HL Deb 01 December 1959 vol 219 cc1034-52

2.51 p.m.

LORD OGMORE rose to call attention to the political, economic and social effects of the situation in Kenya; and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: The present stage is one of great importance in the life of Kenya. I suppose one could say that all stages are of great importance in the life of every country, but it so happens, for a variety of reasons, that it is particularly true at this moment of Kenya. I think the noble Earl who is to reply will agree with that. We have had many debates on other parts of Africa, at least on Central Africa, during the last two years, particularly with regard to the affairs of Nyasaland. But it is many years since we had a debate in this House on the general conditions in Kenya, and I thought that, coming at this stage before we break up for the Christmas Recess, it would be right and proper for us to consider the affairs of this territory.

The situation is this. The emergency, which has been in existence for seven years, is now coming to an end. In fact, it will be brought to an end officially in January. The emergency powers under which the Government have been operating will all cease as such, although three of them will continue in permanent form under two Bills, the Detained and Restricted Persons Bill and the Public Security Bill. The main provisions of these Bills will include a power to retain the hard-core terrorists or detainees, stricter control over public meetings and control over the registration of political associations. This means that quite soon 3,000 of the 4,000 detainees will be released, including sixteen convicted murderers and six of those who are described as "loyalists". Jomo Kenyatta and other African Kikuyu leaders are still to be held; they are not receiving the benefit of the relaxation of the emergency. In an answer to a Question by me on November 10 last, the noble Earl, Lord Perth, said that this restriction on the liberty of these people was necessary for the peace and good order of the Colony.

The second event of which we might take notice is a striking one, in my view. The Highlands, including the White Highlands, the subject of so much controversy over the years, are to be open to races other than those which now occupy them—that is to say, the White Highlands are to be opened for the purchase or lease by peoples of other races than Europeans and, although this is slightly more vague, I gather that the Kikuyu and other African reserves are also to be available for purchase or lease by persons of other races than those which at present occupy them. There is no Bill yet to this effect. These provisions have appeared only in a Sessional Paper which is now before the Legislative Council in Kenya. The third event is that there is a Constitutional Conference of great importance affecting Kenya starting in London in January. The fourth event is that the new Secretary of State leaves on his first visit to Kenya in a week or so. The fifth event which, happily, is a past event, is that the railway strike which almost immobilised the Colony and its neighbouring protectorate of Uganda, involving 23,000 African railwaymen, is now happily ended. It looked at one time as if this railway strike might turn into a general strike.

In my view, these developments are cause for much satisfaction, and I, who have often been a critic of the Government and still am in colonial and other matters, would like to congratulate the Government, and particularly the new Secretary of State and the new Governor, on a promising beginning and an imaginative approach to the problem. I should like to deal in more detail with some of the matters to which I have referred.

The land in Kenya, as we all know, is the basis of the life of the Colony, and is the cause of many of the problems with which it is faced. Kenya, like many countries, is not industrialised to any large extent at all. It is still basically an agricultural economy; its exports are mainly agricultural, and it lives on the land. That applies to all races, European, Asian and African. It is remarkable how short a life Kenya has had. It began, in a sense, in 1895. Those of us who were not in existence in 1895—and there are many of us who were not—can grasp how short a span it is when we realise that the father of this House, or, at least, the noble Earl whom I imagine to be the father of the House (it is not always easy to decide who the father of the House of Lords is) had already been a Member for five years when Kenya, as it were, came into existence.

The reason for Kenya's existence was the building of a railway line to connect Mombasa with Uganda. When the railway line was built, those who built it, in common with those who build railways everywhere, had some difficulty in making it pay. The only difference between them and others was that they foresaw this difficulty before they ever built the line, and not afterwards, as is the case with most railway companies in the world. They advertised in Britain for settlers to go out and settle along the line, so as to provide freight for the railway. It was an odd way of Empire building, but that is in fact how this Colony arose.

