§ LORD CHESHAM had given Notice that he would ask His Majesty's Government what steps they propose to take to implement the recommendations contained in the Report made to the Governor of Tanganyika Territory in May, 1940, by the Central Development Committee, which was appointed by him in December, 1938; and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I make no apology for introducing the Motion which stands in my name, because a position has arisen of which your Lordships should be made aware. My Motion refers to the general development of Tanganyika Territory This was referred to fairly extensively a few weeks ago when the question of white settlement in East Africa was under discussion in your Lordships' House. At that time I tried to make it clear that white settlement, or non-native settlement, formed only a part—a very essential part, but still only a part—of the general development of any territory. It is to other forms of development, which are not only desirable but many of which have become of a very urgent nature, that I want to draw attention to-day.
§ Your Lordships will remember that Tanganyika prior to 1914–18 was German, and that a Mandate was given to this country. It is an enormous country. The land area alone is over 340,000 sq. miles. I want your Lordships to pay particular attention to the most recent figures I have got of the population, because they are rather important. The most recent figures I have got are more or less an estimate made in 1938. Then there were 9,000 Europeans—and that figure of 9,000 included officials, Germans, Greeks, Italians and other nationalities besides British—33,000 Asiatics and no fewer than 5,500,000 natives. That is an astounding difference. It is to those 5,500,000 natives that I would like to refer for a moment. From what has been said in your Lordships' House and in other places there seems a certain amount of popular misconception as to the African natives. Because a man happens to be coloured 1013 black a lot of people think that all black men are the same. If a native from one part of Africa has certain characteristics people are inclined to think that another native from an entirely different part must have the same qualities and characteristics. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have degrees of development and degrees of qualities all the way through Africa which make a very big difference between natives even although they happen to be living, geographically, comparatively not far from each other. It is quite absurd to compare a native from West Africa with a native from East Africa. The degree of development is very much higher in West Africa than the average in East Africa. In Tanganyika Territory itself there is a very large number of different tribes who have different habits, different customs, a different appearance and different languages.
§ When we took over the Mandate for Tanganyika after the last war we found that the Germans, who had owned it before, had done comparatively little towards native development or increasing and encouraging native production. We made a start in that direction, chiefly agriculturally, as is natural, with cotton, hides, maize and other products for which the country is suitable. But then came the 1929–31 crisis, and the necessary call for economy meant a big reduction of staffs and of general expenditure, which had a very big effect on the policy which we were trying to carry out. The result was that progress in that direction almost came to an end. Since that time and until just before this war the position has been more or less stationary. I know that some progress can be claimed in the encouragement of native development, but what progress has taken place is infinitesimal having regard to the number of natives and to the vast tracts of country to be dealt with. In a few parts of the country great progress has been made by the natives, chiefly in the coastal districts and in other parts where the natives have been in close contact with Europeans; but these areas are very small when compared with the vast tracts of land where the natives have not the advantage of being in close contact with Europeans.
§ The result is that at the present moment there are literally millions of natives who are ex: sting, at a very low standard of 1014 subsistence, on what they can produce from the soil, and that soil itself is losing fertility and losing in power of production through lack of knowledge of good husbandry. That is rather a gloomy thought, but what is far worse is that the natives themselves are losing, and in many cases have lost, all initiative and ambition to lead any improved kind of existence. They arc content to stagnate, living on what they can produce for their own needs from the soil. The result of that is very bad. Their physical constitution has suffered, and their mental development is suffering for the same reasons, and also because of the very limited amount of education which is possible to them. The future for these millions of natives is in fact very dark unless something is done.
§ In 1938 a Committee was appointed by the Governor, with very wide terms of reference, to make a general survey of the Territory, to inquire into these questions, and to make representations as to what could be done to remedy the situation. That Committee did admirable work, and issued a Report to the Governor in 1940 which is really a most remarkable document. It is rather lengthy, and I shall not read it, but it is a real effort to analyse the troubles and their causes and to see what remedies can be applied. In that Report there are a great many recommendations on varied subjects, the carrying out of which would be of inestimable value to the Territory as a whole. I referred to that Report some time ago, when we discussed the question of white settlement, and I am not going to quote from it to-day or to go into its recommendations in any detail; I merely want to touch very briefly on some of the main recommendations. As a result of the general survey, the Report itself emphasizes the enormous scope for development in that Territory, and lays very particular emphasis on the absolute necessity of raising the standard of living of the natives. This point, and the necessity of providing the natives with some incentive to work, are fully realized by all those connected with the Territory. Various organizations and bodies have issued manifestos and recommendations on that subject recently. The Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of East Africa has issued a memorandum emphasizing the urgent necessity of raising the standard of living of the natives, and the Report 1015 to which I have referred lays emphasis on the vast internal market which could and should be opened up by that means.
