HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc187-9
65. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans are being prepared for the post-war employment of East Africans after demobilisation in Kenya and Tanganyika; when the committees appointed to deal with this matter are likely to report; and whether the increased technical knowledge of East African soldiers is being related to post-war opportunities of raising the standard of living of East African peoples?

Colonel Stanley

Consideration is being given by all the Governments to the problem of post-war employment of East Africans after demobilisation, and plans are being drawn up in close consultation with the military authorities in order to secure that they are properly related to the rate and method of demobilisation. The results of this detailed study have not yet reached me. The report of the Committee appointed to examine the question in Kenya is now under consideration by the Kenya Government. The point raised in the last paragraph of the Question is one which I have impressed upon all Colonial Governments, and I know that the East African Governments have it very much in mind.

Mr. Sorensen

Are definite steps being taken to secure to the advantage of the grower the skill that these men acquired during their experience as soldiers, and will not that, used properly, assist in the development of East Africa?

Colonel Stanley

That is quite true, and it is of course a material factor in the development plan, apart from the demobilisation plan, which these Governments are putting forward.

Sir H. Williams

Are there any restrictions on black men there, in the occupations they can take up on the ground of skill?

Colonel Stanley

I do not know of any case where jobs are not being found for them commensurate with their mechanical skill.

Earl Winterton

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind the importance of a co-ordinated policy in these African territories, and particularly in Tanganyika, Uganda, Northern Rhodesia and Kenya? Will he obtain separate reports from each Government and endeavour, in his office, to get a composite picture of the whole problem in view of the fact that if there is a different system in one Colony as from another it will lead to a great deal of trouble?

Colonel Stanley

Yes, Sir, I entirely agree with the Noble Lord that some kind of co-ordination is essential. I think it is more necessary between the four Governments in East Africa than it is among the whole six, but some kind of co-ordination is necessary.