HC Deb 04 June 1959 vol 606 cc345-6
22. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in a position to make a further statement about landholding in the highlands of Kenya.

Mr. J. Amery

In pursuance of the policy which I described to the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stone-house) on 30th April, the Kenya Government last week announced their intention to alter by legislation bath the existing system of tenure and the machinery for controlling transactions in land. The latter will involve creating Divisional and Regional Control Boards, establishing a Central Land Advisory Board representative of all points of view in respect of all land in the Colony. The Kenya Government also expect to make arrangements so that leases between races in all areas will be possible. Further details of the proposals will be announced later.

Mr. Wall

Can my hon. Friend confirm that it is the intention of the Government eventually to open up the highlands to suitably qualified farmers of all races at the same time as opening up the African reserves, as recommended by the Royal Commission?

Mr. Amery

Yes, that is the general intention, but there is no innovation here. There is already a control board to scrutinise all transactions in land. Also, the highlands are part of the scheduled areas under agricultural legislation and special arrangements are needed to ensure that the standards of good farming are maintained.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this development is very welcome, despite the fact that it has been so long delayed? Can he say whether arrangements will be made for loans to enable co-operative farms to be developed on the unused land in the highlands?

Mr. Amery

That raises a rather different issue. If the hon. Gentleman would like to table a Question on it, I will certainly try to answer it.

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