§ As a result of the Committee's survey of the land possibilities, it became apparent that in some areas the soil was of very low fertility and, as one would expect, the native population sparse. In other areas, however, where the soil was of equally low fertility, there was a very dense population of natives, so dense that the soil was in very great danger of becoming completely exhausted, so that eventually there would be a severe danger of starvation. In other parts of the country the soil was highly productive, yet the population was so sparse that the soil could not be properly developed and used. The Report also refers to soil erosion and to the possibilities of dealing with that very serious subject. It is interesting to note that in Tanganyika soil erosion is worst in those areas where no economic crops are grown and the natives try to gain a living as best they can from the soil.
§ The Report also makes some strong references to the question of non-native and white settlement in suitable areas. I am not going to dilate on this subject to-day, because it was debated a few weeks ago; but the Report does emphasize the very greatly increased number of products which would thereby be made available both for the internal and external markets. Such varied subjects as mining, forestry—of the greatest importance—water and irrigation, the establishment of markets, the enormous question of public health, education and the whole of the financial provisions for these subjects, are very thoroughly gone into in this Report. Not least among them are some very far-reaching recommendations as regards communications—roads, railways, air and telecommunications. Possibly that is the most important part of the whole Report, because without communications success is absolutely impossible in any other form of development. I have very barely and briefly mentioned the subjects contained in that Report, each one of which is really worth a lengthy debate in this House. My difficulty to-day has been to condense so much of importance into the brief space of time which I propose to occupy this afternoon. What I have tried to show is the position inside the country and the 1016 urgent need to do something to remedy it. In this Report you have recommendations made by people who know the country, who have made a study and survey of it, and who make very far-reaching recommendations.
§ I may have painted rather a black picture of the position of very many of the natives of the country at the moment, but it is the truth and it is not exaggerated. What is frightening so many people who are interested in Tanganyika is that there does not seem to be any possible means of bringing the recommendations in that Report into effect. It is now four years since that Report was presented to the local Government in Tanganyika and so far not a single concrete scheme has been put up from Tanganyika to the Colonial Office so far as I am aware, with any concrete suggestions that action should be taken. I know that from a great many other territories in Africa and in other parts of the world which are administered by the Colonial Office, a number of schemes have been put up, have received the approval of the Colonial Office, and are being put into effect. Nothing has come from Tanganyika yet, and the fear of so many of us here that this admirable Report may be pigeon-holed and forgotten is increased by the fact that there is no indication on the part of the local Government in Tanganyika that any other course will be taken. The Chamber of Commerce in Dar-es-Salaam has on several occasions approached the local Government and asked if anything is going to be done to put the recommendations of the Report into a genuine development scheme, and I must say that the reply has always been most unsatisfactory—that the time has not yet come when such a scheme should be put forward or that there is no intention of doing so at the moment.
§ I know that the Governor and all the authorities there have been extremely busy, but it does seem as if this Report may be pigeon-holed. It is going to be quite impossible to introduce from the Colonial Office legislation of the kind that is required out there for the territory. I am not suggesting that the Colonial Office should introduce a scheme of their own. That would be most unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, I do urge the Secretary of State for the Colonies to take every step he can to get at any rate some of the 1017 recommendations in that Committee's Report turned into a satisfactory development scheme. It is urgent that it should be done soon, because sooner or later—and I sincerely hope sooner rather than later—there will be many thousands of natives demobilized from the Forces. I do not think it is betraying any secret to say that those natives have been outside Tanganyika; they have seen other countries, other conditions of life, and the conditions under which they have been living have been a considerable improvement on the conditions in which they live in their own Territory. When they are demobilized there will be a tremendous field in which the Government can encourage a higher standard of living and a higher standard of native production right through the territory.
