HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2050-1
34. Mr. F. M. Bennett

asked the Secretray of State for the Colonies whether he is satisfied with the rate of adoption by Africans of soil conservation measures in the Central and Northern Provinces of Nyasaland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Very substantial progress has been made in recent years and there are encouraging signs that Africans in Nyasaland are beginning to appreciate the value of soil conservation measures. The use of contour ridges with tied ridges to prevent the lateral movement of water is becoming universal. In the Northern Province the protection of old gardens is practically complete and new gardens are protected as they are opened. In the Central Province the bunding of one district is almost complete and altogether more than 200,000 acres have been protected since 1951.

Mr. Bennett

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the earlier unfortunate agitation against soil conservation by certain unscrupulous African Congress extremists who were baulked in exploiting land shortage in these areas because there is not any there to exploit, has now come to an end?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I hope that the good results of this work will educate the people in its value.

Mr. Johnson

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what he is doing about Africans becoming assistant agricultural officers in their own Colony, because in Nyasaland Africans are not employed as agricultural officers and they have to go to become officers next door in Tanganyika?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I will look into that matter straight away.