HL Deb 01 February 1944 vol 130 cc578-612

LORD FARINGDON rose to call attention to the problems of white settlement in East Africa; and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, in opening this debate I desire, with your Lordships' permission, to quote from a statement made by the noble Duke, the Duke of Devonshire, speaking in your Lordships' House in September last, when he laid down two general principles in dealing with assisted migration. He then said that no Government could be expected to assist unless the migrant had a good opportunity of maintaining himself successfully, and any policy of assisted migration required not only the passive acquiescence but the active participation and co-operation of the oversea country concerned. I would also quote from a White Paper, which is known as the Devonshire White Paper, produced by the late Duke, the father of the noble Duke who will reply for His Majesty's Government, in which it was stated: Primarily Kenya is an African territory, and His Majesty's Government think it necessary to record their considered opinion that the interests of the African population must be paramount, and that if and when those interests and the interests of the migrant races conflict the former should prevail.

I have to say that, judged by these three criteria, the policy that over so long a term of years we have pursued in Kenya has been a complete failure.

It is resented by the mass of the population, it has not been a success so far as the settlers are concerned, and it has inflicted grave hardships on the native population. It is time that we reconsidered our whole policy and it is urgent that we should do so now, for already the Government of Kenya is pressing for an extension of the present policy and some preliminary steps have been taken in this direction. A Land Board has been set up. One of its functions is to advise the Governor-in-Council as to the suitability of land settlement and to make recommendations as to the land which should be acquired by the Crown. Tremendous expectation and agitation have been caused among the European population. I shall quote from an article in the East African Standard of November 8 last. The Commissioner of Lands and Settlement made a speech in Nairobi and the newspaper said he was "discouragingly negative" and "left the impression that unless a man had substantial capital or a pension, or was born in Kenya, there was very little opportunity for him and certainly very few jobs."

That is, I believe, a perfectly correct impression, but the point I particularly want to make is this. The article, after stating that the Commissioner was mistaken, goes on: The Commissioner of Lands could not answer the political question. But it must be answered. The European community in these territories have to stand close together. They have a responsibility to see that, whatever the difficulties and challenges may be, jobs are provided for the people of our own stock of the right calibre and with the right spirit who want to come and help to build here, for the greater glory of the British Empire, a worthy home for the race. That has to be our policy…. An approach along the lines made by the Commissioner of Lands, a conception which talks in terms of a few hundreds instead of thousands, will take us nowhere.

In a second article on November 12, speaking of the dangers in Kenya, the newspaper said: The only way those challenges can be met is by standing solidly together, using every endeavour to strengthen and enlarge white settlement, and making room for more of our own people.

The East African Standard is perfectly correct. This is a political question which can only be answered by this Government, and the object of this debate is to obtain a clear answer from His Majesty's Government. Is it their policy to develop Kenya "as a home for the race," or is it to carry out the policy of the White Paper making the claims of the natives paramount? It is wrong to leave this matter in a state of uncertainty and encourage such hopes among the Europeans and fears amongst the Africans.

I said that the Legislative Council of Kenya appears to be favourable to extended settlement. I trust that no noble Lord will deduce therefrom that the population of Kenya is in accord with this policy. Clearly, if Kenya were Canada or Australia, this would be the case, but what, in fact, is the Government of Kenya? It consists of a Legislative Council on which sit, first, twenty members who are there ex officio or nominated officially, eleven elected European members, five elected Indian members, one elected Arab, one nominated to represent Arab interests, and two nominated to represent African interests. There are approximately twenty thousand Europeans and three million Africans. Eleven persons represent that twenty thousand, two (and those two not elected) represent the Africans. It looks to me as if the time were about due for a redistribution of seats! The voice of Kenya is, I suggest, the voice of a very small group stirred to great activity owing to the precariousness of their position.

I should like to quote from a letter from an African, also published in the East African Standard on October 8 last: The Government has during this war made us feel that this is a joint struggle of the black and white people alike. We unreservedly have hurled, and are still hurling ourselves, our efforts, sweat and blood and tears into the war. … At heart we feel that we deserve fair play when allotment of social, economic, and political goodness is made…. Why should they— that is the African delegates— now be considered unfit in the Kenya Legislative Council? … Now is the time for the Government to do real justice and give a chance to Africans.

I said I considered the position of the settlers precarious. What is the position of the settlers after a long period during which white settlement has been encouraged? Very great efforts were made after the last war to encourage European settlement. The Highland areas were reserved for Europeans. That is an area of 16,700 square miles. Of this about 11,000 square miles—about 6,500,000 acres—have been alienated. Of these just over 5,000,000 acres are occupied, about 1,500,000 unoccupied. The occupied area is not by any means fully cultivated by Europeans. Lord Hailey in his book, which is after all the classical work of reference on Africa, says that eleven per cent. is cultivated, forty per cent. used for stock, twenty per cent. is cultivated by native squatters, and twenty-seven per cent. is unoccupied. There are, therefore, three kinds of land—that reserved for Europeans, but not alienated, alienated but not allotted land, land allotted but not used. The number of European farmers was in 1938 rather less than 2,000. As I have said, this little group hold about 5,500,000 acres and they actually only cultivate about eleven per cent. of their land.

That seems to me an astonishing figure and not one which draws a picture of a truly thriving community of farmers. Indeed the whole history of the settler is one long cry for help. The Government, feeling and rightly feeling that they were more or less responsible for the plight in which these men found themselves, were liberal with help. I have asked the noble Duke the precise figures up to the present time. Sir Alan Pim's estimate in 1936 shows that they had then received in various shapes of subsidies a sum of £474,000. About half of this was in direct cash advances which I understand are not to be repaid. The rest is due to various rebates and refunds—refund of railway rates, of fees on maize, of duty on wheat, rebate on paraffin, assistance to maintain the price of maize. Since the war, according to an answer given by the Secretary of State in another place, there have been subsidies amounting to about £117,000. Between the wars we have the impression of a group of people just merely making good with a considerable amount of help from the Government.

I shall quote again from Lord Hailey as to the general position: The accumulating weight of evidence seems to inspire doubts as to whether European agriculture will do more even in good times than make possible a very modest living as a return for hard work and the incurring of grave risks of loss of invested capital, and whether in bad times it must not prove a recurrent charge on the revenues of Governments. Even in more normal times the support given to farmers constitutes a burden directly or indirectly upon the incomes of those concerned in mining or other enterprises.

And consequently, I would add, on the development of the Colony. What Lord Hailey says is confirmed by our own personal impressions. I wonder if any noble Lord has met persons who have done really well out of farming in Kenya. We know of many who have given up. We may have met very hard-working men who have achieved a modest living, but the prosperous farmer, the man who could cultivate more than a small fraction of his land, is rare, indeed, even if he exists. If the country were empty of all other inhabitants we should have reason to doubt whether it were just or fair after this war to tempt demobilized officers to sink their little all in Kenya. But the country is far from being empty. The alienation of the best land in Kenya has brought very serious hardships indeed to that section of the population whose interests, according to the White Paper, should be paramount.