§ Your Lordships know that from time to time there has been criticism from abroad, and even occasionally from British subjects, of the administration of the British Empire by Parliament, and of the diverse races and peoples which the Empire has to look after. I have always been one of those who, from personal knowledge of various countries, have considered such criticism absolutely unjustified and not worthy of serious consideration; but I must admit that the present situation,, involving 5,500,000 of natives, makes one wonder whether there will not be justification for such criticism as regards Tanganyika unless something is done and unless the opportunity that is now presented is made full use of. The basic responsibility is yours, my Lords; it is the responsibility of Parliament. It is for that reason that I make no apology for drawing your Lordships' attention to what may become a serious situation unless some prompt action is taken. I beg to move for Papers.
My Lords, I am sure all your Lordships have been profoundly interested by the speech of the noble Lord, who, as we all know, speaks from intimate experience of Tanganyika Territory. I will detain your Lordships for a few minutes only to-day, but I cannot resist the impulse to rise to support the noble Lord, and in particular to support his plea of urgency, although I cannot share the view which he appears to hold in common with the noble Duke, of the perfection and apparently the complete rightness of British rule at all times 1018 and in all places. I share with him a conviction that the problem which he has brought before us to-day is one of the greatest importance and, above all, of the greatest urgency.
In order perhaps to impress that urgency upon your Lordships I will draw your attention to certain facts in connexion with the situation in Tanganyika. The noble Lord himself admitted that he had perhaps painted rather a dark picture. I confess that from the information that I have received the picture that he has painted has been, if anything, unduly optimistic. The noble Lord would, I think, agree with me that probably the basic problem of Tanganyika Territory is water. Your Lordships are probably aware that practically two-thirds of this territory is, to all intents and purposes, uninhabited, and if it is uninhabited that is because of lack of water. Two-thirds of the population are crowded into one-tenth of the land; one-sixth—that is half of the remainder—are on one-twelfth of the land; and the final sixth on about another fifth. This indicates clearly a very curious distribution of the population, and the reason for this is primarily, I suggest, a question of water. The rainfall of this Territory is extremely variable and it results in a large part of the Territory being in complete aridity. There are reported to be considerable underground sources of water in the dry part of the Territory but whether these can be developed or not is yet uncertain. It would, in any case, probably be expensive.
But in addition to this difficulty and the climatic difficulty, which is increased by the fact that in the highlands during the dry season there is an amount of dust which is exceedingly injurious to health and in the wet an amount of mist and cloud which also gives rise to respiratory troubles, particularly in the case of Europeans—apart from all this, the unfortunate Territory is also cursed with the tsetse fly and the tick. These pests are probably mainly responsible for the unfortunate situation of the African people because the form of cultivation at present in operation in this country is what is called, I believe, the cultivation steppe system. That means that in the rain forest and tall-grass-tree savannah, since the tsetse fly and tick make the keeping of cattle impossible, the natives are driven to a form of shift- 1019 ing cultivation and, to protect their cattle, have destroyed the tall-grass-tree or bush savannah and have substituted for it a low grass steppe. The result has been that the previously scattered gardens of shifting cultivation have now moved closer together. The fallow lands are not given time to rest but are given over to cattle, and, finally, land utilization becomes almost continuous.
Owing to sleeping sickness and to the cattle the forest is steadily disappearing and the land is becoming steppe. The result is that the population is steadily becoming more and more concentrated, and this gives rise to the conditions which the noble Lord has described. With this concentration and the destruction of the forest goes a decrease, if not actually in the rainfall—because I believe that scientifically that is not absolutely certain—certainly in the capacity of the land to retain moisture. This forms a vicious circle, resulting eventually in loss of fertility of the soil owing to excessive use, soil erosion, and, finally, desert conditions and starvation for the population. There is already a very strong demand from Africans for additional land and the apparent land reserves are entirely illusory.
I wish to support the noble Lord in his plea of urgency. The situation in Tanganyika seems to me to be for this population of 5,500,000 one of the most dangerous and most critical. I have in your Lordships' House on other occasions urged the setting up for Africa of a Commission like the Stockdale Commission in the West Indies. I wonder whether some such Commission could not be set up and whether the noble Lord would not support me in that suggestion. I believe that if such a Commission were operating in these territories, with the Funds of the Colonial Welfare and Development Act behind it, much could be done. At any rate we should have a clear vision of what could be done. The Sandford Committee's Report, of which the noble Lord gave extracts the other day, is an authoritative document. I am unable to accept all its views and recommendations. As the noble Lord will appreciate, I refer in particular to white settlement. I cannot think that white settlement of Tanganyika would be any more beneficial for the natives of that Territory than it has 1020 proved to be in Kenya. Still, as the noble Lord has pointed out, this is really a point we discussed at some length a fortnight ago, and if I correctly understood the reply of the Colonial Office, which was somewhat overlain by the personal enthusiasms of the noble Duke, the Government are unlikely to accede to any extension of the idea of white settlement. I fancy that may be one reason why the noble Lord has not pressed that particular view of the Sandford Committee.
