HC Deb 18 December 1934 vol 296 cc959-61
44. Major MILNER

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any supplementary terms of reference or instructions, other than those appearing on pages 1 and 2 of the report, were issued to the Morris Carter Land Commission?

Major GEORGE DAVIES (Lord of the Treasury)

I have been asked to reply. As the reply is necessarily rather long, my right hon. Friend is arranging for it to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

No supplementary terms of reference or instructions were formally issued to the commission. Their opinion was taken, however, on the following matters, which may, perhaps, be held strictly to fall outside their published terms of reference:—

  1. (a) In November, 1932, they were invited to express an opinion on the draft Native Lands Trust (Amendment) Bill. As I stated in the House on the 15th of February, 1933, they agreed to the draft Bill as an interim measure without prejudice to any recommendation which they might make in their report.
  2. (b) In March, 1933, they were asked whether they could see their way to making an interim pronouncement with regard to land which might be taken for mining purposes in native reserves. The interim report which they submitted in reply to this inquiry is reproduced in Part II, Chapter XIII, of the main report (Cmd. 5456).
  3. (c) In paragraphs 1246–1254 of their report, the commissioners review the evidence and make a recommendation in regard to a particular area of land in the Coast Province. As stated in paragraph 1254, this matter had formed the subject of an interim recommendation, which they had submitted in response to a special request from Government.

In December, 1932, the chairman requested that, in order to enable the commission fully to consider their sixth term of reference in all its bearings, a definition might be supplied of the "privileged position" to which allusion is made in that term. I caused the chairman to be informed, in reply, that the privileged position in question involved:

  1. (i) the right of Europeans to acquire by grant or transfer agricultural land 961 in an area now to be defined and to occupy land therein;
  2. (ii) that no person other than a European shall be entitled to acquire by grant or transfer agricultural land in such area or to occupy land therein.