It so happened that just at that time, owing to a series of accidents, a large stretch of land in this part of what is now Kenya looked as though it were depopulated. There had been smallpox and rinderpest epidemics, and there had been locusts and famine. Indeed, Kenya had nearly all the Biblical troubles just about that time, and it looked as if it was depopulated, when in fact it was not. The Kikuyu, who were very much lessened in numbers by reason of these disasters, had retired into Kikuyuland, and they had left more or less unoccupied the portion of the land which is now Kiambu, north of Nairobi, which they had bought or leased from a tribe called the Wanderobo. The Government believed that area to be unoccupied, and settled the settlers upon it. They also obtained much larger tracts by treaty from other tribes, including the Masai. I must mention this matter because this is one of the great issues of Kenya—it is exaggerated on both sides, of course. The Kikuyu are rather inclined to say that the whole of the White Highlands were theirs and were taken in this way, whereas that is not in fact the case; it is only a comparatively small part of the White Highlands that was taken in this way, and it is the area around what is now Kiambu. That is the thorn in their flesh. So far as I am aware, the Masai never objected to the occupation of very much larger parts of the White Highlands; nor did the Nandi—and I presume that parts of their land were also taken by treaty. But it is this piece round Kiambu which has been the trouble.

Another point is that the Kikuyu, unlike the other tribes in Kenya, and unlike most tribes anywhere in Africa, were agricultural people, whereas the others were hunters or pastoralists. Agricultural people, people who dig the ground, put the spades in and watch the crops grow, feel more strongly about a hit of land than the pastoralist who wanders over vast areas. The individual Kikuyu had actually bought or leased from individual Wanderobo pieces of land. Therefore they were not tribal lands; they were individual lands. That was the basis of the whole trouble. No doubt many of your Lordships know this as well as I do, and probably better, but since one has to get the record straight, your Lordships will perhaps excuse my mentioning these matters which are so well known. It is with the Kikuyu that most of the difficulties have been. The Kikuyu are agriculturists; they are very politically minded; they are intelligent. And in some ways—I will not say in all ways—they are active. And they are just over one million of the six million population of Kenya. That gives us a broad picture

The Government's proposals with regard to the White Highlands are therefore of immense importance. The Kikuyu on the one hand, say that this was African land, rather tending to look at the whole of the White Highlands, instead of at the area around Kiambu. They say, "This was all African land; it belonged to us." The settlers say, "That is all very well. Whatever may have happened in the past, we bought our land and came out here at the specific invitation of the British Government. We bought it and worked on it, and produce three-quarters of the exports of this Colony." The Asians say, "We came out to build a railway, and the railway was the beginning of the whole Colony. Without us there would not have been a railway and would not have been a Kenya." So everybody has a point, and it is no good looking at the problem and disregarding any point. It is easy to solve any problem if you disregard one-third of the constituents of the problem, which usually happens, I regret to say, when anybody is considering the problem of Kenya.

When the Government make this bold departure—they are the only Government who have ever done this—and say that the White Highlands now must be available for sale or lease to other races, we can see what sort of step it is and how bold is the step they have taken. It is absolutely right in my opinion. I am also glad they have not restricted this to the White Highlands. I am glad they have thrown the reserves open as well. That is important. I do not know that it is going to have a great practical effect, because I do not think anybody is going to burst himself to buy land in a Kikuyu reserve, but the fact that they can do so is very important. There is one warning I should add on that point. Owing to the fact that the economic situation of the individual Kikuyu is so unlike the economic situation of the average European or Asian, the safeguards which will be involved in all these transactions will have to be particularly secure and tight in the case of the Asians. For those of your Lordships who have not been to the Highlands—there may be some noble Lords who have not, although many have; no doubt some noble Lords own land there—I can best describe them as they occurred to me on the various visits I have made. They appeared something like the county of Merioneth, which the noble and learned Viscount who sits on the Woolsack knows very well; an upland country, not lush country, such as one finds in Sussex; not quite so bad, perhaps, as the Cotswolds, over which the noble Earl, Lord Bathurst, hunts his hounds with such ardour, and with an occasional mishap I am afraid. But they grow good crops, coffee and other crops; they can grow, for the middle of Africa, very good crops indeed.

The real criterion in this intensely important question, on which I feel to a large extent the whole issue of our relationship with Kenya is going to turn, must be what is best for the land. That is the test. That is a test which has not by any means always been applied. Anyone who flies over Kenya will see some very distressing examples of soil erosion in many places. I hope the Government will be quite firm in two ways: first in providing, when sales are contemplated, that the units must be of an economic size; and secondly, that they must be subject to good farming practice. It is no good allowing people to fragment their land and to reduce the yield, and in time to kill the fertility of the soil. There has been far too much of that in Africa, and we must have a firm hand on that.

