§ 4.3 p.m
§ Mr. A. G. Bottomley (Rochester and Chatham)
I am sure that the debate will arouse the sympathy of all hon. Members for those resident in Kenya who are suffering because of the present emergency. At the same time, all of us who take part 1576 in the debate must see that our endeavours are directed towards bringing peace to that delightful country which has been so favoured by Nature.
It was in this spirit that the Parliamentary Delegation visited Kenya earlier in the year. For my part, I could not have wished for better colleagues; we were varied in our views, our outlook and our upbringing, but we were all determined to work in the spirit which I have outlined. The right hon. Member for Kelvingrove (Mr. Elliot), who led the delegation with marked success, and I, said that we would endeavour to produce a unanimous report, bearing in mind that this was not a matter for party quarrels and that we had a responsibility as Parliamentarians from this House to do everything possible to bring an end to the emergency.
We did all kinds of unusual things for Parliamentarians, including going on patrol with the troops. We met every organised body we could and we met individuals, too, because they also had a contribution to make. Let me say that if we take the people as a whole, broadly they are the same as ourselves; they are all doing their best in their own way. There were, however, some disturbing factors, and I am sure that my colleagues will join with me in saying that the behaviour of some of the Europeans was not that which we could admire. Equally, some of the Europeans in this country behave in a similar manner, and we condemn them as we condemn those in Kenya.
On the other hand, we met some very fine characters. As time is short, I will not give particular instances, but I can tell the Committee that we met some Europeans whose standard of behaviour in most difficult conditions—I must say that usually they were those in the front line—was something to be admired. We met others, too. Earlier in the House the Prime Minister harked back to the past. I am tempted to quote what he said in 1908. He said that every man in Nairobi was a politician and most of them leaders of parties. We certainly found that to be the case.
I think the mission helped to clear away many misunderstandings which the people of Kenya had about people in this country, and particularly those in this House; and, similarly, some of our misunderstandings were cleared away. We 1577 established a very friendly relationship not only with the Europeans but also with the Africans, the Asians and the Arabs.
Having spoken about reactionary Europeans, let me say at once that reaction was also to be found amongst members of other races. It was indeed disturbing, particularly to me, in view of my association with Asia, to find that to- be the case. At this stage I would express one regret, and it is that the Government did not follow the advice of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and send the delegation earlier. There was a delay, and I think that was a mistake.
Before we went out to Kenya, we were alarmed about criticisms of the security forces—and with good reason, for many of the security forces come front this country. With a good deal of fore thought, the right hon. Member for Kelvingrove decided to spend some time with the Highland troops. For the same reason, I went with the Buffs—I sit for a 'Kent constituency. In addition, the Royal Engineers from Chatham were there. Those troops from this country behaved in an exemplary manner. It was most unfortunate that a particular case at about that time had created doubts in our minds.
All of us had some anxiety about the police. There were very good policemen, and I say what I am about to say only as an illustration that perhaps the, best kind of leadership was not being given; but at one stage I was talking to a very highly-placed policeman, and I asked him whether the situation was becoming easier. He said, "It is far worse." When I asked his reasons, he said that he had lost two sheep from his farm. That did not strike me as very sound reasoning.
I am very glad that the Government have seen fit to replace the higher administration by other officers. We all have sympathy with those who struggled in adverse conditions, but I am quite sure that Commander Young goes to Kenya with our good wishes. I believe that he will do the job extremely well.
This Report of the Parliamentary Delegation contains about 30 recommendations and I want to refer to one or two of them. Let me first of all mention 1578 land, because I think that is one of the most acute problems. We did not go into it as fully as we might have done because a Royal Commission was sitting on the subject and a Royal Commission is no doubt more qualified than a Parliamentary Delegation to deal with the subject at this stage. Nevertheless, we thought it important to say that land policyshould be designed to encourage the utilisation under suitable safeguards of undeveloped areas by competent farmers of whatever race.In saying that, I should mention that the hon. Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. E. Wakefield), who has made a special study of the land question because of his own service in India, will no doubt speak on this subject, and for that reason I will say no more about it in order to permit other hon. Members to take part in the debate.
We also said that wages were most important and should be considered. There again, a salaries commission is at work, and it is gratifying to know that it said that there ought to be equal pay for equal work. Then there was the Carpenter Committee's Report. That Report was produced in a progressive spirit. It might have laid greater stress on the need to assist the development of trade unions but, on the other hand, it took note of what we said, that:Leaders of the trade union movement should be given encouragement to enable them to accept more responsibility and to acquire an acknowledged status. Whitley councils should be used as the beginning of a new phase in which trade unionism has a fundamental part to play.There are other recommendations, including one about the creation of villages, about which I think that the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Alport) will talk. Another is about social services and education. My hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) will talk about education. One feature which struck me about education was that we are producing teachers in Kenya, but once we have produced them we do not pay them what they should be paid. The result is that the teachers get work elsewhere and, therefore, they do not do the work for which they were trained. In my opinion, there are not sufficient avenues of promotion to encourage them to stay in the profession.
There is a need for increased efforts in looking after the African women who 1579 probably are responsible for a great deal of the trouble and who have been neglected in the past. We emphasised in our Report that we should consider arranging for women administrative officers. This is a matter within the control of the right hon. Gentleman. I should like to know what action, if any, has been taken. We know that the provincial commissioners, the district commissioners and the district officers do work which is of the highest quality and for the greatest good.
I want to talk about political representation. The leader in "The Times" today is extremely good. I go with the writer a long way, but I make the difference that I consider that there may still be an emergency in 1956. For that reason, I make some comments which may not be quite as harmonious as the expressions of the delegation as a whole. I consider that the emergency is so serious that we should review the position about detention. I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams), who is a solicitor and who rendered admirable service in dealing with questions of justice and martial law, is not here today, because of illness. I read, as many of us must have done last week, the "Economist," a journal which is usually very guarded in its use of words. It referred to 50,000 Kikuyu being herded together in detention camps.
These people in the detention camps are the seeds of terrible future trouble. My own view is that these camps will create disaster. Probably I visited more of these camps than the other members of the delegation. I say at once that, remembering that they are overcrowded, the conditions in them are not as bad as I thought they would be. I would say that the staff were doing their work in the best possible way. We must bear in mind the fact that among the 50,000 detained there are the thugs and gangsters and the Mau Mau who are the real cause of the trouble. Although there has not yet been great violence, it is probable that there will be. I am fearful of something being done—it may be the murder of those officers who are doing their best to guard the detainees. Not only for the reasons which I have narrated but also because innocent people are in the camps, I say that something must be done about removing many of the detainees.
§ Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)
Did not the right hon. Gentleman visit the Athi River detention camp? Would not he agree that that camp was run in the most efficient manner by officers of considerable ability? I should like the right hon. Gentleman to deal with the point, that not only was that so but that there was very careful separation of those who might be called the thugs in one part of the camp and those who were being recovered and who were kept in another. They were well and truly kept separate.
§ Mr. Bottomley
I visited that camp and we were gratified to find that exceptional work was being done. There were three Europeans. Suppose that the thugs took it into their heads to attack those in charge, what chance would the Europeans stand? I agree that the camp was well run, but I am fearful of the consequences if we are to keep these people, as the "Economist" says, herded together for too long.
I know that the Church Missionary Society, the African Church, the Scottish Church and many voluntary organisations are disturbed about this matter. I had a visitor from Kenya this afternoon who told me that many of the representations are being ignored. I am told that in one case the local home guard, a location chief and the district officer as well as church authorities said that certain people should be released because they were innocent of any crime, but they were kept in detention.
I should like to quote what was said by one gentleman who is a member of the Legislative Council and who is not known as having the most liberal views. According to the "East African Standard" he said:I think we have been deceived in regard to Operation Anvil' judging by the letters in the Press. Some of us were under the impression that when Kikuyu were picked up and screened…those who were decent would be sent back to their masters to carry on working. That does not appear to be so and there is a rising hostile feeling among Europeans and non-Africans that these people are not receiving a square deal.….I appeal to the Secretary of State to look into this matter, and especially would I say that whenever an "Operation Anvil," or any other mass operation, is arranged, it is more important than ever that the really guilty men should not go free. It is my view that a good many 1581 of them are now back in Nairobi. If we are to believe General Heyman, there is to be another "Operation Anvil" before long. If we are to have another operation of that kind, then to give notice beforehand is not the best form of organisation. It is wrong that the detention camps should be run in this way.
Without African leadership the emergency goes on without end. General Erskine was right when he said that this is indeed a political issue. In our Report we said:African leadership will be required and means of developing this are indispensable.We suggested that everything possible should be done to win the confidence of the Africans. We should remember that they comprise 95 per cent. of the population. I congratulate the Secretary of State on his initiative and hard work in going to Kenya immediately after the visit of our delegation. He achieved a measure of success in forming a multiracial Government, but that is not revolutionary. There is no new principle. After all, we have had Executive Councils. There was one in Kenya which was multi-racial.
The Africans put forward to the Secretary of State what I thought were modest proposals. They said that two of their number should be members of the Cabinet of 16. Two prominent European politicians who are members of the Government supported that. It is fair to say to the Secretary of State that he failed to secure even tepid support from Africans for his proposals. Whoever opposed, whether European or Asian, both are in the same dire difficulty. If the Europeans are pushed out, the Asians are pushed out too. Whichever side was responsible for preventing the right hon. Gentleman from implementing what I think he thought was a right decision has a tremendous responsibility.
§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)
I hope that my right hon. Friend will forgive me for interrupting. I have enjoyed all he has said, and I agreed with every word of it. I am grateful to him for detailing in his Report the very recommendations which I made in November. 1952, which were so much criticised until they had the respectable protection of the members of this Delegation who reported pretty well what I said. At this stage when we are applauding the action 1582 of M. Mendès-France, who is at this moment believed to be about to free Habib Bourguiba and to give a new lead in Tunis, is it not abundantly obvious that, in order to win the confidence of Africans in Kenya, we ought to release certain African leaders such as Odede and Koinange in an attempt to create peace among the Africans?
§ Mr. Bottomley
What my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) says has my support, and I shall make a similar comment before I sit down.
The African who eventually joined the Cabinet was hand-picked. There was no representative organisation. Because of that, I think that, without African cooperation, the emergency will go on. Because I think the present situation is acute and urgent, I want the recommendations of the Parliamentary Delegation to be implemented quickly. I want to see whether the newly-elected Cabinet has done anything about the recommendations, and I shall be glad if the Secretary of State can give us that information.
A statement about policy towards Africans has already been made, and as far as it goes it is good. It deals with education and housing. What has been the result? The European Electors' Union has come forward with a contra-policy statement saying that all questions are to be examined from the Kenya point of view, and not from a racial angle. It says that skilled immigrants are to be of European descent only. It says that there shall be separate education for European children, and also that there shall be no surrender at any foreseeable time of the European position in the White Highlands. That is most reactionary and not calculated to win the confidence of Africans.
A good thing has happened in that the Europeans have formed a new party which contains progressive-minded persons. It is right that in a democratic State there should be a Right and a Left. However, the new United Country Party has been compelled to include in its programme the preservation of separate electoral rolls and the integrity of the White Highlands. The Asians have called this a negation of the aim to build a multi-racial society in Africa. Sir Philip Mitchell was probably right in his reference to political ineptitude.
1583 I would categorise the people in four main groups. First, there is the European who went out there initially and developed the country. The African went into his home and was given care and comfort and was most grateful to the European. There was a relationship as between a very faithful creature and its owner. In due course the sons of the African grew up, and they rightly say, "We want additional welfare; we want greater opportunities." The old European settler fails to understand. He says, "I came here at great inconvenience and helped to open up the country and I did all I could for the African, who was most grateful, but now his sons do not appreciate it at all." It is sad, but that is the state of affairs.
On the other hand, we have the African-born European, the Kenyan, who rightly says, "This is my country. I have as much right to be here as anyone else." He expresses his view not in the calmest of ways, and the result is that he causes a great deal of trouble.
There is a middle group with whom our hopes have to be bound up. They are the men and women who went out there after the First World War or immediately after the last war. Among them we find a liberal-mindedness and a desire to help.
The fourth group contains those who, in my judgment, are mainly the cause of the trouble. They are the ones who went to Kenya in about 1948. In 1948 there were 30,000 white settlers in Kenya today there are about 42,000. Many of those who went out there in 1948 and later went to evade the responsibilities in helping to create the Welfare State in this country. They are largely responsible for a great deal of the trouble which goes on. Their influence not only in Kenya but also upon Kenya's political attitude to the United Kingdom is bad. This makes me favourable towards the recommendation in Dr. Carothers' Report that there should be screening of Europeans as well as Africans.
