HC Deb 20 May 1936 vol 312 cc1183-4
38. Major MILNER

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in what capacity Lord Francis Scott is coming to England to lay the grievances of the Kenya settlers before him; and why representations as to those grievances are not being made in the usual way through the Governor?


As I stated in reply to the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling) on 26th February, I do not wish to encourage the idea that anybody can appeal to London without recognising the Governor. At the same time, Lord Francis Scott occupies a position as an Elected Member of the Legislative Council in Kenya, and if he wishes to discuss matters informally I think it would be a mistake for me not to take advantage of his presence in England to do so. I may add that other members of the Kenya Legislative Council who have visited London have from time to time availed themselves of the opportunity of seeing me.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say in what capacity Lord Francis Scott is coming? Is it on his own behalf or, if not, on whose behalf?


In precisely the same capacity as at least three members of the Legislative Council, representing different interests, on a visit to London, thought it necessary to seek an interview with the Secretary of State. I have always taken the view, without compromising or interfering with the Governor's position, that it would be a mistake not to allow an elected member to present his views, but they need not necessarily influence the judgment of the Secretary of State.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be willing to see representatives of the natives in the same informal way?


One of the representatives of the natives was in London three or four weeks ago, and he sought an interview and I very readily granted it, and I had a very interesting talk with him.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Lord Francis Scott has the confidence of an overwhelming number of British citizens in Kenya?


That question does not arise.