HC Deb 15 April 1946 vol 421 c2345
58. Mr. Dumpleton

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, in view of the fact that little more than one-third of Swaziland is in the occupation of the indigenous population and that acquisition of land by the Government for native settlement in recent years is not a substantial addition to that proportion, he will give favourable consideration to the acquisition of land now being advertised for sale.

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Parker)

As a result of the recent addition of the 230,000 acres of private land which have been acquired for occupation by the natives in Swaziland, with funds provided under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, and also the 135,000 acres of Crown land which are being utilised for native settlement, the area of Swaziland now under native occupation is slightly over 2,000,000 acres, or approximately half the total area of the territory. This has been regarded as satisfactorily meeting the needs of the present situation and it is not proposed to devote more funds under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act to acquire additional land. The development of the additional areas thus acquired will necessitate very considerable expenditure during the next few years.

Mr. Dumpleton

Is the Minister aware that Sir Alan Pym, in his recent report, emphasised the insufficiency of land for native settlement? Why cannot some of the land now advertised for sale in London newspapers be acquired for native land settlement?

Mr. Parker

My hon. Friend is not quite up to date in his information. We have acquired a great deal of extra land. What is now being done is to settle that land, and to see that the best use is made of it.