HC Deb 31 May 1960 vol 624 cc1163-4
26. Mr. Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made in implementing the proposals for land development in Kenya outlined in the Report of the Kenya Constitutional Conference, Command Paper 960; and what representations have been made to him by the Kenya National Farmers' Union on the subject.

34. Colonel Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what consideration he has given to the views expressed by the Kenya National Farmers' Union under the heading "Defence of Kenya's Economy"; and if he will now make a statement about the proposal to set up a land trust fund.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The President and Vice-President of the Kenya National Farmers' Union put their views to my noble Friend and myself in March and April. I was able to discuss these views subsequently with the Kenya Minister of Agriculture who is working out the detailed proposals for a land development and resettlement scheme. As hon. Members may have heard, it was announced recently in the Kenya Legislative Council that if a suitable scheme could be prepared which would attract international finance at the rate of at least £1.5 million a year, Her Majesty's Government have undertaken to provide, up to March, 1964, Exchequer loans of £3.15 million for land purchase.

Mr. Braine

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, since the Lancaster House Conference, time has been running out very fast? Does not he recognise that there is a growing lack of confidence among Europeans in Kenya, especially among those anxious to work with Africans in the development of the country? Is he seized of the importance of an early decision in this matter in order to restore—I emphasise the word—confidence in Kenya?

Mr. Macleod

Yes, and I should have thought that the announcement of the money provided by Her Majesty's Government, which is quite separate from the undertaking to underwrite given at the Lancaster House Conference, on the one side, and the action of the Kenya Minister of Agriculture in working out this pilot scheme—which I much 'welcome—on the other, show that in both countries we understand it.

Colonel Beamish

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the opinion which is very widely held that not only the political stability and confidence but also the whole economic progress of Kenya depends to a large extent on detailed decisions about this question?

Mr. Macleod

I agree with my hon. Friend, but I suggest that we must keep the two things absolutely distinct. I hope—there are hopeful signs that it will be so—that the World Bank will join in schemes of development and resettlement. But we must face the fact that were these schemes to be basically compensation schemes, we could not hope to attract international finance to them.

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