Turning to the ending of the emergency and the new legislation, I would say that naturally none of us cares for permanent legislation of such a restrictive kind as this. I believe that the onus is upon any Government to show cause why such legislation should be necessary once the emergency is over, and I think the onus is on the noble Earl, Lord Perth, to prove to the House that this restrictive legislation is necessary. One thing I would ask him, even if he is able to prove to the House that it is necessary, or will be necessary in the next few years, is to give the House an assurance to-day that none of this legislation will ever be used unless it is absolutely necessary—not merely convenient, but absolutely necessary.

The second point arising out of the new legislation, or the ending of the emergency, is the position of Jomo Kenyatta and the other leaders. I believe that it is quite unrealistic to suppose that these Kikuyu can long be detained. They have been tried they have been convicted; they have served their sentences. They are not having the benefit of the end of the Emergency Regulations because, by a technicality, they were never convicted under them or held under them. Again, I think the onus is upon the Government to show that they should be held, that a man who has served his sentence, and more than one man, should be held in British territory responsible to the British Parliament. We want to be assured of that.

Quite apart from the moral issue, I think it may be necessary—one cannot tell—in the disturbed conditions that might arise to hold them for a little time longer, though I very much doubt that. I met Jomo Kenyatta as long ago as 1948, and had a long talk with him. In fact, I addressed a large meeting of which he might have been regarded as the chairman, if there had been a chairman, right up in the Kikuyu country. I thought that he was in a pretty poor physical state then, right back in 1948—largely, I suppose, through his own free will. However that may be, I have in my time met a large number of Nationalist leaders, none of whom has ever been remotely like Jomo Kenyatta was then, which was, as I say, eleven years ago; and he has not got any younger in the interim. I personally cannot believe that with the younger leaders who have come on in the meantime, like Tom Mboya and the others, there can be such a great peril to the life of Kenya from Kenyatta and the other elderly gentlemen as the Government seem to think there is. I think that to a large extent it may prove that they will have a much greater nuisance value to the British Government and to the Kenya Government by keeping them there than if they were outside. I have lately met people who were recently in detention camps and I have met settlers, and they have all assured me that the people of Kenya are sick and tired of the whole thing; they want to get back to peace and concord and to do away with strife and bitterness.

Turning to the Constitutional Conference, what basically is it hoped to do? I suggest that, basically, the object of the Conference is to try to solve the interracial problem. We know that that is a great constitutional problem in Kenya, just as there was in the Federation of Malaya. The problem in West Africa is not an inter-racial problem. To some extent there it has been an inter-tribal and an inter-religious problem, but not an inter-racial one. In the Federation of Malaya, in Kenya and in Central Africa, it is an inter-racial problem. As we all know, that is a most difficult problem to solve. I do not think that the Federation of Malaya, and particularly the Malays, have ever had, from this House or elsewhere, the tribute that should have been paid to them for the way in which they did their best to solve the inter-racial problem. It was not a question of just a very small minority. The Chinese were a large minority in Malaya; yet the Malays voluntarily gave them full electoral privileges and powers at the ballot box, in the same way as these powers were held by any other citizen of the land.

To what extent are we going to be as generous as were the Malays? To what extent are we going to follow their example? How does Kenya differ from Ghana and Nigeria? Only, I would suggest, in the event that there are these other powerful racial minorities in Kenya and not in the other countries. What is to prevent the 6 million Africans, the 200,000 Asians and the 50,000 Europeans from developing a multi-racial society, as in the Federation of Malaya? Only one thing—fear. That is the only thing that stops them. And that fear is largely imaginary because, in fact, all the three races are needed in the development of Kenya. They always have been needed in its short history, and they will be needed for many years to come. The sooner all three of them realise that fact, and we too, the better. The Times to-day, I noticed, quoted the African elected members as saying that they want responsible government in Kenya in 1960 with an African as Chief Minister. This will be among the demands which the African elected members will make at the Constitutional Conference in January in London. So at least we know what the African elected members want, and we can guess what some of the other parties who will be represented there will also want. I would suggest that at this crucial Conference in the life of Kenya, the Secretary of State should show the courage that he has already shown in the events and affairs of Kenya, and that he makes certain facts plain to all who attend it.

In the first place, I think he should make it quite plain that the constitutional objective, the eventual aim, is that one adult shall have one vote, and that that shall apply to the country as a whole as soon as it can be done with safety. I do not say, "One man, one vote"; I say, "one adult, one vote"—universal adult suffrage. As the second principle, I would suggest that he lays down that Kenya must remain under United Kingdom control until a fully democratic elected Government takes over. Only then, as the Ministers who are responsible, or partly responsible, to the Legislative Council take on their duties should the United Kingdom gradually relinquish power. This is common form. So far as I am aware, it has been applied in all other colonial territories, and there is no reason, unless the Government can find one of which we are not aware, why this principle should not be followed in Kenya.

