§ 59 and 60. Mr. Paling
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) what sums were advanced to settlers in Kenya, as maize advances and agricultural advances, in or about the year 1931; and how much of the money then advanced was repaid by 1st January, 1938;
(2) what interest was charged on maize advances and agricultural advances made to Kenya settlers in or about the year 1931; how much had been paid in interest by 1st January, 1938; and whether the recipients of the advances are to be excused further interest payments?
Mr. M. MacDonald
As the answer contains a considerable number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
I think that is a question which should be put on the Paper. We have received very considerable sums in interest payments during the last few years, and in all the circumstances we came to the conclusion that it was in the best interests of the Colony, and, therefore, possibly of the Treasury also, that these interest payments should be remitted from now on.
§ Following is the answer:
§ As regards the agricultural advances, some 70,000 was advanced during the year 1931. This advance was part of a scheme which has continued since 1930, total advances under it having amounted 2044 to £201,000 up to 30th September, 1937. Out of this total £94,000 had by that date been repaid; it is not possible to state what proportion of the advances made actually in 1931 has been repaid. The interest received has amounted to £31,500. At the inception of the scheme advances bore interest at the rate of 8 per cent. In 1935 this figure was reduced to 6½ per cent. From 1st January last interest charges ceased. As regards maize advances direct assistance was given to producers by a loan free of interest on the 1930–31 crop. It was to be repaid by a cess on the export of maize as soon as the price exceeded a certain figure. A sum of £81,000 was lent under these conditions, but I cannot say without reference to the Government of Kenya whether any part of this has been repaid.