for most careful examination.We are entitled to invite the House, in all good faith to examine this matter with us with a view to discussing whether in point of fact the action of the Government, hitherto, has been in strict accord with what we have always understood to be the policy of this country. The hon. Gentleman who spoke a minute ago seemed to desire to invite us to say what we should do with respect to the white man and his rights. I am sure that there is no one among my hon. Friends who takes the slightest exception to the white man being given his proper opportunity in these areas. The rights of the white settler have for years now been very formally laid down by previous Colonial Secretaries. The Duke of Devonshire, in 1923, laid down quite clearly what were these rights, and they broadly were this—the paramountcy of the native interest. He was succeeded later by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery), 254 who was in accord with that policy. He was followed by the present Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs and his policy was of a like character. Lord Passfield became Colonial Secretary and followed the same course of procedure. Four successive Colonial Secretaries have laid it down quite clearly that the paramount interest in these areas is safeguarding the rights of the natives and the question at issue really is whether in this new departure we have, in fact, put in jeopardy these paramount rights. The pronouncements to which I have referred have, quite properly, come to be regarded by the natives as definite pledges on the part of this Government vis-a-vis the natives of these areas.
Before coming to my proposition that there has been a departure, I would recall to the House a passage from Lord Pass-field's "Memorandum on Native Policy in East Africa" (Cmd. 3573, 1930). He used these words:Any derogation from this solemn pledge would, in the view of H.M. Government, be not only a flagrant breach of trust, but also, in view of its inevitable effect upon the natives a serious calamity from which the whole Colony could not fail to suffer.He further says:While parts of the native reserves may have to be withdrawn for new purposes of public utility, no expropriation of any native, or natives, should ever be permitted for the mere private or personal profit, or other advantage of any individual whether European, Indian, African, or other race.In other words, the main test was the well-being of the community at large of the area of tenure. Before there was to be any sort of expropriation Lord Passfield laid it down, categorically, that there was to be a formal inquiry into the amount of the compensation by some competent tribunal. May I ask whether there has been any formal inquiry by any competent tribunal, or does he imply that the inquiry is one which is now being personally undertaken by the Morris Carter Commission?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Certainly. If he will carry his researches to a more recent date, and to the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee of both Houses, he will see that the Morris Carter Commission are to inquire into the subject of the whole question of reserves, and they are the tribunal. I think it is generally agreed that I have interpreted 255 rightly what the Joint Select Committee intended.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
No, certainly not. The appropriate tribunal is the tribunal set up by the Lands Trust Ordinance which lays down the whole procedure. That was laid down in the Lands Trust Ordinance. The body to inquire into the sufficiency of the reserves, and what land should be added and where, is the Morris Carter Commission.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
No single native has in fact been expropriated. When a lease is granted on an application which would involve expropriation temporarily from that part, then the whole machinery has to be gone through with the local land board and the central board.
§ Mr. JONES
I gather from what the right hon. Gentleman says that it is just possible that, in the future, circumstances may arise whereby individual natives may have to be expropriated, if the tribunal agrees that it is proper to do so. May I direct attention to what happened in the Joint Committee on Closer Union? It is on page 644 of their report and the questions are Nos. 6546–49. Lord Francis Scott was answering questions by Lord Cranworth:(Q.) Have portions of the native reserves been taken away during those 10 years in any way from the natives?(A.) None that I know of.(Q.) They have not been exchanged or anything? They have just as much land as they had then—have they or have they not?(A.) I think they have just as much now as they had then, only they have it definitely demarcated now, which they had not 10 years ago.(Q.) It is now definitely demarcated, and I take it that no land can be taken away 256 from the natives now, can it? Can it be taken away for public purposes?(A.) Under the Native Land Trust Act, which came into force last year, there are certain provisions under which it can be taken, but they are very carefully safeguarded.(Q.) Public purposes, I suppose?(A.) Yes, public purposes. I think, if I remember rightly, they have to give an equal area back elsewhere.Then Lord Passfield said:Yes, an equivalent area must be added. It may be a little difficult of application, but that is the law.Therefore, the point which the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) was making is a quite sound one. There is no necessity for any legislation upon the point at all. The witness declared that it is now the law, and therefore any departure from this practice is a violation of the law. Let me now turn to another aspect of this matter. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech seemed to aver that the Chief Native Commissioner was quite satisfied that there was no sort of feeling among the natives on this matter.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I never suggested that. I think the Chief Native Commissioner was admirably frank. He said the natives were naturally anxious when they found people sticking pegs all over the area. Of course they are; but he said the way we are dealing with it is the most practicable and the wisest way of treating it.