Time and time again I met European leaders in Kenya who were most progressively minded, and they said, "Why cannot the United Kingdom Government give directions which would be a means of overcoming our problem." Many Europeans in high political positions said 1584 that to me. We have seen by the way in which the Secretary of State has had to come to the House that Kenya is unable to pay the costs of the emergency. The United Kingdom bears the cost of the military campaign, and it contributes heavily towards the rehabilitation and development schemes. There is an old maxim which does not quite fit here but is worth quoting, that there should be no taxation without representation.
I have a proposition to make to the Secretary of State. Emergency demands exceptional action. I ask him to consider what happened during the war. He was sent overseas as a Minister to deal on the spot with problems as they arose. There are other Ministers in the Government who did similar jobs with marked success. There is a lot to be said for the Government having a Colonial Minister on the spot. It would be a means of conveying to the residents in Kenya the feelings of the House of Commons and the people of the United Kingdom, and it would also be a means of determining what has been done about the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation. In addition, progressive-minded Kenyans would welcome such a Minister being there, because it would give encouragement and support to them in obtaining the implementation without difficulty of many of the things in which they believe.
Such a Minister could call together the nationalist leaders. I am referring to those who oppose Mau Mau. There are many leaders in detention camps who are nationalistic Africans and not Mau Mau. Mau Mau is something which we all abhor. It is a terrorist organisation which is doing nothing but harm to the Africans, in particular. When I plead with the Secretary of State for the release of detained persons, I do not mean Kenyatta or any other person who has been detained after a fair trial; there are others in the detention camps without trial who ought to be given the opportunity to leave.
§ Mr. Beresford Craddock (Spelthorne)
I should like to follow up the right hon. Gentleman's interesting suggestion. If such a Minister as he suggests were sent out to the Colony, what would be his position in relation to the Governor?
§ Mr. Bottomley
I am coming to that point as well. I want to make it perfectly clear, as I have done on the public 1585 platform and elsewhere, that the Governor himself is doing an exceedingly good job. He may not have the drive and determination of a politician, but at least he is diplomatic and he has the right ideas. I look upon the Governor as the constitutional representative, the personal representative of Her Majesty the Queen. Many of the matters with which we have to deal are highly political, and the Minister who went out there would have to deal with them in a more political fashion than would be expected of the Governor.
Speed is essential. I should say that it was wrong of the Secretary of State to disband the Kenya African Union. By doing that he left a free field for the underground movement, which is the Mau Mau, to which there is no alternative leadership. There is a real danger of Mau Mau-ism spreading over not only the whole of Kenya but also the whole of Africa. I am supported in this view by Dr. Carothers' Report. From my experience, the African is fundamentally a good friend of this country.
I believe that we are providing a fertile soil for Communism. The Foreign Secretary today made an excellent statement which we all appreciated, because it said that war was further removed. I believe that there is a real danger of the battleground of Asia being transferred to Africa unless we do something urgently now. There is not only the necessity for economic and social improvements; they have to be accompanied by political improvements as well.
I had the privilege of serving as a member of the mission that went to India at the end of the war, and the reception to us all was not of the friendliest nature. In 1949, I returned to that great country and I was received by a Minister, Sardar Patel, in the friendliest way. I could not have been treated better if I had been the King himself. I said to Sardar Patel, "I cannot understand it; what a difference in your treatment of me today." He said, Bottomley, when you came in 1945, you were a representative of the paramount power and you dominated us. We always thought well of you British, but, now that we are free and run our own country, we can show you our true feelings."
The world in all has but two races, the good and the bad and these are mixed everywhere. I say that this Kenya problem is a challenge as well as an 1586 opportunity. If the world is to live in peace and harmony, it can do so only on the basis of all the races of the world working unitedly together. Nowhere else in the world have we the opportunity of uniting Europeans, Asians, Africans and Arabs. If it will work in Africa, it will work anywhere in the world.
§ 4.32 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Oliver Lyttelton)
Let me begin by thanking the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochester and Chatham (Mr. Bottomley) for the spirit in which he made his remarks. I think the whole Committee will be very grateful to him. The right hon. Gentleman has not intervened very often in colonial debates, as I remember, but we on this side of the Committee will welcome his interventions on more occasions in the future, because much of what he said imported a new tone to the subject of Kenya.
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not mind me saying that he is a man of sanguine and energetic temperament who usually gives expression to it in a way which we find convincing, but when he changes his normal attitude for that of prophet, I must say that he does not convince me at all.
What I have to say will largely concern the Kikuyu, but I want to emphasise that we are pushing on with developments all over Kenya, and more particularly amongst the great majority of the population who have remained unaffected by Mau Mau. We must not get out of balance; these are the things which concern us now. After all, the Kikuyu are only about a quarter of the African population.
I propose to deal as shortly as I can with the military aspects of the emergency, partly because they are in themselves very simple, and partly because, now that the machine for combating the forces of terrorism is in first-rate order, we can concentrate more fully on the political, social and economic future of Kenya. When the last word is said about Mau Mau, I do not think it will carry us very much further than paragraph 9 of the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation. It is worth while reminding, the Committee of what the Delegation said:Mau Mau is a conspiracy, designed to dominate first the Kikuyu tribe and then all other Africans and finally to exterminate or drive out all other races and seize power in 1587 Kenya. It is a political and social conspiracy, a secret society, which uses terrorism to secure obedience where it cannot command willing support or compliance.I think all hon. Members should bear in mind those words of the Parliamentary Delegation.
Of course, it is a truism to say that Kenya is confronted with two interlocked problems, the problem of restoring law and order and freedom from fear, on the one hand, and the constructive problem of advancing the future of Kenya, on the other. Many of the measures that have to be taken against the terrorists are drastic, but the critics of them fail to carry weight because they have never enunciated an alternative practical policy. The military plan, although that in itself is a slight misnomer, is to clear the Mau Mau out of the infected areas in turn, and to consolidate each area thus progressively cleared by closer administration and more police as the troops move forward to their next task. That is the plan, and the Committee will be glad to know that in this operation we are meeting with very great successes, and, although isolated instances do occur, they are not allowed to divert the main operational plan, and some risks have to be accepted.
Let me speak, too, about Nairobi, to which the right hon. Gentleman opposite referred. The situation there was described in the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation as "both grave and acute," and the Delegation went on to say, and I quote, because, in many respects this is a very valuable document:Such conditions as these, in the heart of Kenya, strike at the roots of public security and of respect for law and order.I assented at the time to that statement, and I still believe it to be correct.
"Operation Anvil," to put this right, had long been planned. It was a very large-scale operation, the details of which were described to me when I was in Nairobi in March. It involved large numbers of troops and police, and closely-timed movements. It required, too, a great organisation for the screening of those who were detained. The right hon. Gentleman opposite should make a distinction between those detained under temporary orders under "Operation Anvil" and the hard core of the problem. The right hon. Gentleman also 1588 quoted from the "Economist" in regard to the number of people detained, and I will deal with that point later.
The operation was completed on 25th May. There has since been a spectacular drop in crime, and notably violent crime, and the whole situation in Nairobi has been completely changed for the better. For example, almost every Mau Mau cell—they contain nine persons—in Nairobi has been disrupted. There have been some crimes of late but except when there are very large numbers of troops and police in Nairobi, there will always be some crime. The Chief Commissioner of Police states that most of the crimes which have recently occurred have not been of a political nature, but ordinary crimes which are to be expected, I am afraid, in large cities.
In other areas, there are indications that even amongst the forest gangs a substantial number realise that the Kikuyu will never achieve their aim by the terrorist methods of Mau Mau. I do not propose to indulge in any prophecies of when the shooting war will come to an end, but I can say that we are right on top of this part of the problem. Many very optimistic statements have been made to which I do not subscribe, because I think that certainly some of the Mau Mau leaders are determined to carry on the struggle.
Nairobi was certainly a centre from which attempts were made to infect other tribes, and although the movement of Mau Mau into other tribes than the Kikuyu must be carefully watched day by day with the closest attention, it is fortunately true that the spread beyond the Kikuyu and parts of the Embu and Meru, which are almost indistinguishable from Kikuyu in this context, has not taken place to any great extent. Morale amongst the terrorists has suffered severely because of higher casualties, because of less willing support from the population and from the increasing realisation that success is impossible. I should like to support some of these statements by actual examples.
Our intelligence, from captured terrorists, amongst other sources, shows that the gangs realise that there is no hope of the Kikuyu winning the struggle without assistance from other tribes, and the Mau Mau have been unsuccessful, by and large, in their attempts to indoctrinate other tribes.
1589 Now I should like to give a few instances which will bear out what I have said. Recently there was a series of anti-Mau Mau demonstrations, mainly in the Nyeri district, which is one of the worst districts affected by Mau Mau. In the Agathi location, 7,000 people spontaneously mobilised and offered their services to the authorities. At a sports meeting—I mention that because it gives a picture of a totally different character from what most people imagine—1,500 people rushed on to the sports field, shouting "Down with Mau Mau." According to Reuter's, Chief Stanley, of Gikondi location, said his people wished to denounce the evil of Mau Mau, and 9,000 of them took part in a sweep with troops and Kikuyu guards. During the Governor's recent tour, a great many people came forward and offered their help to end Mau Mau terrorism.
Before I leave the subject of operations, I must interpose something about the police and the Home Guard. The police situation gave me great anxiety at one time. Colonel O'Rourke, who was the Commissioner of Police, deserved very well of Kenya because he handled the difficult problems of a rapidly expanding police force on the right lines, and with energy and courage. However, he worked himself out and he was replaced by Colonel Young, whose outstanding services in Malaya will he present to the minds of hon. Members in all parts of the Committee. He has in hand at the moment the wide-scale reorganisation and retraining of the police. More than 1,000 police have been withdrawn for training, and a large number of highly-experienced police officers have been seconded to Kenya from Malaya and other Territories.
Colonel Young's plans do not stop at the retraining of the police. As hon. Members know, he was the author of the scheme known as "Operation Service" in Malaya, which had such an electric effect upon the relations of the population with the police. He will gradually build up these relations in Kenya, just as he did in Malaya. Colonel Young, whom I saw in Kenya last week, reports well of the police; he has great confidence in them. We can be reassured on this score. The Kenya Government aim at gradually being able to replace the military with the police and to devolve 1590 responsibility for the maintenance of law and order, as it is re-established district by district, location by location, upon the Administration and the police.
Now I turn for a moment to the Home Guard. The present strength is approximately 25,000 and is not being increased over this figure. It occupies 500 posts and has approximately 5,000 firearms. It is officered by 90 district officers, which number is being increased to 108. In paragraph 24 of its Report, the Parliamentary Delegation draw attention to the need for greater assistance for the Home Guard. I think this has been carried out. Substantial sums have been spent on clothing for full-time guards, while 15,000 guards have been exempted from the payment of special taxes, and school fees for up to three children are waived for full-time guards. So much for the military or violent part of the struggle, but before I turn to the political, social and economic aspects, I want to devote some time to the subject of the immense task of screening and detention.
Speaking generally, there is a gradual process of sorting out the background of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru, through teams of loyalists and ex-terrorists who have co-operated with the security forces. Information about individuals is checked -and cross-checked in the Reserves by European officers in charge of the screening teams, and those screened are put into categories according to the amount of information which has been obtained against them and which has been sifted.
Secondly, those detained—and this is where the right hon. Member for Rochester and Chatham was a bit off the rails—as a result of "Operation Anvil" in Nairobi and the Central Provinces are screened at the reception camps at Mackinnon Road, Manyani and Langata. They are not detained under permanent detention orders but under temporary detention orders whilst they are being screened. I know of no other way in which this operation could have been done. I think this had the support of the Parliamentary Delegation.
§ Mr. Bottomley
I did not say that the cleaning up of Nairobi should be done by "Operation Anvil." Cleaning up Nairobi had the support of the Parlia- 1591 mentary Delegation. I was merely making the suggestion that there were other ways in which it could have been done.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I cannot accept the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion. Very often people say that things ought to be cleaned up, but they may be rather shocked when they come to examine the methods which have to be used.
Screening in those camps is conducted by district officers from the Central Provinces together with teams of Africans. The dangerous Mau Mau adherents, that is, suspected murderers, executioners, so-called court officials, oath administrators, active gang members, ammunition carriers, scouts and informers, are tried in court for Mau Mau offences if sufficient evidence is available against them or they are detained on Governor's detention orders if necessary or they are sent to works camps in the Reserves.
Let me say with every sincerity that I sympathise deeply with all those to whom the idea of detaining people without trial because there is insufficient evidence to try them is repugnant. It is very difficult for us in this country—and I do hear astonishing statements sometimes from hon. Members of the Opposition below the Gangway—to realise a condition in which witnesses would not come forward but are terrorised, where murders are committed in the presence of hundreds of people yet no witnesses will come forward and the weapons are not found—it is not the same as county courts in this country. Unless we relinquish all idea of law and order, we have to accept the principle that unless we have proper evidence to bring suspected persons before a court the people concerned will have to be detained.
