§ 11.4 a.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Rugby)
I beg to move,That this House takes note of the findings of the Royal Commission on Land and Population in East Africa; recognises the need for land reform, improved agricultural techniques, efficient marketing schemes and industrial development, and the necessity for raising African standards of living by means of better education, housing and health services; and, taking into account the increasing African population and the consequent congestion in certain areas, calls upon Her Majesty's Government to encourage the necessary capital investment and, in co-operation with the leaders of all sections of the local communities, to proceed with further constitutional advances.We have waited for some time for a debate upon this subject. I consider myself lucky to have been successful in the Ballot and so to have been able to initiate this debate. I hope that the Minister will accept this in the spirit in which I say it, but I believe this delay to be a minor scandal. This morning The Times uses the term "scurvily" in describing the way in which the Government have acted in making us wait for so long for a debate upon this important Commission's findings. The usual channels must have been blocked in this case. I read the Report in 1955, and I have read it again. While I am lost in admiration for the work clone by Sir Hugh Dow and his colleagues, it would he quite absurd for me to attempt to summarise it. It is about 480 pages long, and the Governors' dispatches alone consist of 200 pages. I shall not therefore inflict upon the House any long and boring quotations.
766 The authors are so lucid and logical that one can summarise or attempt to put the meat of the Commission's findings under four headings. First, the Commission states that East Africa is poor; secondly, that the resources of East Africa are immense and can be vastly expanded; thirdly, that this expansion will come only if the African population turn over from their subsistence methods of farming to that of a cash economy, which can be done only with the assistance of outside capital and with European techniques and technical skills; and, lastly, that racial discrimination impedes this expansion, and that therefore all restrictions must go, even those aspects of State intervention which guard the indigenous peoples.
One would scarcely call this a Socialist document, and although we welcome some of the findings, such as that which stresses the need to sweep away aspects of discrimination, other findings are not acceptable to hon. Members on this side of the House. One part of the Report speaks of not being in favour of trade unions, which was rather a shock to me. This laissez-faire outlook and devil-take-the-hindmost attitude is in my view —and I am heartened to find that the Governors and Ministers also take this view—most unfair, in African conditions.
In fact, this sauve qui peut will serve only to expose the African to the full blast of an economic revolution with no more freedom than it gave to British workers and farmers during the nineteenth century Industrial Revolution. It undoubtedly brought economic progress, but at what social cost? I am delighted to find that the Governors and their advisers think along these lines. They do not believe that at this stage it is advisable to introduce some of these measures.
One could argue all night about the details, but what do we really get out of this Report? First, is it acceptable to the peoples of East Africa themselves? It is a great pity that the authors of the Dow Report, by their terms of reference, are not allowed to discuss or make any comments about local politics, either territorial or inter-territorial, because it is my view that we cannot solve these economic problems without having first come to grips with the political difficulties and found some kind of solution to the political headaches of the moment. 767 Of course, they could not do that, but when they come to discuss inter-territorial activities they are inhibited because the logic would be to go on and say that we should have a Federation of East Africa. Of course, they cannot say that because at the moment any question of federation or amalgamation would be dynamite, in view of the conditions one sees in Central Africa.
As I see it, the job is, so to speak, to sell this Report to the peoples of East Africa. Tribalism is still very much alive in East Africa. The Africans are suspicious, have been for a long time and will be for some time to come, of new ideas. But it is vital that they should participate in these new measures. When I went to Embu a short time ago, I was happy to see how well land consolidation was going on there. Why is it going so well in the Central Province and not so well, perhaps, in Nyanza? It was going well in the parts that I visited, because the Africans there felt that they were part of it. The Kikuyu elders had themselves been in on the inside. They were deciding what should be done. The Africans felt that it was their job—this matter of land consolidation.
The second main conclusion that I have come to about the Report is that East Africa needs capital. Sir Arthur Kirby said that it would take about £200 million to implement the recommendations of the Commission. I think that the Secretary of State for the Colonies said that it might take £250 million, or even more. That poses a number of questions. Hon. Members opposite may feel that East Africa needs capital much more than capital needs East Africa. They may say, "If we were to scare capital away from East Africa it would go to other parts of the Commonwealth". That may well be so.
Since we need capital so badly for docks, harbours, communications, education and housing, it is important that there should be political and social stability so that the people will feel at ease and work there whatever their colour, and will invest their money on a multi-racial basis. All communities must co-operate in the matter because stability means that capital will not leave East Africa. It may go to Victoria in South Australia. I was talking yesterday to one of the leaders of 768 Victoria. He said that Holden Motors in Melbourne last year made a clear profit of £8 million and paid a dividend of 30 per cent.
If that is so, one can see how delicate it must be for other parts of the Commonwealth in competition with South Australia to tempt capital to themselves. If I may, I will quote what the Governor of Tanganyika said on this matter in the dispatches from the Governors. In paragraph 36, on page 163 of the dispatches, he said:As I understand the argument, it is that industrial development of East Africa is hampered by the long term investor's fear lest the goal of self government should lead to a period of instability, coupled with the African's fear lest immigrant capital and enterprise should insulate him from opportunities for economic advancement.He goes on to say:It would be idle to pretend that such fears do not exist.But he also says, and here I am with him such more, perhaps, than in what he said in his first statement:What deters him "—the investor—is not the political but the economic immaturity. By that I mean the insufficiency of communications, of housing, of factory services, and last but not least of skilled labour.All those factors must be taken into account when we think of the vital need to attract the capital which is needed so badly in that East African territory.
It is not surprising that this Blue Book is loosely called "The Land Report." In fact, its longest chapter, one-quarter of the whole Report, is about land. Land is the heart of all East African problems and is nearest the heart of the African himself. To the African, land is so to speak, the visible and tangible security of his life. This deep concept of the African has its roots in the spirit. To him it is a mystique. Land is not only a matter of mystique to the African; it is also his social insurance.
If we face up to this matter, we must also face up to the fact that in the last fifty years, since the turn of the century and since the white man came to the territory, the African's own methods of acquiring new land have gone. In the old days, he fought for land or cut it 769 out from the forest. Today he is penned within his tribal boundaries and is fighting a losing battle for self-sufficiency on a subsistence basis. He Looks across from his boundaries and sees the white man's land. No African tribe clings to its land more tenaciously than do the Europeans in the White Highlands. I do not say that the Masai and other tribes will fight to keep their land, but sonic, of course, feel that way about it.
I feel that this Maginot Line complex must disappear. Why could not the Europeans be asked to lease land to the Africans and the Asians? I think that is possible, but I agree with the Governors that it would be difficult to allow Asians and Europeans to go to the Kikuyu Reserve to buy land. I would say that for ten years we should not allow anyone to go into the African land units, and then only with the consent of the Governor. We ought to be very careful in that connection.
I hold that East Africa is beginning to suffer from a period of desiccation which makes it all the more important that we should conserve the water and that the Africans should change over to the newer and more scientific techniques of farming. Again, I agree with the Commission that land should be owned individually and should become a mobile negotiable asset, but that should only be done if it is acceptable to African opinion. We must proceed carefully and work with the Africans towards that end, as we are doing at Embu.
I think that here land consolidation is booked for a happy future if we work on those lines, and I estimate that within two years we can consolidate most of the Central Province and indeed other parts of Kenya and be well on the way to what the Swynnerton Plan suggested, of 600,000 peasant farmers, all earning good money. I am not so optimistic as Mr. Swynnerton. I do not think that we shall get 600,000. We might get a quarter of a million. Africans, like many other people, like a good meal and plenty of time in which to digest it. We are asking a lot of them when we suggest that they should move over to our economy and should work like people in the West who have a mercantile economy, who work in shifts for paper money, possess negotiable assets and title deeds, which are all new to the African who is now just emerging 770 from his own tribal economy. I do think that Mr. Swynnerton is somewhat optimistic in talking about 600,000.
Mr. Michael Blundell is also optimistic in thinking of having at some future time, I do not know when, an output of about £70 million from African farms in Kenya. All that will mean that if we move over to this new economy we must ensure that we do not have, as the noble Lord the Member for Hertford (Lord Balniel) said, an emerging class of landless ones—"Uzbednicki" as they were called in the Soviet Union. Such people are to he found all over the world moving from the land to the towns, and so in East Africa we may be faced with the problem of these homeless ones, these landless ones, moving out of their tribal areas.
The answer in the past has been the provision of secondary industries, but although there is a booming industrial estate in Nairobi—and I am told that about 47,000 Africans are working in Kenya secondary industries—I cannot visualise the basis of a highly industrial sector or segment in Kenya. I am apprehensive when I look at the magnificent new office buildings in Nairobi and wonder what lies behind them. For Kenya has no coal, no natural gas, no oil, no iron ore or water. And the prime mover behind this changeover to an industrial economy is the need to absorb not 47,000 but perhaps 250,000 of these landless people who in the future will move out of their villages into the cities.
We must remember that the African likes the big cities. He wants to come to the big towns and we have to cater for him. As Tom Mboya so sapiently said in his maiden speech, if there is what might be termed "wastage" in education; if many families come into Nairobi and elsewhere, the youngsters who leave school at the age of 11 and 12 will be found on the pavements of Nairobi, and they will turn into little "Teddy boys." Somehow or other we must lengthen their educational life to at least eight years so that these youngsters do not become idle and shiftless and a menace to society.
Our biggest headache in Africa—even if all the recommendations are followed up—anti the problem that we must face is that of absorbing these people into an industrial economy and an urban society. When I go to Salisbury and Nairobi I am 771 disturbed at the sight of these "urbanised spivs," people who have lost their land, who are without their old tribal discipline, with its taboos and sanctions, which they have exchanged for a more or less individualistic urban life.
In considering this question of secondary industry one often finds that labour conditions are unsatisfactory. Of course there are some first-class modern factories like that of the East African Tea Company, where conditions are good. There the meals for the workers are popular, and there is a first-class canteen. But so often we find evidence of the old vicious circle—low wages and low output. Somehow we must raise the wages of the African workers.
In Salisbury recently Garfield Todd told European business men that it was in their own interests to pay better wages to African workers. Not only would that result in greater output, but there would be a larger consumer economy. By their numbers alone the African would increase the number of customers for the shops. He said that in Southern Rhodesia there was a purchasing power among the African amounting to £45 million and in the Federation the figure would be £100 million. That is a most important factor, and although we may talk about discrimination in the shops, sooner or later, if Africans come to buy with their own money, the people behind the shop counters must be better behaved towards them. The fact remains that here is this purchasing power which will increase, if the Africans are paid better wages and an increased output results.
Everyone I met in East Africa is agreed that the Commission has made a sensible statement about co-operatives. There is no doubt whatever that it is a medium which suits the African idiom and the African's way of life. In Kenya there are more than 330 of these cooperative societies like the Meru Coffee Co-operative, with a turnover of £180,000. I believe that not only should we have consumer co-operatives but producer co-operatives as well. In Ibadan there is a magnificent bank built by the consumers' co-operative society. There are shops in West Nigeria painted black and white so that everyone knows they are co-operative shops. A first-class job is being done there in safeguarding 772 people against the sharp tactics of some members of the shopkeeping class in the Colony.
Uganda is also doing well with an educational scheme for shopkeeping and efforts to help the Africans into a middle-class society. There are Africans of substance who are moving up in this way into a middle-class society. That will provide a stable element and create Africans with a stake in society who will have something for which to live and to work, so that partnership will mean something more to them than is contained in the phrases so often used in speeches. Therefore I urge, full steam ahead in the development of co-operatives in East Africa and in other parts of the continent.
Fifty years ago Kipling said, "Transportation is civilisation," and it is quite obvious that communications precede rather than follow economic development. One must have the communications, and I admire the vision of some Members of this House who fifty years ago, spent £9 million in building a main artery between Mombasa and the Lake. That represents a lot of money now. I am happy to say that the recent City loan for the East African docks, harbours and railways was over-suscribed. Sir Arthur Kirby asked for £8½ million—and got it easily—and I think it was £3 million for the post and telegraph, when that loan was floated on the London market.
The High Commissioner services are doing a first-class job, and railway passenger and tonnage figures could be quoted. In the last six or seven years telephones in the High Commissioner services have gone up from a figure of 12,000 to about 50,000. That is a significant fact in the life of a community which depends on the spoken word being transmitted over long distances for business and commerce. Where do we wish to have development by the High Commissioner transport services? I submit that we have need of them for Western Uganda to the fabulous Mountains of the Moon. There are far too few mining areas in East Africa. Even more important is the fact that we need a "North—South backbone," an artery going from East Africa down to the Federation, particularly in north and south Tanganyika. A main railway is 773 needed there, and a main road paved for all-weather purposes and up to first-class standards.
It is important that we should open up south Tanganyika. About £20 million may be needed to take the line to the coal fields at Songea in the west, not only as a means of opening up the coal fields, but for the whole of the East Coast to the Lakes, to Nyasaland and into the heart of the continent. It is very important that we should take a chance and spend some money in building that line in south Tanganyika. If we do not do that other people will come in. For long the Germans have looked at Tanganyika, which they controlled at one time. Canadian and American money is about, and one can see that other nations will come into that part of the world if we ourselves do not do more than we are doing now.
Obviously East Africa needs money from the outside. It can get it from the City of London. It has had some; it must get more. If it does not, then other countries, especially Western Germany and America, will come in. A famous Colonial Secretary, Mr. Leo Amery, once said that "the supreme task of Government in Africa is education". The Africans are avid for education. We simply cannot slake their thirst in that respect.
One aspect of the system which must be tackled is this matter of wastage in education which 1 mentioned earlier. The Binns Committee some years ago, and the Dow Committee now, both emphasised the importance of an eight-year course from the age of 7 to 15. Nairobi is to begin this in the near future. It has not yet begun, and again the question arises that this will cost a lot of money. When I was in Kenya I was told that the education budget was to be cut, because they were building Embukusi airfield. We have great competition for money. We must spend more money if we mean what we say in these Blue Books. We must loan money to places like Kenya, and through the colonial development and welfare funds we must spend more than we are spending now.
My party has pledged itself at annual conferences to earmark sums of money for that purpose. When we get back into power we will carry out our pledges. The 774 party to which I belong has never gone back on any of its pledges. This is on the record and we intend to carry out our pledge when the Government of the day give us a chance to do so. In spite of the by-election results, the Government of the day will not give us that chance, and perhaps we shall have to wait for a year or two.
In Kenya alone it is estimated that it will cost £22 million to put into effect this eight-year course of education. Mr. Vasey has told me that his budget is about £31 million or £32 million, and one can see the immensity of the task. It will cost £22 million for an ideal, for what we should like to have, and there is only £32 million in the kitty. Somehow or other the money must be found. I would emphasise that what money is spent should be spent upon teachers, because teacher supply is the key to all educational progress. We must have the teachers if we are to get on with these developments.
It is obvious from the Governor's dispatches that in Tanganyika and Uganda finance limits all educational development. Uganda wants £8 million for education, with another £2 million for technical education. At the moment it simply has not got the money. The same applies to Tanganyika. If Tanganyika were to do what it wishes—and this is perhaps a salutary thought for those who speak of constitutional advance—we should have only 400 Tanganyikan boys and girls with the school certificate in 1961. That shows the immensity of the task if we are to get behind the African political movement all the big battalions of African civil servants, doctors, engineers, lawyers, and all those whom we need in the future African States when they attain self-government.
Lastly, I should like to say something about the political scene. Earlier I mentioned that we needed to have social and political stability to secure economic advance. East Africa needs money. I have in my hand a copy of the Kenya HANSARD, in which is the maiden speech of Mr. Tom Mboya, who is the leader of the African Members, in which he said that he would welcome capital coming into Kenya. Kenya needed capital development, otherwise they would not get the finance for African education, hospitals, and all the other 775 things required. To get that money it is necessary to do more than float loans upon the London market. We need political confidence.
I hope that I shall not be misunderstood when I say this. I know Mr. Tom Mboya very well indeed. In fact, I spoke with him at a public meeting in the native location in Nairobi a few weeks ago. I was disturbed to see in the Manchester Guardian of 21st May—and many of Mr. Mboya's friends are disturbed—what was reported to have been said at a meeting in Kisumu. I see an African like Ardwhings Khodek, reported as saying such stupid words as "blood must flow". We are all pledged to work together in a co-operative, multi-racial society. However, I think that that is a little stupid, and not at all the right way to go about it. Also it is "off the beam" to say that 10,000 Kenya Africans are students in the United Kingdom; but when I see quoted in the Manchester Guardian that Mr. Mboya said "Unless Africans are given their rights, war will not end," then I say to Mr. Mboya that we on this side of the water find that very disturbing.
One does not want to be misunderstood, but I was glad to see in The Times the following morning that there was a more congenial atmosphere, that there were hopes of the two sides getting together in this matter and knocking out some agreement which might be a little more hopeful for the future. Though I say that, I would add this about the Europeans. They might give much more liberal leadership. I object personally— and many more like me do the same—to the constant attacks on African leaders, both inside and outside the Legislative Council, by Europeans. If they intend to cling to parity and not give what Asians as well as Africans think should be given —indeed the Finance Minister Mr. Vasey, himself speaking at Londiani recently said that there was a case for more African Members in the Legislative Council—we shall enter into a very difficult period indeed. We shall see a "nagging phase" with the Africans thwarted and frustrated. We shall see them moving into a period where they might invite martyrdom, by strikes and by courting imprisonment. We do not want to go back to that state of affairs 776 again. I stress that much depends upon European leadership in Kenya.
The last thing we desire is to go back to a pre-Lyttelton society in which we govern once again by colonial government controlled by Her Majesty's Government here in the House of Commons. I hope that The Times is correct, and that we shall move into a more stable and peaceful atmosphere in which we can all work together for the economic advancement that we all desire so much for the good of all the colours and races in Kenya.
I ask the Under-Secretary to convey to his right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary the suggestion that he should seriously think of doing something which my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) talked about in 1950 and 1951, and convene a roundtable conference of all races in Kenya to discuss further constitutional advance before 1960. I do not think it is impossible to get the races together on those lines. They must all come together at some time. No one can stay on the sidelines if Kenya wishes to have a stable future.
If we fail in that, the prospect is grim indeed for East Africa. If East and Central Africa should slide, because of this lack of harmony, it would have a catastrophic effect upon the Commonwealth as a whole, with all its coloured people. I hope that the Minister will think very seriously indeed about this. Kenya is a microcosm of the Commonwealth and of the whole of Africa. All our peoples, whatever their colour, must work together and pull together in the future, whether for economic advancement or for political and harmonious advance.
