§ 12.58 p.m.
§ Mrs. Eirene White (Flint, East)
We now turn from the problems of the Metropolis to those of a country far distant from here, and one which is not very often mentioned in this House. But the fact that the country is happily a relatively quiet one should not mean that it ought to be neglected or overlooked. That is why I am glad to have this opportunity of discussing the situation in Tanganyika.
It is some time since problems in that Territory were debated in this House, though they have been recently discussed in another place. By that, I do not mean the House of Lords but before the United Nations in New York. Therefore, I think it only proper that we should take cognisance of the reports presented to the Trusteeship Council, the one by the visiting mission and the other by the Trusteeship Council itself to the United Nations.
There has been a great deal of criticism of the report of the visiting mission both in Tanganyika and among knowledgeable persons elsewhere. I wish to say at the outset that one must have some sympathy with a good deal of that criticism. To take the main point of contention, the visiting mission suggested that it would be possible, here and now, to give a specific target date by which Tanganyika should achieve self-government. I cannot believe that such a procedure would be at all helpful.
It is sometimes useful, when one is approaching near to the point of self-government, to have a time-table of specific constitutional changes. The mission itself realised that it will be a very long time before the people of Tanganyika will be able to manage their own affairs. To try now to fix a specific date so far ahead might be unhelpful in more ways than one. It is just possible that self-government might prove reasonable before that target date, which might then be a limiting instead of a speeding-up factor. However anxious we are for those aims to be achieved, most would agree that a time-table is not necessarily very helpful.
A great deal of space was given in the report to land alienation. I think that 1357 my hon. Friend the Member for Attercliffe (Mr. J. Hynd) wishes to deal with one or two specific points on this subject, but, on the whole, one realises that the Government of Tanganyika have a reasonably good record here in that they have purchased land formerly in non-African hands to be used for African settlement. On the other hand, throughout Africa there is always the keenest anxiety about anything concerning land. For example, it has been put to me that the fact that a chief is normally consulted before there is alienation of land is not likely to be entirely reassuring to the Africans because the chief is regarded as someone dependent on the administration for his office and may therefore find it difficult to resist any requests for the alienation of land for a particular purpose. That should be borne in mind if further alienations take place.
It should be emphasised, however, that the specific policy of the Government of Tanganyika appears to be that, broadly speaking, land for individual occupation by non-Africans is not likely to be forthcoming except in circumstances where it is felt that the Africans themselves have little likelihood of being able to use the land profitably, and where the land can be so used only by people having adequate capital.
The third contentious point of principle in the visiting mission's report was the whole question of what is meant by multi-racialism—multi-racial society and multi-racial government. I hope to return to this point before I conclude. In the meantime, I would agree with those who suggest that the visiting mission might very well have stressed very much more than it did the great need for economic development. I had the pleasure of spending only a few days in Tanganyika last summer as a member of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation. I was in some of the most beautiful places—on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and in Lushoto; but in that short time I learned that the question of communications is one of the most important. It is a vast territory with poor communications in many areas. I visited one school, an excellent institution—a school of natural resources—in the neighbourhood of Arusha. I was told that in the vacation a member of the staff who came from the southern part of Tanganyika 1358 took a fortnight to reach his home because of transport difficulties.
Water supplies are also extremely important—and very expensive. Not much has so far been done about hydro-electric schemes. There are so many things needed in Tanganyika which will cost a great deal of money and which cannot possibly be financed from indigenous resources either now or for quite a long time to come.
The visiting mission seemed to be far too little aware of the very great need for external economic assistance. In fairness, I must say that the local African political organisations also seemed to under-rate the necessity of economic development. They seemed to think that they can get more help from the United Nations organisations than it may be reasonable to expect. It may be that those organisations have been ill-advised as to their expectations from that source. One must realise, however, as one of the realities, that external economic and financial assistance is bound to be needed in the future.
The in mission was, I think, mistaken n its views on primary education. There is no doubt that in Tanganyika, as in many other parts of Africa, there is a tremendous demand for education—far greater than the resources of the Territory can fully meet at present. There should certainly be no complacency about this subject. I am glad to know that there is now to be greater emphasis laid on secondary education. It is essential that there should be some really well-qualified people in Tanganyika who, when the time comes, will be able to take over the administration of government and industry. That stage will not be reached for a very long time.