Those who are not regarded as actively dangerous are placed in an intermediate category and are sent to works camps in the Central Province, where they undergo additional screening by their own elders to see whether they can eventually be released. Thirdly, are those whom screening has shown to be harmless and who are released as soon as they have been screened.
There are now, as a result of "Operation Anvil," 17,000 people in works camps or detention camps and 21,500 in reception centres, where they are held 1592 temporarily. I would reassure the right hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) that screening is going forward rapidly and will be completed within the six months during which the temporary Regulations apply. A great deal of money has been spent to establish these camps and the greatest care is taken to ensure that conditions are good. The Government of Kenya have informed me of a report by the Church Missionary Society which might be worth quoting. as it comes from outside Government circles. The report says:On the whole, conditions in the camps are good. The food is adequate, and even in some cases liberal.I leave this part of the subject—and I apologise for keeping the Committee so long—by saying that once we accept the necessity for screening and detaining persons who have been contaminated by Mau Mau and those who are actively engaged in murder and terrorism, we must accept that we sometimes have to detain without trial because the evidence is not forthcoming. The care which is taken over the screening and the conditions under which those are detained have to live, are as good as we can reasonably make them.
§ Mr. C. R. Hobson (Keighley)
Has the boycott been removed on smoking in the streets and travelling in buses in Nairobi?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I have not received any recent information on those points. The last I heard about it was that it was less in extent.
I would now say something about the administration of law in relation to charges of capital offences. The Committee probably knows that, both in Malaya and in Kenya, I have always set my face against any form of summary justice. The Governments of those two countries—and they did not require any persuading—adhere absolutely to this rule. In Kenya justice is as speedy as we can make it, provided that the due processes of law and the right of those accused to be represented by counsel and so forth, are preserved, as they must be. Further than speeding up the ordinary processes—neither the Kenya Government nor I would be prepared to go; but this matter is important. There is a great deal of apprehension in the Committee on this matter. Prosecutions under the Emergency Regulations are 1593 only brought if there is reason to believe that the offences are connected with acts of terrorism or murder.
The charges of carrying ammunition and consorting with terrorists are not brought unless there is evidence that the person has been present with armed gangs, or is in possession of Mau Mau letters, diaries, subscription lists, oath ceremony arrangements and so forth, or is in possession of materials for making home-made guns.
The total number of persons executed for Mau Mau offences is 510, and of these 211 have been for murder, 129 for unlawful possession of arms, and 91 for being convicted of consorting with terrorists. The Kenya Government are always considering whether it is possible to reduce the capital penalty for the offence of being in unlawful possession of ammunition or for consorting with terrorists. They are of opinion that such relaxation is inadmissible.
I want again to say that the policy with regard to those found in possession of ammunition is quite clear. It is: not to prosecute men for carrying ammunition if they have not taken an active part in operations. Thus a man caught during a skirmish with a gang who is found in possession of ammunition, would be charged, but a casual Kikuyu picked up in the Reserves with three or four rounds on him would ordinarily not.
I now turn to the next part of my subject, which is reconstruction and rehabilitation. As I unfold it, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will realise how many of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Delegation Report have been carried out.
The re-settlement of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru on release from prison or detention, or for whom there is no employment or land in their Reserves, is one of the most important tasks facing the Kenya Government. This is one of the major concerns of the new Council of Ministers and they have set up special machinery.
Today relief work on agricultural betterment is being provided for about 10,000 in the Kikuyu districts, and the works camps for displaced Kikuyu have been sited so that those who have been detained can be employed on constructive work. Four of these camps are developing 1594 irrigation projects, one is for work on the roads, and one is for bush clearing and cultivation. Similar projects are now under survey and a major project for the irrigation of an area of about 60,000 acres between the Upper Tana and Thiba rivers offers prospects of re-settling no less than 10,000 families there. I want to emphasise also that all work in these camps is voluntary and is all paid for at the ordinary market rates for labour.
Shortly, the irrigation projects in hand are those in the Baringo District, the Machakos District and the Mwea-Tebere District in Embu. They will involve digging somewhere about 50 miles of main irrigation furrow. Six new camps are being built, so as to complete the construction as speedily as possible, so that we can turn to training workers for rice irrigation, and so forth.
In addition to irrigation, there is the Narok Bush Clearing Trial to determine the best way of clearing grazing land of the "Leleshwa" bush. Other projects relate to roads, which I need not specify.
How do these projects affect the main problem, which is how to re-settle the men in the works camps. And what is to happen to those in detention camps, and to the ex-Mau Mau convicts? Of the 56,000 persons concerned, a certain number—we hope a small proportion—have been so deeply implicated that they are unlikely ever to be permitted to return to the Central Province. Of the remainder, some families will be returned to the land which they have in the Reserves: some families will be re-settled when security conditions permit in other parts of the Colony, some of them in European farming areas; some families will be employed in the forest areas; some families not entirely free from suspicion will be re-employed in new areas—I have indicated the sort of areas—which can be cultivated and which are being made available by the new five-year African agricultural plan, and by some of the works camps projects, and other families who are still thought to require some degree of supervision, will be resettled in the Central Province on schemes proposed by the African Land Development Board.
I believe that these schemes will gain the wholehearted support of hon. Members in all quarters of the House. These are the schemes to which my mind turns 1595 when I am oppressed either by some terrible incident which had been provoked by the Mau Mau, or when I look at the large figures of those in detention; because they are large, although they are an extremely small percentage of the whole population of Kenya.
I apologise for keeping the Committee so long but I want to give hon. Members a full report, if they will bear with me. I pass, in natural sequence, to the subject of new villages. These are not schemes of rehabilitation, but schemes of re-grouping the Kikuyu in villages. The Kenya Government propose to establish no less than 320 new villages, each village being designed for about 100 families, so that 32,000 families will eventually be re-grouped in the villages. One hundred and forty new villages out of those 320 have already been established and 86 are under construction. For example, in the Nyeri District, 40 out of every 100 Africans have already been brought into villages to live.
The design and layout of the villages are carefully planned by the District Commissioner or the District Officer in conjunction with the Medical Officer or Health Inspector. All villages are sited so as to be protected by a guard post, and the greatest care is paid to security, hygiene and future expansion. The immediate advantage of these villages, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) will be the first to recognise, is as it was in Malaya, security and protection.
In the meantime they will enable social services, particularly health measures, to be brought much more effectively to the help of the rural population than if they are scattered about all over the place. There are two demonstration villages being set up to demonstrate some of the advantages of village life. In one of these villages there is already a church, three schools, a community hall, a football field and a children's playground; and a dispensary is being built.
I must here say one word about closer administration. The Kenya Government has embarked upon a policy of closer administration, and this means more and more administrative sub-stations in each district, and in bad areas even in locations. These sub-stations contain a 1596 District Officer, Police Officer and possibly an Agricultural Officer and Veterinary Officer as well. Ten stations were established before the emergency. 12 during 1953 and early 1954, six are under construction and a further 18 are proposed. The Committee will realise that this means a large increase in Administrative Officers, and 100 Administrative Assistants are being recruited this year.
Let me in passing pay tribute to the contribution the churches in Kenya have made in this work. They are co-operating wholeheartedly with the Government in the work of rehabilitation, and a working party under the chairmanship of Mr. Ohanga, the Minister for Community Development, is studying new schemes for combined action by the Government and the churches.
I must necessarily, in the time available to me, pass rather rapidly over a number of other questions which are no less important than those with which I have already dealt.
The Committee will remember that many of the schemes of re-habilitation and re-settlement concern agriculture as they necessarily must, but I want to describe otherwise how what I might call the normal developments of agriculture, aided by this grant from Her Majesty's Government, are proceeding, and to say a word about the plans for the future.
§ Mr. John Dugdale (West Bromwich)
Is the right hon. Gentleman going to deal further with the grant? Is this the right moment to ask a question?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will get up when I have dealt with my next point? I had a report from the Governor, who made an extensive tour, when he got back to Kenya. In spite of disorders, soil conservation—which lies at the root of the agricultural problem—has gone on at a much greater rate than ever before. The most permanent and hopeful development in conservation is in the construction of bench terraces, which give areas of flat land on the slopes, like those you can see in the Appenines. No less than 1,820 miles of these terraces were constructed in the Central Province alone in the first four months of 1954, which is more than four times the figure for the whole of 1952. Does this give a picture of a country 1597 which is going backwards or of one which is going forwards? There is only one answer.
Then there is the consolidation of holdings, on which the Kenya Government are carrying out a drive. The greatest successes under this heading have been in Nyeri. Last month the number of acres consolidated was one-fifth the number consolidated during the 21 months of the Emergency. In Makueni there was a scheme for consolidating holdings so that they could be occupied and in cultivation by the end of 1955. This scheme has been finished 1½ years ahead of schedule, and 900 families have now moved into that area. Does this give a picture of a country going backwards? To me it only suggests that the tempo of this work is rapidly increasing in this area because greater confidence in the Government has been built up by the measures we have taken.
There are 13 African surveyors available and a number more are under training at Embu Training School. I may add that in Fort Hall and Nyeri, rural training schools to give training in building, carpentry and agriculture have been completed and each already has about 40 pupils. The one in Embu is almost ready. These schools are on the same lines as the schools in Machakos and South Nyanza—the latter which I personally inspected. They will help boys who leave school to have training which will get them jobs and open up to them a useful future.
I want now to turn for one moment to the longer-term plans for agriculture over the whole of Kenya and not only for the Kikuyu. These long-term plans which are assisted by the £5 million grant from Her Majesty's Government are projected to secure further consolidation of land holdings, to promote irrigation, the large-scale development of stock raising and a great increase in the cash crops to be grown by Africans. First, may I say a word about cash crops. African coffee growers numbered 8,208 in 1951, and in 1953 there were 15,019. Does this suggest a country that is going back? I think not. This year in Embu—an affected territory—planting was 50 per cent. higher than ever before. The programme contemplated for five years will he completed in one year. Does this look like a country which is going back?
1598 In Meru the area planted was 600 acres, which is three times that for the year 1952–53, and there have been similar percentage increases in Nyeri and Fort Hall. These are instances in the Kikuyu Reserves, but the plans cover the whole of Kenya and aim to increase the acreage of coffee under African cultivation from just under 4,000 acres as at present to 71,500 acres in 15 years. All this is moving forward satisfactorily.
The plan aims to raise the acreage of tea grown by Africans, now on an experimental scale of 41 acres only, to 12,000 acres over the next 15 years. It aims to raise the acreage of pineapples from 3,000 to 15,000, of pyrethrum from 1,300 to 48,300 acres, and to double the bale production of cotton. Does this give the impression that the Kenya Government are fumbling with their economic planning? I think not. They are bold and imaginative schemes. Admittedly the acreages will be difficult to attain, but I have noticed that great drive and enthusiasm have been put to work, and I am hopeful that they will be reached.
§ Mr. Dugdale
I am sure that we have all listened with great interest to the plans that are being developed, but I want to ask about the grants being made. Is it the case that before they are made these grants will be discussable by the House, or are they to be made under the Colonial Development and Welfare scheme? Shall we have an opportunity to ask whether in fact the Kenya Government are to make a sufficient contribution themselves before we in this country are asked to make further grants?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I have no doubt that there will be many opportunities for the right hon. Gentleman to raise questions as to how the £5 million grant—which was made outside the C.D. & W. scheme for specific agricultural purposes—is being spent—and I have no doubt that he will be very quick to take advantage of those opportunities.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
There will be opportunities if the right hon. Gentleman wishes to raise it. We made the grant, and I announced it in the House.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
Could the right hon. Gentleman tell us how much of the total amount is coming from 1599 C.D. & W., or has been earmarked against it? Or is it covered by Supplementary Estimates?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
This is a special grant. It is not all C.D. & W., and that, I think, is what the right hon. Gentleman wants to know.
With regard to education, 136 of the K.I.S.A. schools were closed in the Central Province at the beginning of the emergency, because, like the K.A.U., to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, they were seed-beds for Mau Mau. That is distressing, but the facts were startling—as one hon. Member has said.
§ Mr. Bottomley
Has the right hon. Gentleman at any time heard that there was a near revolution in the Kenya Africa Union at the time it was formed, and a possibility that they would have destroyed Mau Mau themselves?
I think that is more in accordance with the right hon. Gentleman's sanguine temperament and my advisers, including the Governor, say that there is very little or no foundation for it.
