HC Deb 09 March 1949 vol 462 cc1180-1
37. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the recently published official estimate of the African population of Kenya, and of the big increases of population in Uganda and Tanganyika, he will recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission on the population of East Africa.

Mr. Creech Jones

The provisional results of the recent population census of East Africa cannot be properly compared with previous figures which were based mainly on estimation. Detailed analysis of the present figures supplemented by further information on fertility for certain areas is at present proceeding and I am now awaiting the results of these investigations. In present circumstances, therefore, I do not consider the appointment of a Royal Commission would be appropriate.

Mr. Thomas

May I take it that the right hon. Gentleman does appreciate the gravity of the demographic problem in East Africa? Can he also tell me whether the post of demographic adviser, made vacant by the death of Dr. Kuczynski, has been filled?

Mr. Creech Jones

In reply to the last supplementary question, we have not been able to find a suitable specialist to take Dr. Kuczynski's place. In regard to the first supplementary, we are alive to the gravity of this problem. There is considerable obscurity and we are trying to get further information before we decide what further action can be taken.

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