What do the 20 million people in East Africa want? They merely want what we all want in this House. As ordinary Europeans and ordinary Africans and ordinary Asians, they want to live a free life in peace. They want to be free from want, to have spiritual dignity and liberty. Let me conclude by saying that the time is passing. Racial divisions are being accentuated in East and Central Africa. A generous gesture now may turn the flow and gain the confidence of the African peoples, without which all the economic proposals of this Blue Book will come to nothing.
§ 11.42 a.m.
§ Mr. Frederick Mulley (Sheffield, Park)
I beg to second the Motion.
I am sure it will be the wish of the House to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on his good fortune in the Ballot and upon selecting this subject. We are very grateful to him for introducing the subject in so comprehensive and moderate a way, and also for framing his Motion in those terms.
It is very appropriate that my hon. Friend should bring this subject before the House because, over all the years he has been here, he has taken a consistent and well-informed interest in colonial matters. The House will recollect that he was a member of what I think was the only special House of Commons Delegation that has been sent to a Colony and which went to Kenya in 1954.
I would also like to pay my tribute to the work that has been done by the Royal Commission. Even a cursory glance at the Report shows that immense time and care were devoted to the consideration of these problems. I say that although, as I have no doubt I shall make clear shortly, I do not accept a good number of the conclusions that flow from the Commission's work.
We ought to protest that it is only now, two years after the Report was published, that on the initiative of a Private Member the matter has been brought before the House. I say this not only in connection with the subject matter now before us, but in connection with the attitude of the Government towards the Reports of Royal Commissions generally. A number of Royal Commissions have been set up, and it has taken the initiative of Private Members to bring their Reports to the Floor of this House. The time will come when the Government will find that it is difficult to get people of the calibre and distinction that we want for Royal Commissions if no action is taken and no discussion is made possible of their Reports and deliberations.
The Government ought to give us an explanation today why this great delay has taken place. It is two years since the Report was made and nearly a year since the Government published their own comments together with the observations of the Governors on the Report. Time 778 for consideration was necessary, but two years is excessive. It may well be that but for the good fortune of my hon. Friend we might have had to wait another two years before the Government gave time for this discussion.
I challenge the underlying assumptions on which the Royal Commission reported. I reject completely the basis of the laissez-faire economy for East Africa, because I do not think that even in the purely economic context it is appropriate. I do not think that we can bring twentieth century Africans along on methods which are questionable as having been appropriate even to nineteenth century Britain. I do not think we can possibly approach the particular political and social problems of Africa along the lines of the economic doctrines of Adam Smith and Ricardo. That should be made clear at the beginning.
Secondly, while I agree with my hon. Friend as to the great work that has been done by the High Commission and the unquestionably great economic advantages that will flow from co-operation among the three Governments, we ought to make it abundantly clear that we have no intention and that there is no possibility of political federation. If we could remove that fear from those three Governments it would be a contribution.
After those very general remarks, my remaining observations will be about Kenya, partly because I think Kenya is the key to the problem of East Africa and that if we can solve the problem of Kenya we will have overcome the biggest difficulty in front of us but mainly, I must confess, because I have personal acquaintance with the problems of Kenya which I lack in respect of the other two Territories. Looking around the Chamber, I see hon. Members on both sides of the House who, if they can catch your eye, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, will be able to restore the balance for Uganda and Tanganyika.
I welcomed the privilege of visiting Kenya as a member of the recent Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation. Speaking only for myself, of course. I regret that our Report has not been published. I say this because it has been suggested in The Times and elsewhere that members of that delegation were indifferent to what happened to their Report. It is a useful Report, and a 779 great measure of credit for that goes to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Sir T. Dugdale), who was the leader of the delegation, as well as to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson), who was the deputy-leader. We must therefore proceed without being able to quote from that Report.
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby that perhaps the most difficult and fundamental problem is that of land and land tenure. Frankly, I was quite surprised when I went to Kenya to find that there was good land in African hands. One had heard so much about the White Highlands comprising all the best land that I was very pleased indeed to see that within a mile or two of Nairobi in the Kikuyu Territory there was excellent farming land. The best coffee is grown in the African districts of Meru and Embu. In the White Highlands there is good, bad and, no doubt, indifferent land as well, as far as I could judge, being no agriculturist.
The main problem of African agriculture is that the land is held in uneconomic and fragmented holdings. For that reason I welcome the progress that has been made in land consolidation. We had the opportunity of seeing it in a number of different parts of the Central Province and in Nyanza, and certainly among the Kikuyu we gathered that it was extremely popular. In fact, the main complaint we heard in the Kikuyu areas about land consolidation was that the Government did not send enough people—surveyors, agricultural advisers and so on—because the people wanted to proceed at a much faster pace.
As far as we could tell, every possible safeguard was taken to see that Africans themselves decided that they should have land consolidation, and all the problems and disputes were settled by Africans themselves, even the very difficult questions of the land rights of those who were in detention camps. As far as could be done, these were taken care of by the Government. I believe the final title of the land will not be confirmed for some years. By that time all the people will be out of the camps, I hope, and there will be no feeling that their absence, as the result of the Mau Mau difficulty, will have affected the families in their land rights. Also it is quite clear that if the 780 economy is to develop there must be an intensification of cash crops. For that reason, I think not only do we need to maintain the level of agricultural advice that is now possible through the Swynnerton Plan and moneys voted by this House, but to extend rather than to reduce.
It was a most remarkable experience to move from the Central Province, where there is this ferment of enthusiasm for better farming and land consolidation, particularly to Nyanza and other parts of the Colony. We saw a pioneer scheme in Central Nyanza at Nyabondo, which appeared to be making good progress. Generally speaking, as has been confirmed by reports in the Manchester Guardian to which my hon. Friend referred, it appeared that the Luo Tribe is strongly opposed to land consolidation. I gathered also that the Kisii Tribe, the other principal tribe in Nyanza, was not by any means enthusiastic.
We heard in Kenya a lot of loose talk by Europeans that as we had had Mau Mau with the Kikuyu the next people to cause trouble would be the Luo. That kind of loose talk is to be deplored, but at the same time there is a possibility that not only in the Luo but in the Kamba, and other tribes there may be a feeling that the Mau Mau emergency has brought a lot of advantages to the Kikuyu in the Central Province, There is no doubt that their economic standards are likely to advance very much faster than those of other tribes in the Colony and that, therefore, it could be a very serious matter. While I am sure that the Kenya Government are seized of the problem, they will not be able to do much in Nyanza, even if they get on with land consolidation there, unless they have the money required for expensive irrigation schemes.
The other vexed land question in Kenya today, to which my hon. Friend referred, is the question of the White Highlands. Perhaps it is not generally appreciated that no change of the law, no new Order in Council, is required to change the practice there. I understand that only an administrative decision on the part of the Board is necessary. I fully support what my hon. Friend and the Royal Commission said about making the White Highlands open to African 781 farmers. I can see no objection at all to African farmers going into the White Highlands as land becomes vacant and as those large ranches are split up. Naturally, I am sure the Africans would accept that, subject to proper farming standards of a kind which, through agricultural executive committees, we know at home.
No doubt the actual economic unit for an African would be smaller than that for a European. I am sure that it would not only be sound from the agricultural point of view but have immense political value for this to be done. After talking to Europeans I am quite certain that many of them—not all of them—tend to judge the African in general by their opinion of their own houseboy, or people working in their fields. They are completely unacquainted with the educated African. Some of the first-class tenant farmers mixing in that community would be of immense value both ways. Probably that would stop some of the advertisements which appear week after week in The Times for more Europeans to go out to those farms, which I am sure must increase the anxieties of the Africans.
For reasons given by my hon. Friend, I would not for a moment accept that African reserves should be thrown open to European and Asian purchasers. With proper safeguards, sites could be made available for industry in the African reserves, but I do not think there should be the free purchase and sale of land contemplated by the Commission, although I would say that the actual frontiers between the African reserves could be opened as between Africans themselves. Certainly we should examine the possibility of whether part of the Masai Reserve could not he put to better use.
This may be controversial, but I would not at this stage open up the purchase or use of land, either European or African, to Asians. I think there is a very real fear on the part of the African about the dangers of speculation. Certainly at present I would not extend the purchase of land in either case to Asians. Of course they are in a very difficult position. They are being denied access to land except in urban areas. Many of them have become very rich because it has been the urban land, particularly in Nairobi, which has risen in value. They 782 have been forced into commerce, which is usually much more profitable than farming.
I also wish to endorse what my hon. Friend said about co-operatives. I was immensely impressed by the progress that the coffee co-operatives have made. I hope that the new ones just beginning to deal with tea crops whereby tea will will be extensively grown by Africans in future will succeed. We would delude ourselves, however, if we did not recognise that this progress in land consolidation and so on presents problems. We are in fact bringing all the problems that we knew here and in Europe in the agrarian and industrial revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries to Africa and adding to them the problems of race and colour. We should make it clear that it is not a simple issue. Land problems in Africa are not a simple question of black versus white; there are also class problems within tribes and frictions between tribes as well as those between Europeans, Asians and Africans.
I regret that more has not been done to find out what is happening in the lower stratas of African society by means of social surveys, preferably conducted independently of the Government. For example—I do not think this can be contradicted I—found that practically all the information that went to officials of the Government went through the chief or headman, and they naturally tended to tell the European what they thought he wanted to know. This was pointed out to me by a remarkable Dutch girl who had been living with the Kikuyu people for two or three years and was absorbed in their tribal structure—I think that technically she was the wife of one of their principal elders and as such she can participate in tribal ceremonies. She pointed out that a new small nursery for coffee plants for Africans is sited in a place which is certain to be flooded. The plants will be swept away before the year is out but, because the adviser wanted them placed there, no African would take it upon himself to contradict him and tell him he was wrong.
I say this with more force if we recall the beginning of Mau-Mau. This was a movement which must have taken an enormous amount of organisation, but it was almost completely unknown to the Government. There is need for a modest 783 expenditure of money to approach the question of social surveys in order to try to find out what the real problems of the landless in the villages are. It is a very acute social problem in the Central Province, and particularly in the very overcrowded area of Kiambu. We need to encourage industry in the African reserve areas. Also, as my hon. Friend said, we need to do something about industry in the urban areas and to try to combat what he called the "urbanised spivs".
One of the most important steps we could take in this direction would be to implement the recommendations of the Carpenter Report on minimum wages. The whole approach in Kenya hitherto, and no doubt this is true of other parts of Africa, to regard the workers in towns as just visiting those towns, while their homes were in the Reserves, cannot be maintained after land consolidation, and especially if it is shown that many of the Africans would be landless. If we want to get a proper urban society, we must at least pay them on the basis that they are family men and not bachelors, and, of course, provide houses and social security benefits on this basis as well.
In regard to housing, I noticed, and I made rather a point of the fact, that in practically every case no electricity was provided. In one case, they even went to the extreme of putting an electric light on the steps into the house or up to the flat, I suppose with the idea that a drunken man would not fall down, but no lights inside the houses for the benefit of those Africans who want by study and reading to better themselves. It was one more example of what one saw all too often in Kenya society of Europeans being prepared to swallow a camel and strain at a gnat, when very often it was the gnat which was worrying the Africans most.
I want to make it quite clear that while I was in Nakuru we did see instances in which houses had been provided with electricity and were also let at reasonable rents. The latter is one of the most important problems in Nairobi—the very high rent which is charged to Africans.
The second main problem is that of education. I will not say very much about it now, because it has been ad- 784 mirably dealt with by my hon. Friend, and because I myself had the opportunity a few weeks ago in an Adjournment debate of making some observations about it. I never thought that people read Adjournment debates, but I am glad to find that I received some support in the current issue of Truth for my observations then, when I spoke of the need to increase the educational course from four years to eight years. I believe that a period of four years is worse than useless, and that it may often be dangerous. It is just long enough to get the African out of his tribal discipline, and there are some tribal disciplines left, but not long enough to put anything positive in its place. I often think that a half-educated man is more dangerous than someone who has not had a formal education at all.
The cost of this extension would be £22 million out of a total budget this year of £30 million, excluding £3 million which they receive by way of aid from this country. I think it is obvious that if we are to make any progress at all in education, much more assistance must come from the United Kingdom than is coming at the moment. The Africans themselves are not only enthusiastic and thirsting for education, but they are prepared to pay to their utmost in order to get it. The fees being paid at the moment are 45s., which does not seem to us a very great amount, but in rural Kenya it represents a month's wages.
In Nairobi, I am glad to see going forward a scheme to try to produce compulsory education under which the Africans had consented to an additional poll tax over and above the fees so that they could make progress in this direction. Indeed, I think they may well overstrain their resources in their anxiety to give their children educational opportunities, but it is a very natural one, and we know that working-class people in this country for many years made great sacrifices to give their children the opportunities which they lacked themselves. I believe that we have a moral obligation to encourage rather than impede this movement, and I hope that the Under-Secretary of State will not be so indifferent to the problem as he was during the Adjournment debate.
There is also an immense need for technical trade education. We visited a 785 school at Wamumu, which was set up to deal with delinquent Mau Mau juveniles, and which is so popular that several people have committed offences in the hope that they might be admitted. Clearly, there is a need for something of this sort
My final point on education, and it is one to which I return, is the need for a multi-racial school. I would ask the Under-Secretary of State, when he comes to reply, to say what would be the Government's attitude if one-third or even half of the money required could be raised from private, non-Governmental sources here, as I have reason to think it might be. Would the Government be prepared to make available the balance? Would they also be prepared to use their influence with the Kenya Government in urging them to proceed with a voluntary, experimental multi-racial school for secondary education? At the moment, we have a small multi-racial school in Nairobi for primary education, and there is the Royal Technical College, which is multi-racial not only in its classes but in its residential hostels. There is that gap in that there is no provision for multiracial secondary education.
After we have discussed the separate subjects, we come back to what is really the main question. Can we get a political and social environment in East Africa that will make possible the economic and educational advance that we want? I say quite frankly that, before I went to Kenya, I thought it was quite impossible to arrive at any democratic system which would permit European farmers to remain in Kenya. As a result of my visit I think there is, at best, a fifty-fifty chance. It is an immense challenge. That is why I say to the Government that while they must ration money out between all the Colonies, Kenya is a special case, because if we succeed in Kenya as a colonial Power we shall have achieved an immense success.
Therefore, I would say to the Government, "Put what extra millions you can lay your hands upon into Kenya for that reason." It may be that other Colonies— as I am sure they do—need this money. My hon. Friend has said that all of us on this side of the House want to see an immense quickening of the money available to colonial development. I should like to see one per cent. of our 786 national income, which I think is about £160 million a year, made available not only for our own colonial development, but also for the United Nations for the advancement of backward countries generally.
We shall not make any progress in East Africa unless more money is available. I think the most urgent need is £5 million a year for agricultural development, because the Swynnerton money is practically exhausted, and another £3 million for education. I think that, in common with most backward countries, the Africans would prefer to have loans rather than gifts I know that a cynic has said that it is more independent to default on a loan than to receive a gift, but in East Africa I believe that we should get some return on the loans that we might make.
It is a matter of immense regret that the political situation appears to have deteriorated since the first African elections in March. I regret that it seems the Government are trying to meet this by placing more restrictions on African public meetings. I profoundly believe that that is a mistake. Restrictions on meetings must be a mistake, because they will create feelings of martyrdom and repression, of which my hon. Friend has spoken.
At the same time, I should like to endorse fully what he said about misleading and mischievous remarks which appear to have been made by some leading African politicians—such a misleading statement, for instance, as that there are 10,000 Kenya African students in the United Kingdom when, I think, the actual figure is 76. Moreover, to suggest that at the moment East Africa is more fitted for self-government than West Africa does immense harm and is contrary to the long-term interests of the Africans themselves.
We must, however, concede that extremists on the European side also do incalculable harm in standing between us and the objectives we seek. Of course, part of the trouble is the communal roll on which the franchise and the political system of East Africa is based. Extremists are bound to be produced by a communal roll. I hope that in the discussions which, it seems, are now to take place, and in any case will be required before 1960, consideration will be given 787 to an experiment with a common roll. Obviously, it should not be extended to the whole Colony, but I think some additional seats, at any rate as an experiment, ought to be created on a common roll basis, with, of course, and selective and protected franchise. Nobody suggests that a common roll on the basis of one man one vote would be appropriate at the present time. One fact which one needs to keep in mind is the figure a hundred to one—six million Africans to 60,000 Europeans.
Even if the Europeans wanted, which in fairness I am bound to say I do not think they do, a kind of South African approach to the problem, it would be quite impracticable. There could be no police force, no military forces of any kind, no public services without using Africans. In addition, we must remember that there are 150,000 Asians and 30,000 Arabs. I believe that the great majority of the Europeans accept the thesis which I have tried to develop, that there is a future for East Africa only if there is co-operation between the races. I think that the great fault of the Europeans, and the great danger is that they think the timing of progress is in their hands. I would say most emphatically that it is not.
The timing of African development is not a matter which the Europeans can determine as they think fit, and I suggest that if there are doubts about that they should consult the leaders of Asian opinion in the Colony. Resting, as the Asians do, between the upper and lower millstones, I think they are in a particularly good position to measure the conflicting pressures, and it was certainly the opinion of the Asian communities that we met that time is not on our side if we want to get a political system which will hermit Europeans. Asians and Africans to settle down together.
As I have said already, part of the trouble is the willingness of the Europeans to swallow a camel and strain at a gnat. They agree rightly to having an African Minister; I think they would agree to having a second African Minister, but they still insist on separate public lavatories in Nairobi. While I do wish to make a dissertation to the House upon public lavatories, I would observe that when one compares the sign one sees in Nairobi "Europeans 788 only" with the sign "European type" which one sees in Mombasa one feels that it represents a great step forward in racial relations. I do not see how we can apply the cultural test to matters of this sort. That was the excuse we were given, that to co-operate with the Africans we must apply some cultural test. There are some directions in which I do not see it can be applied.
But I should say that the colour bar in Kenya is not nearly as bad as it was some years ago. Certainly in Parliament House and within the Government it was very encouraging indeed to us that we as visitors were entertained jointly by the African, European and Asian members of the Legislative Council. While it is essential, if the capital which Europeans have already put into Kenya is to be safeguarded, that there should be political stability and a movement towards a multiracial democratic society, I think that the Africans for their part must recognise that, if they are to get all the capital which they need to advance, they must seek a stable political situation. They must also be prepared to co-operate in creating conditions which will give security for private as well as public investment, because I think that East Africa generally needs both. I hope that today's debate may make some contribution towards the achievement of the political stability which is an absolute prerequisite to the economic advance which is envisaged.