Forty-six of the schools had been reopened by January, 1954—under other management, if I may say so—58 have been declared redundant, 15 are to be reopened and there are only 17 whose fate is still undecided. In 1953 £2,132,000 was spent on African education in Kenya as a whole, as compared with £1,345,000 in 1952. Nor are the figures less striking concerning teacher training of Africans. In 1945 there were 46 teachers with university qualifications; in 1953 there were 167. Does that look like a country that is going back? In 1945 there were none with secondary qualifications, and in 1953 there were 269. In 1945 2,000 odd had primary qualifications and in 1953 the figure was 7,685.
I now turn to housing. Here again most skilled observers in Kenya—and the Parliamentary Delegation in particular—stress the importance of housing. This is a separate subject from that of the villages, to which I have already referred, and in this context I mean largely housing in the centres of population rather than in the country districts. Last summer, just over a year ago, a Central Housing Board was set up under the 1600 chairmanship of the Deputy Governor. Kenya negotiated a loan of £2 million from the Colonial Development Corporation, and there is a large local authority programme in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Machakos. The Kenya Government will build 2,310 houses for its employees.
I want to turn very shortly to the political developments to what the right hon. Gentleman referred. I say quite straight out that I am heartened by the beginning which has been made by the Council of Ministers, and by the new constitutional arrangements which I negotiated on my last visit to Kenya. I do not think for one moment that it is accurate to say that Africans regard this beginning with indifference, as was suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. I have no evidence of that whatever, and I will give some instances why I make this statement.
Every day that passes knits the Government more closely together, and it is, for the first time in the history of Kenya, a multi-racial Government. I detected in the right hon. Gentleman's speech the usual expression of disappointment that the multi-racial Government was not on a broader foundation, but I thought when I was there, and I am absolutely certain since, that this is as far as one can go in multi-racial Government at present: I repeat what I said at that time, that I was surprised by the wide extent of the liberal opinion in Kenya—amongst Europeans in particular—which enabled this multi-racial Government to be formed. Hon. Members in all parts of the Committee must realise what it means, when people are being murdered, to make this advance. I was surprised by the extent of the Liberal opinion.
I know of no political opinion in any country which is universal, but the general European, opinion backed up, and is backing up, the idea of multi-racial government. [Interruption.] There will never be a universal attitude, of course, unless under some form of Soviet Government. The right hon. Member for Rochester and Chatham is a very experienced politician and should not be unduly distressed by a certain amount of clatter which has surrounded the formation of a multi-racial government. After all, people are always distressed by some of the things which are said by hon. 1601 Members here. I find some difficulty in trying to persuade the right hon. Gentleman to be more sanguine, because one only has to look at him to see that he is energetic and sanguine, but this afternoon he prefers to wear the mantle of dark prophecy that does not suit him.
It has been said that parts if not all of the European population in Kenya are irresponsible. Is that not rather an offensive way of saying that they have not been charged with responsibilities under an official Government? The multiracial Government have these responsibilities fairly and squarely on their shoulders, and I think that they will rise to the scale of events and to their opportunities.
When the Government of Kenya recently issued their statement of policy, in was criticised in some quarters as containing nothing very new. But its real significance was pointed out by Mr. Ohanga, the African Minister for Community Development. I am now dealing with the right hon. Gentleman's statement that African opinion regards this matter with indifference. Mr. Ohanga said:I do not agree. Although the words and ideas may be the same, the spirit and drive behind the policy is new. It is a declaration of policy from an inter-racial government that has never existed in the Colony before. This policy will do untold good, and after 10 years we might find Kenya very different from the Kenya in which we live today.From all my reports, the new Government is working efficiently.
I will now deal with the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman that there should be a Minister of State from the Colonial Office resident in Nairobi. The suggestion is interesting, and shows that the right hon. Gentleman has allowed his imagination to play over these matters, but I do not think the suggestion is practicable or desirable in the circumstances of Kenya. The Governor is the bridge between my responsibilities and the Council of Ministers and the Legislature. I am answerable to this House for the actions of the Governor, in so far as they fall within my responsibility. If there was a Minister of State on the spot, I should equally be answerable to this House for his actions. Is that not so?
§ Mr. Lyttelton
I am sure that such a Minister on the spot could not commit Her Majesty's Government without consultation with me. Therefore, if there was a Minister of State, it would only make an unnecessary link in the chain of responsibility. Furthermore—and this always seems to me to need saying, particularly when I am asked about such things as the dismissal of a clerk in a post office in some Colony—we are all aiming in this House, to whatever party we belong, at a system of handing over even more responsibility for the management of their own affairs to the peoples of the Colonial territories, including Kenya. Until they assume their responsibilities, they will never end the emergency.
We are prepared to help and indeed we are helping this idea in every way we can, including financial aid. I can imagine no step which would more affront the people of Kenya, and which would reverse the policy to which we are all committed, than that of sending a Minister of State to Nairobi. Even under the present system there are constant grumbles about the imposition of so-called Colonial Office rule, but if the unprecedented step was taken of trying to govern Kenya by supervising and directing the Government of Kenya by a political representative of Her Majesty's Government on the spot. I assure the Committee that all these feelings would, I think, rightly, be greatly increased and embittered.
§ Mr. Bottomley
May I make two observations? First of all, on the transference of power from this country to the Colony, 95 per cent. of the people in Kenya are Africans, and a hand-picked Minister is trying to represent them. I think the right way to transfer power is by winning the confidence of the Africans. That has not yet been done. As to the view which I expressed earlier, I am gratified by many of the things that the right hon. Gentleman has said this afternoon, but I think he himself would be bound to admit that the visit of the Parliamentary Mission, and particularly his own hard work on the spot, is to a large extent responsible for the great progress that has been made. All I was trying to say was that there may be advantages in having a Minister on the spot to encourage that sort of thing.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
All I was trying to say was that I do not think so. I think the opposite would occur. All the actions that a Minister of State in Nairobi took would have to be taken after consultation with me. I am only telling the right hon. Gentleman that his idea, though interesting and imaginative, does not commend itself in any way to Her Majesty's Government.
I apologise for having kept the Committee for so long.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
I apologise for interrupting the right hon. Gentleman. I think our only complaint is that the Government have not provided us with some time to discuss this matter.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
There is not very much that is debatable. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, Parliamentary days are usually reserved for debates on which there is sharp disagreement. All I have been saying are the facts.
It is clear that the struggle for the minds of the people is being waged with great determination, and that it is comprehensively and imaginatively conceived. What we are striving to do is to progress soberly and surely; to do first things first; to restore law and order; to lay out on lines as far sighted as are within our capacity the foundations of social and economic prosperity for all Kenyans, and we are setting our sights high. We are trying in the political field to build up for the first time in Africa an effective multi-racial Government.
Those who have been to Kenya know something of the atmosphere of strain and tension, of prejudice and emotion in which this work had to be begun. It would greatly hearten me and all those who are carrying these grave responsibilities in Kenya if this House gave a warm word of endorsement and encouragement today to the broad and progressive policy that the new Government of Kenya are following. On details we may differ, but I suggest that on the main aims we are surely at one.
§ 5.18 p.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
The Secretary of State has indeed painted a very optimistic picture. He made some reference to the attitude of my right hon. Friend the Member for Rochester and Chatham (Mr. Bottomley), but I think it is the Secretary of State who is perhaps 1604 being sanguine. I congratulate him on many of his social and economic measures, but I am not able to go all the way with his optimism. I would remind him that Kenya is still a police State. There are about 40,000 persons in camps. I have been a school teacher, and I know that a headmaster can concentrate on the upper school and can put the "tough eggs" in detention and even expel them; this is easy, but there comes a time when they come back again. Many of these 40,000 who are in camps will have to come back again and will have to be reckoned with.
There are two wars going on. There is the shooting war against Mau Mau—and I am with the Colonial Secretary up to the hilt in that—and also the battle for the minds and hearts of the Kikuyu, and also the wider African society. Dr. Carothers' Report has been quoted, and I should like to quote from page 22, where he says:I see no reason to doubt that, by and large, the people would have liked Mau Mau to win. Apart from many older people, and many whose interests are best served by adherence to the new administration, and many who have staunch personal loyalties, there is little general loyalty to Government But, although Kikuyu loyalty must tend on the whole to support Mau Mau, the people are far too shrewd and independent to be swept off their feet by enthusiasm for it.While they are not enthusiastic about Mau Mau, when one says to African leaders, "Why do not you come in behind us and squash Mau Mau?" they hesitate, and say, "We cannot let our own people down." We must wipe out this "us" and "they" business—this black and white business—and the African outlook of not letting their own people down.
I welcome all the measures which the Colonial Secretary has mentioned, especially the close cover of administrative officers. Chief Kidaha, on the Dow Land Commission, would attribute the development of Mau Mau and the consequent creation of the state of emergency mainly to the thin cover and inadequacy of local district officers. The more such officers we have, and the less paper work they have to do, the better. If we looked upon the Kenya Civil Service as we did upon the Sudan Service we might get a much better team, and be able to work out a better and more hopeful way of life for these peoples of mixed stock in Kenya. In this context, 1605 I welcome the process of villagisation. That will do a lot to give a more secure feeling to the Africans, especially the Kikuyu.
The subject upon which I want to speak next is that of white leadership. This is a delicate subject, both here and outside. I would just say to my many white friends over the water in Kenya that I have no intention of indulging in what I think they call "panga" politics. or of putting the constitutional cart before the Mau Mau horse. But as a Member of the Parliamentary Delegation, the thing which hit me hardest when went out there was not the fact that I had two Askaris outside my bedroom window every night, but the fact that the white population was so divided in its morale and so uneasy and unstable altogether.
I am glad that the Minister went out there and knocked a few heads together—both black and white—and got this multi-racial team together. But what a pity he could not get another African representative upon the Council of Ministers. Bishop Beecher has spoken of the desirability of having a parity of black, white and Asian Members, as in the case of Tanganyika—two, two, and two. We modestly asked for four, two, and two, but we could only get one African Minister to two Asiatic and three European.
Again the white leadership must show more imagination in this matter of African elections. It must be remembered that there are only 10,000 white families in a black sea of 6 million. It is essential that we should be loyal to the Africans if we are to work out our salvation together. We must give the Africans some hope. Not only, however, did I find that a most unworthy and unwholesome whispering campaign was going on against the African leaders, like Eliud Mathu, but that suspicion was being cast upon their ability to speak and stand for Africans who were off the stage, in the reserves and elsewhere.
At the moment, since the African Members in the Legislative Council are nominated by Sir Evelyn Baring, or whoever is Governor, what have we to lose by having direct elections for Kikuyu in 1956? We in the Delegation asked for an investigation into this matter, and I hope that it is 1606 being carried out and that we shall be assured that direct elections will be held in 1956, because then, and then only, can the white community say, "Eliud Mathu is the man who speaks for the Kikuyu." At the moment they deny it and they say, "Mathu is not the Kikuyu leader." I hope for some assurance on those lines, and also a statement upon elections in 1956.
As to other candidates, some of the undoubted African leaders are now behind bars and in camps. It was my opinion—as it was of most of the Delegation—that some innocent K.A.U. leaders and other workers were caught up in this wholesale sweep. Surely some of them must be released before 1956, and could be allowed to stand for election and become the future leaders of the Africans in this community. At the same time Africans should be encouraged to develop their own political organisations.
I now turn to the question of the white leadership in connection with land. The Africans are land-hungry. There is, for example, congestion in Kiumbu. When I went to see the Koinange family there, I was welcomed. I had a most interesting talk with James Koinange and Charles, the local chief, the sons of the aged senior chief of the Kikuyu who is now in detention. There are 40,000 Africans in that location and little more than 40 square miles, and every black nationalist in Kikuyu land knows that there are a million Kikuyu on something less than 4,000 square miles of land. At the same time, there are less than 4,000 white families farming about 12,000 square miles in the Highlands, while there are some 60,000 Masai to the south on approximately 16,000 square miles of land. The facts concerning land hunger are there for all to see.
One can spend £40 million on the Tana Valley scheme or clear bracken in the north, but all the time one meets the Africans looking towards the Highlands. The present schemes outlined will not solve our difficulties. It would be a psychological gesture—and would it not pay enormous dividends?—if the white leaders could follow what was suggested in our White Paper.
I do not want to expel the white farmers; I want them to stay and I oppose the views expressed in the "New Statesman" about eviction of European 1607 farmers. But I do not want the Highlands to be inviolate for the Europeans. If we have any unutilised or badly farmed land, we should give it to any African, European or Asian who can pass a test of good and competent husbandry. If he can farm, let him go in. If we did that it would convince the coloured people that this multi-racial Cabinet is working towards a multi-racial society in two, five or 10 years or more. It is nothing much to give, and it would be an enormous boon and stimulant to these peoples.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North)
Would the hon. Member agree that there are also half a million Africans occupying quite a large proportion of the White Highlands?