In the meantime, one particular aspect of education troubles me. The Government of Tanganyika appear to have the strongest prejudice against adult education in the sense in which we understand it. I understand that they do not support the extra-mural department at Makerere University College. It is true that that Department is still in its fairly early days, but I hope very much that Tanganyika will realise that it will be a grave mistake not to provide adult education for the admittedly relatively small minority of those who are able to appreciate such education at the extra-mural level.
1359 It is very important that those people should not be neglected, because it is precisely they who are the potential leaders. It is extremely important that they should have every opportunity of free and frank discussion on an academic level with a first-class mind, which is, after all, the best education one can have. It would be very much to be deprecated if the Tanganyika Government failed to see this and to support any possible extra-mural work which might be provided.
The political situation in the Territory occupied the greater part of the mission's report. It is perhaps true to say that the mission devoted an undue part of its report to this. The fact that those in Tanganyika who are politically conscious are still relatively few on the African side—and less obstreperous, shall we say, on the European side—than, for example, in Kenya, should not make one complacent about the political development of the Territory.
I am glad to know that the new arrangements for the Legislative Assembly are coming into being and that there will be a parity of 10 of each of the three major racial groups on the unofficial side, with four nominated non-officials from each racial group on the Government side of the House. That is a step which has now been expected for some time. For the present, and as far as it goes, we certainly welcome it. It is a perfectly logical step towards the ultimate goal of democratic government in the Territory.
If I might digress for a moment, I was very pleased to see that amongst those nominated were two women. I met Mrs. Marealle when I was in Tanganyika; I have not met the other lady. As a woman Member of Parliament, I should like to send them my best wishes in their new career.
Although we are pleased with this new arrangement, that should not for one moment lead anyone to suppose that this is the final step—no one would suggest that—or even that it is a situation which will necessarily continue for a very long time. I do not think that the three years suggested by the visiting mission is sufficient. I should have thought that those concerned would need a little longer than that to gain experience. But I do not 1360 consider that it would be satisfactory that such a state of affairs should continue for a very long time. For one thing, the members are really too few.
I think the Secretary of State knows that this is a subject on which I feel very strongly. It is always difficult to get individuals capable of serving on the legislative body, but there is a job of education to be done. As long as we have only nine African unofficial members based on constituencies—though that is really not the correct word, because they are not representative but nominated—based on a territorial area, it is simply not enough to carry out the kind of political education that is needed in such a vast country with such inadequate communications. Therefore, I hope that it will not be very long before a rather larger number of people may be associated with the Legislative Assembly at Dar-es-Salaam.
I should also like to know how soon we are to have the electoral principle put into effect in any part of the Territory. It is now quite a long time since we had Professor Mackenzie's Report, in which suggestions were made for elections at Dar-es-Salaam and Tanga. I am well aware that there are proposals for elections in one or two places on a local government basis, but it will be impossible to have national political life on a satisfactory basis unless we make a beginning fairly soon with an electoral system. I fully recognise that it is not suitable at present in all parts of the Territory, but we should at least make a beginning in places like Dar-es-Salaam, where there seems to be a very strong case for it.
I should like to say one other thing on the question of political education. Some of us who have read the observations of the administering authority, that is, the Government, on the report have been disturbed to notice the tone of those observations in dealing with the organisation by Africans of their own political African National Union. This body is not by any means spread over the whole Territory. It has branches in certain places in some strength, but there are wide areas where, as far as I am aware, it has no organisation at all. But it is trying to do something which will have to be done for Tanganyika. It is trying to organise the African people and to 1361 encourage them to take more interest in their society and in the progress of their own affairs.
I am quite well aware that some of those connected with the organisation have not been either as experienced or responsible as one could wish, and that they have made statements which we might call rather wild, but, on the other hand, we are glad to know that there are others who are certainly responsible, intelligent and moderate people. Some of us recently had the pleasure of meeting the President of the Tanganyika African National Union, Mr. Nyerere, and others remember him as a student of Edinburgh University. He represented his organisation before the Trusteeship Council as a representative from Tanganyika.