I have the highest authority for saying this for I have just received a letter from Lord Lugard who would, I understand, himself have been present here to take part in the debate to-day so strongly does he feel on this subject, were it not for his 87 years. Lord Lugard, I need hardly remind your Lordships, is the highest authority on Colonial affairs. Lord Lugard writes as follows: It has been argued that the immigrant Europeans were justified in appropriating land since it was void of any inhabitants. Sir Morris Carter states in his report that in the areas actually alienated in Kikuyu the density was seventy-three to the square mile (which is dense for an African agricultural people and their live stock) and the East African Standard referred in 1935 to the large number of natives on the alienated land who remained as squatters. They were prevented by Government from expanding in the way natural to them and were compelled to squat as labour tenants and render compulsory service to the landlords and liable to eviction at any time. They numbered 110,700 in 1931. The density of the Kikuyu Reserve is put at 253 but this includes waterless, uncultivable areas. The Parliamentary Commission of 1925 reported the incredible density of 1,100 per square mile in one district. Mr. Maher, official soil conservator, reported an area with 1,800 per square mile in 1938. There were 2,000 white farmers. Such density results in over-grazing with consequent erosion and decreasing fertility, insufficient food crops and inability to grow cash crops for export and hence loss of purchasing power for imported goods. In the not infrequent case of a visitation of locusts or of drought these conditions meant famine and starvation. Already there is famine. With ploughs and oxen the native can treble his output if he has the necessary land, and can grow foodstuffs now so urgently needed for the liberated countries in Europe and by so doing afford a market for consumer goods. The only way to fulfil our repeated pledges for native welfare is, I suggest, that His Majesty's Government should limit immigration to the economic absorptive capacity of the country, as they already do in Palestine. To encourage closer settlement in country already densely populated while our Dominions are crying out for settlers of British race is indefensable.

That, my Lords, in Lord Lugard's words, is the price that the African is paying for the doubtful benefits of British settlement.

Lord Lugard goes on to discuss another point—African forced labour. The settlers first induced the Government to stop the recruiting of Africans for the Army. The Africans had apparently shown great readiness to enlist and by the testimony of all who have commanded East African regiments they provide admirable fighting material. Then the settlers obtained the conscription of Africans to work on European farms. At the present moment, owing to war conditions, there is a certain agricultural boom in East Africa. Things which were much depressed in peacetime, like coffee and tea, have a war prosperity, though their prospects are not good when the normal sources of supply are again available. Your Lordships will perhaps permit me to quote again from Lord Lugard dealing with compulsory labour. He says: Compulsory labour by the State is permissible under the I.L.O. Convention (ratified by His Majesty's Government) for urgent public needs, but this does not override the emphatic prohibition of its employment for private profit. War demands are urgent, but if the State employs private farmers it is responsible that they make no profits and pay full wages. A perusal of the Kenya debates will, I think, show that no attempt has been made to see that no profits are made—per contra the settlers with guaranteed prices, etc. (not afforded to the natives) are, I believe, making very large profits by the use of forced labour.

One of the paragraphs I read from Lord Lugard's letter emphasizes the increasing deterioration of native agriculture and the need of money for development. Kenya is a poor country and the demands of the settlers are very heavy. Sir Alan Pim emphasizes the difficulties which arise from the presence of communities with very different needs and desires. The white farmers demand the organization of adequate scientific services to deal with their problems and, what is more costly, the development of communications on lines in advance of what is customary in rural Africa. The expenditure on roads, he says, is substantially increased by the small isolated blocks of European settlers. He also points out that the settlers require, as is only natural, educational facilities for their children. Now the result of such services supplied to Europeans curtails very seriously the amount available for "those whose interests are paramount." For instance, the Government spent in 1936, according to Lord Hailey, £26 7s. 5d. per head for European children and 16s. for each African child in school. We may take it for granted that all the European children were at school, but I am afraid we cannot seriously hope that the majority of African children attended school.

That is, then, the condition of Kenya. Political power, mainly in the hands of Europeans, the fianancial system twisted and distorted to serve the needs of a minority, an increasing deterioration of the condition of the majority of the inhabitants, and a precarious, unenviable position of the minority to whom so much has been sacrificed. This is the net result of the policy followed in 1915 and after of attracting demobilized soldiers to settle in Kenya by free gifts of land. Are we to repeat this disastrous policy? If we do, we shall do so, I submit, at grave peril. We have, and the African is well aware of this, two opposite policies in Africa. In Kenya everything has been strained in order to secure a tolerable life for a small minority. In Colonies like Nigeria, the Gold Coast, Tanganyika, the policy of the Colonial Office, with whatever shortcomings in practice, has been devoted to the interests of the inhabitants, to the promotion of native agriculture, to the education of the native in self-government through his own institutions, and a gradual extension of native education, particularly in the skilled trades.

I said that the African was aware of this difference. This very distinction was urged by the representatives of Tanganyika in 1931 pleading against the union of Kenya with Tanganyika and Uganda. On that occasion the Kabaka of Buganda emphasized the contrast between the two policies of the Colonial Office as a reason against the amalgamation. He said: It is only too clear that my fears and anxieties are well founded, and that it is the express intention of the European community to subordinate the interests of the natives of East Africa to the European race.

That view, I think, is well borne out by the extracts I have read to your Lordships from the East African Standard. Now that contrast between Colony and Colony very much increases the dangers of an already explosive situation. The break-up of tribal institutions, the deterioration of agriculture, the pressure on the lend, the sight of the uncultivated alienated land and the acquisition of new desires by the Africans, especially those returning from the war, all go together towards creating an enmity against us and the white population which may have deplorable effects.

I should like to quote a speech by Mr. Colin Maher, agricultural officer in Kenya, After dealing with the things I have mentioned, he pressure of population, the fact that, as he says, "efforts by the Agricultural Department to arrest deterioration of the land are not keeping pace with the destruction of the land" and the likelihood of the demands for better conditions being made by men re- turning from the war, he ends with these words: I believe that nothing short of a complete social and economic reorganization can save this land and the people from ruin and their country from bloody disorders, the seeds of which are present in the contending circumstances I have recounted.

What then, my Lords, should His Majesty's Government do? Far from extending white settlement, I submit they should openly and explicitly abandon this policy altogether. The land which has been set aside for European settlement should be at once allocated to the natives. As to the existing settlers we have a very heavy responsibility to them which we must fulfil. But I do not think we can allow them to occupy 5,500,000 acres of land actually cultivating only 11 per cent. of it. I should propose to lay a tax on undeveloped land, with compensation on most generous terms to those who surrender part, or the whole, of their holdings. That, I think, is a fair enough offer. Secondly, we ought to make the Legislative Council a true reflection of the population of the country; that is, that those representing Africans should be in the large majority. If there are not sufficient Africans of a suitable standard of education, they should be represented by Europeans chosen as the result of effective consultation with the African population. Thirdly, all discrimination in favour of non-Africans in regard to land tenure must be ended. Finally, we need a great drive on the education and health fronts. These, I know, are far-reaching proposals, and amount to a complete reversal of our policy in Kenya, but that policy has become a hissing and reproach to our whole Colonial administration and is in direct contradiction to the theory of trusteeship on which that administration is supposed to be based.

