HC Deb 05 May 1960 vol 622 cc1236-7
18. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the present degree of African unemployment in Nairobi; and what steps are being taken to cope with this problem.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am asking the Government if figures of African unemployment in Nairobi can be provided in advance of the findings of the current survey on unemployment and underemployment in the Colony, and if so, I will circulate a further reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Further special measures to cope with the problem in Nairobi and elsewhere will be based on information obtained by the survey. But it is the Kenya Government's policy to increase employment opportunities everywhere in the Colony through its development plans, while landless ex-detainees and others are helped by the various resettlement and relief schemes.

Mr. Wall

If the figures are as disquieting as I fear they will be, will my right hon. Friend consider setting in motion a public works programme which might have to have financial backing from this country?

Mr. Macleod

I will consider whether, and if so in what way, we can help when I have had these figures.

Mr. Slater

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a constant flow of people into Nairobi to look for work and that if some action is not taken by the Government of Kenya, possibly with the assistance of the right hon. Gentleman's Department, perhaps through public works as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) suggested, the effect in Nairobi will be very serious? Is he aware that the authorities in Nairobi are very concerned about the growing figure of unemployment in that part of Kenya?

Mr. Macleod

I agree that this is a serious and worrying problem. It is largely because of that that the special investigation called for by the Kenya Government is taking place.

Mr. F. Harris

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that this is possibly the most difficult problem facing Kenya at the moment and will he do everything possible to urge forward further employment in Nairobi and Nakuru?

Mr. Macleod indicated assent.

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