§ 12.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Beresford Craddock (Spelthorne)
I join with the hon. Member for Sheffield, Park (Mr. Mulley) in saying, as I think I can for all of us on this side of the House, how much we welcome this debate, and I would respectfully say that I think the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson), in moving the Motion, made a first-class contribution to the consideration of what is a very difficult subject. He spoke hopefully of the prospect that some day there might be another Labour Government. I like him personally sufficiently to say that if that ever does come about I hope we may see him on the Treasury Bench dealing actively with this problem in which, we know, he has such a great interest.
I welcome this debate for this reason among others, that there is no subject on 789 which we hear looser talk than this question of British rule in colonial Africa —and I say that without the exception of all the discussions which take place on strontium-90. If I have any criticism to make it is that I do not believe that on the other side of the House sufficient acknowledgement is ever given to the great work which has been clone in the whole of East Africa and elsewhere in Africa by the European and British administrations. Indeed, if it had not been for the great work we started some fifty or sixty years ago we should not have the level of prosperity there is today. It is a quite remarkable development which has taken place, and it is very largely due to the work of the British administration and settlers.
Like all other hon. Members interested in this subject, I have read the Dow Report. Indeed, I have read it two or three times over, and I would be the last to say anything which might detract from it.
When I studied it, however, I did not think that there was anything tremendously new about it. The problems with which the Report deals have been the subject of anxious consideration and attention over a period of many years by all the administrations in Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika. I have great doubts, which I think the hon. Member for Rugby shares, about the suggestion of detribalisation. I do not like that word —we have so many of these peculiar words nowadays. I feel very strongly that we must go very carefully on the question of breaking down what is the real basis of family life in East Africa. I firmly believe that family life is as important there as it is here or in any other community.
I do not think we can deal with East Africa as a whole. Uganda. Kenya and Tanganyika are entirely different. I do not pretend to be an expert on these problems, but I lived and worked very hard for six and a half years in these territories and I know a little about them. They are entirely different from one another in population, climate and soil. The one thing they have in common is that they are poor territories. I do not believe that any of them can ever be what we regard as wealthy territories because, as the hon. Member for Rugby 790 has rightly pointed out, they have very little raw materials, the soil generally is poor, and only in a few areas, not very large compared with the total area of the three territories, are the soil and conditions really suitable for good farming.
§ Mr. Craddock
I most certainly do. I do not want to take up the time of the House by going into detail, but the most fertile part of Uganda is round the lake shores. There are vast deserts in the Eastern area, and particularly the Teso area. I know Uganda pretty intimately and I should be glad to discuss that point with the hon. and learned Member some other time.
Many of the areas are really barren and are not suitable even.for agriculture. These three territories are poor and can never be wealthy in the Western sense. That is why I have great doubts about pursuing, the line of industrial development to which the Motion refers. I believe that the hon. Member for Rugby would share my view that there is no possibility there of really great industrial development. I have always taken the view that the main hope of these territories is to pursue an agricultural policy. That must be the whole basis of their future prosperity.
I do not think that anyone would doubt that the hon. Member for Rugby is correct when he draws attention in the Motion to… the necessity for raising African standards of living by means of better education, housing and health services …Work of that kind has been going on for a very long time. I have heard questions addressed to Ministers in the House in recent weeks about the diet of Africans. Thirty years ago I was a member of a committee set up in Uganda to deal with this very problem of dietetics. It was fascinating work and the Committee, under the Director of Medical Services, did an excellent job. The foundation laid in our report on that occasion has been the basis of great expansion not only in Uganda but also in Kenya and Tanganyika.
Whether one is dealing with this problem from the purely agricultural point of view or from the industrial point of 791 view, and certainly in relation to constitutional advances, I am satisfied that the three territories cannot be dealt with as one. The problems are entirely different. Uganda rests practically entirely on two crops, cotton and coffee. There are mining operations in the Kilembe area and there are possibilities, though from all the reports so far I do not think that we can look to a tremendous amount of wealth, in the mines in the Mountains of the Moon area.
In Kenya there is an entirely different, agricultural economy, dealing with very large crops of tea and coffee but there again development will be essentially agricultural. I believe that the same applies to Tanganyika. Suggestions have been made in recent months, though they are not new, of coal mining development in Tanganyika. I examined that problem many years ago. Coal in East Africa and indeed in Central Africa is not of tremendously high calorific value. It is somewhere about 12,000 to 13,000 B.T.U. That does not compare too badly with some of our coal here, but it has a very high ash content. Two difficulties about the development of coal mining in Tanganyika is that the coal must be mixed with other types of Western European coal and there is the problem of getting it from the coalfield to Western Europe. The expense of carriage is tremendous.
§ Mr. Craddock
I respectfully agree, but, then comes the problem of what industries would flourish there. That is a very great problem, and I cannot think that there is any real industrial future, as we understand it, in any of these territories.
I know that suggestions have been made that a cotton industry should be built up in Uganda, particularly as a result of the Owen Falls development in the production of electricity. But I do not believe that cotton spinning and weaving there could have any real hope of success. Apart from the question of imports from this country, one must consider the imports from Japan. Today all these 792 territories are being flooded again, as they were in the 1930s, with cheap Japanese textiles. I remember that when first-class English textiles were landed in Mombasa in the 1930s at 10d. a yard, the Japanese sent a good imitation landing in Mombasa at 4½d. a yard. I cannot believe that a cotton textile industry would have any future there.
§ Mr. J. Johnson
This applies to West Africa too. Why should Whiteheads of Bolton go to Nigeria to use native supplies of cotton? Why cannot a good Lancashire firm be teamed up in Jinja with native labour and Uganda capital?
§ Mr. Craddock
I do not think that, with the tremendous competition from Japan, it would be of great help.
§ Mr. Craddock
If there were protective duties that would be entirely different, but Uganda cotton is a good, long staple cotton lying between American middlings and Egyptian long staple. It would be too expensive to use entirely for spinning and weaving, and it would be necessary to introduce American middlings into the fabric to cut down the cost. I do not believe that such an industry would be a great success. As regards protective duties, we would be up against the Congo Basin Treaties in East Africa, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) probably had plenty of difficulty in that connection when he was Colonial Secretary.
As many other hon. Members want to take part in this fascinating debate, I will spend only a few more minutes on the most important aspect of this Motion, which calls upon Her Majesty's Government… to encourage the necessary capital investment and. in co-operation with the leaders of all sections of the local communities, to proceed with further constitutional advances.Here again there are three entirely different problems in the three territories, so they cannot be dealt with as a whole.
What is the situation in Uganda? Uganda is essentially a native country. I use that phrase for want of a better one. I do not think it would ever be good as a permanent settlement for Europeans because it is essentially a black African territory. One danger of a too-rapid 793 constitutional advance in Uganda would be the following. The Protectorate could not be treated as a whole because the Baganda, that is to say, the inhabitants of the Buganda Province, are very far advanced compared with the other tribes in the Eastern, Western and Northern Provinces. [An HON. MEMBER: "They are the aristocrats."] Yes, they arc the aristocrats of Uganda, and not unreasonably so, because they are an enlightened race and charming people, but they are not very well liked. Indeed they are regarded with some suspicion by the other tribes.
§ Mr. John Stonehouse (Wednesbury)
If I may interrupt, would the hon. Gentleman not agree that, as against that factor, the inter-tribal organisation of the Uganda Congress, bringing the various tribes together there, is a good factor in development?
§ Mr. Craddock
I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman, but I do not share his view. I do not believe that we shall be able to bring those tribes together in any degree of harmony for many a long day.
§ Mr. Craddock
They may be on the surface, but it is not a question of getting a few of the leaders together. We still have to overcome the tense feelings of the ordinary peasants in the remote parts of the country. As I understand it, when we talk about the constitutional advance of Uganda, we mean that the Baganda are saying that they should rule the whole of the Territory. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]
§ Mr. Craddock
The hon. Gentleman is entitled to his opinion. I have discussed this on many occasions in my own house with leaders of the Baganda. I may have taken them up wrongly, but I am satisfied that this is their attitude. Indeed, that is what would happen, because they are far cleverer at this stage and more able than the other tribes. So I believe that far front having any quarrel between European, Asian and African in Uganda if there were a rapid constitutional advance, there would be internecine strife between the various tribes in Uganda against the Baganda. Therefore, I do 794 not believe that we can bring in legislation for full self-government for Uganda, which is what is being shouted for now, as it has been for some years. I do not think that will be possible for many a long year.
I do not believe that Tanganyika will ever he a European country as we understand the term. It is more akin in some ways to Uganda than is Kenya.
§ Mr. Johnson indicated assent.
§ Mr. Craddock
I am glad that the hon. Gentleman agrees with me. Now I come to Kenya. I say categorically that I shall always be prepared to fight against a system which would mean the suppression of the European in Kenya, because I believe that the European there has as much right to be in Kenya as the black African. Most of the tribes of Kenya are migratory and have come from the upper Nile and, speaking generally, at about the same time as the European. Let us be fair. The European has made tremendous contributions to Kenya, so I would not be prepared to subscribe to any system which would mean the domination of the European by any of the other races, at least for many a long year.
§ Mr. Johnson
The hon. Gentleman is not suggesting to the House that my hon. Friend and I suggested this in our opening speeches, or even in the Motion?
§ Mr. Craddock
I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has pulled me up on that point, because I did not intend to convey that. Yet when one hears the utterances of some of the colleagues of the hon. Gentleman, I am afraid we get an entirely different view. Indeed, as he has pointed out, some of the so-called African leaders in Kenya today are saying that their object is to wipe out the European and to get him right out of Kenya. I would not be prepared at any time to support any constitutional advances which might bring about that result because it would be bad for Kenya.
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
Does the hon. Gentleman really think that constitutional advances are likely to bring about that result? Does he not think that the refusal of constitutional advances is much more likely to do so?
§ Mr. Craddock
With respect, I do not agree. Rightly or wrongly, I do not believe that Kenya is ready for any major constitutional advance at this juncture. That is where I part company with the hon. Member for Rugby. I think it was he who suggested that there should be a meeting of the various leaders of the community in order to change the Lyttelton Plan before 1960. I believe that would be a great mistake. I think that the Lyttelton Plan was a good one. It was accepted by all the communities in Kenya and it has only been working for two or three years. It is not asking too much to allow it to continue until 1960 before any changes are contemplated. By all means let us have discussions about what can be done as a further step on the road from 1960 onwards.
I must take no more time of the House, and I should like to finish by stating how grateful I am to both hon. Members for introducing this fascinating subject. I come back to the main theme of what I have been trying to say, which I hold most firmly. It is that the Europeans in the whole of East Africa—Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda—and elsewhere in the Colonial Empire have made a very great contribution. All communities should be grateful for the great contribution which the people of this country have made, for indirectly it has been made by the people of this country. I believe that they should be given full opportunity to continue this great work, and I hope that all this talk of denigrating the fine work which the Europeans have done will stop, because in my opinion it is doing great harm to the future of these very interesting Territories and, indeed, to the future of the very fine people of East Africa.
§ 12.41 p.m.
§ Dr. Horace King (Southampton, Itchen)
I, too, congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on the speech with which he initiated this debate. Since he came to the House my hon. Friend has served the cause of Africa and the Commonwealth in Africa loyally, intelligently, and consistently, and I think he has continued that service today.
I must thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for honouring 796 me by sending me as one of a group of hon. Members to Uganda recently. I thank the Uganda C.P.A. for its very generous hospitality and I also thank the folk of Uganda—European, Asian, and African—who showed us such remarkable and spontaneous friendship wherever we went. Despite the stresses of recent years, Uganda is a happy and friendly country, and it is on that friendship that I hope this beautiful and, in spite of what was said by the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Beresford Craddock), very fertile country will build steadily.
I believe that the fundamental political problem of Uganda is to achieve understanding—disagreement by all means, but understanding—between all the men there who have the well-being and future progress of their country as their main objective; to end suspicion—and we became aware of bits of that; and to expose those in all groups who thrive on breeding false suspicions.
We met the representatives of the Democratic Party, who showed us their election programme. In one item the party pledged its politicians to work for the good of the people and not for financial gains for themselves. That may be a remote ideal, but the enemies of Uganda are those who, whether they be white, brown or black exacerbate differences, often real and genuine differences, in their own personal interests.
We had the honour of meeting the new Governor, Sir Frederick Crawford. I was tremendously impressed not only by his undoubted capacity and character but also by the approach which he is making to the very complex situation which he has inherited. I am glad that he has met, frankly and sincerely, the Kabaka, the Ministers of Buganda and the leaders of the various parties, for free and open discussion of their differences, because I believe that it is in such free and open discussion that progress lies.
I have read with keen interest the report of the debate earlier this month in the Legislative Council on Mr. Bamuta's motion for self-government by 1957 and complete independence by 1961. I do not agree with the view of a European member who said that such a Motionwould do great harm to the good name of the people of Ugandaand thatthe mover has done more harm than good.797 Surely if some members of the Legislative Council believe in early self-government, it is right that they should say so. That debate provided an opportunity, which wise Members of the Legislative Council took, not of attacking African Members for daring to express their opinions, but of stating clearly and in detail why Uganda is not yet ready for complete self-government.
On fundamental issues, there is no cleavage about Uganda's future. The debate, which will continue, is about when and how. Uganda will certainly one day be a self-governing African State within the Commonwealth. Incidentally, I did not hear a single African suggest that Uganda's future lay anywhere but inside the Commonwealth.
Our task is to convince those who want to run before they can walk that it is our genuine concern for the good of Uganda that makes us move step by step. It is our task to show the dangers to the whole future well-being of Uganda of federalism, of breaking up into small uneconomic units and of multiplying and duplicating administrative machinery. The task of all the African political parties is to produce social and national programmes, in addition to mere demands for increased or complete representation.
There is another way in which my African friends—and I think that I met and made many African friends in Uganda—can help. I should like to see an end to the idea that those who cooperate with Government are somehow letting Uganda down.
Uganda has made remarkable advances in a hundred ways in the first fifty years of this century. I agree with much that was said on this point by the hon. Member for Spelthorne, although I disagree with much of his subsequent argument. I mention only one or two advances which leap into the mind—a vast sugar plantation and factory at Tororo, on a spot which forty years ago was a tsetse fly-ridden, plague-stricken area; the Nile harnessed at Owen Falls, and the boon of electricity spreading over the country; Makerere University rapidly advancing in range and quality; effective local government speedily developing; schools and hospital services expanding.
Most of this may have been derived, as the hon. Member for Spelthorne said, 798 from European skill, but none of it could have been achieved without African cooperation. As I said to a meeting in Tororo, when the history of Uganda comes to be written those Africans who have co-operated with their labour, their skill, their loyalty, their political wisdom, will be written down also as great patriots and great servants of the future Uganda.
I wish to raise two important topics. The first concerns the vernacular Press. Uganda has an excellent newspaper in English, the Uganda Argus, and it also has dozens of little newspapers in the various languages of Uganda. I admired the enterprise and the devotion of the small newspapermen, working under infinite difficulties, very often with hand presses, their hand-printed newspapers sold at twice the price of the Uganda Argus and with circulations of a few thousand.
I hope that one of two courses may be taken. The first is that the Uganda Argus itself might have an edition in the vernacular languages, which, after all, will not perish. If that is too much to hope, perhaps the paper could have a column or two in the vernacular languages. The second course is that the Government or the European newspaper itself might take an interest in the vernacular newspapers and assist in the education and training of African journalists. I found that one Uganda newspaper this year is sending at its own expense a young man to London to study journalism at a polytechnic.
I also hope that all the facilities given to the European newspaper will be given to the vernacular Press, including Government statements, invitations to functions and the rest. We have to bring all the Press—the Press of today and the Press of the future, which is the African Press—into the service of Uganda.
My second topic, as the House might expect, is education. I admired what I saw in Uganda, but I realised just how much has yet to be done. I want to deal with this subject, if I may, rather seriously. The keynote to the East Africa Report is the basic poverty of East Africa. I saw that as I went about. A statistical description is given by these figures for 1951–52. The total net money product of Uganda was £81 million. If I might interpolate here, I am happy to 799 see that for 1956 that figure of £81 million has risen to £119 million. Nevertheless, the figure for Uganda for 1951–52 was £81 million, whereas for the Belgian Congo, with only twice as many people, it was £290 million. The money product per head was £15 in Uganda against £24 in the Belgian Congo. For South Africa the figure was £47, three times as much as the figure for Uganda.
There are many reasons for that—I state only the fundamental one. Uganda is agricultural, but many of its people grow subsistence crops, they grow just enough to live on. The first evil of subsistence farming is that the supply of land is not illimitable. A tribe can no longer go out and seize new land. Population is increasing. Land gets used up—although not yet in Uganda where, I was told, one can put a walking stick in the ground and it will grow. Drought or disease can reduce a subsistence economy overnight to poverty and starvation.
While it lasts, the life may be excellent enough, and I am sure that hon. Members will envy the happy carefree life of the Uganda subsistence farmer, but it is excellent only while it lasts. The much graver defect of subsistence farming is that it realises no surplus out of which to provide for the expansion of the economy which is necessary to raise standards of living. Again statistically, that can be seen from simple figures. The money value per head of subsistence farming in Uganda is £5 a year, whereas already the money value of activities other than subsistence farming in Uganda is £15 per head, three times as much.
Whatever improvements in the standard of living in Uganda have taken place in the last fifty years have largely come out of what people in Uganda have earned beyond the amount to keep them alive, If everyone in Uganda produces merely enough to keep himself and his family, Uganda stagnates. For us it was an exhilarating experience, therefore, to see great enterprises thriving in that country—cash crops of cotton and coffee especially have been sources of new wealth. The Kilembe copper mines, the new ventures into the rich mineral deposits of the Suluki Mountains, cement and asbestos factories, sugar, coffee. cotton, tea plantations, and electric 800 power, are all playing their part in the expanding economy which alone can give Uganda all that its people desire.
Progress with cash crops has been remarkable. The Report is somewhat critical of the Government for using some of the wealth from cash crops for the development of Uganda, but I believe that the Uganda Government are to be congratulated on what they have done with what they have levied on cash crops of coffee and cotton for the benefit of the whole community.
So one of Uganda's chief tasks is to improve agricultural production, although it will always remain fundamentally agricultural. It is difficult to convince some of those who live comfortably on its fertile soil that that is so. Another main task of Uganda is to expand commerce. I am glad that attempts are being made to bring Africans into commerce which, up to the moment, has been a monopoly of the Asians. Another is to expand industrial resources and discover new ones. I do not share the pessimism of the hon. Member for Spelthorne about the future mineral possibilities of East Africa.