§ Mr. Johnson
I do not deny that for one moment, but it is a fact that the Highlands—I do not call them the White Highlands—under Orders in Council and land treaties are inviolate for farmers of one colour. That is not good enough in a multi-racial society. It certainly will not be good enough in the future, when the Africans have more power to assert themselves.
I now want to deal with the subject of education. When an African comes into Nairobi out of the bush he says, "There is a Humber Snipe, and there is a Hillman Minx. Who do they belong to? They do not belong to the Africans; they belong to the white men." The same question arises about houses. The African asks himself, "How do I get a house like those?" He asks, "What is the White man's Juju?" The answer is a simple one—education. The African has not had sufficient in the past for many reasons.
I welcome, therefore, the provision to spend more money on education, and I would emphasise that there are two aspects of education that are specially important. The first is technical education, because without technicians and fitters we cannot undertake anything like adequate economic development. The second and even more important is women's education. How wisely was it said by Dr. Aggrey, "If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate the nation." Women pass on their education to their families, and so give a legacy to the future. 1608 I hope, therefore, that of the £5 million that, I think, is to be spent upon African development a great part will be spent on secondary education and on women's training colleges, such as the fine college at Shiba in Nyanza, where there are some fine young girls. I was much struck by their appearance. They have beautiful hair and their eyes shine. With them and their like lies the future of African society. There were only 60 or 70. We want thousands of them in such colleges. They are so keen and so interested. One talks to them; they talk back, interestedly. Oh, if only we had spent more on education in the past. But we will not look back. Let us resolve to spend more—and willingly—in the future on education, particularly on the education of women.
There is an enormous thirst for education among Africans, and it is impossible to slake it. We are to have a multi-racial technical college at Nairobi. What about an experiment with a boys' secondary school? Let there not be girls at it. Let it be a boys' school, for one knows the difficulties of sex among young Africans. Let us have a State school with low fees, say, £20 a year, with a first-class stall, a school open to Indian, African and European boys aged from 15 to 18. There should be an old boys' association. We might then turn out some future leaders of Kenya, irrespective of colour, all working together, having had their school days in common with all that that means.
The last subject I want to touch on, in what I am trying to keep a short speech, is that of the colour bar. Talk to a Kenyan friend about the colour bar and he becomes a little uneasy, a little embarrassed. He will say, "There is no colour bar in Kenya. There is what one may call a culture bar." I wonder. It was suggested that Mr. Mathu and Mr. Gikonyu, Members of the Legislative Council, should take members of our delegation to the Norfolk Hotel, but Mr. Mathu said, "I cannot take you there." He was at Balliol for four years, and yet he did not feel it was the thing to do, himself to take us to the best hotel in Nairobi. The prospect embarrassed him.
That sort of bar must go. The white leaders are perfectly happy to go to Government House as guests of Sir Evelyn Baring and to meet these African 1609 leaders and their wives. Why could they not mix more elsewhere—in their homes? That sort of association would make an enormous difference. I am not suggesting that we want to invite an untutored son of the bush into the Norfolk Hotel, to spit on the carpet; but we do feel that there are Africans, possibly scores, maybe hundreds, of them there, who can behave themselves well judging by our own standards. So let us have some imagination and mix with them more easily. That is the way to build up a multi-racial society for the future. We have a multi-racial Cabinet in Kenya, and we talk about a partnership of colours.
As I see it, those are the things that matter to the coloured peoples in Kenya—land, education, elections and the colour bar. We as whites could do more about those things at the moment. At the moment we could not even avoid such a thing as that offensive statement issued by the Electors' Union Central Office and General Irwin. However, least said, soonest mended. If the Secretary of State and Mr. Michael Blundell will pursue the course they have begun, I am convinced we can accomplish much. Behind Mr. Blundell there is a large body of liberal opinion in Kenya. It is inarticulate now, but I am convinced that if we pursue the course that has been begun and are much more generous to the coloured peoples, we shall find that they will respond, and we shall promote a truly multi-racial society in Kenya. Let them take courage in their hands.
§ 5.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Edward Wakefield (Derbyshire, West)
The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) and I disagree over a wide range of subjects as far apart as Kenya and football. In one matter, however, I agree with him entirely, and if he will have the patience to wait a few moments he will see that I shall come to it later.
The visit to Kenya was the first occasion on which I have been a Member of a Parliamentary Delegation to a Colony. I have had a good deal of experience of Parliamentary Delegations, but it has always been at the receiving end. My first experience of them was in 1928 in India, when I was cross-examined and inspected by the Simon 1610 Commission. I remember an occasion when the Commission was on its way to Lahore. I was the magistrate in charge of the police party that had considerable difficulty in restraining a mob from attacking the members of the Commission. The party included the present Leader of the Opposition. I hope the Labour Party is duly grateful to me for saving him on that occasion.
§ Mr. Wakefield
From 1928 to 1946 I had frequent experience of Parliamentary Delegations, and I knew, before going to Kenya, what peripatetic Parliamentarians looked like. I knew that they invariably wore the wrong clothes, and that they were in the habit of losing things and of always being late for appointments. I also knew they could ask very awkward questions, questions which I myself was not always in a position, as I should have been, to answer.
This, however, was the first occasion on which I was myself a member of such a delegation; and I felt conscious, first, of my own smallness, my own insignificance, in the presence of the great forces moving in Africa. I was also conscious, however, that though I myself might be insignificant, I was a member of a team which, in its collective capacity, was by no means insignificant, since it represented the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which has ultimate responsibility for resolving the conflicts in Kenya, and which has in the past, on the whole successfully, dealt with problems just as baffling as those which confronted us in Kenya.
In passing, I would pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Kelvingrove (Mr. Elliot), who is not able to be with us at this moment, for handling his team so tactfully. I am grateful, too, for the forbearance shown by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochester and Chatham (Mr. Bottomley) and for his patience in listening to expressions of opinion with which he could not possibly always have agreed. My own most constant companion was the hon. Gentleman the Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams). and I am sure we all regret deeply the illness which keeps him away from us today.
1611 As a delegation we were, in spite of differences in our individual approach, united in our desire to understand what was happening in Kenya and to make to the Secretary of State a unanimous report of our considered views. Six months have passed since we came back from Kenya and during that period I have been engaged in a good deal of reflection. When I was in Kenya I must admit that the picture seemed confused and confusing. There were so many different problems to be dealt with. There was the military problem of how to identify the enemy, and to isolate him, and to deal with him. There were economic problems connected with rates of wages and industrial development. There was the agrarian problem, which was referred to by the hon. Member for Rugby, relating to the ownership and use of land. There was the political problem—the extent to which power should be delegated by this country to representatives in Kenya, and, within Kenya, how the power there should be divided between representatives of the different races. Inevitably, too, there were the sociological problems, the problems of colour and culture, and of the very nature of society.
These problems cannot be solved in isolation from each other. They interact and react on each other, and one has to view the picture as a whole. Only by looking at the picture as a whole can one get the problems in perspective. Looking at Kenya, as we do this afternoon, from a distance, it is clear, at least to me, that that country is going through a period of transition and adjustment. May I venture an analogy? In 1935, with my family, I was involved in the Quetta earthquake. In a few seconds 25,000 to 30,000 people had lost their lives. The chaos and confusion that ensued were indescribable. What had happened? Certain great natural forces had been at work. A vast mountain range had subsided an inch or two and those were the consequences.
Kenya is now suffering from an earthquake of another kind. One civilisation is imposing itself upon another. A new culture is ousting the old, and Kenya is suffering the spasms and pangs that inevitably accompany such an adjustment. May I commend to the Committee a book by M. Mannoni? It is called Psychologie de la Colonisation. In that book M. Mannoni explains what happens 1612 when what Sir Henry Maine calls the "society of status" is impinged upon by what Maine calls the "society of contracts." The "society of status" was the kind of society which this country knew in the 12th and 13th centuries. where an individual was born in a particular station in life and remained there for the rest of his life.
What happens when a static society of that nature comes into contact with a free and open society, where an individual has personality and value in his own right? In his study of that problem, M. Mannoni says much which, in my view, is relevant to what is happening in Kenya. Generally, it is traders, or perhaps missionaries, who first come into contact—who first came into contact—with the static societies of Africa. They were resisted—that is natural—and the magic and witchcraft which the African tribesmen had been taught to believe in were used against these invaders. They proved ineffective, and so the African transferred his allegiance to the white man's magic. He looked up to the white man as possessing a superior kind of witchcraft.
How was the white man's witchcraft exercised? What was the key to this new kingdom? The hon. Member for Rugby suggested the answer—education. And so the African sought education; and he also sought Christianity, because the people who educated were, to a large extent, the missionaries. At that stage the African looked up to the white man as the representative of a superior civilisation, and race relations at such a period of time are generally happy. It is a period of paternal administration. I experienced it in India as recently as the 1930s in the remote parts of that continent, where the Westerner was still looked up to. The district officer was regarded as "Man-Bap "—the father and mother of his people. That relationship still exists in the remoter parts of Kenya where the older settlers have cared for and looked after their dependants with exemplary diligence.
But that stage soon passes. The African became partially educated and partially Christian. I say "partially" because education is still to the African, merely a means of making money. It is not yet an end in itself. It is a means of acquiring techniques which will enable him to share in the white man's power. It is 1613 not more than that at a certain interim stage: and equally Christianity is only partial, because the African's understanding of Christianity is built upon the old belief in magic and witchcraft. I ask the Committee to remember that I am only making generalisations. They do not by any means apply to everyone. To people brought up in homes where there is belief in witchcraft and magic Christianity is simply another form of magic.
If I may venture on another analogy, a schoolboy, brought up in England, and with our long tradition of Christian civilisation behind him, may well pray to God to grant that he will make a century in the next school cricket match.
§ Mr. Wakefield
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will listen. The prayer is not answered. But the boy does not automatically reject Christianity because God has not answered his prayer. He goes and practicises at the nets. He believes that God helps those who help themselves. But the African boy who prays for success on a hunting expedition and looses off his ammunition—whether it be in the form of bullets or arrows—and fails to hit his target, thinks that his magic is not operating—that it is an inferior magic—and so he rejects the whole system.
That is only an analogy, and I do not wish to press it too far. But I give it as an example of the kind of stage of mental development with which we have to deal. It gives us some idea of how a movement like Mau Mau could come into being. It originates from a sense of dissatisfaction with the new culture which has been offered, a sense of frustration and failure to develop one's full individuality. That arises from this conflict between two civilisations and two cultures. Mau Mau is not an isolated instance. There was something of the same kind in the Hau Hau movement in New Zealand, and I dare say that the Indian mutiny of 1857 was a phenomenon of similar origin. In Kenya the conflict first became apparent among the Kikuyu because they were the tribe who had advanced furthest in their steps towards acquiring Western civilisation, and they had the closest contact with Europeans.
Some hon. Members of this Committee may think—and I am perfectly certain 1614 that many members of the European community in Kenya will think, if these words ever reach them—"What is the use of all this theorising?. There is an immediate crisis in being and immediate measures are necessary to deal with it." I would say that if we can understand the essential nature of the problem as a whole, it is more likely that we shall be able to deal wisely with the pressing problems of the moment.
We are all agreed about the limitations of what can be effected by military action: but unless we are prepared to contemplate the withdrawal of all Europeans and Asians from Kenya, then the basic problem which arises can be solved only by the reorganisation of African society in such a manner as to make it compatible with Western civilisation and with our Western conception of a free society. How can that be done?
Here I come to my point of agreement with the hon. Member for Rugby. I believe that the most important of all the things that can be done lies in the field of female education. It is absolutely essential that the education which boys get in the schools should not conflict with what they have learned earlier from their mothers. There has to be some synthesis between teaching in the home and teaching in the school, and that can be brought about only by the education of girls and also, I think, to some extent, by adult education of African women. I believe that the wives of settlers could perform an immensely useful task by carrying on social work among the wives of their husbands' employees. That is not asking something which is impossible. In some places where I stayed in Kenya, I found that was being done and was having most admirable results.
I have already taken up a lot of the time of the Committee, and I will not expand the point about female education, because I want to come to another measure which I think could be taken to bring the African outlook into closer accord with our own. There is, of course, no single remedy for the disease I have diagnosed. There can be no panacea. But there is one measure which could, in my view, do more than anything else—far more than the millions of pounds coming from the British taxpayers' pockets 1615 —to bring African society into harmony with that of the West. It is a perfectly simple administrative measure.
The delegation outline their proposals in this regard in paragraph 70 of their Report. We recommend that there should be carried out what is called a "cadastral" survey. No one need be frightened by this term. I believe that a cadastral survey was carried out in Britain in the 13th century or the 12th century, I forget which. If it was carried out in Britain before the middle ages, it should be capable of being carried out in Kenya in the 20th century. It was certainly carried out in India in the 16th century.