I should like to read a comment from a leading article in the "Tanganyika Standard" of 22nd March last, referring to a speech Mr. Nyerere made when he reported to a very large open air meeting of Africans at Dar-es-Salaam on his work in New York. Commenting on his speech, the leading article said… all will have read with satisfaction the balanced views expressed on many points and the far more reasonable approach now being made by the Union to local political problems. From what Mr. Nyerere said, it is evident that the Union now realises that some of the more extreme views held by some members have not been practical politics and that, if followed, could well have done irreparable harm to the territory. Realising this, Mr. Nyerere has wisely guided his followers along a far more constructive line of thought.That is a very interesting comment from a local newspaper not necessarily biased in favour of Mr. Nyerere. One is therefore disappointed to learn that he has had to give up his job as a schoolmaster because it appears that the heads of the mission school at which he works feel that his political activities are not compatible with his work in the school. We can have some sympathy with the school authorities, because it is not easy to have a politician on the staff of any school, but, on the other hand, one must recognise the great difficulty in undeveloped territories for educated minorities who wish to be active in politics but see no means of securing a livelihood.
It is to my mind one of the major problems of an emergent African society—the fact that for so many educated persons there is only one possibility of a livelihood, and that is in the Government 1362 service, where they are bound to be politically sterilised, or in the mission service, where they already have difficulties, as in this case. They are not as a rule trained to carry on a private profession, and there are not many opportunities for making fortunes in business in countries with low purchasing power.
I was particularly distressed to learn of the suggestion that the Government will withhold the grant towards Mr. Nyerere's salary during the time when he was in New York, when he went with the permission of his headmaster and had been given leave of absence. I therefore hope that if there is anything at all in the suggestion the Government will do the decent and generous thing and will not prevent the school receiving the grant for the period he spent in New York, because that would be a really shabby thing to do. I therefore hope that there is nothing in this suggestion.
Some of my hon. Friends wish to raise other points, so I will not go very much further, except to say that it would be a very great pity if not only Government circles but also others fail to realise that, where we have people trying to work out their political future for the first time, there are some people who may be attacked as being irresponsible; but potential leaders should be encouraged and not discouraged, and particularly should not be spoken to or written about in a supercilious and superior way. It should be recognised that they are genuinely trying to do their best in an extraordinarily difficult situation.
There is one other point concerning political organisation. I should like to point out to the Minister that we have several times raised the question of the use of the Societies Ordinance to ban branches of the African National Union. Our objection is not that there may not have been good reasons in certain cases for taking this action, but that we dislike the procedure whereby whole branches of the organisation are disbanded and any funds which they may have impounded, whereas we think it would be so much better that action should be taken against the individuals who committed the offences. If anybody is guilty of sedition, that individual should be brought to book; similarly, if there is any misappropriation of funds, as there may be, it is the individual responsible who should 1363 be penalised, and we should not necessarily penalise the whole organisation. I hope very much that the Government will look at this matter.
Finally, I have raised these points, not in a critical spirit, but because I feel that, while Tanganyika has been a happy country for a long time, it is country very much in need of further development, and because I think there is a tendency in the Administration and among the non-Africans in Tanganyika towards a certain complacency, simply because it has been a peaceful country. I would only suggest that it is dangerous to be complacent in any territory in Africa, and that this is as true of Tanganyika as it is of other places that are more in the news.
§ 1.20 p.m.
§ Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
I wish to follow the line taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White). Unlike her, I want to do so in a somewhat critical spirit, not because I have substantial reasons for saying that there have been injustices, but because I have been unable to obtain substantial reasons, even after putting a series of Questions to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to explain what has been going on. We have not yet been given that explanation.
Many of us who know Tanganyika have been interested, and even enthused, by the development that has taken place in its Constitution within the last few years, because we saw possibilities of a new form of multi-racial society which, if it was allowed to develop, might lead to something quite different from the setup in other Colonial Territories. Now we begin to feel uneasy and unhappy about the atmosphere that seems to be developing and which, in my view, threatens to wreck that very valuable experiment.
The difficulties in Tanganyika spring from the Societies Ordinance, 1954, in connection with which I have put my series of Questions to the Government. According to the reply I had on 2nd March from the Colonial Secretary, the purpose of the Ordinance is:to protect Africans from exploitation by unscrupulous society organisers."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd March, 1955; Vol. 537, c. 276.]Under that Ordinance, according to other information which I have obtained 1364 by means of Questions, of the 30 branches of the Tanganyika African National Union only six have been registered and three have been refused registration. These are the Lake Province, the Mwanza and the Malampaka branches. The others have either not been registered or have been refused registration.