I am deeply concerned that two wrongs should be righted and that an error should not be repeated; that the dispossessed natives of Kenya should be restored to their land; that those unfortunate dupes of a propaganda which led them to settle and sink their all in a country which is unable to support them, and seems unlikely in any foreseeable future to give an adequate living to their children, should be simply and generously compensated not only for the capital they have invested and the improvements they may have made to their land, but also for all the thought and labour they have expended. Finally, I most earnestly desire to impress upon His Majesty's Government the injustice that will be done, as it was done after the last war, to demobilized officers and men if they are induced to emigrate to a land which experience has now shown clearly is not a white man's country. I beg to move.


My Lords, I want to draw your attention to an aspect of this matter which is all too seldom mentioned when the subject is discussed; that is the question of white settlement in Tanganyika territory. When white settlement is mentioned, it is quite usual for people to turn their minds entirely to Kenya, and if they have not been there themselves, they form a mental picture of what life must be like there, which is very often based on such remarks as those to which we have just listened from the noble Lord, Lord Faringdon, which, with the greatest respect to him, convey rather an erroneous impression. I know these stories about the discontent amongst the natives and their lack of representation on Councils. I think they show rather a lack of direct first-hand knowledge of the natives, and they certainly create an impression which a great many of the people who live in Kenya would not recognize at all.

But it is not about Kenya I wish to speak. In spite of the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Faringdon, it is my intention to urge His Majesty's Government to develop some policy for white settlement in Tanganyika. Tanganyika territory can play a very important role in this respect. I think I can claim to speak with a little experience on this subject because I spent a great part of each year, in the years before the war, in that territory. I have also been responsible for forming and operating a very small scheme of white settlement in a part of Tanganyika, and I think I can claim that that is the first effort at white settlement which has been made for a very considerable number of years. It is, in fact, the only one since the late Lord Delamere undertook something on the same lines many years ago which, unfortunately, owing to his commitments in Kenya, he was prevented from carrying to its proper conclusion. Therefore I think I can claim to speak with a certain amount of first-hand knowledge.

White settlement can only be a part of the general economic development of any territory. It can be a very big part and a very important part, but the whole aim and object of developing African territories certainly should not be for the benefit of the white settler. This Motion is confined more or less to white settlement, but I hope to have an opportunity in the near future of going more fully into the question of general development, at any rate as regards Tanganyika territory. Development schemes for the welfare of the African and the European have been prepared in a great number of the territories in Africa. Some of them have been published and amongst them are development schemes from Northern Rhodesia and from Kenya. Both those territories are neighbours of Tanganyika territory, the one on the north and the other on the south, and it is noticeable that in both those schemes white settlement is intended to play a very prominent part. So far as I am aware—unless something has happened within the last few days—no scheme of any kind has been sent up to the Colonial Office from the Government of Tanganyika territory. Preparation for such schemes has been made, and they were presented to the Governor four years ago.

A most excellent Report of a Committee appointed by the Governor to go into the whole question of the economic development of the territory was presented to him in 1940. This Report was the result of two years' very careful research by a Committee composed of extremely able men who live in the country, who know the country. They represented both official and non-official opinion and they were assisted in their findings and in their recommendations by local committees which worked in each of the Provinces. If I may, I will quote to your Lordships one of the findings of this Report on the question of white settlement: Development of the territory in its full sense seems to us incapable of attainment within any measurable time, if at all, unless active encouragement is given to the foundation of non-native homesteads in agricultural areas suited to the purpose…. Non-native immigration of the type referred to can not only increase the production of wealth; it operates as an educative influence second to none in inducing a rise in the standard of comfort of the people; it improves cultural methods and it is an essential step in building up a self-reliant country. On the material side, we want a broader basis of wealth; on the social side, we want as rapidly as possible to raise the standard of living. Both those tendencies will follow an increase in nonnative settlements. I am afraid these views of very responsible people in Tanganyika territory do not quite coincide with the remarks we have just heard from the noble Lord, Lord Faringdon. However, those are the considered views of a very responsible body of people who know the country and have lived there for a great many years.

Tanganyika must be considered the backward brother of Kenya. In the matter of development, Tanganyika may be said to be in the same position now that Kenya was in some thirty years ago. Since that time, Kenya's progress has been extremely rapid, but as regards Tanganyika political and other considerations have acted as a very severe deterrent. The progress there has been extremely slow. Nevertheless the possibilities for general development—and white settlement as a part of it—in Tanganyika are certainly no less, and many of us think even greater, than in Kenya. It is, as your Lordships know, the biggest territory which is administered by the Colonial Office. As a matter of fact, in 1914, Tanganyika territory alone constituted more than half of the whole German Empire. Granted, much of it is unexplored, or virtually unexplored, and its resources are not ascertained. But that part which is known, and in which the resources have been searched for, does hold out really tremendous possibilities. The prospects are extremely good, and so far the surface of these possibilities has not even been scratched.

Now as to white settlement. There are large areas in various districts of Tanganyika territory which are suitable in every way to white settlement. I mean by that that those areas have an excellent climate, the country is open rolling grass-land, water is, from an African point of view, prolific—certainly it is adequate for any amount of farming—the soil is extremely fertile, and, most important of all, there is a very ready market for everything that can be produced on a farm. If I may be forgiven for once more referring to this Report I will quote the following passage: The view may be expressed that Tanganyika is not suited to non-native settlement. That, frankly, we do not believe. There is land in the Southern Highlands and in the Northern Provinces in every way as suited to European settlement as land in other parts of the world which now supports settled homesteads. In one of these territories some eight years ago I started a very modest effort for white settlement on my own account. I started to establish a white community based on agriculture. I must say that I did this after long and serious discussions with the Governor of the territory, and with the full knowledge of His Majesty's Government. I would like, here, to stress very much that, of course, any individual effort which is made in the direction of white settlement can only accomplish a very small fraction of what can be done by a scheme which has the full backing of the Government, and the full support of the officials.

It may not be out of place to give your Lordships, very shortly, some account of one or two of the experiences which I have had in this matter of white settlement out there. Before the war, unfortunately, as I have said, political matters acted as a very severe deterrent to the development of Tanganyika Territory. Your Lordships will remember that Hitler very frequently made reference to the old German Colonies, and asserted that those Colonies would return to the German Reich. That assertion of Hitler's was never refuted openly and publicly by the British Government. People therefore became very nervous about investing money in the territory or going out and setting up homes there, when there was a very considerable element of doubt about the future of the country. In fact, every time Hitler opened his mouth and mentioned the old German Colonies even such a small concern as that established under my settlement scheme lost from ten to twelve potential settlers. But we went on, and the scheme progressed nevertheless, so that I may claim, I think, a small measure of success. That deterrent of Hitler's threats has ceased to exist, of course, since the war broke out. But practically the entire white male population has been serving in the Services, and this, in addition to the overwhelming transport difficulties, has made any rapid progress in the way of development practically impossible. The scheme of development in the Southern Highlands has, more or less, been put on a maintenance basis. But, none the less, during the years of the war, a few farms have actually been taken over and occupied in spite of all these difficulties. That fact, and the very large number of inquiries and requests for information which I have had, convince me that after the war there will be no lack whatever of the right type of settler wanting to settle in these and in any other districts which may be open to him.