Thirdly, I would suggest (this is perhaps as important as the others) that all members of the Legislative Council, that is, the Parliament of Kenya, should be elected on a genuine common roll. There should be no tribal rolls, racial rolls or anything of that kind. The people must begin to think of themselves as Kenyans, and members of the Kenya Parliament should regard themselves, as the Members of our House of Commons do, as being the representatives of their constituents, of whatever race, creed or anything else they may be, in the constituency which they have the honour to represent.

I believe that this will cause difficulty among the Africans, because I gather that they want to increase straight away the communal representation by 12. I also gather that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has not agreed to that proposal. If that is the case, I support him. In my view, he is quite right in refusing to agree to a further communal representation, and he is quite right in accepting the principle which we fought for in West Africa and in Malaya and in other places, in India and elsewhere, that we must get to common rolls and away from communal representation.

My Lords, in saying all this we must not overlook the fact that we are imposing upon the future of Kenya and upon ourselves a great task, in that we shall need, as a matter of urgency, to train a large number of Africans in Kenya to take the positions in Government, in local government, in the professions, and in commerce and industry, to which they will be called in a few years' time, or even less. We must begin to face the fact that at the moment there are not nearly enough Africans under training in Kenya. I am very anxious, as I am sure the House will be anxious, to hear from the noble Earl what are the proposals of Her Majesty's Government for the new University of East Africa which was referred to, rather shortly, by the Secretary of State last week, in another place, in replying to a supplementary question. How, and to what extent, will the new university fulfil the needs that I have indicated? Where is it to be set up and how is it to be staffed? How many students will the university be expected to accommodate?

Before I close there is one point that I should like to make and to emphasise. Sometimes before a Colony becomes independent or gets self-government there are those who run around saying that it is going to bring economic disaster; that all capital will pour out of the country, and no new capital will come in; that the economy of that country will be completely disrupted and the people will starve; that tribal outbreaks will occur, cannibalism will arise and so on. In fact, in all the cases since the war—the many cases in which countries have gained independence—exactly the reverse has happened. Money pours into the country, the economy expands and people have a new impetus to work. The situation is completely changed.

Only last week I met one of the directors of one of the greatest international corporations in the world, and he was lyrical in his description of Ghana. He did not know that I had ever had anything to do with the Colonies and was not speaking in that way because he thought it would please me. So far as I am aware, he had no idea at all that I had had any connection whatever with the Colonies. He was telling everybody in the room what a wonderful place Ghana was: what great opportunities there were there, how intelligent the Ghanaians were—how willing to co-operate and how ready to be trained, and what excellent material they were for the higher managerial posts. How many years ago in this House did we hear the most dreadful forecasts of disaster in Ghana? Only a very few years before, noble Lords were getting up in this House, as were Members in another place, and forecasting utter ruin when Ghana achieved independence. Yet we can see from the wonderful visit that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has just paid to Ghana—a most successful visit—and the way in which he was welcomed, and the impression it made on his mind, exactly what is the situation in Ghana to-day.

So, my Lords, I would ask people not to get worried about Kenya. The only difference when Kenya gets independence is that she will expand enormously, and the Chief Minister will be coming to this country and other European countries begging people to invest capital and to come out there and start industries; he will be going to the World Bank and getting loans. There need be no worry about capital in Kenya. The only thing is that shares will go up even more than they have in the recent boom in the City.

Lastly, I should like to make one plea on the need for more social contact in Kenya. Those of us who were brought up in the East and who had our first contacts there with people other than Europeans have sometimes been a little worried about the different attitude we have seen in East Africa—perhaps not so marked to-day as it was years ago—in the social sphere. When I first went to Penang thirty years ago my old principal said to me. "Look here, young man, there is one thing I want to tell you. No doubt you have come out here, like everybody else, with a swollen head, thinking you are better than everybody else; but you are not. These Asians are just as good as you are, and you must treat them exactly as you would people at home. If you have a difference of opinion with a policeman in London you are very polite to him. You jolly well be just as polite to a policeman in Penang". I must admit that I was—and not only because of his advice but through discretion.