§ Mr. Beresford Craddock
I said that I hoped that mineral deposits would be discovered, but that all the evidence over a large number of areas did not lead to any great hopes about that. I was not rejoicing in the fact. On the contrary, I was regretting it and hoping that I might be wrong.
§ Dr. King
I am sure that when the hon. Member studies what has happened in the Suluki Mountains, he will realise that new discoveries are being made.
All politicians of all parties should make those their main tasks, like the old statesman who said that the object of statesmen was to make two blades of grass grow where one grew before.
The prizes of an expanding economy are twofold. One is an immediate rise in the standard of living, and we saw that in the condition of the workers wherever we saw great industrial plants and great plantations in operation. The other is, by going without part of what that immediate increase could be, to save and to put into plans and machines for the future capital which will help the expansion of the economy and raise the future standard of living.
801 This saving for the future means not only new factories and new power stations, but schools and hospitals. I believe that a nation's best capital investment programme is in its children. The growing need of the people of Uganda and the hunger of which I became au are wherever I went was for education. People in Uganda have to pay for their children's education. I met Europeans making tremendous sacrifices to give their children what they regarded as the best education, but that sacrifice of the Europeans out of the income which Europeans receive is not as great as that made by a Muluka chief, whose home I visited in the African village of Rubaga, who had paid for the whole cost of his son's education, from primary school right through college.
I am worried about the number of children in Uganda who, far from being what my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Park (Mr. Mulley) called partly educated for four years at primary schools, do not even get the full four years' primary education. Of 79,000 who entered primary schools in 1949, 59,000 went on to second year, 32.000 went on to third year, and 28,000 to fourth year. We can say that those children who had only one year at school wasted, or almost entirely wasted, whatever efforts were being made on their behalf.
I plead with African parents, as I do with English parents, to make the sacrifices which the best African and European parents make for their children's education. However, the school charge in Africa is like a poll tax, which weighs heaviest on the poorest. That is why I hope that Uganda will soon accept the recommendations of a recent Commission and make income tax universal and not, as it is at present, confined to Europeans and Asians, a sort of colour bar in reverse. The rich African ought to make a contribution in proportion to his income to help the State to provide the schools and the teachers which are needed.
I mentioned the hunger for education. Kenya chiefs who stayed with me last weekend longed for the free educational system which obtains in Britain. Of course, it is not free, because its cost is borne, roughly at any rate, according to 802 one's income. However, I believe that the Report is right when it says that the huge cost of providing the education of which we dream for African children cannot be met out of taxes. I heard in Uganda a figure of £80 million as the cost of the building programme alone for providing universal eight-year education there. It could not he met out of taxes, no matter how much fairer we made the incidence of taxation. Some portion could be met by increasing taxes, but Uganda at present could not stand taxation to the level which would be necessary.
The real source for the full education that one day will be the lot of every African child is a richer and more prosperous State, and everyone in Uganda who produces more than he consumes is helping, among other things, to speed up educational advance. But Uganda, like every other African State in this group of States, cannot provide out of its own saving all the capital it needs for its economic development. It cannot achieve in a few years what it took other countries a hundred years to achieve.
Most of its own increased production must go in immediate benefits to the people who are doing the producing. We saw that in housing, hospital, and education facilities, provided at the sugar plantations, the tea plantations, the cement factories and above all, by the Uganda Electricity Board. So my hon. Friend's Motion rightly calls attention to the urgent need of more help from Britain, more help almost without financial strings attached. Uganda can boast that it is almost self-supporting and that we do not actually give very much to Uganda. Uganda wants almost a free gift from the richer part of the world to the less-developed areas.
It is not only money which is wanted Uganda needs doctors. One hospital I saw there was closed because it could not get a doctor. In Kilembe copper mines there was a little hospital being run by a British doctor who was doing, in his own way, the work of an Albert Schweitzer. Uganda needs technicians and teachers. Our own teacher shortage is nothing compared with the grave teacher shortage which exists in Africa.
Uganda needs secondary schools Kampala needs its first multi-racial grammar school. Incidentally it is opening its 803 first multi-racial primary school. Above all, Uganda needs the non-commissioned officers of a modern State, young Africans with technical qualifications, young men with skill, men who will shoulder some responsibility, make unpopular decisions and carry them out, if they know them to be right.
We read in the Daily Express about the need for being Empire-minded, and for our schools to have lessons on the British Empire. What we really need is to become Commonwealth-conscious. I should like to see every local education authority in this country adopting some district in Africa and including in its annual budget the provision of a school for the children in that area. What a fine world it would be if universities were really universal; if Oxford or Cambridge lent, without charge, a group of professors and lecturers for a quinquennium to Makerere University, and helped to produce in Uganda the trained young minds—the young agricu4turists, engineers, teachers, and lecturers in education, for which Uganda is so hungry—or if industry did something similar.
The Christian Church—Protestant and Catholic—puts the rest of Western civilisation to shame in what it does for nothing for the love of God in Africa. I hope that we will step up the number of students from Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika in our British universities. Any British university should be able to provide at least one free scholarship, with maintenance, for one African student.
There are many other things that I should have liked to say, but I must briefly refer to the question of East Africa as a whole and federation. There is no question of federating the three countries; they are absolutely different. Nobody in Uganda wants federation, and nobody in Kenya wants federation, for entirely opposite reasons. However, I hope that those who oppose federation will not carry out their opposition to the ridiculous extent of opposing the sharing of mutually beneficial services. Electricity is not political; health is not political, and transport is not political. Geographical facts are facts; the three countries are near each other, and politics will not move them away from each other.
I was troubled to learn, for example, that some Kenyans object to the Uganda 804 Electricity Board selling electricity to Kenya, and that some Bagandans were opposed to buying electricity from the U.E.B., for entirely different reasons. The wisest men know that the three States cannot be federated from the outside: federation by compulsion is as dead as the dodo. But the mutual interests of all three communities are served by numerous assets which they hold in common, and it is cutting off one's nose to spite one's face to have nothing to do with a joint service or a joint committee because of the false bogey of federation.
I want to round off my speech with a quotation from a letter which I received yesterday from an African friend in Toro. He writesPeople of Toro are looking for OMUGANIANO "—the word means "friendship"—and for my part I would say, with Dante, that understanding is the ancient word for love.It is by ending suspicion, by accepting differences and yet understanding each other's point of view, that I hope that Uganda will achieve, in the next fifty years, a really glorious destiny.
That destiny surely includes becoming a free African State, retaining all that is valuable in its native culture, using all that is valuable in Western civilisation, and with mutual understanding between African, Asian, and European—each respecting the contribution which the others have to make to the State, but all living on terms of complete equality.
§ 1.3 p.m.
§ Wing Commander Eric Bullus (Wembley, North)
I should like to be associated with the congratulations extended to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) for his choice of this important debate and for his own contribution to it, and I should also like to be assiciated with him in the commendation of the Dow Report. Most hon. Members on both sides of the House will find the Commission's principles acceptable in the main, but there is one inevitable question which must be asked after reading the Report, namely, are the three East African Governments now, or are they likely to be in the next decade, capable of carrying out the Commission's vast programme of reform?
805 Like the hon. Member for Itchen (Dr. King), I have just returned from Uganda, a country at the end of a serious crisis and at the beginning of a new and difficult constitutional venture. I should also like to thank the Speaker and the C.P.A. for their very kind invitation to visit Uganda. The four members who formed the group who went to Uganda are all here, and I hope that the two who have not yet spoken will catch the eye of the Chair. I do not disagree with anything that the hon. Member for Itchen—I nearly referred to him as "my hon. Friend" —has said, and I doubt whether he will find himself in conflict with anything that I shall say.
It is with some diffidence that I speak about the country for, far from feeling an expert, I now realise how much I have to learn about our overseas responsibilities. I have no intention of writing a book after a fortnight in that very lovely country, but I could certainly fill one with a description of the sights and the wonderful experiences and the generous hospitality that we received from the people of Uganda. I shall content myself with one or two observations on matters which, to my mind, require close attention—points which could contribute to our doing a good job of work in Uganda, or, should I say, continuing the good job of work that we are already doing in Uganda?
Like the hon. Member for Itchen, I was greatly impressed with the work of our Overseas Service, and I should like my tribute to be on record. Especially was I impressed with the obvious grasp of affairs by the new Governor, Sir Frederick Crawford, who pursues the policy of partnership, which is to my mind the only possible policy for Africa. We had the opportunity of a long discussion with this wise and far-seeing Yorkshireman, in which we gave our garnered impressions and he favoured us with some of his findings. I think that he has a good staff: he is singularly well served by the Chief Secretary, Mr. C. H. Hartwell.
On the political issue, I would say that complete self-government, granted too early, could be disastrous. Conversely, undue delay in granting self-government could have very adverse repercussions. 806 I believe that self-government must come by patient stages and in complete mutual trust. Above all, it must come about through a genuine partnership. I am convinced that that is the policy which is today being pursued by the Governor of Uganda, with the full support of this Government.
We met some Africans who want self-government at once; but we met others in high office and who have given years of service to their country, who begged that self-government should not yet be granted. I treasure a letter received since my return from an African Church minister recording with gratitude what the British have done for his country. It is my belief that Uganda is utterly dependent upon external skill and capital. With these, and with the trust and industry of the Africans themselves, there is a great future for this country. It has unlimited prospects, but development must be based upon trustful partnership.
My personal experience bears out the Commission's conclusion that if Africans should pursue independence so fanatically as to alienate or debar external capital and immigration they will condemn themselves to internal poverty and external bitterness. Under those circumstances, I think that there could be a field in which Communism might thrive.
I recognise, like the hon. Member for Rugby, that we need to spend much money in education and in the publicising of our policy. I suggest that a popular edition of the Commission's Report might help. I am certain that it would be very useful. We have to give help and encouragement to develop the broadcasting services of Uganda. An excellent job of work is being done with limited resources by the director, Mr. A. G. Ridley, but if he does not get the necessary help we shall be in great competition, in the next eighteen months, with the Voice of Egypt and the Sudan, coming from the north.
Above all, I think that we must overcome any suspicion which lies between us and the Africans. We have to show the Africans what they can achieve in a partnership of equality. Obviously a politically stable country will attract capital which is so much needed in Africa. One of the determining factors in our policy must be our agents and 807 those who represent us abroad. The Commission says:All agents of reform should work as partners with local boards and councils of tribesmen.So much depends on the Government officers and those who come from this country. Many Britishers have given real service to Uganda and to the Africans, and I think that their example should be followed.
I make no apology for mentioning one Britisher whom I met there, who has been there for nearly thirty years and who has given great service to that country. He is Mr. Rennie Bere, who is the Chief Warden and Director of the Queen Elizabeth Park. He is a former provincial commissioner and has done much for the country. We were privileged to attend a lecture which he was giving to local sub-chiefs, and I know the affection with which he is held by the Africans themselves. I know that if I had to go out to that country in any important office I should unashamedly pick the brains of such men as Mr. Rennie Bere who have given a great service to and have a great knowledge of that country.
The Commission's Report quotes the words of a district commissioner:Few Africans can read … and no blueprints can be published which they will study. They will believe and accept only if they are convinced by someone whose face they know well, who is thoroughly familiar to them, and whose more striking personal characteristics are probably the subject of amused if tolerant comment.That thought bears out my own brief experience when I met men who have devoted themselves to Uganda and to the Africans there.
One of the managing directors of a big concern in the country said to me, "When a man comes into my office I do not look at the colour of his skin. I am concerned with his ability and his integrity." The Commission's plans ignore race and colour. They are based upon faith in the capacity of human nature to initiate, to adapt, to employ reason, but, above all, to co-operate. I saw something of the spirit of co-operation which must be fostered by all means.
At one tea estate in the Toro district which the hon. Gentleman opposite and I visited, the managing director, a Mr. G. L. Prophet, spent the whole of Easter 808 Sunday taking us over his plantation. We saw the new homes which he had built for the workers. We saw something of the personal efforts of the director and of his wife to educate and to build up the standards of life of the African workers. It can be a slow business. Housing there is a problem, but I think that a greater problem is to educate the Africans to utilise the housing which can be provided for them and to educate them in personal hygiene.
We saw some of the buildings which Mr. Prophet had built on his estate. There were three or four buildings which he had partitioned into three parts each for three bachelor workers. He provided beds, and he found in the first instance that the beds had been chopped up for firewood. He went into the buildings on one occasion and, instead of finding three persons in each partition, he found half a dozen huddled together in one and the rest empty or with only one man in them. I think that education is a slow business, but the voluntary efforts being made by such people as Mr. and Mrs. Prophet are a great help.
The hon. Member for Rugby said that the wages paid to the Africans are not very high. But many of them earn good money, and I hope that in the future they will be able to earn more. They have very few expenses and sometimes they are found to have buried their wealth in the ground. Thrift among the Africans must be encouraged. They must be taught to invest their savings for their own good and for the good of their country.
I found that many of the workers on this tea estate invested their money with the manager's wife. She looked after it for them and quite an amount accumulated. But she told me that when she went away on holiday or safari considerable withdrawals were made. These two people were called father and mother by the happy workers. Mrs. Prophet runs a welfare clinic on the estate and combines her St. John's Ambulance work with it. Mr. and Mrs. Prophet are doing a fine work, and I am happy to put on record at least one appreciation of the voluntary efforts which they are making.
We saw something of this type of welfare service in the self-contained township built up round the Kilembe mines. We saw there the wonderful hospital, the 809 mobile dentistry, the sports ground and the excellent church, built by voluntary labour. We had the privilege of visiting a sugar estate run by Mr. Madhvani an Indian who, similarly, is doing excellent work in uplifting the standard of his workers. He is expending considerable effort in their education. These efforts, official and voluntary, must be given every encouragement, especially the voluntary work and the personal effort.
Another of my hosts, a Mr. Michael Peer-Groves, who is the managing director of the Uganda Brewery Company is yet another who, with his wife, is doing an excellent job in the voluntary sphere. His workers chose from among their happy colleagues four men to come on a visit to this country. All the expenses were paid by the Uganda Brewery Company. I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting these four people only a few days after I returned to this country.
That expedition must have cost something in the nature of £1,400, which was paid by the Uganda Brewery Company. The four Africans were met at this end and toured this country, going as far north as Edinburgh. They were taken to Stratford, to the House of Commons and were shown the sights of London. I think that they will go back as ambassadors of friendship between this country and their own. I think that as air travel annihilates the distances between the outposts of Empire we should have many more of these exchange visits which can do so much good. Of course, it means spending more money than we have been spending in the past.
One businessman whom I met had been in Uganda with his wife and mother for some years. He sang the praises of the country and added significantly enough, "Whatever happens in the future here in Uganda I shall remain here. This is my country." That is the spirit which can carry us to a happy and lasting settlement and which can help build a great country.
The problems which face us in Africa are enormous, but they present a challenge for us in this country to prove that our old British way of patience, forbearance and tolerance in leading backward peoples to full self-government is the right one. The three territories of 810 East Africa are among our great responsibilities. I think that we have it in our power to make them one of our greatest successes.
§ 1.20 p.m.
§ Mr. W. T. Williams (Barons Court)
In congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on his Motion and on enabling this debate to take place, I think we should also praise him for the temperate and well-informed way in which he opened the debate. Throughout, it has revealed a real interest and concern among hon. Members on both sides of the House regarding the development and wellbeing of the East African territories.
I offer such comments as I have to make with great diffidence because I have been in East Africa for only a fortnight, in company with the hon. Gentlemen who have already addressed the House. I was taught my place in that respect by a man whom we met at a Government guest house at Lira who, not knowing who we were—the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Chichester-Clark) and myself—said that the people who made him maddest of all—if I may here quote and so avoid offence—were "those bloody politicians who come to the country for a fortnight and then think they can put it right". Nevertheless, I would dare to make these comments with such diffidence as is proper on the basis of my experience and what I learned.
If my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby is right, and Kenya is a microcosm of all the problems facing the British Commonwealth in its dealings with its coloured peoples, then it would appear from the nature of the Motion that Uganda is a microcosm of East Africa. All the problems of which the East Africa Report speaks, and which have been summarised in the Motion, seem to exist in Uganda in an acute form; though, in a way, the form in which they exist in Uganda affords an opportunity for more considered judgment than might be true of other parts, certainly of Kenya. For in Uganda there is not present something which has for so long bedevilled the political, constitutional and, I suppose, even the economic development of Kenya, that intensity of bitterness and resentment which has characterised British and African relations in that unfortunate country.
811 I spoke to most of the leaders of the three African political parties in Uganda and, from left to right among them, there did not appear to me to be the same hostility and resentment that one reads about as existing between black and white in Kenya. The leaders of the Congress Party, for instance, whom we met, expressed the view that although they were determined to have self-government, and desired it more quickly than the Europeans appeared willing to allow, they had no hatred and resentment of the British or the work done by Europeans in bringing Uganda to its present position. Perhaps their attitude may be somewhat different toward Asians, against whom there did seem to be some resentment and bitterness. But so far as Europeans were concerned, the African leaders were perfectly willing, and very ready, to express their appreciation of what had been done for Uganda, and their recognition that Uganda could not have achieved its present position without the help, guidance and financial assistance given from Britain.
They go on to express the thing which to me seems the supreme colonial problem of our time; the breakdown of confidence between Africans and Europeans throughout East Africa. To me that appears to be the particular challenge with which we are faced everywhere, but certainly in East Africa. The major problems appeared to be related, in the main, to economic development and to the means of education. And yet one could not help feeling that every effort that was made to aid economic development was treated with suspicion because, in the minds of the Africans, there was present the conviction that the object of economic development was to advantage and improve economic conditions within the white sectors of the empire. They appeared to think that somehow or other any attempt made, for example, to develop land tenure or to build up industry—such as the Owen Falls Dam or the Jinja textile factory—was done, or might be done, only because it was profitable and to the advantage of the Europeans to do it; and that the interests of Africans did not have sufficient consideration when questions of the advance and improvement of economic life in East Africa, and 812 particularly Uganda, were being contemplated.
When we were visiting the Northern Province, for example, we went to Liera just outside which was a farm school built up as I believe—and I suppose most Africans really believe—solely for the advantage of the Africans. The object of the school was to develop agricultural matters, to improve agricultural techniques and this had been done with remarkable success. A great deal of confidence was being won among the Africans in that area, and the Alair Farm School was receiving something between twenty-four and thirty-two new students every year. At the close of their course the students were invited to become co-operative farmers and, through the local councils, opportunity was given for land to be divided among the groups of boys who left the school, in order that they might develop cooperative farming techniques and apply the improved technical methods of farming which they had learnt at the school.
