HC Deb 09 March 1955 vol 538 cc440-1
36. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has now received the recommendations from the Governor of Northern Rhodesia for modification of the regulations governing Native Trust Land; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Governor has sought the views of the African Representative Council but it has been unable to make any suggestions for improving the safeguards under the Native Trust Land Order in Council.

I am satisfied that it would not be in the interests of Northern Rhodesia to accede to their demand that all native trust land should become native reserves.

Mr. Hynd

Is the Secretary of State aware that there is a great deal of disquiet about the operation of the Governor's powers to transfer natives from trust land by Orders in Council, as has already been done in the case of the sugar scheme on the Zambesi; and will he not give some assurance to the House, and so to the Africans, that these powers will be operated with the maximum consideration for African interests?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I can certainly give that assurance.

39. Sir L. Plummer

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what efforts were made by Her Majesty's Government to consult the Native Authority before the Northern Rhodesia (Native Trust Land) Amendment No. 2 Order in Council, 1954, was enacted; and what power of appeal is allowed to Africans whose land may be alienated under this Order.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine) on 2nd March.

Sir L. Plummer

Is there to be inquiry held before land is alienated, and can private interests take over land without paying compensation?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Of course, proper regard would be paid before any such action was taken. The wording of the ordinance is that Before any native trust land in any area over which a native authority has been established is disposed of the Native Authority shall be consulted. If the hon. Gentleman has in mind the proposed Kariba scheme, I hope he will recognise that while protecting African interests to the full we are sure that there is real value to the Africans in power developments of this kind.