I believe that that was rather the attitude of people in the East, particularly in Malaya, in my day; but from one or two instances I have observed personally I am not sure that it is quite the attitude towards the African in Kenya. I believe that the social contacts in a country like Kenya are quite as important as economic or constitutional contacts, and I would ask Europeans, Asians and Africans to treat each other with courtesy and consideration. For then, I am quite sure, a great many of the problems will disappear The new Governor, Sir Patrick Renison, at the opening of the new session of the Legislative Council on November 10, said: There is a new Government in England with a new Colonial Secretary and a new Governor in Kenya. In the glowing spirit of challenge and adventure which I find so strikingly around us here, let us put the darkness behind us and look bravely to the future. My Lords, I commend the spirit and the words. I beg to move for Papers.

3.27 p.m.


My Lords, in rising to offer a small contribution to this debate I should like for the sake of convenience to take it up where the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, left off, and to make one or two comments on some of the analogies he drew with Malaya, Ghana and other places. To take his last point, no-one would deny that an increase of social contact is a desirable thing, and if one hesitates to admit that it is an immediate possibility, that is not to condemn the idea, but merely endeavouring to be practical about it. If I may say so, the analogy with the East is not a true one. I spent 25 years of my life in Malaya, so I feel that I am qualified to speak on that country, and there is no comparison here between the miracle—admittedly—of racial amity which prevails in that country to-day. To compare the position of the Malays and Chinese with that of the Europeans and Africans in Kenya is to draw an entirely false analogy, because the Malays, in their life, could not do without the Chinese, their superior skills and so forth; and they offered, generously, a position which would enable the Chinese to work in partnership with them.

The proper parallel to that would be for the Africans in Kenya to show a little more goodwill, for Mr. Mboya to come forward and say, "We cannot do without Europeans. They have built up our country and we hope they will stay in partnership with us," for that is precisely the spirit we all want. But we cannot ask that from the Europeans; it must come from the Africans. The Europeans have already shown goodwill.


My Lords, may I take up that point of the noble Lord? The Malays had political power in Malaya. The Chinese had economic power. The Malays were prepared to allow the Chinese to have an adult vote and thus gave away, to a large extent, their political power. Europeans in Kenya have political power and I am asking them to do there the same kind of thing the Malays did—to waive their overwhelming political power.


My Lords, I entirely appreciate the noble Lord's point, but he overlooks the fact that the Malays were giving a share in political power to a race which was their superior in intelligence and culture, and in its position in the world. So there is not a true analogy there. But I do not want to take up too much time on that particular point; there are so many others—for instance, the noble Lord's comparison with Ghana. He prophesied a tremendously prosperous future for Kenya if the country were immediately handed over to the Africans. But again the analogy—


My Lords, I do not like to keep on interrupting, but the noble Lord must get his quotations right, because this is a very serious matter. It is no good making a slick debating speech on this question; it is very important. The whole point of my argument was not that we should immediately hand over Kenya to the Africans—that was not the point at all. The whole point is that we must immediately train the Africans to take their proper place. So the noble Lord, if he is quoting, must really, I beg of him, quote me correctly.


My Lords, I am sorry if I inadvertently misrepresented the noble Lord. But is that not precisely what we are trying to do and have been trying to do for some time? As to this idea, for instance, of the prosperity of Ghana, nobody would deny that, and I least of all. But, again, the parallel breaks down because the prosperity of Ghana has been built and is to-day resting very insecurely, as we see if we look at it, on cocoa—cocoa is essentially the agricultural industry of the people of the country—whereas the position in Kenya is that the prosperity of that country has been built up on the agricultural enterprise of a small number of settlers, as they have been called, and they are the people whom Mr. Mboya wishes to drive out of Kenya. There is nothing secret about it: Mr. Mboya has made this statement himself in public There would be a proper parallel if cocoa had been grown by a race which had chosen to settle there, a small minority, and if the Africans had said to them either "Go", as Mr. Mboya has said to the Europeans who have built up his country, or, as we should like them to say, "You have rendered great services to us. Please remain and assist us to carry on." That is my comment on that, my Lords.

