HL Deb 23 February 1955 vol 191 cc383-4

3.37 p.m.


My Lords, I wonder whether I may interrupt proceedings for a few moments for the purpose of making two statements. The first is on financial help for Kenya and is similar to that being made in another place by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies. As the House is aware, Her Majesty's Government made available this year £11½ million to the Government of Kenya towards meeting the cost of the Emergency. As a result of economies, coupled with improved revenues in Kenya, the actual figure of assistance drawn will be £11 million.

In consultation with my right honourable friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies has now reviewed Kenya's financial prospects for the forthcoming year. As far as can be foreseen, Emergency expenditure in 1955–56 is likely to be in the region of £16 million, towards which Kenya will be able to provide only £2 million from her own resources. Even if it should prove possible, as we all hope, to reduce the present scale of military operations during this period, a large part of the Emergency expenditure will still continue on such items as the police, closer administration and the work of rehabilitation.

Subject, therefore, to the approval of Parliament, Her Majesty's Government will be prepared to provide a further grant of £10 million and a further interest-free loan of £4 million to Kenya in the United Kingdom financial year 1955–56. This assistance will be called upon only to the extent that it proves to be needed, and the Kenya Government will be expected to continue to take every practical step to increase their own revenues in order to meet their commitments.


My Lords, I am sure we are all grateful to the noble Earl for that statement, and for the information that Her Majesty's Government intend to make a further substantial contribution towards the cost of the Emergency in Kenya. Clearly, if this contribution were not made, or were less, the Kenya Government would have to reduce their expenditure, and this would have serious repercussions in the Colony. I should like to ask the noble Earl one question. The form of the contribution this year is part grant and part interest-free loan—£4 million will be in interest-free loan. Will Her Majesty's Government be ready to reconsider the interest-free loan if the Kenya Government find that their income does not improve substantially in the course of the next few years?


My Lords, I will certainly convey those views to my right honourable friend, and I feel that if it is at all feasible he will fall in with the suggestion made by the noble Earl.

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