My object is to impress upon His Majesty's Government the urgency of this situation, and I would like therefore to give your Lordships a quotation from a report by the Commissioner for the Western Province with regard to the health conditions of the natives which came to light as a result of recruitment for the forces. He says:…it has come as a shock to observe the high percentage of recruits rejected by the military authorities. It is true that the medical tests for the Army are stringent, and that many of the recruits are not the best physical specimens that the tribes can produce; but even so it is appalling to find such a high percentage of the population graded as C.3.…it is a conservative estimate to say that over 50 per cent. of the men examined are rejected for military service of any nature. The proportion quoted for the Wafipa is in respect of a fairly healthy tribe. That for the Uha is very much worse, only one in ten men called up being found to be fit for service. When it is remembered that on the application of conscription to Great Britain only five per cent. of the men were rejected as unfit for service, it is clear that there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in improving the standard of living and the physique of the native population.I think that this is something of an indictment of the rule of this Territory during the last twenty years. It is true, perhaps, that we inherited an unfortunate situation, but it seems to me that this picture of native backwardness, of native ill-health and recently, in 1942, of native starvation, does not reflect too favourably upon our government of this Territory. With all the earnestness that I possess I add my voice to that of the noble Lord in pressing upon the Government the urgency of this situation and the necessity for producing schemes to deal with it.
§ LORD WINSTER
My Lords, I listened with the deepest attention to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Chesham. I hope his Lordship will allow me to say that I think his speech illustrated once 1021 again how fortunate we are in this House to have noble Lords who are able to speak not only with such complete firsthand knowledge upon such subjects, but also able to speak with such conspicuous fairness, and impartiality. I think that was the quality in his speech which impressed me above all others. But what had the noble Lord got to say about the condition of natives in Tanganyika? The noble Lord spoke of millions of natives living at a very low level of subsistence; he spoke of natives losing initiative and ambition, who are content to stagnate; he spoke of how their mental development was suffering and of the limited educational facilities open to them. The noble Lord said that the future for them was extremely dark, and he also stressed the absolute necessity for raising the standard of living of the natives. Yet, in spite of those words spoken by the noble Lord with such fairness, he had to tell us that not a thing had been done for years after the Report had been issued calling attention to these matters.
The only point in the noble Lord's speech upon which I would differ from him at all was when, following upon such a revelation of inaction, the noble Lord said that he thought criticism was largely unjustified and that he would not lend himself to any criticism of the Governments concerned. I think it was indeed a dark picture which the noble Lord drew and I hope the noble Duke who is going to reply may be able to make a rather more satisfactory answer than I consider he made when the question of white settlement in East Africa was debated at the beginning of this month. On that occasion the noble Duke tried to fasten upon me a quarrel with white settlers in East Africa. Nothing could be further from my thoughts. Far from having any quarrel with white settlers in East Africa I on the contrary admire, welcome and respect their ambition and their enterprise and initiative. I have no quarrel at all with them. I only wish so far as I possibly can to help them in any way whatsoever. I wish that more of our race would follow their example in going out into our Colonial Empire and endeavouring to further those great principles of Colonial settlement for which we have stood.
But if I ventured to urge upon your Lordships certain defects which I consider exist in our legislation so far as the indi- 1022 genous populations are concerned, that is not out of any hostility whatsoever to the white settlers in our Colonial Empire. It is only because I believe that prosperity is a mutual affair, and I do not believe that the ultimate prosperity of the white settlers in our Colonies can be served by any policy which depresses or depreciates the prosperity of the indigenous races. Prosperity is a mutual affair and the prosperity of our white settlers in our Colonies will be best served by promoting the prosperity of the indigenous races. To take a case in point. It is a very short-sighted view to think that the prosperity of our white settlers is promoted by stimulating the production of export crops. On the contrary, to stimulate the production of crops which are consumed at home will not only benefit the indigenous races, but must in the long run, taking the long view, also react to the benefit and to the prosperity of our white settlers. Therefore I most strongly repudiate this attempt of the noble Duke's to foist upon myself some pretended quarrel with the white settlers which has no existence except in his own mind and is a thing furthest from my thoughts.