There is another very important subject which I should like to mention because it is so very closely linked with white settlement and also with the improvement in the standard of native living. I wish to refer for one moment to the establishment of industrial concerns in the territory. I believe that in pre-war years the political considerations to which I have referred acted as a very big deterrent against firms establishing factories and canneries in that part of the world. At the same time, as the result of one or two inquiries which I have made, I find that in the past little or no encouragement has been given to such firms by His Majesty's Government. At this very moment I know of at least one well-established and well-recognised firm in this country which is giving very careful consideration to the establishment of a factory in Tanganyika territory for business connected with food production, at a very considerable capital expenditure. I wish to point out that in a country which is manifestly very short of capital, and of individual capital in particular, the value of such a proposition is undeniable. In addition to that, it will undoubtedly help to solve what we are told is likely to be a very serious problem of food shortage after the war, and it will also create a very large amount of trade with the natives, and thereby help to raise their standard of living, which is what is occupying the minds of a great many of us at present. I hope that active support for these enterprises will be given by His Majesty's Government, and that every facility will be afforded to enable them to become established.

I should like on another point once again to refer to the Report of the Central Development Committee. Before any white settlement can take place there are certain essential preliminaries, and I should like to read this carefully considered recommendation: … to give a policy of stimulating European immigration we consider that action is required of three different kinds:

  1. (1) A land settlement organization;
  2. (2) Land and agricultural bank facilities;
  3. (3) Development expenditure in situ.
We regard it as important that the Government itself should become a prime mover in the promotion of non-native settlement and not merely a passive agent. There have, admittedly, been opportunities available to settlers for acquiring land in the past, but these opportunities have arisen almost exclusively at the instance of the settlers themselves and there has been neither direct encouragement on the part of the Government nor an organization to help intending settlers in the preliminary stages. We suggest that both of these should be provided as a part of Government development policy.


Will the noble Lord be so good as to give us some idea of the composition of the Committee which produced this Report on which he relies so much?


Certainly. The Chairman of this Committee was Mr. Sandford, who was at that time Treasurer of Tanganyika territory, and who has just been appointed as Chief Secretary there; I do not think that he has yet taken up his duties. In the interval he has been in Palestine. The members were Mr. Robins, a railway manager, Sir William Lead, who is now dead, who was unofficial member and a great leader of the unofficial element in Tanganyika territory, and Mr. Lester and Mr. Killick, who I believe were officials in the Agricultural Department. I think that one was the Director of Agriculture and the other the Assistant Director, but I should not like to guarantee that I have correctly stated their official status.


Thank you very much.


My Lords, these recommendations which I have just quoted from the Report of the Central Development Committee should be taken up now. They are all preliminary to the formation of a scheme for white settlement. If nothing is done until the end of the war towards taking these preliminary steps, there may well be considerable delay before any policy can be formulated, but if action is taken now it may still be possible to take the preliminary measures and to have a definite scheme of settlement ready to put into operation, as soon as the war ends, to deal with the many thousands of both Africans and Europeans who will be demobilized.

I want also to plead that some means should be found by His Majesty's Government to ensure continuity of any policy which may be adopted. The development of a territory is not a matter of two or three years; a policy to be successful must be designed for fifteen or twenty years or more. What is worrying so many people is that Governors of territories, Chief Secretaries and even lower-ranking officials are changed with the most alarming frequency, and each time there is a change speculation is rife as to what policy the new man intends to pursue. It may not be out of place to remind your Lordships that since war broke out we have had no fewer than five Colonial Secretaries. No doubt this procession can be attributed to the exceptional circumstances of the war, but it is disastrous from the point of view of the formation of any policy for the economic development of these Colonial territories. It should not be beyond the ability of the Government to take some steps to ensure continuity of policy.

I am afraid that I have taken up a great deal of your Lordships' time, but I have touched only very briefly on one or two points in connexion with the possibilities of Tanganyika territory. If your Lordships will make a further and more detailed investigation, it will become obvious at once that the case is overwhelming. It is urgent to take advantage of the opportunity now afforded for the development of the country, of which development white settlement must form a part. It is an opportunity which is waiting to be grasped and which it would be almost criminal to neglect. I know that there are great political problems looming on the horizon as regards Tanganyika territory—the question of the Mandate and of the status of the country, for instance—and problems which it is necessary to wait until after the war to settle. Nevertheless, this question of development for the benefit of the natives and of Europeans is essentially an economic one, and should be dealt with independently of any of the big political questions relating to the territory. It is also a question which must be tackled immediately, in the interests of both Europeans and Africans. I hope that His Majesty's Government will take some action in the matter with the greatest possible speed.


My Lords, I have listened with great interest, as I am sure that all your. Lordships have, to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Chesham, who has spoken with a first-hand knowledge and experience of these matters which must always command respect. One knows the part which he has played in them. I cannot follow the noble Lord in what he has been saying about Tanganyika, because I propose to speak only of Kenya, but I should like to refer to a few of the points which he made. He rather discounted what my noble friend Lord Faringdon said about the existence of discontent amongst the Africans in Kenya. My noble friend's speech, however, was most amply documented, and if the noble Lord, Lord Chesham, wishes to controvert what Lord Faringdon said on that subject he will find himself faced with a formidable task. He will find himself in opposition to people like Lord Hailey, Lord Lugard and Sir Alan Pim, as well as officials of the Colony. And as regards what the noble Lord said about continuity of policy and continuity of appointments, I most certainly agree, provided the policy is a right one and the officials in question are good ones. But I am not at all in favour of continuity of a bad policy, or continuity of the appointment of an unsuitable official.

I feel that one takes part in a Colonial debate at this time with a very great feeling of anxiety and of responsibility, because one knows that Dr. Goebbels and the poison squad of the German radio are very much on the look out at the present moment for anything which is said in either House of Parliament on British Colonial policy. But that is a risk that one has to take, and I am consoled in doing so by this reflection, that the Germans would certainly regard any scruples or criticisms expressed in any debate concerning the discharge of our duties towards the indigenous populations as completely absurd. They would regard it as highly ridiculous to feel that we are occupying ourselves in Parliament by this great sense of responsibility about our duties towards the indigenous populations. I remember that before the war a Colonial Institute was set up in Berlin. It was intended to correspond to our Colonial Office, the only trouble being that they had not got any Colonies. But that dad not matter. They set up a Colonial Institute, and they issued a statement of policy which would guide Germany in regard to any Colonies which at some subsequent date Germany might possess. I remember that two of the canons of policy which they laid down were these. First, under no circumstances whatever would the indigenous population of any Colony receive any education whatsoever; education was to be completely ruled out. The second point was that no native would, under any circumstances, be allowed to leave the Colony; there would be no possibility of travel whatsoever. If those were two points which animated this Colonial Institute concerning the prospective Colonies of Germany, one can understand with what contempt and ridicule they would regard the scruples and anxieties which one always finds expressed in debates in our Parliament concerning Colonial matters.