Before we got there, however—I think in November of last year an attempt was made, again as one can believe in the long-term interests of the Africans themselves, to develop a system of land tenure which would break through the subsistence form of farming and enable cash crops to be grown which would ultimately improve the standard of living of the Africans. Whether it was badly explained, or for whatever reason, the Africans became highly suspicious of the land tenure proposals. But what struck me as being particularly tragic was that the way in which they expressed their disapproval was to burn down the Alair Farm School. That was a tragedy which still continues to have its effect in the Northern Province in Uganda, because the situation, I understand, still is that the Alair Farm School this year has been unable to get its normal quota of boys to learn improved agricultural techniques.
The boys who left last year are unable to get land because the local distributing authority, the local councils, say, "We cannot really trust these boys to be given land. If they have land, which is marked and set down as co-operative farms, the result will be that we have got land tenure in through the back door." It is quite clear that that kind of break- 813 down of confidence—I am not attempting to apportion blame—between African and European brings with it tremendous problems when we are attempting to do, and what I believe the best Africans accept, is to improve the general standard of living and the economic potentiality of Uganda for the good of the Africans themselves.
Another major problem which has arisen there is one which the Government here may be able today to do a great deal to alleviate. When I was in Uganda I was warned that the thing I should not do when I returned home was to make a speech about Uganda which could by any standard be misinterpreted when it was recited or recorded in the Press in Uganda; because what is said in the temperate climate of debate in this House often has a most intemperate result when carried across to Africa.
There is, I believe, one thing that the Government could do today which would tremendously help to build up the confidence which has broken down. My hon. Friend the Member for Itchen (Dr. King) spoke about the refusal, for different political reasons, of Kenya and Uganda to associate in the buying and selling of electricity from the Owen Falls scheme, and in the possibility of developing freer transport between the two territories. But the one thing we heard continually from Africans in Uganda was their conviction that somehow or another the British Government would force upon them, whether they wanted it or not, the federation of these three territories. The Central African Federation was an example which was quoted constantly.
Each speaker in this debate has said, as though it were an accepted fact, that of course it is impossible to federate these three territories, because the constitutional and the political situations are different and federation would create more problems than it would solve. I wonder, then, if I may appeal to the Government spokesman to say whether the Government themselves would, formally and specifically, say that it is not the intention now or in the foreseeable future to attempt a political federation of these three territories. I am certain that if the Government were prepared to make such a statement categorically, it would remove one of the fears which has caused a breakdown of confidence between black and white in Uganda, and I believe generally throughout East Africa.
814 That breakdown of confidence, born out of historical circumstances, cannot he changed overnight. Obviously suspicion will be bound to follow, even though, with the best will in the world and the most complete integrity, Europeans in Africa are endeavouring to fulfil the objectives laid down in the Commission's Report—to serve the interests of the Africans themselves and to build up Uganda in particular as an African society.
The problems of which I have spoken which result from the breakdown of confidence are bound, to a greater or lesser degree, to bedevil every attempt which may be made to build up the economic resources and the constitutional development of East Africa and Uganda. If I may digress for a moment, I would say that I do not share the view of the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Beresford Craddock). He has spent a great deal longer in Uganda than I have, but I do not share his pessimism about development there though undoubtedly much needs to be done both for its industrial and agricultural sides.
I was assured by the manager of the new textile factory at Jinja that if only he could prevent the 100 per cent. turnover within two years of Africans whom he had trained, if only he could persuade them to stay in their jobs, he could build up a successful and effective textile industry in Uganda. Although a great deal more could be done by way of industrialisation. I accept the view generally offered in this debate that the great strength of Uganda must lie in its agricultural resources.
I come to my criticism, my greatest point of opposition to the underlying principles in the Report of the Commission, which appears to rely on traditional capitalist forms of assistance. The hon. Member for Spelthorne made a comment about the way in which agricultural development in Uganda should proceed. I cannot, of course, speak for other areas but, where we went, the land was so fertile that it is possible for a man, as a result of ten minutes' work a day, to have a sufficient subsistence for himself and his family. In Gulu we saw a branch which had been pulled from a tree and planted to make a goal post, and it was growing. It may well be that in the long term that kind of subsistence economy 815 will destroy itself, but I believe that, if the Government in Britain really want to assist in the development of something more than a subsistence economy, the best way in which they can do it is by doing a great deal more than is being done at present—by cash help in particular—to develop co-operatives and co-operative systems of trading, marketing and agriculture.
I stayed with the managing director of one of the leading companies in Uganda. Speaking from his experience of trading in Uganda and of large-scale agriculture, he said that the best hope of advance for Africans in agriculture was through the development of co-operatives. He said that this is the one thing about which they are enthusiastic; this is the one thing about which Africans have no reservations. They may be suspicious about a great deal that Europeans do, but when it comes to co-operatives, their response is tremendously encouraging; they have no doubt about the significance of cooperatives and they are completely satisfied that through the development of co-operative systems of marketing in agriculture they can enormously improve their own economic position.
I ask the Minister to look again at a matter which is of some concern, especially to the less advanced areas—the Eastern, Western and Northern Provinces of Uganda—in respect of the policy hitherto adopted in the provision of ginning plants to Africans for co-operative ginning. The position is that until, I think, March of this year it was possible for farmers who were willing to enter co-operative schemes to receive grants from the Government for the purchase of ginning plants. That has been stopped and, at a date fixed by the Government, co-operative farmers who have not by that time been given a grant will no longer be in a position to get one.
In some of the more remote parts, especially in the Northern Province, the position is that the idea caught on so late that the opportunity of receiving grants for the purchase of ginning plants passed them by before the closing date came. When I spoke to the Secretary to the Ministry for Rural Development he said that clearly they could not hold out the offer indefinitely, because in Uganda they simply had not sufficient 816 money to enable them to carry on such a desirable project without limit. It may well be that the British Government may be able to assist by making grants for this most essential form of co-operative development. This is one way we can help. There are others, but already I fear I have taken too much time, but I thought that it was important to make these comments. If we are to achieve the constitutional development which we all desire without any unnecessary lagging behind in economic development, constitutional and economic matters must go hand in hand. By developing co-operatives, all forms of co-operative trading which, in the view of Africans, is the greatest hope for their economic advancement, we can help them to lift themselves up by their own boot straps and, at the same time, we can restore that feeling of confidence without which constitutional development is impossible.
§ 1.40 p.m.
§ Mr. R. Chichester-Clark (Londonderry)
I believe that some months after this Report was published a meeting of about 400 people keenly interested in East African affairs was asked how many present had read the Report. Only two of the 400 rose to their feet. No hon. Member today has been bold enough to confess that he has not read the Report; nor shall I now. The Report is so complex and so long that the most one can hope to do is to touch merely on the fringe of what is in it and of some of these things that will affect its implementation one way or another. That I shall attempt to do.
This task is made no easier by the fact that three of my colleagues who accompanied me on our tour of Uganda have already spoken. I shall not, in that case, speak for very long. The degree of agreement which there we seem to have found among us was quite remarkable. Perhaps that will give heart to those who, in East Africa, think of us as "bloody politicians". I quote the words so as to avoid your censure, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. Having observed the agreement there is among us, they may now feel that we are rather less so adjectival.
To secure economic development there must be capital investment. That can only come about when there is some greater degree of political stability, but that does 817 not mean that political development should be at a standstill. It seemed that in Uganda the importance of political development has temporarily been somewhat artificially magnified at the expense of economic development. I hope to say something about that.
Self-government can convey nothing and will convey nothing to Uganda until time, together with some of the recommendations of this Report, have had their effect and have removed some of the inter-tribal suspicions that one finds out there; and also until the three main political parties have evolved as their policy something rather more than the meaningless cry of "independence" or "self-government". Perhaps this cry is so magnetic because it is so meaningless. Thousands of Africans, and I realised this on my short tour, did not understand the word. They regarded it as a synonym for "El Dorado".
One might touch momentarily on the tribal differences. I disagreed with my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Beresford Craddock) on the subject of the Baganda, although I usually respect his views on that subject. He said—I hope I am not misquoting him—that the Bagandas wished to dominate the rest of Uganda when self-government came along. I think that is going too far. I find myself, rather nervously, agreeing with the hon. Member opposite who interrupted my hon. Friend. I saw no actual evidence that the Baganda wished to dominate. That they might dominate is another matter, but I do not want to say that the intention is there; although I may be wrong about that.
Of course, the Southern tribes have had most of the economic advantages, and therefore the attitudes of some of the others are not difficult to understand. Throughout all that area, in which the Baganda dwell, there is regular rainfall; there is Lake Victoria, a railway terminus, and the Owen Falls Dam close by holding prospects of further industrial development. Cotton and education came here first. Of course they have a higher standard of living. No one would deny that. Incidentally, the Buganda elections, if all goes well and agreement is reached over the extent of the franchise. are due to take place this year.
818 An interesting feature may be that we shall see reflected in these elections the influence of the thousands of immigrants from such places as Ruanda Urundi, the Congo and Tanganyika, who have been drawn to Baganda by the need for labour and the fertility of the land. From that it may well emerge that the Baganda are not quite the masters they thought they were in their own house.
Elsewhere in places like Acholi and Lango which I visited, events and people have not stood still. Great strides have been made in education and economic development. There, too, one hears the cry "self-government," but one also heard sotto vocethe intention that they did not intend—this is important—to be dominated or to risk being dominated by the Baganda in the event of self-government.
The Baganda really must work now to allay some of these fears. One must implore them not to under-estimate the strength of these forces. I talked with one leader in Buganda who rather alarmed me, because when I spoke of these other tribal difficulties and antipathies he said he regarded them as insignificant. He believed that when the time came the only difficulty would be the old feud between the Baganda and the Bunyoro over the missing counties—and how familiar the phrase "the missing counties" is to someone from my part of the world; they were the only difficulties he could imagine, and he was only too well able to tell him how wrong he was.
I do ask them to recognise that there are many others. Here I cannot refrain from saying that some of the actions of the Kabaka's Government have not exactly had the effect of reassuring some of the other tribes. Indeed, one must have seemed a mockery of the democratic system which I suppose they are trying to imbibe. I refer to the banning from the Lukiko of a duly-elected member. That action could hardly be calculated to win the confidence of the other people who are so badly needed. I hope that the Minister who is to reply will tell us what has happened in this affair and whether the matter has been cleared up.
I appeal to the Kabaka, who is a highly intelligent man, to recognise, as I am sure he does, that this sort of action 819 is detrimental to the cause of the Baganda and of Uganda as a whole. I hope he will do everything in his power, as a constitutional monarch, to stop a recurrence of this kind of incident. Another incident is worth mentioning as it illustrates the feeling against the Baganda, which, as I have said, must not be underestimated. A debate took place recently in the Legislative Council. It was referred to by the hon. Member for Itchen (Dr. King). A motion proposed by the Baganda for self-government was hotly debated and rejected. I will quote only one sentence from an up-country African member who spoke in the debate. He said:Self-government if not prepared for means nothing but a mere transfer of rule from the fair to the less fair rule.In saying that, he was only paraphrasing the fears of thousands of Africans, and it is fair that they should be expressed.
Political parties may do something to cut across tribal alignments, but that can only happen when they put forward policies instead of slogans, and slogans are far too much the trend at the present time. The political pattern is familiar: there is the spectacle of the National Congress a long way ahead of the other two parties. One of the others had only just become established in Lango when we were there some six weeks ago. Extreme slogans are the rage and there is a regrettable tendency for the parties to compete in this field. A real policy is necessary. I hope that African leaders of the political parties will read the Royal Commission's Report.
Rumour seems to travel very fast in that part of the world. I do not say that all the rumours are of political origin, but the hon. Member for Barons Court (Mr. W. T. Williams) mentioned one or two—or was about to mention them—some which we encountered in the Lango district. He spoke of the farm school and the land tenure problems. I can confirm everything he said about that. It seems tragic that that farm school, which at first could not handle all the applicants from students for places, six weeks ago, was able to fill only 24 out of 50 available. I think that on reflection the hon. Member would agree that it would not be fair to assume that the proposals about land tenure were properly advanced.
820 One heard other disturbing rumours, and I shall not go into them all. There was the question of water dams. At one time when the dams were being built it was said by many Africans—again I say that this did not necessarily have a political origin—that the dams were to be built for the benefit of Europeans, whose houses would cluster around them. Time has disposed of that. Another rumour arose when the chemical cleaning of the water was undertaken. It was said that that was an attempt to poison the fish and, through the fish, the Africans. Even last winter a medical assistant—I hope that by "medical assistant" I am calling him by the right title—who also was a political leader was imprisoned for telling those who came to be inoculated against tuberculosis that the needle was going to destroy them.
That kind of thing militates heavily against progress, and I hope some steps will be taken to combat such rumours which do so much harm to economic progress and to race relationships. I hope also that there will be no stinting of money for information services about such institutions as the farming schools. The proper dissemination of information is still one of the major needs of Uganda, and as my hon. Friend mentioned, the Egyptian and Sudanese transmitters will be in action, we suppose, in about two years' time.
A minor suggestion I would make is that in order that their views may be put across it might be helpful to consider supplying tape recorders to district commissioners and other departmental officers. Now that there are broadcast services to all the areas, it might be possible to relay such tape recordings and so spread information about agricultural and educational problems. Films, especially about agriculture, are of immense importance in this connection. If the disseminated information of department officers is to be understood properly, it is very important that as many of them as possible should be able to talk the local vernacular. In one area in Uganda I know there was only one officer among many who was able to claim that he could speak the vernacular.
Probably the Government will accept the proposals contained in this Report. If they do, I hope they will do everything they can to explain them. I think the 821 Report should be read—obviously it has—and re-read by all in the administration, all public servants out there, and particularly by the political leaders. Progress towards political equality, which is so much desired by the African, must be matched by progress towards economic equality. In that connection, I conclude by saying that perhaps the best advice one could humbly give to African political leaders is contained in the somewhat Irish phrase, "Hasten slowly".
§ 1.55 p.m.
§ Mr. R. W. Sorensen (Leyton)
The hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Chichester-Clark), like the three preceding speakers, has quite legitimately and quite properly taken up his time in giving a report of the journeys of himself and his colleagues in East Africa and to particular Colonies. I am sure that those who went with him appreciated his remarks as much as those who had not the same fortune. I am sure that all hon. Members value most highly the contribution made by those who go overseas under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
All who have spoken today have paid tribute to the unquestionable value of that organisation in bringing hon. Members of this House into close and immediate contact with the problems, the needs and circumstances, of Colonial Territories. I have met—not in the areas discussed this morning, for I have not had the fortune to go to those areas, but elsewhere—such an individual to whom reference has been made more than once this morning. He speaks in rather sanguinary, vituperative terms about people who have gone to a Colony for about a fortnight and come back pretending to know all about it. One can understand his resentment, but on the other hand, if one meets such individuals one can also say that one has also met some persons who have spent many years in overseas territories and yet who have appeared to be as ignorant in the end as in the beginning.
Those of us who have to deal in this House with these stupendous problems cannot expect to go to all the territories. All we can do is to listen to those who have been there, to read what has been written about those territories and, in the light of certain criteria, make our own 822 judgment. What has been said I want to say again. This debate has been a valuable contribution to the wider question of the Report of the East African Commission. I also add my own testimony to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson), who almost seemed to me to be a kind of bigamist—living with his wife and also with the East African Report. He must have lived with the latter for a long time to be so familiar with all its many details. I confess that I have rushed through it, but not with the same effectiveness as my hon. Friend. All of us constantly receive a stream of publications, all of them extremely valuable, but how we can even pretend —without hypocrisy—to have studied all those documents beats my understanding entirely. Obviously my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby has considered the various proposals and, in the short space of time at my disposal, I want to turn a little later to three particular aspects of the general Report and to give my own views on them.
It is quite obvious that all the members of the Commission have done an excellent job. We may disagree with some of their proposals or feel that here and there there must be severe modifications, but at least in this hefty volume we find a great mass of material with which we can deal in the future, which will form the basis of our support or criticism, and we certainly pay tribute to the great services that they have performed. It is important that this Report should be before us today and that we should consider it, first, because it deals with a portion of what used to be and is still the British Empire, in contrast to a great portion that is no longer Imperial. The East African territories, strictly speaking, are still in the Empire rather than in the Commonwealth. That itself has its own significance.
Secondly, the test of our democratic responsibility and affirmation will be revealed by how we treat the still Imperial territories in the period that lies ahead. Quite obviously what we are doing and are likely to do, politically, economically, and socially, in East Africa will determine what the future relationship of that part of Africa will be to us and indeed to the whole of the free world in the next five or ten years at the outside. 823 In passing, I would say that I cannot quite understand the assertion made by the hon. Member for Spelthome (Mr. Beresford Craddock), who is not present now—at least the implication, if not the assertion—that Members of this House were constantly denigrating the work of the British overseas. I have not found that in this House. There may have been some remarks here and there which appeared to fit into the category of that denunciation, but mostly we hear reiterations of praise, on both sides of the House, for the work of British pioneers in many of our Colonial Territories.
What should be appreciated—and it does not always appear to be realised enough—is that on the other hand there are weaknesses, there are errors, mistakes, and sometimes tragedies, for which we are responsible. Some people, I am afraid, recognise the undoubted services that British people have rendered to Africa, but do not at the same time also recognise our sins of omission and commission. We need to avoid complacent self-righteousness lest otherwise the Africans themselves tend to fasten upon our sins of omission and commission and fail to appreciate what is undoubtedly true—the great services which have been rendered to their well-being, in spite of all the qualifications that may be advanced.
§ Mr. Archer Baldwin (Leominster)
As my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Beresford Craddock) is absent, perhaps I may say to the hon. Member opposite that my hon. Friend was referring to Questions and supplementary questions asked in this House, rather than to a debate such as is taking place today.
§ Mr. Sorensen
There, I am afraid, I have not myself noticed many Questions asked in this House that fit into that category, but maybe I am wrong. I was merely putting a plea that the House, particularly my hon. Friends opposite, may be educated, as we on this side are being educated, by the process of learning from one another, because we can learn a great deal in that way.
The Royal Commission and its Report, while being confined to social and economic conditions, do at least also carry with them a recognition that what- 824 ever we may think of freedom and liberty, the freedom that is merely freedom to stagnate or decay is not a freedom worth having. Therefore, I fully recognise that this is a warning to us not to segregate the claim of freedom, liberty, self-government and so forth, and ignore the other fact that there must be a stable economic foundation for that freedom, which otherwise will collapse.