I hope the noble Duke may be able to make a rather more satisfactory reply to the debate to-day than he made on the debate on white settlement in East Africa. I think his reply on that debate was perfunctory almost to the point of flippancy, and almost to the point of discourtesy. Anyhow, it was a reply which drew upon the noble Duke a very severe rebuke from the Economist, a paper which does not express itself without very grave consideration and due thought. I was very interested indeed to notice the severity of the rebuke from the Economist concerning the noble Duke's reply. I spoke on that occasion of soil erosion. The noble Duke in his reply showed that he was completely unaware of what the agricultural officer of Kenya himself had reported on soil erosion. The noble Duke also in his reply showed himself completely ignorant as to what is the effect of soil erosion upon native agriculture. He asked me what I really meant by what I had said upon that subject. I have the advantage of having served in both Houses of Parliament with the noble Duke and therefore I am well able to estimate his political powers. I think by common agreement they are not very great, although no doubt his administrative powers and abilities are far greater. 1023 I must really call attention to this one point in regard to the noble Duke's capacities, for these debates are reported in the Colonial papers. Our Prime Minister has great veneration for the House of Cavendish, as we have seen recently expressed in a letter to the electors of West Derbyshire, which apparently had rather an unexpected result. But possibly the inhabitants of Kenya and Tanganyika are not imbued with the same veneration, and I can hardly think it makes a great impression upon their minds when they find that the spokesman for the Government in such a debate as that upon white settlement in East Africa showed himself in his reply to be completely ignorant upon the subject I have mentioned.
There is only one point I want to raise in regard to the subject of settlement in Tanganyika and that is with respect to how far the principle of co-operative societies has made itself felt or effective there. In the East African Colonies two agricultures exist side by side and they exist in completely watertight compartments. There are the small native producers and there are the relatively more prosperous white settlers. There are no large buying combines in East Africa such as exist in West Africa. You have in these East African Colonies 16,000,000 inhabitants. Of those 16,000,000 inhabitants 100,000 are Europeans. They represent 6 per cent. of the population of these East African Colonies. Yet what do you find? This comparatively insignificant percentage of Europeans enjoy the advantages of co-operative marketing, of co-operative dairying, of co-operative stock dealing. Side by side with these advantages they enjoy also credit facilities. In East Africa certain crops are reserved for Europeans while the Africans, the indigenous races, are excluded from what are called co-operative societies. You find such co-operative societies as exist buying produce from Africans who are forbidden to become members of those societies. You find, for instance, that the native growers are compelled by law to sell the tobacco which they grow to European co-operative societies which they are not allowed to join. There is almost a complete absence of any possibility of joining or entering into the benefits of co-operative societies amongst the indigenous races.
The Constitution of Tanganyika forbids 1024 nominally any racial discrimination. Yet as a result of an agitation carried on against Africans growing coffee an association was formed called the Kilimanjaro Native Planters Association. It had a very troubled history. I do not think that is putting it too high. In 1932 a Co-operative Society Ordinance was passed in Tanganyika, but although the Ordinance was passed no co-operative department was set up in the Administration, nor was any staff established to deal with co-operative society matters, The Kilimanjaro Native Planters Association of which I have spoken became something called the Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union. "Co-operative," of course, was a very nice word to use, but it was co-operative only in name. As a matter of fact this so-called co-operative union was in reality only a Government marketing board with a European Marketing Officer. The Colonial Administration assisted at the forming of this union which nominally had a membership of 11,500 and had a European member on the administration. But the thing that really mattered was completely neglected. It was all very well to set up something called a co-operative union, but no effort whatsoever was made to educate the members of this union in co-operative principles. It was a co-operative union only in name. A territorial area was defined in which there were no non-native coffee growers, and all native planters were compelled to market through the union. In 1934 coffee prices fell. There was unrest, there was trouble, there were no dividends, no sales of coffee. Some planters demanded to sell where they liked. Some societies refused to obey the by-laws. There were riots in certain districts in 1937.