As a matter of fact such criticism as is expressed only springs from a wish that our Colonial policy should simply be 100 per cent. right. It is only much wishing for more; that in every respect our policy should be beyond any possibility of criticism. In that respect I feel that shortcomings are very largely due to the fact that there is a lack of drive of public opinion in this matter of Colonial policy. I have to confess it with very great regret—it may be due to my own defects as a speaker, but I have found that it is extremely difficult to address a public meeting on this subject of Colonial policy, it is extremely difficult to arouse any interest. The lack of outside public interest in the subject is, of course, reflected in what is notorious—the very poor attendance at Colonial debates as a rule in the Houses of Parliament.

That, again, is reflected in the fact that the Colonial Secretaryship has really never been regarded as one of the great prizes of office in the formation of a Cabinet. One has, I think, to go back to Mr. Joseph Chamberlain to think of a Colonial Secretary on what I would call the grand scale—a Colonial Secretary capable of exciting and arousing public opinion about our Empire. In saying that I certainly would not wish to overlook the great part played by Mr. Amery, who I think was truly inspired by great imagination where the Empire was concerned, or Lord Harlech, who was so extraordinarily well-informed and hard working. But on the whole there have been far too many changes in the Colonial Secretaryship, and the office has been rather regarded as a stepping-stone to higher Ministerial rank. I cannot understand it. I should have thought the Colonial Secretaryship by all tests would be regarded as one of the most important in a Cabinet and deserving the full-time work and attention of a man ambitious to serve his country. In making those remarks I have no wish whatever to make any reflection on the present incumbent of the office, whose speeches I think have contained a great deal of hope and encouragement in outlook; but we have to wait and see how that will all work out.

I do feel, however, that some systematic attempt has got to be made to interest the public in this matter of our Colonial Empire, and of the Dominions also. What organizations at present exist to carry out this work of propaganda and of stimulating the public imagination in our Colonial Empire? Those which do exist seem to me to aim rather high up, and not to aim at the mass of public opinion. We have the Empire Parliamentary Association. I am sure it is admirably run. Some people are inclined to say that it exists in order to provide joy rides for tried and trusty Party hacks. I do not know about that, but I have noticed that a great many of those who go on their delegations seem to play singularly little part in trying to inform public opinion subsequently about those parts of our Dominions and Colonies which they visit.


May I remind the noble Lord about Rootes' exhibition in Piccadilly?


Yes, that is admirable. That is my plea: I want much more of that sort of thing. It is with Kenya that my noble friend Lord Faringdon mainly dealt this afternoon and that I wish to deal with in my remarks. It is rather a test case. Certainly if one is to judge by a great deal of what one reads about Kenya, either some very queer people go there or the people who go there become very queer subsequently—the inhabitants of Happy Valley who ardently pursue happiness without ever quite catching it up. But that is no reflection on the bulk of the settlers, who are of quite a different calibre. But in regard to Colonial policy I think Kenya is a test case. There have been a lot of very good speeches lately on the subect, and some noble sentiments are expressed in the Atlantic Charter; but history is going to judge us by practice and not by principles. He would be a very bold man indeed who would say that our practice and our principles have been in line in Kenya. I remember the late Duke of Devonshire, when he was Colonial Secretary, enunciating a principle about trusteeship. I might perhaps remind the noble Duke that I believe that statement of principle applied to far wider territories than the constituency of East Derbyshire. However, as regards the question of trusteeship, there are three million natives in Kenya and twenty thousand white settlers. There is very little doubt about whom the trustee has been acting for in Kenya in the past when none of the three million Africans has any direct political representation at all.

The crux of the matter is the effect of white settlement upon the African population. That is the test of the matter. How has white settlement worked out for the Africans? It has had some very evil effects indeed—quite obviously so—and it is much more important to try to remedy these evil effects which have already occurred than to make plans for further settlement and further evil effects. Kenya is a country which has very little good soil indeed, and yet the best land in it has been alienated in favour of the white settlers who have only shown themselves capable of cultivating a very small portion. That alienation of the best land has inevitably led to overcrowding of the native reserves. That overcrowding in turn leads to fragmentation of the land holdings in the reserves. Following upon that, inevitably, you get a very serious deterioration of the soil. There are many lessons to be learnt from the United States of America of the evil effects that follow if deterioration of the soil is not taken in hand in time. That is probably the most serious problem of all Kenya's problems—the deterioration of the soil. Then you have the introduction of cash crops which not only represent a serious agricultural problem, because the whole balance of agriculture is thrown out of gear by concentration on cash crops, but it puts yet more pressure on the soil. As a result, you get very serious overcrowding. There are areas in Kenya in which the African population is as many as 1,000 to 1,500 per square mile —a tremendous overcrowding of the land. This fragmentation of holdings and this pressure of population militate against any rational husbandry, against any improvement in agricultural technique, and against any proper policy of conservation of the soil.

Another factor which militates against good agriculture is that, when Africans come into contact with white civilization, inevitably their ideas about a standard of living rise. While that is going on, the opportunities on the land for them decrease. The dual process breeds discontent, and this is accentuated by the wretched conditions which obtain in the native reserves. The progressive elements among the Africans display just the same repugnance towards agriculture as one finds, unfortunately, in this country amongst the young progressive men in the villages and in the countryside. I believe that is deplorable here and in Africa, because in my opinion any country is bound to go downhill unless it has many of its roots firmly in the soil. I admit I say this with all the prejudices of a countryman, but those who are acquainted with conditions in the towns know the deplorable specimens and deplorable habits which the towns breed. Undoubtedly any country which loses touch with the soil is on the downward path. All these unfortunate tendencies in Kenya have been accentuated by the war. War, in fact, is the great accentuator. War does not alter character, it does not alter tendencies, it only intensifies them. What is good tends to become better, what is bad tends to become worse. The war has stimulated a demand for agricultural products in Kenya, and in consequence soil deterioration is increasing. The inevitable longrange result of that must be crop failure and food shortage. There were already famine conditions in Kenya in 1943, and the coming year presents very great anxieties indeed on the same score. I know it may be said that absence of rain is the cause of famine conditions. That may be very true, but the evil effects of drought are increased if the soil has already lost its proper and original fertility. The spectre of famine in future years in Kenya lurks behind this question of soil deterioration.

There is, of course, a Department of Agriculture in Kenya. I have no doubt whatever that the officials of that Department are most fully alive to these matters of which I have been speaking, but what can that Department do? It is hopelessly understaffed to begin with, and it is mainly and naturally absorbed, not in questions of soil fertility, but in questions of markets. That side of its work which has to do with the marketing of products has been very much emphasized by the war. What possible time can this understaffed Department of Agriculture, overburdened and weighed down by these marketing problems, have to devote to this problem of soil deterioration? In fact, we have the evidence of the Agricultural Officer in Kenya that the efforts of his Department to arrest soil deterioration are completely outstripped by the rate at which destruction of the soil is proceeding. If that is the case, what can be the end of such a process in the Colony of Kenya? The social problems, bound up in the matters of which I have been speaking, arc bound to become more severe. The whole native economy, the whole social system, has been thrown out of gear by the impact of white civilization.

