HC Deb 01 June 1938 vol 336 cc2028-9
34. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any administrative discrimination is made in the Gold Coast in respect to the obtaining of mining concessions as between Europeans and Africans; and whether the same grounds of refusal are equally applicable to Europeans, Syrians, and Africans?

Mr. M. MacDonald

Administrative action is not involved in the procedure for obtaining mineral concessions in the Gold Coast Colony or Ashanti. The granting of concessions is a matter for negotiation between the landholding chiefs and elders on the one hand and the concessionaires on the other hand. The validation of concessions is a matter for a Divisional Court of the Supreme Court, subject to the issue of a certificate by the Governor to the effect that he is satisfied that the financial circumstances of the claimant are such as to ensure that the concession will be sufficiently developed and worked. No racial discrimination is applied to the issue of such certificates.

Mr. Creech Jones

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that discrimination at the expense of Africans is occurring, in spite of their compliance with all the statutory conditions, and will he see that Africans are treated in the matter of concessions on equal terms with other people?

Mr. MacDonald

My information is that no discrimination of any kind is made.

Mr. Riley

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether mining concessions have been granted to other than Europeans?

Mr. MacDonald

Yes, Sir.