I take as a test case the Mwanza branch. According to information that I have been able to obtain, this branch has been suspended and the whole of its property has been confiscated. This has been done in a most ruthless fashion. I have a copy of the notice which was issued to the branches when this course was taken. Here is one which was sent to the Lake Province branch. It is dated 1st November, 1954, and it comes from the Registrar of Societies. It says:I hereby give you notice that in exercise of the powers conferred on me by Sections 8 and 9 of the Societies Ordinance, 1954, I refuse to register the society known as the Lake Province branch of the Tanganyika African National Union on the ground that it appears to me that such society is being or is likely to be used for purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the maintenance of peace, order and good government.I call attention to that phrase" or is likely to be used." There appears to be no direct accusation that the branch has been so used. One must bear in mind that the purpose of the Ordinance is to protect Africans from exploitation by unscrupulous society organisers. If protecting a branch means to wind it up, although it has some 3,000 members, and to sequester its funds and property, one wonders how that can be described as "protecting the Africans from exploitation by unscrupulous society organisers."
A further notice was issued on 3rd November, 1954, to the Mwanza branch by the District Commissioner. He said:I am directed to inform you that in consequence of the refusal by the Registrar of Societies to register the Provincial Branch of the Tanganyika African National Union, of which you were the Secretary, and the declaration of this branch as an unlawful society, the Governor-in-Council has ordered that all the assets of this branch, both movable and immovable, shall vest in me.By virtue of this Order dated 29th October, 1954, I hereby order you to deliver up to me within 14 days from the date of this letter all movable assets of the Provincial Branch of the Tanganyika African National Union, together with a statement, certified as correct by you, of all immovable assets (if any).1365 That is a rather peremptory method of dealing with possibly some tactless remark on the part of an branch official; the whole branch is wound up, the property of 30,000 or more members is sequestered and they are left without representation at all.
I put a series of Questions to the Minister asking what the Mwanza branch of the Tanganyika African National Union had done. I was told by the Minister that the branch was being usedfor purposes prejudicial to peace, order and good government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December, 1954; Vol. 535, c. 959.]I asked, on 23rd March, if the right hon. Gentleman would tell methe unlawful or unconstitutional methods adopted by the Mwanza Branch of the Tanganyika African National Union which occasioned the refusal of registration and sequestering of the branch's property.The answer I got several days later was that the Registrar of Societies refused registration because he was satisfied that the branch was being used in the way described. The Minister added:I do not think it would be in the public interest for me to add to that reply."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th March, 1955; Vol. 539, c. 25.]We are responsible for the administration of these Territories, and we are entitled, on their behalf, to ask for the justification for such action, if there is justification. I can imagine that there might be justification, but surely we can be told. Surely the people in the African Union ought to be told. If officials have done something wrong they could be removed, not the branch be called upon to surrender all its funds and property. These people are entitled to be told what offence they have committed, and that answer should be given to this Parliament. I cannot see how national security or anything of that kind could be affected if that information were given.
I have tried to find out. I understand from the secretary of the union, Mr. Nyerere, to whom reference has already been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East, that the officials of the Mwanza branch were accused of making near-seditious speeches. How near I do not know. If it is the case, and if officials have done wrong, action could have been taken against them and not against the whole branch.
1366 I understand that the two officials concerned are Mr. Isaac Munanka, president, who was previously a clerk in the Provincial Administration, and Mr. Abdul Kandoro, the secretary, a teacher. If those people can be described as professional agitators, it would be interesting to know how they got into the profession.
I understand that a protest has been made by Mr. Nyerere, who strikes me as a most responsible African. He is very concerned about racial relations and about the constitutional operations of his organisation, whose purpose has always been regarded as lawful. If the organisation is registered as a whole, so should its branches be. Mr. Nyerere informs me that all that the branch has done is to make protests on certain local matters, such as cattle pens and crop funds. I can hardly think that such matters are seditious. It is the purpose of an organisation of this kind to enable grievances to be brought, in a proper constitutional way, to the notice of the authorities. if that is the kind of matter they have been protesting about, I can see nothing unconstitutional or unlawful.
I have asked the Minister to tell us why this action has been taken, and I am still waiting for an answer. I understand that the officials concerned were properly elected by branch ballot of the 3,000 members who appear to be quite happy about the result. I beg the Government to tell us why these branches have been closed down. There may be some good reason. If there is, will the right hon. Gentleman let us know? If the officials are at fault, let him deal with the officials.