When the war ends, what is going to become of the young Africans who are to be demobilized from the Army? What prospects are open to them in the native reserves under the conditions I have described? What prospects in life can the native reserves open to them? Many of them, of course, will reject the idea of living under such conditions in native reserves, and the drift to the towns is going to increase. In the towns they will find that labour and living conditions are equally bad, and that there are very few openings for them indeed. That means that discontent will be rife, and when they feel this discontent they will find they have got no representation whatever on the Councils which decide their fate in life. I have here a quotation from a speech made by the Agricultural Officer in Kenya as recently as March, 1943. He made this speech, curiously enough, to what is called the Progressive Club, and he said: It is a proud boast of some senior officials that there is no native policy. This lack, or calculated omission, allows escape from the more immediate problems, though the day of reckoning is drawing nigh. … I know there are Native Councils but those Native Councils which are being developed have no power. The power in Kenya lies in the hands of those Councils upon which the Africans have got no direct representation whatsoever.

In Kenya the African has not got at his disposal the political machinery by which to lift himself up. We all agree that trade unions have played a useful part in the industrial development of this country and that they can continue to do so if they confine themselves to their proper functions. In Kenya there are no African trade unions. The Press, we agree, is a great guardian of our liberties. In Kenya there are no independent papers. Now why is that? What is good in Nigeria is not considered good in Kenya. In Nigeria there are some 100 trade unions. In Nigeria there are many newspapers. In Nigeria the Africans have their representatives on the municipal and Legislative Councils. Why is it that these things are good for the African in Nigeria but considered bad for him in Kenya? It is argued that the Nigerian African is more advanced than the Kenya African and that the latter cannot be given what is enjoyed by the former until he has reached the same state of development, yet at the same time all the machinery whereby he can lift himself up to that stage of development is withheld from him. These problems must be tackled if discontent is to be avoided. Is the noble Duke who is to reply really prepared to say that no grounds exist for an inquiry into the existing economic position of the white settlers and the influence of white settlement upon the Africans? It seems that such an inquiry should certainly be held before the existing white privileges are continued or before further white settlement is permitted.

There is only one other point I wish to mention. I hardly venture to put the question to the noble Duke because I have not given him notice of it, but certainly to me it would be of very great interest indeed to know what medical and veterinary services exist and what are the numbers employed in such medical and veterinary services per head of the African population. I have endeavoured to put my points moderately but I wish to make it quite clear that I am satisfied, from exhaustive reading over many years and from a great deal of first-hand information, that white settlers in Kenya have been given privileges and power and advantages there at the cost of misery for many of the African population. If any one likes to say to me, would you favour the black at the expense of the white? well I could only reply that such an argument is based upon ideas of racial superiority which, if acted upon, would inevitably result in the ruin of this country. I say that as one who is immensely proud of the greater part of our Colonial history, as one who believes that our only chance of survival as a great Power depends upon the continuance of that history and as one who is equally convinced that the continuance of that history must depend upon the fructification of such ideas as have been put forward by my noble friend Lord Faringdon this afternoon.


My Lords, the knowledge of noble Lords opposite on Kenya somewhat resembles that of Mr. Weller, senior, of London. It is "extensive and peculiar," but it does not further resemble Mr. Weller's in that it is extremely inaccurate. Like my noble friend behind me I can barely recognize the picture which noble Lords opposite drew of the effect of the impact of white settlement on Kenya. Far from having caused untold misery I believe the effect has been to raise the people of that Colony in numbers, in education, in standard of living and in every other way in an incredibly shorter time than would have seemed possible.

The noble Lord who moved the Motion at some length referred to the conscription of labour. I think any fair-minded and impartial listener would have supposed from what he said that the great majority of the inhabitants of Kenya were groaning under this intolerable burden for the benefit of unscrupulous and grasping Europeans. The number of Africans in civilian employment in Kenya is 286,000, the number conscripted is 8,500. Those who have been conscripted have been conscripted for specific purposes where it would be necessary to have them for undertakings definitely connected with the war; for example, the production of foodstuffs and other essential war requirements such as sisal, rubber, and pyrethrum, and the Secretary of State's approval has to be secured before labour can be conscripted for any of these purposes. The picture that the noble Lord gave really has no relation whatever to the facts.

His Motion was directed in the main to the question of what extension of white settlement in Kenya is contemplated, and what is the attitude of the Colonial Office and of the Government towards any such extension. He seemed to apprehend that there is a movement afoot for flooding Kenya with white settlers after the war, and he asked a number of specific questions which, unless I am mistaken, were directed towards proving that white settlement had been a failure in the past and was likely to be a failure in the future. I will deal with those specific questions in a moment. I think I can in the meanwhile set the noble Lord's worst fears at rest. I can assure him that there is at the moment no new development in regard to white settlement in Kenya. Recommendations for the closer settlement of the Kenya Highlands were made in the Report of the Local Settlement Committee in 1938. They include a scheme for Government-aided purchases of land and for advances of long-term loans to suitable new settlers. I must emphasize the fact that the proposals of that Committee were on a most modest scale. The proposal was to settle between 150 and 250 settlers over a period of ten years on what are already European-owned lands. There I think, we come to some difference between the actual fact and the picture drawn by noble Lords opposite of the inhabitants in Kenya being crowded out by a horde of white settlers. The proposals were accepted at the time and that acceptance has been reaffirmed recently by the Kenya Government, but it is quite clear that the details will have to be reconsidered in the light of existing circumstances after the war.

The proposals made it clear that economic settlement only was contemplated, and it is for the Minister to consider what in a changed and changing world are likely to be the conditions necessary for economic settlement. I understand a Settlement Section has been set up in Kenya to investigate this question. Legislation is contemplated, and a draft Bill conferring on the Government of Kenya powers to re-acquire privately-owned land for settlement purposes and to stabilize the price of land was published in October for criticism. The original Bill has been withdrawn and a revised Bill is now being drafted. I want to emphasize the fact that these proposals are on a very modest scale. They affect European-owned land only, and they do not in any way affect African-controlled land or the rights or interests of Africans.

Subject to these proposals, which, as I say, do not really affect the main issue of white settlement in Kenya at all, there has been no modification of Government policy with regard to white settlement in Kenya for many years. That policy was finally stabilized by what is known as the Devonshire White Paper of July, 1923, when my father laid it down—I am quoting here— After reviewing the history of this question and taking into consideration the facts that during the last fifteen years European British subjects have been encouraged to develop the Highlands and that during that period settlers have taken up land in the Highlands on this understanding. His Majesty's Government have decided that the existing practice must be maintained as regards both initial grants and transfers. That policy has been adhered to by every subsequent Government and was specifically endorsed by the Labour Government in 1930, when Lord Passfield said: Whilst having no desire to go back on the decision come to by Lord Elgin in 1908, confirmed by the White Paper of 1923, with regard to the restriction of agricultural land sales in the so-called Highlands of Kenya to persons of European descent, His Majesty's Government are not willing to see any restriction extended to other agricultural areas in any part of East Africa. I am therefore in a position to assure the noble Lord that policy has not altered for a period of many years, and that there is no intention of altering it. That also, I think, answers the noble Lord's question about an inquiry into the effects of white settlement in Kenya. We know them perfectly well without any inquiry and I do not propose to urge on my right honourable friend that any inquiry is necessary.