§ Mr. JONES
Let me amend my statement. I will not drag in the Chief Commissioner at all. But there are hon. Members in this House who seem to have an impression that there is no need to feel any sort of anxiety. Let me quote from a speech of the Chief Native Commissioner on this point. He agreed that the Bill would not be popular with the natives, for it involved a conception of the use of land foreign to native ideas, and no amount of compensation would induce them to agree to the leasing of land voluntarily. He added:I am afraid we shall have to hurt their feelings, wound their susceptibilities and in some cases violate their most cherished and sacred traditions by moving natives from the piece of land on which they have the right to live and setting them up on another piece, the holders of which would have the right to eject them. We have to face these difficulties.257 Hon. Members must not assume that the Government, in following the policy they are now adopting, will have no sort of opposition from the natives. They will clearly violate feelings and susceptibilities held tenaciously by the natives in that area.
Now I come to another question. Nobody on this side of the House, nor, as far as I can see, on the Liberal benches, takes any objection to the fact that gold is to be prospected for. If there is mineral wealth in the area, clearly it ought to be developed. That is an elementary proposition, and it seems to me to be common sense. But the right hon. Gentleman opposite controverted my suggestion this afternoon that to do it through the medium of Governmental activity would be a good thing. I am an unrepentant Socialist; the right hon. Gentleman is a semi-Socialist. For my part, I see no insuperable difficulties in the Government undertaking the control of the gold deposits of this area. Assuming, however, that proposition is put out of court, what is the next best thing? I suggested an alternative this afternoon, that there should be set up a sort of public-private company, in which the Government would hold the major portion of the shares. I was not proposing anything tremendously revolutionary. After all, gold is essential in this modern world. If there were more of it in our own country, perhaps many of us would be happier than we are. Our own Government own a certain number of shares in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. They acquired them because oil was deemed to be essential for the well-being of the nation. In a similar way why should it not be equally a good thing for the nation to control a large number of shares in a public-private concern operating the gold deposits of this area? There is a further alternative—to leave things entirely to individual and private enterprise; but in that case I would beg the Government not to leave the business of prospecting to small individuals, with no resources whatever, who would do it in a higgledy-piggledy kind of way, bringing the whole country into a state of comparative chaos. If we must have private enterprise I infinitely prefer to have a Very strong private company—of course paying a proper sum to the Government for the right of operating—so that the thing could be done in an orderly and 258 methodical way. They would not only develop it in a modern way, but could give some reasonable guarantee that they would be able to pay the wages of those whom they employ.
There is a third reason I would like to put forward. My hon. Friend the Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) cited the cases, to which Sir Albert Kitson referred, of two ladies who prospected for gold securing within three weeks some £17,500 worth out of which the Government secured £850. If this area were to remain an agricultural area it could not face up to the costs of modern government, but this industrialisation, if it comes, will perhaps tap new resources for this community, and I should very much hope that the proceeds of such industrial development would be used to safeguard more amply the interests of the natives. We are spending now upon native education in that area something like £130,000 a year. We all hope that those native people will develop in culture and in every other sense, and one of the great instruments of culture and development is education. Therefore, I trust the, Government, if they allow this development to take place through the medium of some private company, will secure such a return from the company as will enable them adequately to look after the health, the sanitation and the educational and other social needs of the community.
In view of the fact that we have had so short a discussion I should be very glad if the hon. Member opposite could see his way not to press this Motion to a Division. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Apparently my appeal falls on deaf ears. If the Government persist, or bring pressure to bear upon the hon. Member to press his Motion, let me make this quite clear: I speak on behalf of my hon. Friends on this side when I say that we are not going to allow ourselves to be committed to anything in this Motion which departs in any way from the spirit of the public declarations of previous years. We still regard ourselves as bound by the declarations made by Colonial Secretaries from that of the Duke of Devonshire in 1923 to that of Lord Passfield in 1930. Any departure from them we shall feel free to repudiate at any time. I hope very much, in view of 259 the short discussion, the hon. Member will not press the matter to a Division.