We can all understand the effect that actions of this peremptory kind have upon the African people. I have read the letters that were sent to these branches, covering 3,000 or more members, whose funds and property were taken away without any explanation of any kind, except that the branches were being used by certain officials for undesirable purposes. This can have no good effect upon racial relations. The reason Mr. Nyerere is so concerned about it, with many of his colleagues, is that they, like us, are anxious that the experiment which has been developing in Tanganyika in multiracial relations should be allowed to succeed.
1367 In view of all the examples around them—especially in Kenya, and in Uganda, on the other side of Africa—and with all the agitation which is going on in the world and the temptation for people to adopt unconstitutional methods in order to bring grievances to light and have them adjusted, surely the most necessary thing is to be not only tolerant but generous in the methods by which we enable them, constitutionally, to air their grievances and bring them to light.
Without taking up any more time of the House, I ask the Minister to give us some more information upon this matter. Unless we receive it many of us will be completely dissatisfied, and will use every possible means at our disposal to try to obtain this information and clear up the situation.
§ 1.31 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)
Hon. Members on both sides of the House are grateful to the hon. Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) for having raised—not for the first time—a very interesting subject upon the Adjournment. We did have a debate upon Tanganyika fairly recently—shortly after I came back from East Africa, at a time when the Overseas Food Corporation's assets were transferred to the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation—but I agree that Tanganyika certainly deserves frequent discussion in the House, and I am glad that an opportunity to do so has arisen today. I should like to say how sorry I am that by rising now I have prevented one or two other hon. Members from speaking—and also that the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson), who had intended to be here, is ill.
The hon. Lady referred to the report of the visiting mission. I have made the constitutional position quite plain here, as have the Government of Tanganyika in that country. It is our intention to administer Tanganyika under and according to the Trusteeship Agreement. We are, therefore, obliged to transmit information to the United Nations and to study any recommendations that may come from it—and we are very glad to do so—but the undivided responsibility for the Government of Tanganyika rests with Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Tanganyikan Government, and it 1368 must be for us, and us alone, to settle what is in the best interests of the people for whom we are trustees.
I do not want to spend too long upon the report itself, and I shall try to deal with the various points which have been made. I cannot do better than sum up the feelings of some of us about the report by referring, as I did on a previous occasion, to the accumulated substructure of error in it, which really vitiates its value. I invite hon. Members to read the report in conjunction with that of the visiting mission in 1951, for the developing situation which exists at present springs from that which, in 1951, earned the commendation of that visiting mission. The contrast between the two views of the same developing situation leaves those of us who have direct responsibility for Government rather puzzled. I think that we can have a very useful debate upon Tanganyika—short though it is bound to be—and deal with some of the solid achievements that have taken place, without spending too much time upon a report which, seen in perspective, is of only passing interest.
I am glad that the hon. Lady referred to the need for economic development, and the astonishingly little attention paid to this aspect by the visiting mission. She mentioned the question of communications. I came into the House today in the middle of a discussion upon London Transport with a number of my colleagues, with whom I was associated when I was Minister of Transport. They were talking about the value of communications. I came straight to my present office from the Ministry of Transport, and I am not likely to forget the real value of good communications.
I opened the new airport at Dar-es-Salaam, and I have seen something of the Southern Province railway and the new deep-water berth at Tanga and Dar-es-Salaam and the new port of Mtwara, which are real signs of the development of communications. I agree that much remains to be done, but the Government of Tanganyika are fully conscious of that fact and are driving ahead as fast as resources allow.
We have all watched with sympathy and enthusiasm the efforts to build up an African middle class in Tanganyika—a propertied African class with a share in the equity, as the Governor described it.
1369 In that connection, I would mention the Newgla water scheme, with the shareholding interest in African hands, the growing of wattles by Africans for the C.D.C., and various projects of that kind. We also know of the growing need for water in this vast territory, and our good wishes will be expressed at the successful conclusion of the surveys in the Kilombero-Rufiji basin and elsewhere, for upon the proper development of water supply largely depends the economy of that country.
We have also watched the growth in the production of tobacco and timber, and the growing of food crops; the experiment of the Tanganyika Agricultural Corporation, under its really live leadership, and the immense new capital which has been put into the diamond mines, which I know the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) has visited, as I have. These, along with sisal, coffee and cotton, now form the main production of Tanganyika.