I gladly bear testimony to the services which British settlers and others have given in East Africa in opening up pathways to developments which would otherwise not have taken place, so far as we can see. They took with them their skill and their knowledge, apart from their capital, and all that has been at the disposal of all who live in that area. In other words, they made available forms of wealth which otherwise would not have been there. They made certain things possible. Whether the possibilities always turned into actuality enjoyed by all is another matter, but at least they made available wealth, knowledge, and skill, that otherwise would not have been there.
Therefore, I can understand equally the fear of many of them that the political proposals made in this House or elsewhere for political advancement in these territories might well endanger all that they have done. They are entitled to say to us "Think of this part of Africa before we came here, and recognise that, no matter what our shortcomings, our mistakes, and errors may have been, compared with the time before we came, the country has improved. Look at the development of roads that has taken place, the hospitals and schools established. Is not all this to be accepted as having effected a transformation which has been of benefit, not only to the white settlers, but also to the indigenous people themselves?"
One quite agrees, and I can appreciate them saying that if in fact political development towards self-government is going to endanger all that they have contributed for the benefit of the Africans as well as themselves, then they have a right, if not to resist, at least to warn against too rapid a development.
On the other hand, one must equally recognise that the people of Africa are awakening. They are engaged sometimes perhaps in crude and rough propaganda 825 such as sometimes characterised the political awakening of the working-class or indeed the middle-class people of this country. We have only to remember the Reform Bill of 1832 and the burning down of Nottingham Castle to admit that even the industrial middle-class were at times very ready to engage in crude political propaganda.
I would say that that is also true of the women who, in the pre-1914 days, were striving for political recognition. The statue of a lady not far from the House is now honoured by all who value the new status of women, but nevertheless it is a reminder of what some of these women themselves did in pre-1914 days, when they did not always adopt peaceful means of persuasion. We have only to look beyond the Press Gallery to recall some of the wild scenes that took place in pre-1914 days when women chained themselves to the grille, refused to behave themselves, and created grave disturbances in the Mother of Parliaments.
I only mention these things in order to suggest that surely we can be big enough to look beyond the crude methods sometimes employed in unbalanced agitation to the fact that there is an awakening of the human spirit in East Africa, and to suggest that, with large-mindedness, we should see again today, as in the past, that underneath the crudity and even violence there is an awakening of the peoples in the East African territories that which we should welcome, and certainly something which we cannot suppress, even though it may be that we shall be disconcerted, embarrassed and troubled. If sometimes they may engage in actions that may well thwart their own best development, we can still appreciate that as a sign of life and promise struggling for expression.
Let us by all means realise that we have as much right—we, the white people—to be in Africa, or in certain parts of Africa, as the Africans themselves. We believe in a common humanity, and there is no reason why we should not go into any part of the world. It is true that there are very few parts of Africa where people have dwelt there since the very beginning of their race. There has been constant migration, and I certainly will not subscribe to any principle of apartheid or colour-bar or 826 colour prejudice which prevents those who happen to have pale skins from going to other parts of the world where there are those with darker skins than our own, or vice versa.
But we must recognise, and this applies to those of any shade of colour, that wherever they go there they must be good citizens, and must be prepared to accept the fact that they are human beings first, and that, if they have a contribution to make, as the British undoubtedly have and have already made, nevertheless they should not use it in ways that, in turn, can be interpreted as being merely for the advantage of British settlers and not accruing therefore to those of other races.
On the other hand, just as we cannot divorce the economic and social needs of Africa from the political, it is equally true the other way round. If all the schemes, plans and proposals in this Report were to be put into operation, and it was found that they met strong emotional resistance, however irrational, on the part of Africans, where would these plans go? What possibility would there be of any of those schemes ever being implemented? Let us face the psychological facts, and, facing them, learn that it is sometimes better to go slow in a certain direction than, with the best intentions in the world, to rush ahead only to provoke conflict, and sometimes even worse.
One must face the fact that many of the Africans for whose benefit it can be said that this Commission's Report is really drawn up may genuinely fear that they may be exploited and permanently retained on a lower level than their white overlords. There is indeed evidence in support of that fear, and I am not here thinking merely of the Union of South Africa, but also of certain tendencies of that kind in the Central African Federation. Certainly there is some evidence from the past. In consequence of that, we may well understand the African saying, "It is all very well for you to say to us that you are doing these things for our good, but judging by your behaviour in certain other parts of the world, we are entitled to say that in fact you intend, either benevolently or the reverse, always to be our overlords, and not to give us a real chance of rising up and reaching the same status as yourselves."
827 I mention these things in passing because once or twice here and elsewhere I have heard Members of this House rather suggest that it is wrong for Africans even to question the proposals made by British politicians. I think they are entitled to question them and to criticise, that they are entitled to ask whither these proposals will lead, and to do so even if they are wrong, because I think that in that way we encourage them to develop to constructive purposes their capacity for expression. That in the end will enable us to demonstrate that we do believe that Africans and the British are fundamentally equal.
I turn to another subject which was touched on by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and others, the proposal in the Report of the Commission that there should be steps towards individual tenure of land, which is so great a challenge to many of us who take a keen interest in the preservation of the rights of the natives as well as the encouragement of their duties. One appreciates why the Commission puts forward this proposal. We know that the local communal ownership of land, whatever may have been its history, however valuable it may have been in the past, can be detrimental, and can, of course, certainly be uneconomic. It can indeed be disastrous if there is an ever-increasing population without, at the same time, an increase of the means of subsistence.
I am well aware of the reference in the Report which suggests that in East Africa there is not the same danger from excessive population as there may be in other parts of the world. Nevertheless, I say that, so far as we can tell, in certain areas of East Africa there has been that danger and the danger of steady decline in subsistence precisely because of the ancient traditional method of land tenure.
Nevertheless, custom and tradition are very powerful, and we must respect custom and tradition as much amongst Africans as amongst ourselves. We have customs and traditions in this House, queer and wondrous habits in which we engage and which have grown up during the centuries, some of them doubtless appearing to outsiders, especially to our American friends, as being very weird and strange. The terminology at the beginning of the Report itself seems antiquated, archaic; yet we preserve it. Thus 828 it is that we should respect also, however foolish it may seem to us, the reluctance of the African to change his way of life.
He must change it to save himself, I quite agree, but should we not throw the whole emphasis on persuasion rather than on compulsion? I am not saying that in certain circumstances and in certain respects there may not have to be compulsion. What I am pleading for is tolerance, for custom and tradition are powerful, and if amongst primitive natives we ruthlessly brush custom and tradition on one side we shall provoke the emotional reaction which we wish to avoid.
It is their way of life. It may be a stupid, it may be a primitive, way of life; it may seem to us a foolish, unenlightened way of life; but it is their way of life. Let us deal with it as gently as we possibly can. If we have to take strong action, let us do so only after every educational avenue has been thoroughly explored, if I may use a hackneyed term.
On the other hand, I do not agree at all with those anti-Imperialists who used to say in the past, even if they are not saying it today, that we have no right to be in those countries, that we must leave them alone, so to speak, to stew in their own juice. I do not agree with them because we have responsibility for those fellow human beings. We have a responsibility to help them to understand what it is they are lacking. We have no right to say that because they may be content with their lot, therefore they should remain content. I believe that there are hon. Members on the other side of the House who are as involved as we are in this precious principle of stimulation and agitation.
We cannot escape our responsibility. We have impacted those peoples with our own civilisation, and have brought before their very eyes our standards and our way of life, which have inevitably caused some measure of emulation, cumulative in its effect, so that if some revert back to some of their more ancient customs in anger, in violence, on the other hand there are those who desire now to share in the new ideas which they have as yet only imperfectly assimilated.
If there is a breaking up of their communal holdings it should be done with 829 great reticence, respect and understanding. We should at the same time put before them examples of alternative methods of cultivation, so that at least they can see and know by experience how much better are these ways of husbandry than theirs.
If we do not do it in that way we shall be inclined to be involved in the same methods so ruthlessly employed by the Soviet Union Government, which went to the peasants in many parts of their territory and said, "We know better than you do what is best for you." Perhaps they did, but they did not merely say that they would demonstrate better methods to them, but imposed those new methods upon them, ruthlessly, brutally and inhumanly. Thus were the peasants compelled to submit to the demands of the Soviet Government.
I am sure that we all want to avoid doing that. Therefore, we must proceed by persuasion, good will and patience, and by putting forward examples of alternative ways. Would it not be possible, for instance, to have a system of tribal ownership of land, or a larger type of local government ownership, to take over tracts of land and to lease out the land to those who may occupy it now but on the recognition that it is no longer on the same basis as formerly?
Thus the occupiers would still feel that the land belonged to them in the wider communal sense. They could be encouraged to make reports of their progress with the land, comparing one report with another, and so steadily be encouraged to adopt superior methods of husbandry, while we should avoid that fragmentation of the land which in many parts of the world has unfortunately been to the detriment of those who dwelt upon it.
I must leave aside much that I wanted to say because I know that others wish to speak in the debate, but I must briefly allude to education. We know there is a tremendous lack of educational facilities, and that it is likely to continue for some time. Yet there is a hunger for education. It may be that many imagine that if they get education they can get better jobs, and it is true that frequently there is an assumption that if only the children 830 can have better education they need no longer work with their hands to make a living. All those are difficulties, and I am not so foolish as to imagine that education is always sought for idyllic reasons. Nevertheless, the demand is there. How are we to meet it?
We cannot meet the need for primary education unless we have extended higher education. Otherwise we cannot find the teachers. If we are to have higher education, should we not consider the total abolition of all fees, even though that would cost us a very substantial sum of money? Fees are now being paid. Some parents can afford to pay them. Others cannot. Why not abolish all fees, and, on the contrary, even offer financial assistance to those parents of children who would benefit by higher education, whereby they in turn could become the teachers of the morrow? If I would place any emphasis at all in this matter I would place it most of all on preparation for expanded education, even if it costs this country or some other agency a very substantial sum of money.
I wanted to speak about roads and water development, but I will sacrifice my desire, to do so in order to give others an opportunity to speak. East Africa is not in the same category as Ghana and Nigeria, the first of which has achieved independence while the other is on its threshold. In East Africa, in an area which is still colonial and where there are many complex problems and many races, and there is the need at one and the same time for political and economic development, we can demonstrate to the world our own British capacity for constructive democracy.
I hope earnestly that on both sides of the House we shall see to it that this Report is carefully considered. I hope that we shall not be afraid of saying where we think that the otherwise wise words and proposals in the Report have gone wrong. I hope that at an early date, and not on a Friday when few hon. Members are present, but in a full House, we shall be able to debate the Report again and consider the prospects of our East African territories securing the basis of a sound expanding economy and advancing to full political stature, inspired with the sense of a common humanity.
§ 2.22 p.m.
§ Mr. C. W. Armstrong (Armagh)
I am a little uncertain whether I ought to declare an interest before speaking on the subject of the debate. My status on my passport is that of a permanent resident in Kenya, but my interest is that of anyone who has his home in this or any other country—to live under a just and orderly Government in peace and charity with my neighbours. One of the vast array of subjects in the Report, the one on which I should like to speak is land consolidation, because I think that it is perhaps the most important single subject and it brings to a focus the kind of problems with which we have to deal.
Before the troubles in Kenya, those officers of Government who struggled with the problems of land usage sometimes had their difficulties aggravated by African politicians who discouraged Africans from co-operating, with suggestions that if they protected and consolidated their land it would be stolen from them by the Europeans. Since the troubles in the Kikuyu reserves, where there has been closer and stricter administration and where that kind of political agitation has been suspended, the progress has been astonishing. The thing to bear in mind is that that progress has been achieved without any compulsion, without ramming it down the throats of the people, without any single man being deprived against his will of his land.
Last month, in answer to a question, my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary explained that Government action was confined to explaining the disadvantages of present systems of cultivation and the benefits of compact and secure holdings. The whole process is carried out by African committees, and I had the privilege in Kenya of seeing and listening to a committee of this sort at work. It occurred to me then, as it had often occurred to me before in Asia and in Africa, that when people of one calling in life get together to work on a problem, whether they are soldiers, or foresters, or farmers, once they start working together they become much more a company of soldiers or foresters or farmers than a party of people of different races. As I listened to the committee of African farmers and the kind of things they said, and observed their demeanour and the kind of people they were, they 832 seemed to me exactly the same kind of people as I had seen doing the same kind of work in Asia, and very much the same kind of people as the farmers in my own constituency.
The difficulty that has been pointed out in the debate of getting on with consolidation in these areas in Kenya is by no means lack of co-operation from Africans. It is the shortage of surveyors and other extra staff to press on with the work. Unhappily, during the last week or so, there has started in Nyanza exactly the same kind of political obstruction that we used to associate with the name of Jomo Kenyatta in the Kikuyu reserves. The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) dealt very wisely, very gently, and very sensibly, with these incidents in Kisumu, but there have been people in this country who have had anxieties about the effects of land consolidation in Kenya, on the lines that it is liable to produce a class of landless unemployed.
It is right that we should balance carefully the issues involved here. If we allow land consolidation to be obstructed, what will follow? We shall have worse fragmentation of holdings. They will become smaller and more scattered. Rotation and manuring becomes impossible, the land becomes poorer, yields drop below even subsistence level, and there is then created an unhappy class of African tied to an increasingly barren patch of land and hesitating to throw himself Enthusiastically into other employment.
If, on the other hand, we do not allow land consolidation to be obstructed and we press on with it, I think that we can expect an increased fertility of the land, high yields, and high values for the land. Even at the time when the Commission issued its Report, it reckoned that a consolidated holding was worth two and a half times the current value of similar unconsolidated land. We can expect a cash surplus, without which the standard of living of the rural African cannot rise, and we can hope to cure the problem of over-population and unemployment in the reserves.
The Commission estimated that on properly farmed, economic, compact holdings there would actually be a shortage of labour, at any rate in the Kikuyu reserve. I think that pilot schemes which have been put into operation already have confirmed those estimates, 833 and they have also shown that the entire process of consolidation, given cooperation from the African leaders, works more easily than was expected.
It is of fundamental importance, at any rate in Kenya, that employment should be found on the land. Previous speakers have referred to the difficulty about housing in urban areas. It seems to me an almost insoluble problem to meet the costs of good urban housing with the kind of wages that it will be economic to pay for many years to come in light industries in urban centres in Kenya. Therefore anything we can do to give men employment and a reasonable livelihood on the land seems to me to be one of the keys to the future of African progress in Kenya.
§ Mr. Paget
I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman when he says, in effect, that consolidation does not create an unemployment, but it makes apparent an unemployment which was previously concealed. There will be a group of landless men, and surely we have to develop some industry to absorb them, as the land cannot absorb them all?
§ Mr. Armstrong
It is true that instead of having owners of barren, uneconomic patches of land, we should have owners of economic farms, and labourers working on those farms. It is right that they should he provided for, and there are two lines of development there. 'The first has been provided by the Government setting up an institution with the forbidding name of the Industrial Estates Development Committee, to try to encourage industries in rural areas.
I feel a good deal of sympathy for that venture because it happens that in my own part of the North of Ireland, where the holdings are very small and a living off the land is hard to make, there has been a long tradition of industries spread over the countryside, following largely the river valleys for water power, and I believe that that is the reason why the standard of living in rural areas in the North of Ireland, where the land is poorer and the climate harder, tends to be rather better than in the Irish Republic in the South.
834 The other line of development is the provision of what we may call, for the purpose of the argument, allotments for the landless labourer, where he can grow a substantial contribution towards his own food.
If that is a fair picture of the merits of land consolidation, I think we should recognise the dilemma that faces the Government in Kenya and, because of our responsibilities, in this country. Reference has been made to the importance of allowing freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. When, however, speeches are made, like the one referred to in this debate, the effect in a country such as Kenya is different from anything we can understand in this country.
It will have been noticed that after the speech referred to, six Africans, who had particularly asked to be set on a course of land consolidation, withdrew their names and gave no reason for doing so. The fact is that this is a subject on which Africans are naturally fearful and suspicious. I know, because I have argued this myself with my own Africans. I remember how difficult it was to persuade them that it was true that, though my family had farmed land in Ireland, I, as a younger son, had not the smallest share in any of that land.
There is another and much more sinister influence. It is the influence of terrorism in a country with the recent history of Kenya. When responsible speakers begin to talk about "continuing the war" and "blood flowing". It has an effect which people living in Great Britain, who have never experienced terrorism, simply cannot appreciate. If, however, a people as highly developed and as sophisticated as the Germans allowed themselves to be dominated by the Nazi terror in the way they did, we should be able to understand how an African can be influenced by the merest threat of terrorism. Faced with that dilemma, what is the right attitude for a Government to take? This is a case where freedom conflicts with progress, and it would be a choice of very doubtful wisdom in a case like this to say that freedom must be given priority over progress.
I have dealt only with land consolidation, and I will not attempt to touch on any of the other vast array of recommendations in the Report. It seems to, 835 me to have a particular value, and it is this: I think that sometimes in the territories for which we have been responsible we have not perhaps done our duty by them because we feared the imputation of wrong motives, and that sometimes perhaps we have had doubts in our own minds. Here is a great public document which can show us the way in which we can go with complete confidence, resting on the manifest integrity and impartiality of the Report.
§ 2.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Creech Jones (Wakefield)
I intervene in the debate at this stage, not because I am anxious that it should come to an end, but because I think it is advisable and desirable that we should have a statement from the Under-Secretary about the general policies which have been discussed. All of us are conscious that we have had a debate of a very high standard and that the contributions to which we have listened have been well worth while. May I say, particularly, how much one listens with care and attention to the extremely thoughtful contributions which are made from time to time by the hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. Armstrong).
We are, I am sure, indebted today to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) for choosing the Royal Commission Report as the subject for our discussion. It is true that we have been in possession of the Report for nearly a couple of years and in possession of the views of the local Governments and of Her Majesty's Government, and it was about time that the House turned its attention to the very far-reaching problems which are raised in the Report, because all of us, I think, agree that it is one of the most important documents concerned with African affairs which has ever been presented to the House.
I note from the White Paper published by the Government that there is a broad acceptance of the direction and objectives of the Report. Although there are a few differences of view, none the less the Government are satisfied that the Report is broadly on sound lines. As we read the Report, we are conscious that the terms of reference of the Royal Commission were a little too narrowly drawn. It is very difficult, I think, to review 836 economic and social problems in these territories without being seized of the political implications of these problems. Little progress can be made in economic and social reconstruction unless we bring into consideration the political aspirations of the various communities in Africa and the difficulties which political advance presents.