To come to the specific questions asked about the number of settlers cultivating land, I should emphasize the fact that the position has very drastically altered as the result of war conditions in Kenya. Kenya has a splendid record as regards war service. The number of settlers to-day is approximately 2,000 and the number of surveyed farms is 2,700, of which all but about 150 are being developed and worked, some on a highly intensive scale and some less intensively. In this connexion I should like to pay a tribute to the great value of the war effort of the Kenya settlers. The change in the course of the war has produced constantly changing demands for different forms of agricultural produce. To give merely one example, the outbreak of war in the Far East, by depriving us of supplies of quinine, led to a vastly increased demand for pyrethrum. We must destroy mosquitoes and the use of pyrethrum is one of the best means for doing so. That greatly increased demand the farmers in Kenya have met most manfully. Whatever demands have been made on their production, the farmers of Kenya have thrown their whole energies into meeting those demands and their contribution to the war effort has been of very great value indeed. Noble Lords will notice a discrepancy between the number of farms, 2,700, and the number of farmers, 2,000, but they will realize that that is due to war conditions. In many cases farmers are away on war service and their farms are being looked after by managers or, in some instances, by the wives of other farmers who are managing two or three or more farms.

Then the noble Lord asked about the number who have tried and made a failure since the initiation of the white settlement policy. On that I am afraid it is quite impossible for me to give the noble Lord an answer. That failures have occurred I would not deny for a moment. In Kenya, as in Canada and Australia, ambitious settlement schemes for ex-soldiers were set on foot after the last war, and in Kenya, as in other countries, a regrettably high proportion failed, partly because of the world slump in the price of agricultural produce; partly, no doubt, because of the unsuitability of farms which were granted to ex-soldiers; partly also, I suppose, because the soldiers themselves were not always suitable; but it is quite impossible for me to give detailed figures which would have any relation to reality. The abandonment or sale of a farm in Kenya is not in itself evidence of failure. A farmer may leave a farm in Kenya for many other reasons besides failure. A rich old aunt may die and leave him money, or ho may hear of a better opportunity in England or elsewhere. He may find the climate unsuitable for his wife, or he may want to educate his children in England and to be with them. The abandonment of a farm is no positive guide, and I cannot give the noble Lord the figure he asks for. But I think I can say that a great deal has been learnt about this question in the last twenty-five years and there is no reason to fear that the mistakes which were admittedly made after the last war will be made after this.

Again, I am afraid I cannot give the noble Lord any satisfactory answer about the total amount of Government assistance given by loans, gifts, subsidies, rebates and assisted prices. I have taken a great deal of trouble to try to get the figures, but I find I cannot give any figure which would not mislead the House. Assistance to agriculture has been granted in Kenya, as in England and I think indeed in almost every country in the world, and it has been given in various ways, largely by loan but in some cases by direct grants for breaking up land. What the total amounts to it is quite impossible for any man to say until he knows what proportion of the loans will ultimately be repaid. Again I cannot give any figure, because any figure I gave might be altogether misleading to the House. I can, however, give the noble Lord this definite information. There are no specially arranged assisted prices; and the only rebate of which I am aware is that of Customs Duty on kerosene for agricultural purposes.

I should like to illustrate the impossibility of giving precise detailed information about assistance to agriculture. In order to secure essential production for war purposes the Government of Kenya accepted the liability to guarantee a minimum return per acre to farmers whom they directed to grow certain particular crops required for war purposes. It was estimated that if the worst should come to the worst, after the climate and the locusts had done their worst, this guarantee might have meant a call upon public funds of something like £500,000 a year. But it is quite a mistake to think Kenya farmers were assisted to this extent, for in fact out of this contingent liability only £7,240 has actually been spent. Therefore I must ask the noble Lord to accept the fact that until we know—and that will not be for a long time—what proportion of the loans will ultimately be repaid it is utterly impossible for me to give the figures he asked for of the exact assistance to agriculture.

In reply to the noble Lord's question about the amount of land alienated and unalienated reserved for Europeans I can give some precise information. The total area of Kenya is some 140,000,000 acres, of which some three-fifths is arid and relatively worthless, leaving some 56,000,000 acres of more or less useful land. Of this, native reserves comprise some 30,800,000 acres, and the Highlands about 10,000,000 acres. In the Highlands, roughly 7,000,000 acres, have been alienated to Europeans. The remainder is made up of forest reserve. Of these 7,000,000 acres only about 1,300,000 acres are suitable for cultivation, and about 864,000 of these are actually under cultivation now. The noble Lord went on to ask about discrimination with regard to land tenure. As I told him just now, the White Highlands policy, affecting some 7,000,000 acres of the White Highlands, has been a fixed policy for many years past, but apart from that there is no discrimination with regard to land tenure.

That brings me to the noble Lord's concluding group of questions, in which he asked for an outline of the Government's plans for Africans, encouragement of agriculture, political representation, labour legislation and social services. The general outline of the Kenya Government's post-war plans is given in the Governor's Dispatch of the 6th August, 1943, a copy of which is available in the Library. As regards the encouragement of agriculture, the policy was clearly stated in the 1939 Report of the Agricultural Department. The policy of the Department is to assist, as far as possible, in furthering the most beneficial utilization of the natural resources of the soil. I believe that at this present stage of development no real conflict need arise between African and European interests in the pursuance of this object, and the policy of the Department is to allow the two branches of agriculture to develop on their own lines, while, of course, always striving to improve the technical skill and knowledge of the cultivator. The Director of Agriculture in Kenya is engaged in the preparation of a five-year programme for ail branches, taking into account also problems of land utilization and the possibilities of developing co-operative marketing.

Then we come to the question of political representation. A recent new departure, of which I think my noble friend is not aware, in associating Africans with the Central Government has been the establishment of a Standing Advisory Committee on local Native Councils. This Committee is composed of two officials, the two European members of the Legislative Council who represent African interests, and five Africans, so that on this body there is an African majority. The functions of the Committee are to advise the Governor in Council on the draft estimates of local Native Councils, and on such other matters as the Governor may refer to it. This task was formerly carried out by a sub-committee of the Executive Council. In a recent speech in the House of Commons, my right honourable friend stated that it is hoped that this new machinery will provide a good opportunity for Africans to develop their capacity for higher functions and will lead to their being able to participate in more complicated affairs in the Central Legislature. He went on to say that until we became assured that they could participate with effect it would be very unwise to throw away the safeguards at present afforded to them by the indirect method of representation through Europeans. I should perhaps add, for your Lordships' information, that one of the two seats for representatives of African interests on the Legislative Council recently fell vacant, and the Reverend L. J. Beecher, a missionary, has been appointed. In a letter to the local Press he has said that there are few who would describe themselves as satisfied with the present mode of African representation, but he added that he regarded the establishment of a Standing Advisory Committee on local Native Councils as part of the educative progress towards a better system, and that although progress may be disappointingly slow its ultimate soundness is the more assured.