Mr. M. Folliek (Loughborough)
The cadastral survey that the hon. Gentleman refers to was the Doomsday Book and it was compiled in 1086 under William the First.
§ Mr. Wakefield
I am indebted to the hon. Gentleman for having given me such precise details.
A cadastral survey consists merely in making a record of the rights of landowners, whether individual or communal, the rights of tenants and occupiers of land, recording the boundaries of their holdings, assessing all the cultivated and uncultivated land, the quality of the soil and the nature of the crops grown. It is a factual record and is an essential basis of all good administration in a community which is predominantly rural. I see the hon. Member for Rugby concealing a smile. May I remind him that he was associated with me in making this recommendation, and I hope that I shall have his support when I outline to the Committee some of the advantages which, I am certain, would flow from the adoption of this recommendation.
First, in relation to the building of a new African society. The status of the individual—and that matters enormously at the present stage of African development—is enhanced if he has defined private rights in land instead of being just a unit in a tribal society. He becomes a man and landowner in his own right. Secondly—and this is very important—when there has been a detailed survey such as we have suggested, it becomes much easier to concentrate communities into villages.
1616 I was glad to hear my right hon. Friend say that it was proposed to establish 320 new villages of which 140 have already been established. He pointed out the advantage of protection that would derive from concentrating communities in villages, and he also reminded us that it would be much easier, when dealing with villages rather than scattered isolated hamlets, to institute medical, health and educational services. Looking to the future, there is something even more important which may grow from the establishment of villages. It is not looking too far into the future to suppose that the more prosperous of these villages will develop in time into small market towns which, in turn, will develop their own secondary industries. Then we shall have a solution of the problem which has been agitating so many people who think about Kenya—the problem of dealing with the inflow of male labour into the single big industrial centre of Nairobi, where there are now five men to every one woman. If we can establish these villages and let them grow into small market towns, that problem may well be on its way to solution.
Another point is that, on the basis of such a survey and the recording of rights, it would be much easier to develop the consolidation of holdings, which has already been started. It is really tragic to see individual peasants with a patch of land up here, a patch of land out there and another one three or four miles away. How can they make the best agricultural use of little isolated patches of land? Consolidation of holdings will bring innumerable benefits to individual peasants.
I have spoken of the advantages of our proposal for a land settlement in relation to the building of a new African society. It has equally great advantages in relation to the Administration. The district officer would be forced by the nature of his duties into the closest possible contact with the people. He would have to learn their language and understand their customs. There has been in the past no such compulsion on district officers in Africa.
In the second place, taxation based on an assessment of the productivity of land provides the Government with a permanent and expanding source of revenue. One of the things which horrified me about Kenya was the existence of the 1617 poll tax. Surely we have reached the stage when people should be taxed not as though they were so many head of cattle, but in accordance with their capacity to pay. The cadastral survey, which the delegation advocated, could form the basis for a new system of taxation which would be fair to the governed and advantageous to the Administration.
A third point is the collection of land revenue. The administration of this system would involve the employment of a considerable number of relatively low-paid African officials who would be able to perform their duties from their own homes in the villages, and who could be given, perhaps, a badge of rank. The value of that would be psychologically enormous, because we would have Africans in the lower social grades taking part in the Administration, and then, in African eyes, the Administration would become not just "they," as it is now, but "we." As Dr. Carothers says in his Report, when Africans feel that they are part of the Administration, loyalty becomes possible. It is not possible now.
We all think that power should be shared. Because we are politicians we think in the main in terms of political power, the exercise of power as a result of elections; but to the Kikuyu living in a remote hamlet of the native reserve, power exercised by a politician in Nairobi does not really mean very much. If he could be given power over his neighbours, as he could be given it in an administration which made use of subordinate revenue officials, that is something which would mean a lot to him. From that subordinate status he would have the chance of rising to a higher job. In fact, a subordinate African revenue staff could play exactly the same part as N.C.Os. used to play in an Indian regiment—a vital link between ruler and ruled. I hope that my right hon. Friend will bring some of these points relating to land administration to the notice of the Royal Commission.
In conclusion, I repeat what I said earlier. Looking at Kenya from a distance, as we are doing today, it seems quite clear that there is now a period of adjustment in the life of the Colony. The current crisis presents an opportunity, unlikely to recur, of moulding African society into a new form, in harmony with our own ideas of a Christian civilisation; 1618 and we must "take the current while it serves, or lose our ventures."
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Mr. C. R. Hobson (Keighley)
I listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Member for Derbyshire, West (Mr. E. Wakefield) and find myself in entire agreement with the sentiments therein expressed. My only regret is that in a short debate like this his speech was delivered rather slowly. With that one animadversion, however, I am in complete agreement with what the hon. Member said.
The hon. Member took up the question of the education of women, a point which was stressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson). I could not agree more, and I say that as one who has visited Kenya quite recently. What I should like to know is whether anybody can tell us how it is to be done. There is quite a lot of tribal reaction against the education of girls, and this has to be overcome. Any steps that can be taken by people who have experience there should be taken, and we ought to start educating the women. There is not the slightest doubt that one of the strongholds of Mau Mau, particularly in the Kikuyu, more so than in the Embu and Meru, is amongst the women.
We are having a very short debate and I think that that is desirable. I hope, however, that in the autumn the Government will see their way to arrange for a full debate on the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation. It is an important document and merits a full debate. When we couple with that the Report of the Land Commission, we could very well have a full debate on Kenya.
The first reason I am against a long debate now is that the new multi-racial Government has only just started and I think it ought to have time to run itself in. Therefore, we ought all to be very careful in our remarks today, so that we give them the opportunity to govern and to take the first step in this great inter-racial experiment.
The second reason is that the Governor has just returned after a long illness. Having met him and knowing his wide and liberal views, I feel that he should be given a chance to take firm hold of the helm, so that he can direct the way and be the liaison between the Colonial 1619 Secretary and the new inter-racial Government. A third reason is that the emergency, to judge from the Colonial Secretary's report to the Committee this afternoon, is apparently becoming less acute and looks now to be well on the way to being eliminated.
The problem of Kenya, as I see it, is that a primitive people are trying within 70 years to arrive at the position that it has taken us 700 years to reach. It simply cannot be done. I am not a Fabian, but I say in this connection that we ought to follow the inevitability of gradualness rather than rush into these things.
One of the strange features of the troubles in Kenya is that its problems arise out of the white man's humanitarianism. Had it not been for the presence of the British, there would have been inter-tribal warfare and no attempt at civilisation. There would have been no hospitals and no attempt to eradicate disease. The development of the African—we ought not to apologise for it—is due to the fact that the white man, and particularly the British people, are in Africa. So far as we can co-operate and help each other, to that extent and in direct proportion will the African reach a higher standard of civilisation. That aspect is often forgotten by those who criticise the white people in Kenya.
I wish to raise two points with regard to the emergency. I am very pleased that "Operation Anvil" took place. My right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) and I made the suggestion in a little document that was circulated to many Members as long ago as October. According to the reports that I have received, that operation has been a success. What I am a little concerned about, however, is the number of escapes that take place from the prisons. This is a matter that should be attended to.
My next point to the Colonial Secretary is a question of administration concerning Nairobi. Is the right hon. Gentleman quite sure that the City of Nairobi is not too big? It has a 52 miles' perimeter. I think there is a case for the breaking down of the City of Nairobi into smaller units and that this would help considerably.
Fortunately, infiltration into other tribes has not taken place on a big scale. How 1620 can it be prevented? One of the reasons there has been a slight infiltration into the Masai-Kikuyu fringe is, I think, that too few of the district commissioners in the area can speak Masai. It is important that we get district commissioners who can speak the local tribal languages.
I have not time to go into the faults and failures of the information services in Kenya. They have been rectified considerably by the work of the East Africa Office and other people here in London. At any rate, the people of Britain now know that the Mau Mau are not boy scouts, but it has taken a little while to sink in.
To deal with the question of information on the spot, I think that there is a need for the development of newsreels. The Africans are very keen on going to the cinema. Let us have a few travelling cinema newsreels. I speak against the background that Kenya is a primitive country, and I hate any attempt at censoring the Press or anything of the kind and I do not want to be misunderstood, but prima facie there is a case for subsidising some of the African newspapers so that really factual and objective news can be pin before these primitive people, many of whom are now beginning to be able to read and write.
Many references have been made to the question of land, and particularly to the White Highlands. As far as I am concerned, I stand by the statement made, I think, on 7th March, 1946, by Mr. Creech Jones, who was then Secretary of State for the Colonies. I should like to know whether what was then stated to be our policy is still the policy of the present Government. What has to be realised with regard to the White Highlands is that in times of drought or bad crops, Kenya just cannot be fed without the help of the European farmers in the White Highlands. Historically, it was never their land, it was the whites who went there and developed it.
When I went through the White Highlands, I saw large units which were not being too well farmed. Obviously, something must be done to implement the Troup Report. Where sections of the White Highlands are being badly farmed, the people responsible should be dispossessed for bad husbandry. Indeed, there is a case for breaking down some of the larger estates into smaller units.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
Would my hon. Friend allow any farmer, whatever his colour—providing that he passed the test of good husbandry—to tender for land to the Land Board in Kenya?
§ Mr. Hobson
No. There is quite a considerable amount of unalienated land in Kenya still available for Africans. We have some form of agreement with these people.
I referred to the statement made by Mr. Creech Jones, and I repeat that I stand by that statement. From what I have seen, I am not prepared to go any further, but I do say that in cases of bad husbandry the people concerned should be dispossessed. I repeat also that there is a case for breaking up the larger farms. Indeed, steps have been taken already to accomplish that, at Molo.
On the question of African land, we have also to consider the question of education. As has been rightly said, we do not want Africans coming to this country merely for the purpose of being trained in law and commerce. We want to turn them into good farmers and craftsmen. That is the prior need of Kenya. We must make them into farmers: that is the most important urgent requirement.
Further steps must, of course, be taken, with regard to irrigation in order to bring more land into use. I remember one remark made to me by a loyal Kikuyu who had been farming and who was brought here for the Coronation. When asked what had impressed him most in London, the Coronation procession, the London Underground, or what, he replied, "A goat that gave more milk than my cow." That is the problem in a nutshell, and I hope that steps will be taken to see that the Africans are given more education in the matter of farming.
With regard to the economic development of Kenya, I believe that it is bound to be essentially an agricultural country. There has been a geological survey, but up to the moment, unfortunately, very few minerals have been discovered. Therefore, the economy of Kenya is bound to be an agricultural one. But that needs capital, too, and in order to attract the necessary capital there must be political stability, and no anarchy.
Regarding secondary industries, I do not think that there is great scope for them. There could be, perhaps, a little 1622 cement-making, some refining of oil near Mombasa, and canning. But such projects would not employ many people, and I think it would be foolish to lead people to believe that there is any great scope for secondary industries there.
I now wish to say a word about the trade union situation in Africa. Quite frankly, I am more concerned about the economic development of the country and about the economic well-being of the people than I am about the constitutional position. I am one of those strange people who believe that political liberty is a by-product of economic freedom, and that much can be done in that direction. I hope that the trade unions will be encouraged, and that we shall arrive at a stage where there can be free negotiations between the trade unions and the employers instead of having wages fixed by the Government by Order in Council.
I am not saying that this can be done all over the country, but it can certainly be done in Mombasa and in Nairobi, particularly with regard to the men employed in the railway and marine shops. I was present at what might be termed a shop stewards' committee which was entirely multi-racial. They were employees of a firm which does the docking and landing at Mombasa, and they were discussing such things as dirty money and mortgages for buying bicycles on hire purchase. I hope that that sort of negotiation will be encouraged.
I also want to say a little about the constitutional rights of the white trade unionists out there. My own union has a number of its members in Africa. Most of these people, of course, work on the railways and cannot take part in any political life, because, it is argued, they are civil servants. I think that wants looking at. We should soon run into trouble if the railwaymen in this country who work in a nationalised industry did not have the chance of becoming Members of this House, or of sitting in the Chair. I hope that steps will be taken to give these white trade unionists in Africa their political freedom.
There seems to be an impression among some people in this country that Africans cannot grow cash crops. In point of fact, the best coffee grown last year was grown by an African. They have a perfect right to grow pyrethrum, tea and coffee, and I think it is just as 1623 well that those facts should be made known.
The housing situation in Africa, just as in this country, is a dire problem, but much good work has been done, particularly by the Nairobi City Council. After all, there are not many whites in Nairobi. I suppose that they number only about 23,000 out of a population of 145,000. The city council are to spend £2 million on housing development in five years. That is a considerable sum of money. I was greatly impressed by the work that had been done in Nairobi in housing the people and in taking them from their mud and wattle huts in North Nyanza, particularly by the tea companies. It is unfortunate that there has been so much bad propaganda about Nairobi. That being so, one is constrained to point out some of the good things that have been and are being done, and the steps being taken for the benefit of the Africans.