I think, therefore, that in this effort to give us the basis on which higher standards of living can be established in East Africa the Commissioners have been in great difficulty because of the repercussions of certain of their recommendations, if they were adopted, on the political and social life of the peoples in the Territories.
May I confess that I was a little disturbed, when the Report was issued, because of what appeared to me to be a blatant deficiency in the argument? I acknowledge, as we all acknowledge, the considerable work which the Royal Commission did. We acknowledge how painstaking and how careful in presentation, how logical in argument, the members were in presenting their Report. Nevertheless, as I read it I thought that a tremendous impatience was shown with the policies which Governments, and local governments in particular have pursued in the past. It seemed that at times the Commissioners thought that the officials, the administrators and the Governments were, may I describe it, nitwits, and that certainly there was poor comprehension of the policies which were necessary in a vast, developing region such as East Africa.
If we on these benches are criticised for not always paying full tribute to the work of the pioneers and the administrators, of those who have gone out and helped to build the civilisation of East Africa, let us not forget that those men are sometimes severely criticised for their efforts to safeguard the interests of the people in the territories they served and to safeguard the work which they pursued in trying to transform those Territories into areas which satisfied modern standards of living.
The Report is infused with an individualistic philosophy which ill fits the present times. It is quite true that this laissez-faire doctrine is sometimes modified. There are doubts, sometimes, in the minds of the Commissioners whether 837 there ought not to be a variety of controls and of regulations to prevent excesses arising from the degree of freedom which they want to see extended in these territories.
Having said that, I recognise that there are some very great virtues in the Report which are outstanding. These include the attitude of the Commission towards sectionalism, racialism and separation, and the fact that they feel very profoundly that discriminations ought to go and that somehow or other the structure of society should be such that, economically and socially, people can fully co-operate, to whatever community they belong.
Of equal importance, I think, is the challenge which the Report makes to our policies in the past. We are challenged whether the assumptions underlying policy in the past have been sound. In so far as it jerks us into further thinking and out of the complacency into which we may have fallen, the Report serves an extremely important purpose.
The Report has as its theme song how to lift East Africa out of its present poverty, how to raise the standards of living and how to make possible good life for all. What the Report suggests, as has been pointed out time and time again in the debate, is something not far short of an economic and social revolution and a fundamental change in our concept of policy. This involves the Africans in the abandonment of their traditional ways of life and in thoroughgoing changes, which are little short of a revolution, in their manner of living, in their ways of life and obviously in their methods of cultivation and economic activities.
A great deal of the debate so far has covered both Uganda and Kenya. Little has been said) of the problems of Tanganyika. Possibly we are content to read the reports of the United Nations Missions and leave the matter there. I may be forgiven if I concern myself mainly with the scene in Kenya. The Commission has somewhat underestimated the probable psychological impact of the economic changes which it proposes. It does not altogether allow for the suspicions which the recommendations, if implemented, are likely to arouse, nor does it allow sufficiently for the likely effects of too rapid change.
838 In the heart of every African there is a deep regard for land, which is his security, and I fear that that is sometimes overlooked in discussions of the Report. We must recognise, however, that some remarkable changes are coming in East Africa and it would not have been necessary to wait for the Report to see the way progress should be made. In the last few years, particularly with the stimulation by our technical officers, we have seen new methods in agricultural techniques, the movements, which have been described today, in land tenure and land consolidation, the excellent work done in soil conservation, the de-stocking which is producing better livestock and the beginnings of the operation of The Swinnerton Plan. All these are hopeful signs of economic progress resulting from co-operation between officials and technicians in agriculture.
Particularly in Kenya there have been extraordinary developments in new schemes of land settlement, not sufficient perhaps, but none-the-less the planning of farms and so on, all extremely encouraging. Obviously we are not likely to make this progress without the confidence and good will of the African tribes. In all we do we must not unduly out-strip the sense of security on which progress depends. European and Asiatic penetration, the creation of urban centres, the changing of the economy to a money economy with the buying and selling of goods, the coming of new products and the establishment of industry are having a profound effect on African life and are weakening the old traditional ties.
It is, important, therefore, when these changes are coming, coupled with the adoption of certain recommendations in the Report, that social and economic development should keep pace with political demands. Fundamentally we cannot get very far unless African cooperation is expressed in consultation and in the development of a sense of responsibility through the political institutions which are necessary for the life of the territory. It was the Government of Kenya who said in their statement to the Secretary of State:It would he most injudicious to try to move faster than public opinion allowed towards the breaking down of tribal and racial boundaries, particularly those boundaries which distinguish the various areas of land assigned to separate communities and separate tribal groups. Any premature move in this 839 direction could only lead to loss of confidence amongst farmers of all faces and to results which would be disastrous for the economy of the country.Broadly, we recognise that. Many of the recommendations must come about through the building of confidence so that the good-will of the Africans is not altogether destroyed.
Much thought has been given during the debate to the recommendation of the Commission about the use of land. The members of the Commission point out that their policy is based on land use and not on protecting the interests of particular communities. That is all right as far as it goes, but unless there are certain safeguards for the communities we shall not get very far. The Kenya Government pointed out that certain communities will continue to require protection in the foreseeable future.
Her Majesty's Government recognise that new proposals cannot be imposed, but must be accepted and understood by the people concerned. It is obvious that in the break away from a communal form of cultivation into an intensely individualistic use of land the strong may be dangerous to the weak and, as has been pointed out, the policy will produce a landless class without adequate social provision.
It is important to recognise that in all we do for the improvement of land cultivation and the re-organisation of the use of land there must be certain controls with a wise transfer of land, the setting of boundaries in consultation with the people concerned and full consultation with tribal authorities in leasing, teaching and training, and the reservation of areas, certainly for some time to come, to the Africans themselves. We must ensure in promoting alternative policies that they are based on collective and co-operative working and are suitably consolidated.
I also want to refer to the rather iconoclastic attitude of the Royal Commission in respect of the controls, marketing boards and guaranteed prices, in its suggestion that some of these things might be abandoned. One is conscious that there can be overmuch control and regulation in regard to the products of Kenya, but it must be admitted that the economy of the territory over the last 840 decade has been largely enhanced, and certainly preserved, because of the existence of these boards. They have served a most useful purpose and, because of the nature of the economic problem of East Africa, they are still necessary. It would be fatal if they were discontinued.
Already a greater flexibility is being brought into administration of marketing and the structure of these boards. In the Annual Report of the East African High Commission, on page 65, it is said:The past few years have seen a progressive move towards more unrestricted trade, with a marked tendency for Government policies to diverge in regard to guaranteed prices to the producers and the marketing of certain crops and other matters.So there is already being worked out, in terms of policy, a greater relaxation and flexibility, and I think that it will continue. To sweep away all the controls and regulations, however, would be destructive.
I also want to repeat what several of my hon. Friends have said in regard to the work of the High Commission. I agree that its services are not always adequately appreciated. Some excellent work is done by the Commission and it would be most unfortunate if the Africans began to believe—as some already do—that the High Commission is destined to lay the foundations of a federated East Africa. When the White Paper on the High Commission was prepared I wrote into it very firmly the provision that the Commission must not be regarded as a stage towards federation. One is conscious of the political implications of federation, and I am sure that if we want trouble amongst the Africans in East Africa the surest way of going about it is to weaken our own attitude, which has been so firmly laid down in the past, when we have discussed closer association. For us to weaken our attitude and say that we were in favour of some form of federated East Africa would certainly cause trouble.
I now want to refer to several other points which are raised in the Report. First, I want to draw attention to the views of the Kenya Government—views which are endorsed by Her Majesty's Government—in respect of the European Highlands. My own interest in the European Highlands goes back twenty or thirty years, and in the records of the 841 Colonial Office there is stated my own deep feeling in regard to land allocation and connected matters. Certain of the difficulties, and what I regard as the genuine grievances of Africans, were put right, but the Royal Commission reaches the view that it would be a desirable thing that African farmers should be able to lease land in what is known as the European Highlands, always provided that such African farmers understand the principles of good husbandry and conform to recognised standards of cultivation.
The time has probably come when the White Highlands Board should be reformed, but because of the intense bitterness and the resentment that is felt so widely amongst Africans in regard to the exclusive use of this part of the Highlands by the Europeans, the time is ripe for some modification of policy. It is said by Her Majesty's Government in the White Paper that we must wait for public opinion. If we considered the majority of public opinion in Kenya there would be no doubt what the solution of the problem should be. Undoubtedly European public opinion has still to be converted to this point of view, but if we wish to have genuine co-operation between the races in a multi-racial society it is vitally important, politically, that this problem should be tackled without very much delay.
Further, I was surprised to learn the other day, as the result of a Question put to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, that penal sanctions are still part of the code in the Highlands. I endeavoured when I was Secretary of State to abolish penal sanctions altogether and to comply with the I.L.O. Convention on the matter. Therefore, I was naturally surprised to learn that even yet the contracts of labour contain these penal clauses.
I hope that steps will be taken to wipe out from the codes of Kenya what to me is an iniquitous proposition that penal sanctions should be proposed in respect to labour contracts. Furthermore, I would press again the importance of tackling the income problem of the people who work on the European farms. We must remember, of course, that the labour employed on those farms is in a very real sense subsidised by the Africans left behind in the reserves. That really is not good enough.
842 I have never been able to appreciate the resistance which has been shown to the establishment of native villages so that at least the beginnings of free labour might be introduced. I press this point because I think that it is a matter of some importance in the relations between Europeans and Africans in Kenya.
The Royal Commission also recommended that the squatter system in the forest areas should be brought to an end, but this suggestion has been rejected by the Kenya Government. The Royal Commission made what seemed to me sonic very constructive recommendations in regard to the use of labour in the forest reserves. But, apparently, the code which it suggested was rejected on the ground that cheap labour and cheap timber were wanted. I think that human considerations are just as vital as cheap timber, and it seems that the Kenya Government's recommendation has been adopted by Her Majesty's Government largely because there is available a source of cheap labour which can be exploited in order that cheap timber may be sold in the markets of the world. I hope that the Royal Commission's recommendations will be studied again and some steps taken to remove what to me is a blot in regard to labour conditions in Kenya.
The policy in respect of land, if it is pursued, is likely to produce, as has been pointed out, a landless class. Therefore, I wish to press the Government as to their intention with regard to this surplus labour. We all know the social evils which come from men leaving their reserves and going into the towns. This is a very grave social problem, and surely, if we are carrying through a policy of land reorganisation in the reserves, it is imperative that for those who can no longer make their living in the reserves some social provision should be made. That being so, I ask that not only should this question of social welfare in the towns he tackled, but also that some new forms of social service should be inaugurated in order to prevent distress following the exodus from some of the reserves into the towns.
Finally, in this connection, I wish to stress the importance of looking again at the question of industrial relations, wage conditions and the operation of the trade unions. I thought that Her Majesty's 843 Government's observation in respect to Kenya's rejection of the Royal Commission's ideas concerning the operation of the trade unions was a very sensible one. I hope that we shall recognise the vital importance of bringing into being machinery which may be used to raise the standard of life of the Africans; that encouragement will be given to the principle of combination, of trade union practice, so as to prevent industrial difficulties from arising in the future.
I have not time to deal with all the problems to which reference is made in the Report. One appreciates that capital is of great importance. There must be greater generosity by Britain regarding her responsibilities in this territory if progress is to be made. I submit that there must be a real degree of economic planning. We cannot allow industry to dump itself where it will. It must be properly controlled in accordance with the plans of the Government of Kenya and other Governments concerned, so that we do not produce problems similar to those which characterised the beginning of industrial civilisation in Europe.
It is fortunate that in the last few days some improvement has appeared in the political climate in Tanganyika, Kenya and Uganda. I hope that this will be followed by some constructive proposals. It is to be welcomed that the Africans have returned to the Legislative Council in Tanganyika, and that they are prepared to accept for the time being the limited change involved. It is a good thing that a new beginning is being made to discuss certain other political problems between the communities in Kenya. Despite the 1960 pledge, if agreement can be reached by the three communities, I hope that Her Majesty's Government will see that at least some constitutional advances can be made. There would seem to be an overwhelming case for increasing the number of African constituencies and that the Africans should have a greater representation in the Legislative Council. I hope that we shall approach this problem in a liberal spirit and that the Government will use all their influence to ensure that something is done to meet the political aspirations of Africans in Kenya.
The Report is extraordinarily stimulating, and we are grateful to those who produce it. We consider that Her 844 Majesty's Government are working on the right lines. We note the excellent progress being made in East Africa and we send our sincere good wishes that it may continue.
§ 3.14 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. John Profumo)
I should like to join hon. Members on both sides in welcoming this opportunity of discussing the Report of the Royal Commission on East Africa which has been given to us by the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) who moved the Motion. Perhaps the last section of the Motion seems to flow a little less readily than the earlier part from the task which was assigned to the Royal Commission and the Report which it has produced.
It is, however, in full accord with the declared policy of the Government to further constitutional advance and seek the co-operation of the people in promoting it steadily and surely. I should like to say at once that I gladly accept the Motion, although I must make it clear that Her Majesty's Government stand by the various statements they have made and the undertakings they have given about constitutional change in the East African territories.
On a subject of this tremendous magnitude I could not hope, in the course of any speech which kept within civilised limits, to cover every aspect and facet of the problems involved, but let me re-emphasise at once that the Government fully endorse the general principles set out in the Commission's Report. I should like to deal with some of the general principles. I hope that hon. Members will acquit me of any discourtesy if I do not find it possible to answer all the very many detailed points which have been made.
I think we will start by talking about land. Let us remember that the whole approach of the Report itself to land is based on the question, "What is, economically, the best use of the small fertile areas in East Africa?" Their answer to this was that many existing practices were frustrating economic mobility and hampering incentives. Their basic recommendation is that the whole land problem should be treated as an economic and agricultural one, and not as a political one. The Governments should concentrate not on who is 845 to have the land, but on how it is best to be used.
In their own words:… the test of land needs must be replaced by a test of land use.If the House accepts this, then the main problem is how to create good farmers on every piece of good land, and the problem is at its worst not in the Highlands but in the African reserves. Th4 Royal Commission's view was certainly accepted by the 1953–54 Parliamentary delegation which said, in paragraph 69 of its Report:In our view the most important thing so far as land is concerned in Kenya is that it should be removed from the political sphere and be recognised as what it really is, an agrarian problem.I think that others who have visited the area since that time generally agree with this view.
The Commission's recommendation on transferability of land, which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Creech Jones) mentioned—and also the comments of the Governor of Kenya—refer, of course, not only to the Highlands but also to the African reserves. In commenting on paragraph 63 of Chapter 23 of the Report, the Kenya dispatch says that the proposal to abandon a policy of land reservations and safeguarding sectional interest:… is one which can only be accepted by public opinion.Of course, the reference is to public opinion of all communities. There is no evidence to contradict the Governor's opinion that no tribe or other community is yet prepared, where it has land that is being misused or under-developed, to throw it open to development by other tribes or communities with less land. I hope very much indeed that this will in time come, but at present it seems clear that to force the pace would really cause disquiet everywhere.
Incidentally, in talking about the Highlands the right hon. Gentleman mentioned penal sanctions. I would remind him that it has already been announced in this House that the Employment Ordinance is to be amended to remove the penal sanctions provision to which he referred.
On land tenure, almost the most important main recommendation in the Report is that policy should be to assist 846 the emergence of individual ownership where conditions are suitable, registering such ownership by title, and bringing dealings in such land under a statutory law rather than leaving it to be disposed of under native law and custom. I fully appreciate the caution which was expressed by the right hon. Gentleman and by many other hon. Members on both sides of the House—the caution with which this must proceed. I think that is fully shared by all concerned.
All three Governments have accepted the need for these changes, although they have reservations on matters of detail and although their practical schemes are at different stages of development. The development of thought was also very much assisted by a conference of all who are concerned in this matter which was convened by my Department in Arusha in February of last year.
My hon. Friend the Member for Armagh (Mr. Armstrong), who made a most thoughtful, deeply-thought-out and knowledgeable speech, referred to fears which have been expressed that the rapid pace of land consolidation in the Central Provinces of Kenya, and the grant of recognisable title to Africans, would mean that a large landless class would be created which would have to look for work in the already overcrowded towns. Therefore it might he for the convenience of the House if I digressed for a moment or two to deal with this matter.
No one will become landless as the result of consolidation. It is true that in time there will be a number of people who cannot obtain land on which to farm because it would mean rendering an economic unit sub-economic. What is to happen to these people? First, there will be opportunities of work on consolidated land. Secondly, there will be opportunities for diversified labour as craftsmen, artisans and traders, particularly because of the need to service the new markets and new villages coming into existence. Thirdly, there will he opportunities caused by industrial and commercial development in the reserves, and particularly in the townships, which in many cases are ripe for expansion and development. This, it is true, will have to come about slowly, but eventually it will have an impact on the problem. Lastly, there will be a chance to work outside the reserves.
§ Mr. Mulley
When the hon. Gentleman says "landless men", does he mean that because some people have perhaps half an acre or an allotment they are not landless? By "landless men" we usually mean with not enough land for subsistence.
§ Mr. Profumo
I mean that nobody will be deprived of land. If a man has a bit of land now he will not be left without land as the result of consolidation. He will be given something even if it is a little smaller than what he has now. It will be close to the village. There is a misconception about consolidation—this goes to the root of some of the fears—that some people's little bit of land will be taken away and they will get nothing in return. I am concerned to make the point clear, although I recognise, for the reasons that I have given, that there will be people without land.
§ Mr. Profumo
That is true.
So much for consolidation. Good progress has also been made in working out the legal position and the form of future title. The working party foreshadowed in the Kenya dispatch has, with the help of the Secretary of State's adviser on land tenure, made excellent progress, and the appointment of a special land tenure officer as recommended in the Report has ensured speedy work. There is now every hope that preparation of the necessary legislation will not be too long delayed, although even now it is not likely to be just a matter of a few months.
What is going on in Tanganyika and Uganda on this matter of land tenure is not as yet so exciting, because it is still in the stage of planning and discussion. Good progress is being made. The hon. Member for Barons Court (Mr. W. T. Williams), who has had to leave the Chamber, in the course of a speech which I am afraid I was not able to hear, referred to a possible loss of confidence in Uganda over land tenure. We know that these matters readily arouse suspicion, but I am sure that the distinguished African who is the Minister for Land Tenure, Mr. Mungonya, will, with 848 his wisdom and experience, develop a policy in this matter which will be attuned to African feeling throughout Uganda.