I listened with great appreciation to the noble Lord's sketch of the early history of Kenya, with which I have no quarrel whatsoever. But I was a little surprised that from him, of all people, there should come this plea once more for Jomo Kenyatta. I think I am right in saying that the noble Lord has seen the oaths which were sworn by members of the society of which Jomo Kenyatta was the founder and the father. They are the most bestial things which have ever been known, even in Africa. It is not right to call them sub-human; it is not right to call them bestial, because that is an insult to the ordinary wild animal. They are the most repulsive things that have been known. I have seen these oaths and I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, has seen them, too. How can anybody plead for the release of this man who led his own people astray to that extent, and who to-day is being hailed by some of Mr. Mboya's colleagues annd friends as the great man of Kenya who should be restored once more to a prominent position? No Government worth its salt would dream of releasing such a man; and the chief sufferers, if they did so, would be the Africans in that country.

My Lords, I do not wish to detain the House any longer on these points, but I felt I ought to comment on what were, in my view, false analogies. But in dealing with this question of Kenya (I am not referring to the noble Lord but to what happens in the Press outside), neither the smug enunciation of beautiful principles nor the blatant assertion of infallibility and the merit of strong action is going to take us very far. One wonders at times whether a debate of this kind does any public good, because the dancer is that criticisms, sometimes justified, expressed of Government and their action may mislead the public into thinking that the Government are wrong fundamentally, whereas I think that most of the criticisms which can fairly be made are rather superficial. The difficulty about Kenya is in asserting the truth and the facts about almost anything. Think how long it has taken to kill—and it has not been killed in Kenya yet—the untruth that the White Highlands were once occupied and owned by Africans and were stolen by settlers, every word of which is quite untrue. To-day the venomous and lying propaganda which is published in Cairo by the paper called the New Kenya, which is with some foundation supposed to have some connection with nationalist leaders in that country, has to be seen to be believed; and, my Lords, it is also common knowledge that misrepresentation of the truth is almost the common stock-in-trade of many nationalist leaders in that country.

The terms of the Motion seem to me, with due respect, to be twisted round rather the wrong way. The situation in Kenya is the result of political, economic and social causes, and it is constantly changing as these political, economic and social influences act and react upon each other. My Lords, what is, once more, the present situation in Kenya? Politically, Europeans, Africans and Asiatics are deeply divided racially against each other and domestically among themselves. There are three European Parties in that country; there are three African Parties, with Asiatics divided in their support of both of these sides, and they are contending groups. The majority of Europeans seem to be willing to go a long way to meet the aspirations of African opinion, while many moderate Africans are beginning in increasing numbers to support the idea of interracial partnership.

There is, as the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, has mentioned, to be a Constitutional Conference in London on January 18, and the latest news is that all the African delegates, deeply divided as they have been up to date, have agreed temporarily to sink their differences in order that they may speak with one voice when they come to London. Presumably that means that extremist views will hold the field. It means, undoubtedly, that Mr. Mboya will be the leader. As I have said, Mr. Mboya is a self-confessed revolutionary who wishes—he has said so—to clear Europeans out of Kenya; and not only Europeans, for he has no use for Asiatics either. He wishes to create a purely African State. He represents irreconcilable African extremism, careless of what the economic consequences may be. The European delegates, as I have said, are hopelessly divided at the present moment, and this does not make a very bright outlook for the Conference.

Now the two important announcements recently made by the Kenya Government and by this Government have been set before your Lordships by the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, and I therefore need not refer to them in detail. There is the coming abrogation of the Emergency Regulations, by which 2,500 or 3,000 detainees are shortly to be released; and there is the very important declaration about the White Highlands. May I say a word or two about that? The White Highlands are, in principle, to be thrown open to the competent farmer of any race. The Government have decided that husbandry and not race shall be the criterion for the ownership and occupation of land in the Highlands. It is the declared policy of the Government to ensure that the basis of tenure and management of agricultural land shall be similar throughout the land of Kenya, regardless of race or tribe, so far as local economic and agronomic factors will permit. There can, I think, be no question of the wisdom and the fairness of this policy. Change is inescapable in a changing world, but change has to come at a reasonable pace to be acceptable—and that is why it has taken so long for this change to come.

As the noble Lord mentioned, Kenya has six million African inhabitants, and will have double that number in twenty-five years' time; and there are fewer than 5,000 Europeans now engaged in farming in the White Highlands, out of a total European population in Kenya of about 65,000. In this connection one has to consider that it is the primary endeavours of Europeans that have made possible the services of education, medicine and welfare which have given Kenya her present place in the world. European producers occupy some 6 per cent. of the country's land surface, and have been responsible in the past few years for about 46 per cent. of the gross national product of Kenya. In the allocation of funds to local government institutions for services to Africans, subsidies to the tune of about £10 million a year have been given from revenue which has been collected from non-Africans. In short, my Lords, European agriculture has underwritten all the advantages and opportunities which other communities currently enjoy. If the European farmers were to leave Kenya, the country's economy would crash to the ground. As it is, the activities of Mr. Mboya and his colleagues have kept much capital investment out of Kenya already, and have caused organisations already there to adopt a cautious policy towards further investment in the country.

