HC Deb 16 July 1957 vol 573 cc931-2
10. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what provision is being made by the Government of Kenya for the Ahoi younger sons and others, who were able to farm their own land under tribal custom before the land consolidation schemes deprived them of this right, to buy or lease land in other parts of Kenya.

Mr. Profumo

No person who is farming his own land under tribal custom is being deprived of his land rights. On the contrary such rights are being ascertained and confirmed by a formal process. Ahoi and others who have no land of their own will now be able to buy and lease land by a simple and cheap procedure which will provide a certainty and security hitherto unknown to customary law. They will also have the opportunities described in my reply to the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway on 8th March. The land needs of younger sons present a problem only where there is a shortage of land. They will be more easily met by these new processes, which make it easier to acquire or lease land.

Mr. Pargiter

Am I to understand from that reply that adequate land is available for the whole of the Ahoi younger sons and others, provided, of course, that they are able to buy or lease it? Will the facilities be such that they can readily acquire the land or will there be created a landless class of peasants who are forced to enter other occupations?

Mr. Profumo

I think that if the hon. Member reads my reply, which is carefully worded, he will understand the situation. If he has any particular question which he would like to ask after that, I will do my best to answer it.

Mr. Baldwin

Is my hon. Friend aware that the tribal system and the breaking up of land leads to fragmentation and soil erosion and that, if something is not done to stop it, much of the land in Kenya will be as productive as the Sahara Desert? Is he aware that land consolidation is doing a grand job in these tribal areas and that, although there was resistance at the start, the people are now welcoming the scheme which is operating?

Mr. Profumo

That is so.

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