What is the lesson underlying all these troubles and grave events? It is that neither the Native Planters Association nor the Native Co-operative Union were ever really co-operative in character. They only aimed from first to last at economic gain. There was no education carried on in co-operative principles, and so no idea of loyalty to such a society in difficult circumstances was ever inculcated or grew up. The Administration of Tanganyika has shown conclusively that it has not got very much idea of what co-operation or a co-operative society really means. Yet Tanganyika is a rich ground for the inculcation of the princi- 1025 ples of co-operation. Of course official guidance is required and much teaching in those principles is required, but so far I repeat no staff has ever been appointed by the Administration for the inculcation, the teaching and the fostering of the co-operative principle. I know it may be said that a Co-operative Registrar was appointed for Tanganyika. That is quite true, and it as the sort of statement which it is very convenient to make and which appears to cover a great deal. But that Co-operative Registrar was stationed at Dar-es-Salaam. He was given no facilities whatever for travelling or for organizing native co-operative societies. In fact this so-called co-operative union was only a Government marketing board.
It is a very common complaint that Government marketing boards are inefficient, are very costly and that—whether it is their main object or not it is a feature of such marketing boards—they pay very high salaries to European officials. I think that such boards should not be established where competitive trading is possible and beneficial. Such boards arc only desirable where monopoly is inevitable. I agree that a Government marketing board is better than private trader exploitation, but these boards are very frequently established because of the difficulties encountered in building up co-operative marketing societies, and these difficulties will always continue until our Colonial Administration really undertakes the task of educating the indigenous races in the principles of co-operation and of co-operative societies. When we consider the difficulties which confront us in our task of Colonial Administration, I think perhaps sufficient stress has not hitherto been laid upon how very greatly co-operative enterprise could be of assistance in the development of backward indigenous races in our Colonial Empire.
I have recently been concerned in making a very exhaustive research into and preparing a very elaborate report upon the question of co-operation and co-operative societies in our Colonial Empire. I believe that we have there the key to the solution of many of the troubles which have caused us anxiety in regard to the development of the indigenous races. I can think of no instrument better adapted to advance ideas and development than this principle of co-operative societies. How better can ideas on such matters as stock-breeding, milk-record- 1026 ing, veterinary services, improved seeds, pest control, fertilizers, machinery, drainage, irrigation and soil erosion be inculcated in the minds of the backward native races than by inculcating the principle of co-operative societies and of co-operative services? A development of co-operative societies consists of what are called "better living societies," and many health and community services such as water, transport and sanitation can be very largely developed out of the idea of co-operation. I believe, as I say, that this is the key to the solution of many of our difficulties; and as one of our greatest difficulties is that of developing and training the backward races to a sense of democratic responsibility, how better can that be encouraged than by educating them in the principles which animate co-operative societies?
In the past, British Colonial policy has concentrated upon leaving power within the Colonial Administration, leaving the indigenous races exposed to all the impact of private enterprise, without any guidance whatever in development and welfare matters. I agree that the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, 1940, is a great improvement, but I believe that economic development and welfare can be most rapidly forwarded along co-operative lines, with special attention to education in co-operative ideas. Tanganyika has a completely adequate Co-operative Ordinance. It has been passed and is upon the Statute Book. When the noble Duke replies, I hope to hear something about how far it has been given effect to, and what staff has been provided in order to give effect to it. Co-operation is already well established among the white settlers in East Africa; they have nothing to complain of on this score. They have their own co-operative societies, which receive a great deal of encouragement from the Administration. What I hope that the noble Duke may be able to tell us to-day is how far co-operation in East Africa is being developed amongst the native races, and in particular amongst the native races of Tanganyika.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE)
My Lords, the speech of my noble friend who moved this Motion was in the main a plea that the recommendations contained in the Report made to the Governor of 1027 Tanganyika in May, 1940, by the Central Development Committee should be implemented urgently. I agree fully with him that this question is one of very great urgency, and I agree fully with him also that the Report of that Committee is an immensely valuable and important piece of work. The Committee started its work on the premise of a Government statement that the objective in view was to increase the individual wealth and to raise the purchasing power of the community to as high a figure as possible. They considered that it must be many years before the African peasantry outside the settlement areas could expect from their own agricultural efforts a return adequate to raise substantially their own standard of living. They accordingly regarded as an essential preliminary to any wide development the increase of the non-native population.
