HC Deb 03 November 1943 vol 393 cc646-7
29. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent public funds have been expended in subsidies to farmers in Kenya during each year from 1939 to the latest available date; and to what extent Africans have benefited from these subsidies?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Colonel Oliver Stanley)

It is not, I am afraid, possible to give figures in the form required, but I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement giving such statistics as are available. Subsidies in this form are not available to African cultivators, as the difficulties they were intended to meet do not occur in the farm operations customarily carried out in Native Reserves. The price of native foodstuffs has, however, been subsidised by the Government, especially in the recent period of shortage.

Mr. Mathers

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that his statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT will be read very carefully by a large number of people who are very deeply concerned about the way in which things are being worked in Kenya at the present time?

Colonel Stanley

I am very gratified to think that that will be so.

Following is the statement:

Prior to 1942, the amounts involved were in any case, in the aggregate, relatively small.

Since 1942 the Government has had powers under the Increased Production of Crops Ordinance to make direct subsidies to non-African farmers, and the amounts issued during 1942, or which it is estimated will be issued during this year are as follow:

1942 1943
£ £
(1) Subsidies to guarantee a minimum return per acre for land placed under cultivation in certain crops at the order of Government 480 7,000
(2) Subsidies for the breaking up of new land 35,208 90,000
(3) Subsidies for fertilisers 20,000

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