I share the views expressed throughout the Committee today wishing this racial co-operation every success. I found a great number of liberal-minded white people in Kenya. They are working hard, and they are not there for amusement. Many of them, when they left this country, were ordinary working people who went to Africa to advance themselves. Like most Britishers who go abroad, they did not, I believe, immediately cast out all sense of decency and fair play. In point of fact, they went abroad to help the Africans to progress.
Not a single discordant Note has been sounded in the Committee today, and I think that the message can go out to Kenya that we will give them all the help we can to make this experiment a success and to make the life of the white, the African and the Asian happy and prosperous. If we do that, we shall certainly have been worthy of the trust placed in us so many years ago.
§ 6.20 p.m.
§ Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)
I am sure the whole Committee will agree with the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Hobson) who has just delivered in the right spirit a most interesting and extremely constructive speech. Time runs on and I shall certainly be brief, as we all want to hear the Minister of State, who is to sum up this useful debate.
1624 I should like to start by saying to the Committee that I only have the right to intervene in this debate in that for a brief period last October and over the Christmas period I was a political nomad in Kenya and Tanganyika, trying to get some appreciation and understanding of the problems which have been expressed to the Committee this afternoon. In the course of doing that, amongst other things, I pursued part of my profession and cross-examined Mau Mau detainees at the Athi River detention camp. I visited a considerable number of Africans as well as meeting many others, and out of these limited experiences and from listening to Europeans I formed a number of opinions. From these I hope I can put some constructive suggestions to the Minister. In each case they are suggestions which have been considered out there and to some extent have the approval of various organisations and experienced persons.
To me it seems we are aiming to do three things in Kenya. The first is to reestablish family life, which to a large extent has broken down. Secondly, we are trying to re-establish the essential community life, particularly in the villages, which has been so interestingly described this afternoon by my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary. Thirdly, we have also to regain—I think that is the right word—respect for the government. By that I do not mean the Governor or the Colonial Secretary, for in Kenya there is a great deal of respect in both cases, but I mean for the word "government." In order to pursue those three objects, there are a few suggestions I should like to throw out for consideration.
I think it is true that with many of the Africans government as such is suspect at the present time, and I believe that a much wider use of the voluntary organisations to be found in East Africa would be of material assistance to the Government in getting the right kind of relations and the right approach to our problems. These voluntary organisations can assist in looking after the health of the people. and I invite the Minister to consider carefully whether the Government would be prepared to give a grant to the Red Cross in order to provide welfare services. It sends out teams of two, a welfare worker and a nurse who go into the plantations and places where the workers are, and 1625 these teams are able to give considerable assistance to the welfare of the people.
Secondly, I invite my right hon. Friend to consider an extension of youth clubs and of the Y.M.C.A., particularly in Nairobi, where the people meet, for it is amongst the youth particularly that the troubles arising from Mau Mau will otherwise continue.
I also ask my right hon. Friend to consider this aspect of the matter. I found in Nairobi that it was easy for a man to get a licence to work, but having got it there was no work for him. Sometimes he joined a trade union, though many did not. The trouble and the thuggery arises from the fact that there are far too few jobs for the number of men in Nairobi. I ask the Minister to bear that point in mind, and to see whether he can limit the number of men in the city in order to find employment for them, and thereby enhance morale.
I will now pass from that point. I hope the Committee will forgive me for being disjointed, but I want to cover as much ground as I can. I would ask that the curriculum in the schools should be carefully supervised, particularly to sec that a standard curriculum is laid down for the schools in Kenya. It seems to me that it is essential that the African, who has no knowledge of the history of Africa, and no tradition and background in that respect, should not be misled by propaganda which in many respects has been extremely dangerous. It lies behind a great deal of the problem.
More important than that is to see that the teachers who are put into these schools are of the finest character, even though their learning may not be very great. It is their character that is important, because, after all, the great majority of these children are going to learn to read and write and perhaps do a manual job. We can expect no more than that, and therefore the character of the teacher will play an important part with them. I put forward that suggestion as one likely to help over the future problems in Kenya.
I entirely agree—and it seems to be agreed throughout the Committee—with the Government's policy that the villages must be the basis of community life. In that connection there are three vital features. The local lord of the manor must be the mayor in the village and he 1626 must have the gift of leadership. Secondly, there is the local policeman. He must be there and must be known. We should not allow these policemen to be moved round too often; they should be widely known and able to maintain law and order.
Thirdly, there are the district officers. They must have a longer period in office in one place and not be moved about. Up in the district of the Sukh three years ago district officers were moved many times; and in the years 1948–49 there were 10 district officers there. It was thought that the Sukh were a nice, amiable tribe and would not get into trouble. That is the wrong attitude. There is no doubt at all from what the Colonial Secretary has said that there will be a change of policy, and it seems likely that district officers will be allowed to remain in the same district. I understand, however, that in the Colonial Service they must be able to secure adequate promotion by going to a higher job and that they have in the past lost that if they were kept too long in one place. Surely that difficulty can be overcome in the general interest of the Service.
I should like now to deal with Mau Mau and I have three points here. This was what I investigated more than anything else and I was immensely impressed by Toxi Lewis, the Commissioner of Prisons, and the staff at the Athi River Camp when I saw their work on that job. First of all the men who have been screened are being sent back into the reserve. Many of them unfortunately are finding no work and are starving. These facts I can confirm to the Minister, for there is abundant evidence. I suggest that they should go back either to the farm or, if into the reserve, they must be assured of work.
My next point is concerned with what I call the confirmed thugs in Mau Mau. There were 500 or 600 of them in the camp and they were confirmed criminals. Anyone with experience of the police courts and our criminal courts had only to look at them and straight away one could see that they were thugs. There was even a facial difference between them and the other men in the camp.
In my opinion, these men must be sent to a separate community where they will remain for the rest of their lives. But if 1627 they are to be sent there, they must be provided with a suitable amount of land to develop and to give them an occupation. The Tana River scheme provides an admirable opportunity for this type of thing. That is why I suggest that we should segregate the worse type of these men into a separate community, at the same time providing them with an opportunity to earn a living.
I pass from that to two other points before I sit down. With regard to those men who have been properly reformed, let them by all means go back to community life, but let us introduce the system which is worked in the Belgian Congo, where a man is licensed and cannot move from a district without obtaining the permission of the district officers. That would give a sort of half-way house between those who are perfectly free and those who are detained. I invite consideration of that system in the Belgian Congo, as it might very well be established in Kenya.
Lastly, I want to say a word about race relations. The whole question is related to the creation of an African middle class. We shall not make much progress until one is created and we get out of the idea that holds in the Hindu mind—the idea which exists at present that he can use the native purely as a hack to do a job. We have to get the Hindu to appreciate that the native has the right to be an artisan, and unless we are prepared to do that we shall not succeed in creating an artisan class.
As to the people themselves and the question of the colour bar or culture bar, let us stress the importance of the purity of the coloured races, of the Bantu races, and let us establish the customs and traditions which they knew in the past but which they are losing at the present time. Let us not seek to Westernise them: let us seek to restore the dress, the dances, the food and the customs of the Bantu races and of the Asians there, so that we may all live in racial harmony one with another.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I wish to apologise to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee who would have liked to take part in the debate. I have given an undertaking to my colleagues who want to discuss other matters 1628 that we shall close the debate at 7 o'clock, and I want to keep that undertaking. But I make the strongest protest against the fact that the Government have not provided time for discussion of this Report when Parliament as a Parliament has sent a delegation to Kenya. We should have been provided before now with a full day in which to discuss this very important Report. I am sure that the Secretary of State must have urged that upon his colleagues. I hope that when we come back in the autumn we shall have the Report of the Royal Commission on land in Kenya. We must then have more than one day to discuss these very important matters.
I had some part in suggesting to the leader of my party some time ago the desirability of this Parliament as a Parliament, with its prestige, sending a delegation to Kenya. I believe that that was a right suggestion and I want to pay a sincere tribute, as I am sure we all do, to the members of the delegation from all sides of the House of Commons. They took up a difficult task during a difficult and dangerous period, and they have done a splendid job. I want to thank each one of them for the way the delegation worked as individuals and as a team. Realising, as I do, what political controversy means, I know that it must have taken a supreme effort to arrive at a unanimous decision. The delegation's Report is a valuable one. It contains a large number of constructive suggestions and quite a number of very important proposals, some of which have been adopted already. I hope that others will be adopted in the future.
I regret that all members of the delegation have not had an opportunity to speak in this debate, and I am particularly sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams) is not able to be here today. From all members of the delegation we have had a clear indication that he played a notable part in their discussions. We all hope that he will soon recover and be back in this Chamber.
We have had from the Secretary of State a survey for which I wish to thank him. It was a long, interesting and important survey which I am sure he will appreciate we shall want time to consider. On the whole, he painted an optimistic—I hope not too optimistic—picture of the 1629 position in Kenya at present. He created the impression that we are moving towards the end of the emergency. Some time ago there was a possibility—I put it no higher than that—that the end might have come quickly by surrender. There was a chance but that chance was missed. All kinds of suggestions are made as to how and why it was missed.
It is a very great pity that it was missed. We are all at one in wanting to defeat Mau Mau, and there are two alternatives. The emergency can grind on towards an end, and none of us would care to forecast how long that would take. The other alternative is that there still might be a chance of surrender. If there is such a chance, I hope that it will be seized with both hands. The sooner and more decisively the emergency is brought to an end the better it will be for the future of Kenya, for ourselves and for everybody concerned.
Many suggestions and criticisms have been made about other aspects of the emergency. My right hon. Friend the Member for Rochester and Chatham (Mr. Bottomley) opened the debate with a speech to which it was well worth listening. I hope that it will have many more readers than the audience that it had this afternoon. All other speeches that have been made have also put forward constructive proposals to deal with this situation. I want to thank my right hon. Friend and all who have spoken for their suggestions.
I have discussed the subject of detention camps privately with the Secretary of State. I hope that he will take note of the warning which my right hon. Friend sounded about the danger of having large numbers of men gathered together in these detention camps with inevitably only the very thinnest supervision. I hope that steps will be taken to avoid that danger. I have been disturbed also about one other aspect of what is, in a sense, part of the operations against Mau Mau, namely, the number of men and women who are sent back to the reserves. Those who know Kenya well tell me that they are very disturbed about the dangerous possibilities of overcrowding in the reserves. I hope that whoever replies to the debate will be able to say something on that subject.
The Secretary of State asked me to send out a message of goodwill to the 1630 new Government of Kenya. I join in sending that message. In addition to the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation, we have all read other reports on Kenya published recently. There is no end to the reports on the subject. I hope that we have all read the Carothers Report, That Report puts the problem in Kenya, in Africa, and elsewhere in a sentence when it states:But it has become only too clear that when European influence impinges on the African, his whole cultural machinery is apt to collapse quite quickly.There is the essence.
We have gone to Africa and taken our civilisation there—all of it, and it is not all good either here or when we take it elsewhere—and it inevitably has the consequence of breaking up the primitive organisation of the people in these territories. Their life is broken up. The responsibility and trust that we bear is that if we go there and take our civilisation with us and break their life, we must integrate them into our own life, otherwise they are in a no-man's land which creates Mau Mau and all the rest of it. That is the problem that faces Kenya now.
In the emergency we have now the new Government and I welcome it. I pay my tribute to all those who have had the courage to join together in beginning to build a multi-racial society in Kenya. Having taken the first step, there is no going back after this emergency. No country, including our own, goes back after an emergency of this kind. Therefore, -they have to go forward. They can use the development plan. I hope that development plan will be carried out speedily. In his report this afternoon, the Secretary of State indicated to us that very considerable progress has been made.
I wish to say how much and how warmly I welcome the proposals and the progress which has been made towards villagisation. What an awful word; why cannot we call it "community development" or "community building"? That is what we are seeking. We are seeking to replace the tribal organisation which we have broken up by another kind of organisation. I hope the Secretary of State will give a direction that this awful word shall not be used any more but 1631 that we shall speak of establishing and building among African people communities in which they can settle together and develop a new community life to replace the old which has been destroyed and which can be replaced after the emergency through which we are passing.
I agree entirely with the emphasis put on education, particularly the education of women. This question disturbed me the first time I went to Africa. There is a small quota of women to train in the colleges. This is of immense importance. I know the difficulties, but they have to be overcome. I particularly emphasise the importance of technical education in all its aspects. The hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) said that what Africa wants is a middle class. He will not mind my saying that we want to help them to build a more democratic community. We cannot build it, but we can help them to do so. The hon. Member will not mind my being class-conscious for a moment. I believe that the real core of a stable society is an artisan class. In Africa we shall have doctors, lawyers and all the professions, but where is the artisan class, which is immensely important—the technicians, as we call them these days? I hope that every encouragement will be given to the development of education in all its aspects, with particular emphasis on technical education and on tackling the very difficult, but supremely important, problem of the education of women.