Coming to labour legislation, my noble friend will be aware that during the past twelve months Kenya has passed trades union legislation which makes the Colony eligible, in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 of the Act, for assistance from the Colonial Development and Welfare Vote. That is model legislation without which a Colony cannot qualify for grants under that Act. I think it would be fair to describe it as progressive trades union legislation. Kenya has also abolished all penal sanctions for breaches of contract by juveniles under the age of 16. In addition, a Labour Advisory Board with an unofficial majority of employers and employees has been constituted to advise on labour problems and conditions and on further labour legislation. It is proposed to introduce workmen's compensation legislation as soon as circumstances permit, and, in the meantime, by agreement with employers, compensation claims are being paid on the lines laid down in model legislation. A policy of progressive reduction of all penal sanctions is being followed.

I have done my best to answer all the questions asked by the noble Lord. I venture to assure your Lordships that Kenya, so far as I can see, does present a picture not even remotely resembling that drawn by the noble Lords opposite. My noble friend behind me, Lord Chesham, referred to a different question, that of closer settlement in Tanganyika. He has a Motion on the Paper, and if on this occasion I do not reply in greater detail than to say that all his statements will be most carefully noted in my Department, and that I hope that when the Motion comes on I shall be the better prepared to answer it because of what he has said, I trust that he will acquit me of any discourtesy.

Now, my Lords, I have kept the best until the end and I hope that what I have to say will at least be pleasing to my noble friend Lord Winster. He dealt with soil erosion, deterioration of the soil and so forth. I confess I find some difficulty in following him because he seems at one moment to be terribly hostile to white settlement and to think it the worst thing that could be, and then to be terribly apprehensive of soil deterioration and erosion. The noble Lord must, I think, be aware that it is African methods of cultivation which have had such lamentable results and have led to soil deterioration. I was not quite clear what he really wanted, or whether he thought that if there were no Europeans in Kenya and a constantly growing population the soil situation would be better. I can assure the noble Lord that substantial financial assistance from the Colonial Development and Welfare Vote towards the cost of the schemes so far forwarded by the Kenya Government has been approved by His Majesty's Government. I think these schemes are all of a substantial character. The Kenya Government's development programme, which was published at the end of last year, was largely concerned with soil conservation, general agricultural development and improved water supplies, and African urban housing. The Governor has promised to forward further proposals, particularly on educational development, as soon as possible. There was a big soil conservation scheme designed to develop a growing recognition by Africans of the value of improved agricultural methods. That has been approved in principle, and a grant of £139,000 is to be made available to meet the capital expenditure. When the details have been worked out, further assistance on a very considerable scale towards the recurring costs will be made available. The total recurring cost over a period of six years is expected to be rather more than £400,000.

Grants totalling £38,500 for various improved water supplies have been approved, and other larger schemes have been approved in principle, so that work can be started as soon as the men and materials become available. A grant of £54,300 has been approved to cover the capital cost of establishing two agricultural training schools for Africans, which will be associated with teachers' training centres for African teachers. A grant of £6,000 has been approved for a general reconnaissance of an irrigation scheme on the Upper Tana, where there is reason to believe that some 200,000 acres may be suitable for irrigation. Proposals for African urban housing on a large scale have also been approved in principle, and financial assistance by grant and loan will be made available on the receipt of details up to a maximum of £500,000.

I hope I have said enough to indicate that we are really getting on with the business of agricultural education and soil conservation and with urban housing. I think that in justice to the Government of Kenya it should also be said that I have given details only of the provision which is coming from this end, and for which we are paying under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act. The Government of Kenya are themselves spending large sums of money on the objects to which particular attention has been called by the noble Lord, Lord Winster. I hope your Lordships will be convinced that, far from our attitude towards Kenya being unprogressive, that Colony has in fact made enormous strides. We are pushing ahead with great rapidity in improving and building up the way of life of the people. Of course it takes time; that is inevitable. It takes time before you can achieve self-governing institutions, but I do say without fear of misleading your Lordships that that Colony under white settlement has increased its population. As a result of the Pax Britannica, the hunting of the Kikuyu by the Masai has come to an end, and so the population has increased, and that in itself faces us with a great problem. But I say that in an incredibly short space of time, and largely thanks to white settlement, Kenya has gone ahead and, far from being ashamed of our record there, this country and the Colonial Office have every right to be proud of it.


My Lords, I thank the noble Duke for his reply, unsatisfactory though I necessarily find it. It is, of course, some consolation that at least largely expanded schemes are not contemplated, but what I was asking for was really a reversal of policy. I do not think that it struck the noble Duke that there was in the White Paper of his noble father a contradiction in terms, because on the one hand it supported the policy of white settlement and on the other hand it stated the paramountcy of the interests of the African. If, as I believe, white settlement is inimical to African interests—and I tried to bring the weightiest possible support to back me up in this matter, and I cannot accept the noble Duke's assertion that on the contrary it is beneficial—there must be a contradition in terms there. I would point out that very much more considerable advances have been made in other parts of Africa which have not had the benefit of white settlement. Whilst I would not claim that that is necessarily proof that white settlement is the militating factor against native interests, it is clearly evident, to my mind at any rate, that white settlement is not one of the things which make for native progress. The noble Duke does not seem to have noticed—and I say this in defence of my noble friend Lord Winster—what is the connexion between the White Highlands policy and soil erosion, but surely the connexion is perfectly clear. Soil erosion takes place because too many Africans are crowded into the reserves, and there, owing to the form of native husbandry, the land becomes used up.

I regret very deeply that His Majesty's Government have not been able to give a more imaginative outline of their policy for the future. They merely say that they will continue a small-scale scheme of settlement, giving the Government powers to re-acquire lands which are undeveloped by Europeans. I welcome very much the special provisions to be made under the Development and Welfare Scheme, and I welcome the provision which is to be made to make irrigated land available for natives. This is clearly, in my view, an admission that the White Highlands have subtracted a very important part of the land from which the natives draw their livelihood. I think that settlers who go there in future should realize that we on this side of the House are fundamentally opposed to the idea of subsidized settlement. I admire enormously the enterprise of the noble Lord, Lord Chesham, in his settlement in Tanganyika. A settlement of that sort, without continuous subsidies, is not open to objection. I am perfectly prepared to admit an initial subsidy, but it is because white settlement in Kenya is the most outstanding case of a policy of continuous subsidy that I have referred particularly to it. Settlement such as that with which the noble Lord, Lord Chesham, is concerned is legitimate, but we are opposed to a policy of settlement assisted by continuous subsidies and, since we may be the Government of to-morrow, I feel that that is something which future intending settlers should bear in mind. The debate has been very interesting, at any rate to me, and I hope to other noble Lords, and I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.