We are all anxious to promote a steady development of education and social services. I join with the hon. Lady in hoping that there will be a steady and even increase in progress in education, and we are entitled to give, and the Government of Tanganyika are entitled to receive, congratulations upon the progress that has been made. Now that we are nearing the end of the 10-year period it looks as though the Tanganyika Government will exceed the target of 36 per cent. of all children of primary school age receiving a primary education.
We also watch with sympathy the development of the education of girls and women, the growth of the new technical institute at Dar-es-Salaam and the possibilities which, one day not very long ahead, it will open up. We all wish the greatest possible success to this new institute. The hon. Lady seems to feel that there is a certain amount of hostility in Tanganyika to adult education. I can assure her that that is not the case. The Government of Tanganyika have had to lay down their own priorities, and have been driving ahead with great vigour in primary education, but that must certainly not be taken to mean that they are not interested in adult education.
The British Council and the Social Development Department of Tanganyika are running some courses and evening classes 1370 in various subjects—not of a very advanced nature, it is true—and are now considering whether this work should be carried out by Makerere College. The Government of Tanganyika are watching the pilot scheme in Uganda, and upon the success or otherwise of that scheme they will make up their own minds about the system which they should institute in Tanganyika.
I believe that the House knows—the hon. Lady certainly does—that plans are on foot for a higher education college in the Territory, which would be affiliated to Makerere. Side by side with this social development there has been a considerable improvement in the health services, with the great new hospital which is planned for Dar-es-Salaam and a great new emphasis upon African housing. From constant talks with the Governor and his senior officials and others I know the real attention which is being devoted to the increase in decent African housing, especially in the towns and townships.
There has also been a growth of local government, with four multi-racial town councils, the first county council in the Lake Province, and the greater responsibility which is being given to the district councils. All this has been achieved, and is being achieved, in an atmosphere of really good race relations, with confidence and trust in the Government, with the Christian missions playing a very helpful part both in social and educational work, and, generally, a feeling that people are pulling together.
It is against this background that we must view some of the resentment that many of us feel at the way in which the visiting mission's report was actually worded, the exaggerated importance that was given to the views of one section without regard to the views of many others, probably far more representative, the undue stressing of political as opposed to economic development, the absurdly unrealistic target dates which the hon. Lady herself was frank enough to recognise, the attack on parity which, as I had something to do with it when I was Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, in 1951, i know to be the proper line of approach for Tanganyika at this time.
It is interesting to read some of the speeches that were made when this matter came before the United Nations, even by 1371 those who took part in the work of the visiting mission itself. One is left to wonder whether they had altogether appreciated the way in which their words would come out when they appeared actually in the report. The general attitude shown by the Trusteeship Council when they looked at the matter was one with which, on the whole, the United Kingdom could agree, and, indeed, we would have voted for the Trusteeship Council's recommendations with all the praise they gave for certain achievements of the administering Power, had it not been for two particular resolutions which we found it impossible to accept.
In one resolution we were asked to agree that before the administering authority granted rights of occupancy of land to non-Africans, consultation must take place with the Africans concerned and their consent must be obtained. Of course, consultation always takes place, but the Government must really be free, as any Government must, to make up their mind in the last resort what is to the advantage of the territory as a whole. No Government in this country nor anywhere else would tie themselves to be obliged to secure consent, provided proper attention was given to consultation.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
Is not one of the difficulties the fact that consultation is sometimes with chiefs who are far removed from the people concerned? In addition, there are people who have for generations been living on land—indeed, it is the very policy advocated by the party opposite regarding land in this country when it is taken over by the Government. Surely they should be the people who should give consent to the transfer.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I agree that it would be a great mistake to assume that in every case every chief speaks with the full authority of his people. Due attention must be paid to the fact that sometimes chiefs are unrepresentative. It is true that a great many people frequently lay claim to the same piece of land, and if the Government had to get the consent of all the rival claimants no executive action would be likely to be taken.
The second resolution to which we were bound to take exception was that the administering authority, while educating public opinion to put an end to racial 1372 discrimination, should, if necessary, adopt penal legislation to achieve this end. I yield to no one in my dislike—indeed, detestation—of the colour bar. I think hon. Members on both sides of the House will do me the favour of recognising that that is sincere. But I am certain that the end of this sort of bar and discrimination will come not through legislation but through education and the growth of trust and friendship.
