HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc566-7
22. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he will take to compensate British farmers and other settlers who originally went to Kenya in response to inducements from Her Majesty's Government, who now wish to emigrate from Kenya and settle elsewhere because of current political and economic developments.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Her Majesty's Government are not contemplating the payment of compensation to British farmers and other settlers who now wish to emigrate from Kenya. They recognise, however, the importance of ensuring, so far as is practicable, that those who wish to sell their property can do so in a market which offers a reasonable price. To this end, Her Majesty's Government are supporting settlement schemes involving a substantial injection of money into the land market.

Mr. Noel-Baker

No doubt at some appropriate moment the Colonial Secretary would like to give further details of these settlement schemes, where they are, and what they involve, but is not he aware that there are many other Europeans, apart from the farmers, who were induced to go to Kenya who are now in a very difficult position indeed? Secondly, is it not reasonable to do something of a financial nature for people who, to put it crudely, were in one way or another bribed to go out to Kenya—some of them not so long ago—by substantial inducements and who are now in a very difficult position?

Mr. Macleod

No. I believe that such an approach would have very unfortunate effects for the European community in Kenya. There seem to be two problems. Those who wish to stay—they are, I believe, the overwhelming majority—wish to see that their title is secure. This applies to Africans as well as to Europeans. As the House knows, I hope to start talks on those matters. Second, those who wish to go would, naturally, like to be able to sell. I believe that Her Majesty's Government are pursuing a right policy in putting forward very considerable sums of money which will have the effect of helping the land market.