§ 7.26 p.m.
§ Mr. DENMAN
Having listened to almost every word of this Debate I have come to the very clear conclusion that it would be a mistake to have a Division on the Motion. The matter is far too important to be disposed of in so short a time, and, moreover, I think the Government case is far too good to be expressed merely in terms of votes brought in from outside. I want the strength of the Government case to rest not upon our votes but upon the admirable speech of the Colonial Secretary. I want that to be read, and not the figures to be considered. If there is a vote it will inevitably be taken as dividing us into pro-settlers and anti-settlers or pro-natives and anti-natives, which would have a very bad effect, whereas if people read the Debate they will see for themselves how sympathetically the Government are, in fact, dealing with the matter. Further, apart from the party back-chat we have had from time to time, surely everyone must be impressed by the fundamental agreement among the great mass of Members upon all the important issues. We all want some very big things. We want to be clear that the native confidence in British rule is maintained; we all want
§ the gold to be freely worked; and we desire that some practicable method should be devised of providing land for land if this mining is to be carried out over any long period. The only point in the Colonial Secretary's admirable speech on which I was not quite clear was as to what extent he gave a pledge to that effect, but I think his whole attitude clearly implied that some thing of that kind would be devised if this mining business turned out to be anything in the nature of a permanent industry in the locality. That being so— and surely we are agreed on these things —it is ridiculous for us to divide. What we have before us at the moment is the Amendment of the Opposition. The Opposition have declared themselves more than once to be Socialists. The hon. Member said he was an unrepentant Socialist, but I have never heard any doctrine of Socialism so odd as the one put forward in the Amendment.
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes 208; Noes 57.261
|Division No. 34.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Fremantle, Sir Francis|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Clarke, Frank||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gledhill, Gilbert|
|Albery, Irving James||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (L'pool, W.)||Conant, R. J. E.||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cook, Thomas A.||Goldie, Noel B.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Cooke, Douglas||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Cooper, A. Duff||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Grimston, R. V.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Cranborne, Viscount||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Hales, Harold K.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Crossley, A. C.||Hammersley, Samuel S.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Beaumont, Hn. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Harbord, Arthur|
|Belt, Sir Alfred L.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hartland, George A.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Davison, Sir William Henry||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Dickie, John P.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Blindell, James||Drewe, Cedric||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Duckworth, George A. V||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Bracken, Brendan||Duggan, Hubert John||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Hopkinson, Austin|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Eastwood, John Francis||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Howard, Tom Forrest|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Burnett, John George||Elmley, Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Fox, Sir Gifford||Hurd, Sir Percy|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Mulrhead, Major A. J.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Nall, Sir Joseph||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||North, Captain Edward T.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ormiston, Thomas||Soper, Richard|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Lewis, Oswald||Patrick, Colin M.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Pearson, William G.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster. Fylde)|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Peat, Charles U.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Stevenson, James|
|Llewellin, Major John J.||Petherick, M.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Mabane, William||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Thompson, Luke|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Rankin, Robert||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|McLean, Major Sir Alan||Remer, John R.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Robinson, John Roland||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Magnay, Thomas||Ross, Ronald D.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Maitland, Adam||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Ward. Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Ruggies-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Runge, Norah Cecil||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Merriman. Sir F. Boyd||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Scone, Lord||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Seliey, Harry R.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H,||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark. Bothwell)|
|Moss, Captain H. J.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Donner and Colonel Ropner.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Banfield, John William||Groves, Thomas E.||Maxton, James|
|Bernays, Robert||Grundy, Thomas W.||Milner, Major James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Price, Gabriel|
|Buchanan, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, George Henry||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Cowan, D. M.||Janner, Barnett||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwsn)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Curry, A. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Thorne, William James|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Edwards, Charles||Kirkwood, David||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Lawson, John James||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||McKeag, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Mr. John and Mr. G. Macdonald.|
Resolution agreed to.
That the Colonial Administration, while acting as trustees of the Native races, must at the same time have regard to the rights and maintain the responsibilities of all races,
and that in this connection this House considers that the action taken by the Government of Kenya in regard to the development of the goldfields in the Kavirondo area and for safeguarding the interests of the Native population is both equitable and expedient, and that this House approves such action.