HC Deb 23 November 1938 vol 341 cc1747-8
41. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is proposed to delay the operation of recent legislation in respect to native and European land in Kenya; and whether the policy of eviction of native people from the European Highlands continues to have the support of His Majesty's Government?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The two Bills dealing with native and other lands have been passed by the Legislative Council of Kenya, but they have not yet received the Governor's assent, and I am not yet in a position to say when they will be brought into operation. As regards the second part of the question, there has been no change in the policy of His Majesty's Government in this matter. I am, however, in communication with the Governor in regard to the arrangements for providing the natives who are removed from the Highlands with satisfactory alternative accommodation elsewhere.

Mr. Creech Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman, when the legislation reaches him and the Governor has given his assent, bear in mind the very considerable native opposition that there is to it; and will he, while he is in communication with the Kenya Government, ask them to put a stop to these brutal evictions until further inquiry has been made into the matter? Further, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that these matters are receiving the attention of Middle Europe and are used to prejudice British Colonial administration in the eyes of other countries?

Mr. MacDonald

As regards the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, I have that matter continuously in mind. With regard to the second part. I am not aware of any brutal eviction. If the hon. Member wants to put before me any information that I have not got, I will gladly consider it.

Mr. Creech Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions that the present orders for evictions shall be stopped pending inquiry? I have already given him considerable information regarding the thousands of cases of evictions which are going on at the present time.

Mr. MacDonald

I am giving close attention to the information which the hon. Member has already given me, but, as far as I am concerned, I am satisfied that the action which is being taken at the present time is proper action. So far as future action is concerned, I am, as I have said, in communication with the Governor on the matter.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is it not the fact that the Colonial Secretary cannot do two jobs?

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