I know that there is no observation more irritating than that there is a war on, but I must remind your Lordships that that Committee carried out its work very largely during peace-time, and, even after the war had broken out, largely with a background of peace. It was only after the war had come close to Tanganyika that this Report was presented. The disastrous events of the summer of 1940 affected most profoundly the whole structure and economy of the Territory. They made the most tremendous demands upon its man-power, both African and European; and one of the difficulties of getting on with any scheme now is that the man-power either to devise it or to carry it out is not at the moment available. A very considerable proportion of the country's man-power had to be released for the East African Forces. At the same time, many of the unofficial Europeans who were enemy subjects were interned, and no reserve was left for innumerable new war tasks. The Territory has since been very hard hit by the continual drain of officials, not always through releases to the Forces but through casualties, retirement, sickness and so forth, for which at the present moment there is practically no replacement. I think that it is perhaps not generally realized in this country under what enormous difficulties Colonial Governments have been working in this respect. Tanganyika has been possibly the worst handicapped of all the East African territories, by shortage of white 1028 man-power. It is literally the fact that every official in Tanganyika is at the present time heavily overburdened.
In the following year, the loss of the Far East necessitated concentration on the immediate task of making good war supplies which had been lost to the United Nations in those territories. The economy of Tanganyika was profoundly and fundamentally affected by the loss of sources of rope-fibre, through the loss of Manila, and so forth, and almost overnight the sisal production of Tanganyika became of paramount importance to the war effort. The war has indeed forcibly illustrated the fact that the labour supply in East Africa is very far from being inexhaustible, and the present Tanganyika labour force is no more than adequate to cope with the sisal industry and the very necessary expansion in home food production.
After the war, the entire economy of Tanganyika will have to be considered in the light of the world demands for its primary products, and no man can say what they will be. It may well be that there will not be available the pool of African labour clearly envisaged by the Central Development Committee in their Report. It is also necessary to remember that since that Report was made—I do not want it to be thought for a moment that I am denying its value; I think that it is a very important and valuable document—labour costs have risen very substantially, not only because of the higher wages now paid but also on account of the higher standards of food, housing, medical attention and so on. Those costs are likely to increase still further after the war, because the returning soldiers will no doubt look for conditions approximating to those which they have known in the Army, which are, I think, probably better than those which they knew in their villages before. That is another factor which may substantially affect the economy of the Territory, especially in such areas as the Southern Highlands.
It is perhaps a convenient moment, when dealing with standards of living, to deal with the facts—not the fancy picture presented by the noble Lord opposite—about co-operation in Tanganyika. Co-operation in Tanganyika is in fact making very rapid strides. There is a Co-operative Societies Ordinance which makes full provision for the regulation of co-operative societies in the Territory. 1029 Several successful societies were already in existence before the war. The noble Lord referred to the Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union, Limited. That society might be described as a flourishing concern; it had a membership of over 26,000 in 1939. It is an entirely African society, it is conducted by an elected committee of Africans, and it employs a British secretary. There are other societies, none of them on quite the same scale, but still of substantial character. For instance, there is the Bugufi Coffee Society, with a membership of 6,000, and there are other societies which are definitely making progress. It is definitely accepted by the Government of Tanganyika that it is part of its duty to assist the development of co-operative societies, and every district officer accepts it as part of his work to help and encourage the growth of small co-operative societies throughout the Territory. It is a fortunate fact that the co-operative society readily fits into the pattern of tribal life.
§ LORD WINSTER
I wonder if the noble Duke would tell the House what staff the Administration disposes of for education and guidance in co-operative matters—what staff actually exists in the Administration in this respect?
§ THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE
There is one man definitely in charge of co-operation, and your Lordships will be interested to hear that an officer who is an expert on co-operation has actually left this country to advise the Government of Kenya, and very probably of neighbouring territories on the principles of co-operative work. There is another purely African society of native tobacco growers in the southern province which, in 1939, had a membership of over 2,000. That was formed from a grant from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund and the society has been able to pay that grant off. That is an illustration that co-operation is really going ahead. The contribution of the noble Lord (Lord Winster) ranged somewhat wide. We were going to discuss Tanganyika Territory, but we have discussed many other subjects, including West Derbyshire and my own personal merits. I was left with the impression that the noble Lord is a good deal more at home on the hustings than he is in East Africa, and his advice would be more valuable to Sir Richard Acland than to me.