We are defeating Mau Mau and we hope that soon it will be defeated, but what is to happen then? The only people in Africa who have not got a medium for political expression are the Africans. Europeans have a medium and Asians have a medium, but Africans have not. I am not going to reopen the question whether the Kenya African Union should have been banned or not, but we are looking to the future and, with 1956 not far off, we are building a multi-racial Government in which the Europeans have political organisations. They are creating new organisations and they have an electorate to which they are answerable. Asians have their political organisations and an electorate to which they are answerable, but we cannot build responsible African leadership without African 1632 organisations and without an African electorate in some form or another to whom their representatives can be held responsible.
I do not withdraw a word of what I have said but repeat it now: I think that one of the mistakes was that we did not provide for an African organisation by which Africans could be represented. I think that could be done and I hope that it will be done. Unless we create it, or allow it to be created, above board, in the fresh air, organisations will be formed underground, in the cellars and in the bush. I hope that every encouragement will be given to Africans to build their own political organisation and to build it quickly. Then we could have all three races with their own political organisations working together in government, and this emergency—tragic as it has been—could be made the beginning of the building of a new and better Kenya.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. Henry Hopkinson)
I think the speeches in today's debate have shown very clearly that hon. Members on all sides of the Committee are agreed on the two objectives to which my right hon. Friend referred at the beginning of his speech. That is to say, first, the short-term aim of suppressing the terrorist rebellion and destroying root and branch this evil and barbaric thing which we know as Mau Mau; and, secondly, the long-term objective of building up a genuine, multi-racial system of government, appropriate to the requirements of the Colony, in which members of all races will be able to play their full part. On those two aims we are all agreed. And I believe that the majority of the Committee also agree on the methods to be employed in both. The immediate military situation and the complementary measures which are entailed, to which my right hon. Friend referred, have already been dealt with in much detail. I think they meet with the general approval of this Committee. The by-products of this emergency—the camps, the agricultural works, the irrigation measures and so on—are all bringing great benefits to the community in Kenya.
In this connection, I should like to correct a small point which arose out of the speech of my right hon. Friend. 1633 There seems to have been some confusion as to whether the grants, particularly the grant of £5 million for agricultural purposes, are debatable in this House or not. The fact is that a part of that grant comes from the Colonial Services Vote, but the larger part comes from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
Is there to be an occasion when we shall have an opportunity to discuss the recent grant to the Kenya Government? Will there be a Supplementary Estimate? When can we have a discussion on this matter?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I think that is so, but I will look into the point and let the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Fenner Brockway) know.
On the military side, with its complementary measures, we are following the same methods which have been adopted in Malaya under the skilful guidance of General Templer, and which have transformed the scene in that Territory. Of course, the problem in Kenya is different in many ways. It is a larger and more formidable problem and one which is far less easy to understand. But many of the same principles apply. Military success against the terrorists has to be matched by measures to re-educate and humanise the thousands of unfortunate men and women who have been led so wickedly and recklessly down these evil paths. That was what my right hon. Friend called "the struggle for the minds." At the same time, political development must go forward. It must not outpace social and economic development, but go forward at the same time.
Her Majesty's Government have been greatly assisted in these tasks by the Report of the Parliamentary Delegation, which we are discussing. Several Members of the Delegation have given the Committee speeches notable for their eloquence and content. It is true to say that many of the remedies advocated by the delegation were already under way and have simply been pressed forward to a conclusion. But many others were new suggestions which have been followed up with success. As a result of this visit and of the mass of information coming out 1634 about Kenya—I would refer, for example, to the report of Dr. Carothers which so many of us have read with interest and to the work which the East African Office are doing in London—there is much more known about Kenya and its problems than ever before. But this afternoon we have had an opportunity of hearing new points raised with which I will try to deal as best I can in the short time remaining to me.
Several hon. Members have referred to the trade union situation in Kenya. As in the past, it is still the policy of the Kenya Government to encourage the development of trade unions, and that fact has been recently reaffirmed by the new Council of Ministers.
§ Mr. Brockway
Does that go as far as the delegation advocated, of releasing the trade union leaders in detention?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I was just coming to that point. I recollect very well the recommendation, which was for a review of the records of the trade unionists detained under emergency regulations with a view to releasing those not implicated in Mau Mau. The records have been examined and there is not a single trade unionist detained who was not directly involved in Mau Mau.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
To turn to other aspects of the trade union question, wages councils have been set up on the British model to conduct a full investigation into trades, including tailoring and road transport. As many hon. Members know, the T.U.C. is in close contact with the trade union movement in Kenya. One of the officials visited it only last April and there is a permanent I.C.F.T.U. representative in Kenya. None of the trade unionists has been detained on trade union grounds alone. They have been detained on Mau Mau grounds, and in each case they have been given the chance of appearing before an advisory committee which has confirmed their detention.
I was asked to say something about wages. The Carpenter Committee, which presented the first part of its Report last February, recommended an immediate flat increase of wages for urban workers of 10s. a month, and also a revision of housing allowances. Both those things 1635 have been passed as an interim measure by the Legislative Council and are now effective. There are certain proposals for the future which raise difficulties. There is a proposal for bringing the present bachelor wage up to a family wage two-and-a-half times the present bachelor minimum. It is a complicated question which is being studied carefully by the Government of Kenya. The Report further makes it clear that, despite low cash wages, the unskilled married worker, with his full rations, including posho, and housing, is better off in the country than in the towns. I can assure the Committee that the Kenya Government are watching all these matters contained in the Report very carefully and giving them full attention with a view to the future.
I was asked several questions about the education of women and about the employment of women as administrative officers. Women are employed in the education department in various spheres in administrative jobs and in other ways. They are also doing very good work in the camps and elsewhere and, I understand, in welfare work, including that of many voluntary societies. But I will put to the Government of Kenya the suggestion about the greater use of administrative officers in the camps.
There is no doubt whatever that the Government of Kenya are fully alive to the importance of the general education of women. In fact, this is revealed by the figures. In 1951 the number of secondary pupils enrolled among African women was 148. In 1952 it went up to 451, and in 1953 to 625. So that I think the Government of Kenya, as are Her Majesty's Government—and I speak as chairman of the Colonial Education Advisory Committee—are well aware of the need for increased education.
§ Mr. Hobson
The Kibsgais allow their women to go into homes to work. Is it possible to persuade the Kikuyu and other tribes to do the same and to find out the reason why the Kibsgais are prepared to do what the other tribes are not prepared to do?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I know the great difficulty about breaking down these traditions among the Africans—one might almost call them fetishes—regarding 1636 employment and education. I assure the hon. Gentleman that I will consider the point he has raised.
I was asked about the release of some of the African leaders. I think that the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) made it clear that he was not pressing for the release of those who were convicted, and that it was only those who are detained to which he was referring. The Kenya Government do not accept the implication that all the African leaders have been imprisoned or detained. They consider that there are many outside who are capable of leading, and who are increasingly showing themselves capable of acting as leaders of the African people including the Kikuyus. Regarding those detained, in each case appeals against detention have been made or could be made to an advisory committee which, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, consists of a chairman who is a judge or an ex-judge and some senior administrative officer.
§ Mr. Brockway
Again may I make my point? Is it not the case that of the 17,000 detained, only a few more than 500 have gone to an advisory committee? How is it possible to say that this is a method by which the leaders of the Africans who are in detention can be judged?
§ Mr. Hopkinson
I thought the whole point was that we were talking of the leaders. We are well aware of who are regarded as leaders, and those people have had the opportunity of going before an advisory committee. There is no question about that.
I was asked about African elections both by the right hon. Member for Llanelly and by the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson). I would say that the nomination system is finished. It is only a question of what sort of elections there will be in the future—direct or indirect, or through some form of electoral college. My right hon. Friend is considering this urgently in consultation with the Governor. It is a question of setting up a committee to examine the whole matter to see what is the best method of election for the Africans. But the nomination system is dead for ever.
Reference was made to the White Highlands. I was asked whether my 1637 right hon. Friend will take the same line as was taken by Mr. Creech Jones with regard to European settlers. My right hon. Friend shares the views which Mr. Creech Jones expressed in 1946, when he said that he recognised the value of European settlement to Kenya; and when he said that it was with the assistance not only of the Africans but also of the European settler community that the great benefits which he hoped would accrue to the Africans could be brought about. I emphasise that there is nothing in the present situation, or the future prospects of Kenya, which should deter prospective emigrants from this country from going to Kenya.
The right hon. Member for Llanelly asked a question about surrender terms. I do not think it is necessary for me to go over again the events which led to the failure and breakdown of the last surrender negotiations. All I can say is that at that time, and temporarily, the Government very reluctantly abandoned the attempt to induce a mass surrender, but we are still ready to consider any approach for a mass surrender. The Government will respond to any realistic initiative from gang leaders who are able to influence large numbers of terrorists into surrendering. The original offer of August, 1953, for individual gangsters to surrender, remains open, and we should welcome any steps that may be taken in that direction.
Those hon. Members whose suggestions I have not been able to deal with may rest assured that what they said will be carefully considered in the Colonial Office. We shall make full use of their contributions to the debate. I am sure that the short debate which we have had will be of value, both in this country and in Kenya, by making quite clear what Her Majesty's Government are trying to do and what the Kenya Government are trying to do, as well as by showing the feelings of the House of Commons on the problem. We do not intend to leave any step untaken to bring to an end as rapidly as possible the terrorism of Mau Mau.
We want to proclaim from the House of Commons today to these terrorists that they have no hope whatever of success. We want them to understand that clearly. At the same time, and alongside of this, we pledge ourselves to build up a new Kenya in which all races including the 1638 Kikuyu will have their full and proper part to play. In the forefront of our plan stands the new Constitution, with its multi-racial basis, which will always be associated with the name of my right hon. Friend.
Here, as in so many other parts of the Colonial Empire my right hon. Friend has shown that a combination of imagination and patience, on the one hand, with realism and firmness on the other, can achieve honourable and practical solutions even in the face of the greatest difficulties. In this case it is a settlement which, although it is only a first step, can, I feel convinced, given the good will of men of all races in Kenya, achieve the ambitious aims which we have set before ourselves. It has been said that we are now in a transition stage. I believe that we have passed the turning point and that we are slowly and painfully—and perhaps with many set-backs still to come—finding our way out of this murky wood.
The emergency is not yet ended, but who can say how long it may be before the Mau Mau adherents, losing confidence in themselves and hope of victory, may abandon their resistance? That will be the testing time for the people of Kenya, and above all for the European settlers, through whose genius and energy the fortunes of that country have been built up. The part that they are now playing in expanding the multi-racial system of government, and the imagination which they are showing, leaves me in no doubt as to what the answer will be to this challenge.
I feel sure that with the support of the people of this country, and the Members of this Committee, they will go forward and carry on the task which they themselves have undertaken, and which their parents undertook 50 years ago in Kenya, of fostering the progress, civilisation and Christianity of that country. Therefore, although the immediate future for Kenya may still seem to be dark and insecure, it is my hope and belief that, out of the welter of anguish and suffering through which it is passing, a comradeship and understanding between men of different races is being created, and that this will remain and grow. That is a prospect which must fill us all with hope and encouragement, especially those of us who know and love Kenya, and all of us who 1639 are confident that from this present tragedy will emerge, and is now emerging, a Kenya which is greater, stronger and better than ever before.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
That a sum, not exceeding £47,080,588, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sums necessary to defray the charges for the following services connected with Kenya for the year ending on 31st March, 1955, namely:—
|Civil Estimate (and Supplementary Estimates), 1954–55, Army Estimates, 1954–55 and Air Estimates, 1954–55|
|Class II, Vote 8, Colonial Office||714,660|
|Class II, Vote 9, Colonial Services (including a Supplementary sum of £227,000)||26,475,928|
|Class II, Vote 11, Development and Welfare (Colonies, &c.)||12,500,000|
|Army Estimates, Vote 3, War Office||3,200,000|
|Air Estimates, Vote 3, Air Ministry||4,190,000|
Motion made, and Question proposed:
That a sum, not exceeding £7,763,558, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sums necessary to defray the charges for the following services connected with House of Commons Accommodation, &c., for the year ending on 31st March, 1955, namely:—
|Civil Estimates (and Supplementary Estimates), 1954–55|
|Class VII, Vote 2, Houses of Parliament Buildings (including a Supplementary sum of £34,000)||283,000|
|Class VII, Vote 1, Ministry of Works||4,676,960|
|Class I, Vote 4, Treasury and Subordinate Departments||2,044,132|
|Class I, Vote 2, House of Commons (including a Supplementary sum of £126,000)||759,466|