The right hon. Member for Wakefield touched on the problem of the squatters. As the House knows, the Royal Commission was opposed to the squatter system on farms for reasons it made plain. They proposed in its place the establishment of village settlements scattered throughout the Highlands on land acquired by the Government, the inhabitants of which would work as free labour on European farms. For a variety of reasons the Kenya Government do not feel able to agree with this recommendation. They believe that the squatter system, which may well have been suitable in the circumstances in which it grew up, is now unsatisfactory, and they have been studying all sorts of alternative systems. I do not yet know what recommendations the Kenya Government will make, but I understand that a policy statement affecting this problem can he expected very shortly. I thought the right hon. Member for Wakefield would like to hear that.
So much for agriculture and the land. I now turn to Part IV of the Commission's Report, which deals with the conditions for the development of life in towns.
The Commission recommended that the East African Governments, as a matter of urgency, should make a careful assessment of the problems which arise in the urban areas of their territories and frame policies accordingly. We have had issued recently a fascinating and thought-provoking study by the East African Institute of Social and Economic Research which, incidentally, is one of the often-unremembered institutions organised on a regional basis in East Africa which serve all the territories with a devotion and economy meriting more applause than they get—we have had a study of peri-urban conditions in Kampala, which raises many social issues of profound importance.
With a similar recognition of the importance of this question, the Government of Tanganyika detached one of their most senior and experienced administrative officers to undertake a study for twelve months of the problems of urban development in the Trust Territory, in the light of an investigation of 849 similar problems in neighbouring areas. Mr. Molohan has now submitted a report to his Government, and I hope that the Tanganyika Government will be able shortly to publish an assessment of this problem based on his report.
These researches and other similar material are to be the subject of another technical and administrative conference which my right hon. Friend is planning to convene early next Year in Africa. The hon. Member for Itchen (Dr. King) and others also referred to the regional approach to East African problems. The Commissioners' recommendations regarding a regional approach to these problems present considerable controversy in the three territories. Nevertheless, in both Tanganyika and Uganda there is beginning to be recognition among the more informed of the value of the High Commission and its services and of coordinated economic activity. My conclusion is that, given time and proper education and publicity, there is every hope that the force of the Commission's economic assessment must emerge, but that the practical and political difficulties of further organic East African co-operation for economic purposes must have full weight.
The hon. Member at least agreed and, I think, the right hon. Member asked for an assurance, that there was no intention of imposing political federation on East Africa. I do not think I need do more than remind the House of the declaration on this matter—a very broad declaration in clear terms—made by Her Majesty's Government in November, 1953. This seems to me fully to meet the need hon. Members have stressed, and if they read it I think they will see that we still stick by that.
I have picked out parts of the speech of the hon. Member for Rugby. He said something which I thought particularly profound. He spoke about transport and quoted Kipling. I fully understand that he was referring to transport on the ground, to roads, railways and so on, but there has been an extraordinary development in East Africa of civil aviation and it would be wrong to discount the importance of this new method of transport. Steady expansion of air transport has been taking place and airports in Nairobi and Entebbe are now established links in a world-wide network. The building 850 of Nairobi airport is particularly important, although it is a heavy drain on Kenya's capital resources. I know the hon. Member did not mean to miss out civil aviation, but in a pre-incarnation I had an interest in it and I know the House would like to pay tribute to the importance of increasing civil air transport.
Running through the whole Report is the single theme that the transformation of Africa which depends on raising the income of African subsistence farmers requires for its swift development a large infusion of external capital, skill and enterprise both for private and public purposes.
There can be no accurate answer to the question how much the Royal Commission's recommendations would cost to fulfil, because so many of these are directed to changes of policy whose cost cannot really be determined. The Governors concluded that over the five years 1955–60, about £170 million would be needed in external loans for essential projects undertaken in line with the Commission's Report, and about £250 million for the gross cost of all Governmental works during the same period.
But in calculating what could actually profitably be spent, it is of course necessary to take account both of physical capacity for development and, after allowing for revenue created by development, the additional recurrent liabilities to which development gives rise. The East African Governments will expect to receive, and indeed will receive, their fair share of grant assistance under money voted by Parliament from C.D. & W. funds. Clearly, however, their share of those funds will make only a relatively small contribution, and as the hon. Member for Sheffield, Park (Mr. Mulley) said, it is not in the main gifts or grants-in-aid which East Africa needs.
The main problem is a problem of loan finance. All these various factors have recently been re-assessed by the East African Governments who came to the conclusion that the total sum which it would be realistic for them to aim to spend altogether on capital account in the five years 1955–60 would be about £180 million. To finance a programme of £180 million, it would be necessary for the three Governments and the High Commission between them to raise 851 internal and external loans amounting to £118 million. Her Majesty's Government will do everything they can to help the East African Governments to raise as much of this money as they can from the International Bank and other non-British sources. It would, however, be illusory to suppose that it will be possible to raise more than a small proportion of this money in this way.
Therefore, if the development is to take place, the greater part of the loans to be raised outside East Africa will have to be provided from this country. This is, of course, part of the wider problem of the provision of capital for Commonwealth and Colonial development—a problem which, as the House is well aware, depends on the ability of this country to earn an adequate surplus on its balance of payments. This whole matter is one which is commanding the constant attention of Her Majesty's Government and the Commonwealth and colonial aspect of it is, as the House is aware, at present under close review by a committee which is under the chairmanship of my noble Friend the Minister of State for Colonial Affairs.
In considering this vital problem of finance, I have inevitably been drawn into wider fields. I should, however, like to assure the House that East Africa has a very prominent place in our thoughts and plans, and that it is the desire and intention of the Government to ensure that this country makes as big a financial contribution to the implementation of the policies that flow from the Report which we are discussing as our economic circumstances and obligations will permit.
The Report does not constitute a phased coordinated plan for the economic development of East Africa over a given period of years. Therefore, one cannot justifiably ask how far have we got in implementing the Report, or why has it not yet been implemented. The Commission was not asked to produce such a plan; and it would have been quite unrealistic to expect them to do so. This is essentially the task of Governments.
What the Commission did accomplish —and their masterly achievement in comprehension and exposition makes this Report, in my opinion, one of the great State papers of our time—was to analyse a mass of complex problems in a manner 852 which brought out their basic nature and relationships. They then set out, against this background, to expound the objectives to be pursued in various fields which if achieved would result in a widely-spread advance in the standard of life.
To this end, they made recommendations on the changes required in policy and in administrative technique, which, in their opinion, were a condition of achieving these objectives. The effect of the Report has been to clear the cobwebs spun by the spiders of habit and preconceived ideas, and to stimulate those working on the ground by a revelation of the possible, and by a warning of the results of failure to recognise the existence of precipices at the end of well-worn paths.
There is one misconception I should like to try to remove. At any rate, I should like to demonstrate that I do not share it myself. The hon. Member for Rugby and others condemned the philosophy of the Commission—and it has been condemned in some other quarters—as letting loose the hounds of laissez-faire economics on primitive man in East Africa. The Commissioners have been talked about in some quarters—I think by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Park—rather glibly as Adam Smith on safari, though the hon. Member did not put it in quite that way. I think that the Commissioners have been rather cavalierly misrepresented.
They were not suggesting that the easiest way to solve some of the tensions and frustrations of East Africa was to remove all the checks to the crude operation of economic forces and let the weaker go under once and for all—let the devil take the hindmost, which, I think, was the hon. Member's expression. What they were trying to do was to point out that in East Africa as elsewhere one cannot have it both ways.
If the African wants, as, indeed, he should, to take his place as an individual in influencing his Government and determining his relations with his fellows he must be prepared to face the hazards of producing and consuming as an individual, and he must be helped and encouraged to do so. There is no escaping the simple economic truth that division of labour is the key to enhanced productivity.
853 It would be a tragic commentary on the blinding of many to this fundamental truth, which is the prime lesson of the Royal Commission, if those Africans in Kenya who are most vociferous in advancing their claims to political equality and social opportunity were to continue trying to sabotage the efforts of Government to bring the African into the modern economy by giving him the opportunity to develop his land as an individual in the same way as they have given him the chance to vote as an individual.
The reform of tenure of African land in Kenya is, as the Commission demonstrated, essential to maximum economic development. As the Commission also noted, and as has become quite clear since, the average African land occupier knows this and he wants it.
If I were to try to pick out from this Report the most important guide to the future development of East Africa I should say that it was this clear-sighted recognition of the fact that if flexible, responsive Governments are to be created it can only be with the sustaining power of a flexible economy where all productive elements can readily be mobilised across the barriers of customs and race to yield the material for a fuller life for all.
I do not want to take any more of the time of the House today because this is a Private Members' day, but I felt that it would be for the convenience of hon. Members if I intervened to make those few remarks on the attitude of the Government to this Report. I hope that hon. Members who follow me in the debate will understand that I shall study with the greatest possible care what they say, and I look forward to hearing more hon. Members on this subject.
§ 3.38 p.m.
§ Mr. John Stonehouse (Wednesbury)
I think we are all grateful for the speech which has just been made by the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. We are glad to have his assurances on several aspects of policy as described in this Report, but I think there are several aspects of developments in both Uganda and Kenya on which we should have liked to have heard more from him today. I shall refer to them in a few moments.
854 I should like to add my congratulations to those already expressed to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) upon the very lucid and interesting way in which he introduced this subject. We have had to wait a long time for this debate but I think that we are all agreed that it is a good thing that it has come, and that it has been presented and dealt with in the way in which it has been today.
I was fortunate to be in Uganda during the whole of the time that the Commission was carrying out its investigations there, and I was able to meet several of the Commissioners when they came to Uganda on both their trips. I was most impressed by the way in which the Commissioners curried out their task, and the very careful manner in which they tried to weigh up all the various points of view that were brought to their attention. I think that we on both sides of the House are all united in congratulating the Commission on the very painstaking work that it did, and on this very fine Report that it has produced for our attention.
I am sure that we also want to say to the Commissioners that we have not forgotten their suggestions, and that the debate is only one stage—at least we on this side of the House hope so—in the consideration of those suggestions. We hope very much that there will be an opportunity for more of their suggestions to be put into effect in the three countries concerned.
During the time that the Commission was carrying out its investigations, a great deal of interest was aroused in Kenya and in Uganda in these problems of economic development. It is a great pity that that interest, which was in many ways dynamic, has not been encouraged in the past few years. I hope that as a result of the debate and various conferences which the Department responsible will hold in these countries, we can again develop interest in these economic questions, and in particular bring the African political leaders into discussions on long-term economic problems in their respective countries.
One of the most important points brought up in the debate has been the point emphasised by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby—that we cannot separate political questions in those countries from the economic and social 855 questions. Political progress and political guarantees must go hand in hand with plans for economic development. I saw at first hand in Uganda some of the results of political frustrations expressed through a decline in economic development and chaos in consumer trade. As a result of the disastrous policy of the deportation of the Kabaka there was a long boycott of shops in Uganda, which meant that many Asian traders were brought very near to bankruptcy.
Also as a result of the political frustrations which they felt, Africans in Uganda held back from developing their land and from appreciating the significance of economic developments in their country. Fortunately, that decision to banish the Kabaka was reversed, and since that time Uganda has been going ahead and most of the African farmers there are playing a very fine part in developing the economic and social life of the country, proving that when the political conditions are ripe the people are prepared to co-operate.
A very good aspect of the Report is its clear and realistic emphasis upon the importance of the development of the natural resources of those three countries, and also the emphasis upon the fact that agricultural production must play the prime part in that development. That agricultural development, at least in the case of Uganda, depends almost wholly on the work done by the peasant farmers to improve their own land. I should like to see in the next few months a much more energetic effort made in Uganda to give the farmers more confidence in the future and to give them more communal services so that they can develop their own land, which is the absolute foundation for the economic progress of Uganda.
The communal services required are agricultural machinery, credit facilities, co-operative trade, good transport and access to the towns and markets as a result of new roads being built. I am sorry that in his reply to the debate today the Under-Secretary did not give us more details of the policy of his Department for the development of roads. I agree that civil air transport is important, but the fact that one can buy an air ticket from Kampala or Entebbe to Nairobi is not of great significance to an African living in the remote area of Toro, who 856 is anxious to have a good road constructed near his farm so that his produce can be sent to the towns to be sold. Let us hope that we shall have detailed plans for the development of the roads, particularly in the remoter areas of Uganda and Kenya, so that wide areas of sometimes good land can be opened for development.
As I have said, the story in Uganda in the last year or so has been a fairly happy one of slow but constructive development. In that respect I think I shall be speaking on behalf of everyone here if I pay a tribute to the work done by Sir Andrew Cohen during his years of service in Uganda. We wish Sir Frederick Crawford as much success during his term of office in building the economic and social progress of the people of Uganda.
As a result of the reforms carried out, the African trading community is now able to play a much more important part in the consumer trade of Uganda, which is an extremely good development. Also important is the part being played by the 1,300 co-operative societies in Uganda, but I acid my regret to that already expressed over the fact that the development of co-operative ginneries is to be held up. That is regrettable, particularly as the excuse given is that finance is not available.
If finance is not available, how can the Uganda Administration take £71½ million out of the coffee and cotton prices assistance funds for their own purposes when that money has been made available directly from the pockets of the farmers, who were promised that those funds would be used solely to maintain fair prices for their commodities? If that money is to be used out of that fund it is only right that it should be used in such a way, and in consultation with the farmers' organisations concerned, that the benefit of the investment flows directly to the farming community.
The story in Kenya is in no way as happy as that of Uganda. There it is important that some of the political problems should be grasped. We must have the courage to grasp some of the more controversial proposals for Kenya that are made in the Report that we are considering today. In Kenya we have to prove to the African community that development will help them. Too many Africans in Kenya believe that economic 857 development will have the effect of making the rich richer and the poor comparatively poorer. I think that the Europeans in Kenya have much to gain from economic development, but they must make sure that the rewards flowing from economic development are shared by the African community in Kenya as well as by themselves.
We all know that the White Highland farms are very prosperous indeed. Many of the European farmers and land owners in the Highlands are making very large profits year by year, and I submit that those profits should be more fairly shared among the African people who live in the Highlands and who contribute to that prosperity.
§ Mr. Beresford Craddock
The hon. Member will perhaps recall that in the 'thirties, which were very difficult years, the bulk of the farms in the Highlands were bankrupt, and yet the European settlers stayed on and endured very great hardship to bring them back into good heart and prosperity—which prosperity the Africans are sharing.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
I am very grateful to the hon. Member for that intervention. He makes a perfectly valid point.
The fact remains, however, that the rewards flowing to the African labourers on the farms in the Highlands are very small indeed. I should like to quote some of the figures from the Kenya Agricultural Census of 1954 which took for its survey 1,287 farms in the Highlands. It does not consider the profits which were made, but it shows the incomes of the Europeans and the Asians employed on the farms. Altogether 1,600 Europeans were employed and 500 Indians. Their average monthly remuneration was 1,400s. There were 222,000 African employees. Their cash wages were 5,600,000s. and the value of their food in each month was estimated at 3,160,000s., making a total of 8,800,000s. per month, which is an average of 40s. per head or 10s. a week.
I submit that, bearing in mind the prosperity of those farms in the Highlands and the remuneration which can be paid to the European employee, it is time that a minimum wage much higher than that which is being paid should be imposed on the farmers in Kenya to make sure that the African employee has a better share of the wealth which is being produced.
858 If that were done, I am sure that it would bring a greater feeling of confidence among the African people in Kenya in the results of economic development. I am very glad to see that the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Beresford Craddock) agrees with me.
Another point which must be emphasised is the future of the Kenya White Highlands, and the exclusiveness of the White Highlands must be attacked. I am sorry that in his otherwise very helpful contribution to the debate the Under-Secretary did not give us a very clear assurance on the future of the White Highlands. We have had no quotation from the Royal Commission Report on the subject, and if the House will allow me to do so I should like to make a quotation, because I think it was one of the most important passages in the Report:But two facts stand out as resulting from the policy of the exclusive tenure of land in the Highlands by Europeans. Firstly, the bitterness which has persisted over the extinguishing of African rights in the area, and secondly, the sense of injustice caused in African eyes by broad acres reserved for a few individuals alongside an African reserve in which land hunger exists. Even those loyal Kikuyu who have been risking their all in the fight against Mau Mau have, in giving evidence before us, questioned the grounds for maintaining unused land for the exclusive use of Europeans when their needs and those of their people are so great. It was seldom that any African suggested to us that any European who was using his land fully should be deprived of that land, but our attention was constantly being directed to the fact of unused or partially used land in the Highlands …… we insist that the approach on a tribal basis to questions of land tenure and land use is incompatible with the development of a modern economy, and this applies equally to a purely racial approach to the Highlands question.The Under-Secretary asked us not to have a political approach, but to bear in mind the agrarian problems in Kenya. Will he bear in mind that the census from which I have quoted estimates that about one-tenth of the land in the Kenya White Highlands is not being used? Will his Department work out schemes for opening up that land to African farming, with suitable safeguards, and investigate the possibilities of co-operative farming, possibly involving all communities, so that not only may there be use of this unused land in the Highlands, but an opportunity for bringing the races together in agricultural co-operation.
859 In speaking about co-operative farms, I do not share the pessimism of some hon. Members about the danger of overpopulation. There is not much danger that the pressure of population will be so great that the standards of the 20 million who live in East Africa will be reduced, but there must be a realistic plan for opening up the under-developed areas in the three countries. There are vast areas, for instance, in Uganda, which, with proper investment and proper development of railways and roads and irrigation schemes, could be opened up to agriculture.
I ask the Colonial Office, in conjunction with the Governments of Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika, to investigate the possibility of opening up those unused areas to co-operative farming. Let them investigate the very successful Gezira scheme in the Sudan and try to work out possibilities for the development of land in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, which will help to improve the economic wealth of those countries and produce the surplus which is required to enable those countries to build up their social, education, and health services, so that the prosperity of those countries will have a firm base and a proper standard of living.
§ Mr. J. Johnson rose in his place, and claimed to move, That the Question be now put, but it appeared to Mr. SPEAKER that that Motion was unnecessary.
§ Question put and agreed to.
That this House takes note of the findings of the Royal Commission on Land and Population in East Africa; recognises the need for land reform, improved agricultural techniques, efficient marketing schemes and industrial development, and the necessity for raising African standards of living by means of better education, housing and health services; and, taking into account the increasing African population and the consequent congestion in certain areas, calls upon Her Majesty's Government to encourage the necessary capital investment and, in co-operation with the leaders of all sections of the local communities, to proceed with further constitutional advances.