The hon. Lady asked me a number of questions and I will attempt as best I can, in the short time available, to give her answers. She referred to the relatively small number of Africans in the Legislative Council, but she quite rightly recognised that this is just one stage in the development of Tanganyika. Until March of this year there were seven Europeans, four Africans and three Asians on the Legislative Council. Now there will be 10 Africans out of 30 on the representative side, and four unofficial Africans, including one woman, on the Government side. This new Council will meet for the first time on our Budget day, 19th April.
The hon. Lady then referred to the development of common roll elections as suggested in the MacKenzie Report. The Government of Tanganyika have already made it clear that when the new Legislative Council is established, it will be asked to consider the introduction of common roll elections in specified areas where there is a genuine demand and where it is practicable. I myself, and I think all of us, will watch with the greatest sympathy this most important experiment. It might, for example, take the form of a combination of the common roll and a fixed proportion of seats. I do not know precisely how it will work out, but I am wholly convinced that an attempt must be made.
The hon. Lady and the hon. Member for Attercliffe (Mr. J. Hynd) referred to the Tanganyika African National Union. The hon. Lady said she was somewhat disturbed by the tone adopted by the administering Power towards this union. I can assure her that there is no hostility whatever to that union. High resentment sprang not against the union but against the report in large part because of the undue importance attached to the views of the union by the visiting mission. After all, there are 80,000 1373 Africans in Dar-es-Salaam, and the union has never claimed to have more than 162 members, though they have a much higher membership outside Dar-es-Salaam in the country as a whole. There are 8 million Africans the greater proportion of whom do not belong to the Union. There is no intention whatever of showing any hostility to the union when properly constituted, and as for the president, Mr. Nyerere, I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was recently in Dar-es-Salaam and I know that as he was once a temporary member, at the Governor's wish, of the Legislative Council, there is every desire to take the fullest possible advantage of his undoubted talents.
The hon. Lady asked me about the fact that Mr. Nyerere was no longer a teacher in the mission school. I am grateful to her for having given me advance warning that she was going to ask me that question and, indeed, other questions. The priest who is the headmaster of the school asked Mr. Nyerere to reduce the amount of time that he spent in extra-school activities. I think that the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Fenner Brockway) may be particularly interested in this point. After all, school has to be run regularly by schoolmasters. When the headmaster saw that out of a total of 12 failures among all candidates for this school in the recent school certificate examination, nine were in subjects taught by Mr. Nyerere, he came to the conclusion that perhaps Mr. Nyerere spent not enough time in school and too much in outside activities.
In tendering his resignation, he said that he quite understood the position which had been explained to him in writing, that he ought to cut down his extra-school activities if he wanted to stay at the school, with no reference whatever to political questions. I do not know about the suggestion of a loss of salary. I will take it up and will communicate with the hon. Lady.
Finally, I was asked by the hon. Lady and the hon. Member for Attercliffe about the registration of societies. It is true that three branches have been banned and six have been granted registration. I believe that another six are now under consideration. The Societies Ordinance 1374 is there to protect people against fraudulent exploitation, and largely financial exploitation. The Governor, in a society like Tanganyika in her present state of development, can declare a society illegal if, in his view, its conduct is or is likely to be prejudicial to peace, order and good government.
The sources of information which are open to the Government are frequently of a very confidential kind, and I have always, as have my predecessors from whatever party they may have come, refused to give reasons when, in our view, it is not in the public interest to give reasons as to the information brought to the authorities about certain individuals. All three societies that have been banned have their right of appeal to the Governor in Council. Not one of them took advantage of that right of appeal, and that really is the opportunity to have the argument threshed out by the Governor in Council. I hope the time will come when all societies that want to set up in Tanganyika will have the informed and disinterested leadership that they need.
The hon. Gentleman asked me about what happened to the funds. The registrar has a duty in each case to have the claim for the disposal of the money confiscated by the Government transferred, and the Government, naturally, bear in mind the interests of the people from whom the money has been collected.
I must apologise for not having dealt with every point brought up in the debate. I hope the time is not far distant when we can have a much fuller discussion of Tanganyika, in view of its very remarkable story and enormous hopes for the future.
§ Mr. J. Hynd
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us why it is that the branches have been wound up while the charges against individuals have not been dealt with? That is what we are concerned about.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
If it were possible merely to apprehend the ringleader and substitute somebody else, that would be the simpler thing to do, but in the present state of development, in which there is no security, the next chairman or treasurer of a society would be in a difficult position, and it is much better to wind a society up, and to wait until the leadership comes along.