1030 Your Lordships will agree that the war has had effects so profound and so far-reaching that the Report must need a good deal of consideration before it can be accepted as holding good for the entirely unknown circumstances of the post-war world. Its proposals are very comprehensive and envisage very considerable expenditure, much of which, under present conditions, might not be appropriate. There is uncertainty about the future of the former German lands which are now in the hands of the Custodian of Enemy Property. Whatever may be our own view of the proper future of these lands, it must be clear that their ultimate disposal must await the end of the war. That is another element of uncertainty. I hope I have not seemed unduly discouraging to my noble friend. There are various factors which make it almost impossible for me to lay down any definite policy now. There is the devastating lack of manpower; there is the uncertainty of the future of tropical products; there is the question of the trends of the African populations and what room is in fact available; and, above all, there is the question of continuity of policy. I regard that as almost the most important thing of all. My noble friend will be well aware that Tanganyika suffered heavily in the years between the wars through uncertainty as to the future, and it is our great interest that there should be no uncertainty about the policy to foe laid down. I hope I have said enough to show that it is really not possible for us to lay down a policy for which at present we can assure full continuity.
I hope your Lordships will not take what has been so far a catalogue of difficulties to mean that nothing is being done towards the further development of this Territory, for which Britain and your Lordships' House are trustees. Tanganyika, as I have said, has had its hands very full, and it is only now that the Government have been able to turn their attention to post-war planning. But the Governor, in his Budget speech in December last, announced the creation of a Development Section of the Secretariat. This section will be guided by an Advisory Committee under the chairmanship either of the Governor or the Chief Secretary. The Committee will include non-official representation and will seek to co-operate fully with non-officials in the working of 1031 the plan. Its main task will be to re-examine the Central Development Committee's Report and to advise on the modifications which will be necessary in the light of the changed circumstances brought about by the war. Now that this new piece of machinery is beginning to function the Secretary of State is hopeful that in the near future schemes for Tanganyika will be submitted for substantial assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Acts. The noble Lord referred to water supplies. Money was provided from the Colonial Development Fund before the war for a general survey of water resources in Tanganyika, but there, again, shortage of man-power has brought that to an end. This matter is under active consideration once more, and plans have quite recently been before the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund for the investigation of water supplies.
As in other Colonies, it may not be possible in the immediate future to go very far with the carrying out of these schemes so long as both men and materials are in short supply. Most of your Lordships who are interested know that both my right honourable friend and I look on the sum of £5,000,000 available under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act as not large enough for what is required. But it is a fact that owing to war conditions we have not been able to spend more than a fraction of that sum, thanks to shortage of shipping, scarcity of supplies, and to the fact that there are not the men to do the things that need doing. But the plans will remain and attention will be given to them where possible so that the earliest possible moment will be taken for starting work. In the meantime the Governor has just submitted his general views on education based on the Central Education Committee's Report, and that Report is under examination now in the Colonial Office. I hope that my noble friend is not unduly disappointed by the rather inconclusive nature of my reply. I would assure him that he has done a very useful service to Tanganyika Territory by his speech, and your Lordships' House is in his debt for having called attention to this very important subject. I can assure him that everything he said will be most carefully borne in mind in shaping our policy for the future, and 1032 that we are most anxious to see a real move forward made in the development of this Territory.
§ LORD CHESHAM
My Lords, I painted a black picture of the Territory but I think the noble Lord, Lord Faringdon, made it doubly as black-—no water, no rainfall, tsetse fly, tick, sleeping sickness and other diseases. I would like to assure your Lordships that there are vast tracts of land in Tanganyika open for development now by natives and other people. There is no shortage of land there, highly suitable land, without all those pests which have been mentioned. But I do want to stress once more that the most important thing to do in Tanganyika is to develop a long-term policy to defeat the inherent laziness of the native—because it is no use mincing words, he is lazy if he is allowed to be—and to encourage him and give him some incentive to work.
I must say that I am a little bit disappointed with the reply of the noble Duke, but I know there is a war on. As regards man-power, of course it is short, but, as I mentioned in my previous remarks, there will be a very large body of Africans demobilized some time or other who will be extremely useful for carrying out the development of the country. It is true that the food production question in Tanganyika has been pressed on as much as was possible, but I would like to draw the Government's attention to the fact once again that last year £300,000 was spent on importing maize for internal use into a country which should in fact be a very big exporter of that crop. With very little encouragement to the natives it could produce far more than is required in the whole Territory. I am delighted to hear that a scheme on the subject of education has actually been produced. I hope that other schemes will be coming along, in spite of the difficulties of the war and the present situation. I beg leave to withdraw.
§ Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.