Now there is no question that the time has come for broadening the basis of this country's economy. It is hoped that, by progressive removal of the barricades of historical habit, the land asset can be utilised and shared by all the people of Kenya. One has only to reflect on what would be the result if Mr. Mboya had his way to reject the arrogant and irresponsible claims which he now makes to power in that country: the elimination of European enterprise would so obviously be a disaster. I need not weary your Lordships with a detailed study of that side of it, but we must consider what it is that Mr. Mboya is asking for. He wants responsible self-government in 1960, and universal suffrage, too—relying, no doubt, upon the emotional appeal which he has to a largely illiterate people, and the African tendency to believe in unquestioned leadership. Democracy, my Lords, is not endemic in Africa, as I have often said before. The African does not believe in tolerating any opposition, and certainly does not believe in our form of democracy. One is apt to overlook the fact that, with all the education which is being given to him, at the moment he still does not take that view of a desirable Government.

Behind the political din there remains one of the real problems of Kenya, about which, up to date, very little has been done, or has been able to be done. On the economic side, it is a poor country with an increasing population and an undue proportion of arid and unproductive land. It is not the land in use which is the problem in Kenya; it is the land which is not used or which has been abused—which has not been properly used—which is the real problem. The truth is that the Kikuyu Reserve contains some of the best and most fertile land in Kenya—better that the White Highlands—but it has been misused, partly owing to the system of land tenure, which leads to the abuse of land: and that is the reason why, naturally, the Kikuyu looks enviously upon the well-run estates of the European farmers in the Highlands. Much of the land, if given intelligent planning and necessary capital, could raise the national income of Kenya very considerably. But what Kenya needs more than anything in the future, while this goes on (which is again relevant to Mr. Mboya's claims), is stable and good Government: and no attempts to appease unappeasable people like Mr. Mboya should be allowed to cloud a keen preception of that fact—that stable and sound government is a basic condition of being able to do all these things for that country.

I suggest to the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, that we can reasonably expect that, as racialism begins to whither away in the political and economic spheres, so also, in the social sphere, the irksome attitudes and the admittedly discriminating differences which are there to some extent to-day will also slowly disappear. But there is no hope of being able to wipe them out with one stroke of the pen, either by legislation or anything else. May I also emphasise that the racial antipathies in Kenya, and in some other countries, are not anything like so lively and look nothing like so threatening on the spot? They are not so patent or so potent as they are in the Press of this country. The problem of Kenya's future is not insoluble, granted a Government which is determined to guide that country to a just balance of all the interests involved, which means a refusal to pander to extremists of any race or colour.

In conclusion, may I say that we have in Kenya, as Governor, one of the most distinguished members of the Colonial Service, an able administrator, trained to translate intelligent sympathy into timely action, and we have a Secretary of State renowned for his vision and his capacity for unbiased pursuit of a sound policy, both of them inspired by courage and sincerity. They have also inherited the goodwill of their predecessors in office. As I see it, we ought to give unstinted support to the men who are tackling these problems. By all means, let us discuss the possible policy and examine the principles which should animate it, but let us do so with restraint so as not to hamper the Governor, who has executive responsibility on the spot, or the Secretary of State, who is responsible to Parliament for the general policy pursued. It is no contribution to the future peace and prosperity of Kenya to overlook the economic facts which govern political and social advance, nor should we ever forget to give credit to the courage and capacity of the Kenya Europeans, who have been so largely responsible for the country's progress and for the hope of better life for the Africans.

Not in your Lordships' House but in the Press of this country, one finds so much untimely praise of Africans who are opposing the Government on the spot, and so much sympathy for those who are opposed to our own kith and kin who are trying to face difficulties in that country. If I may, I would conclude by quoting the last two lines of some verses written by Sir Alan Herbert long ago, when it became fashionable in certain circles in this country to praise the Russians and their achievements. Honour the Kremlin, boys, but now and then— Reserve a word of praise for Number Ten.