HC Deb 09 July 1923 vol 166 cc944-5W
Captain J. HAY

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he intends to take for ex-service men who have been employed in Crown Colonies and Protectorates and have had their services terminated owing to retrenchments and are thus thrown on the labour market?


I have been asked to answer this question. I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that every effort is made to offer re-employment under other Colonial Governments to the personnel indicated in his question.

Captain HAY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that Southern and Northern Rhodesia, portions of East Africa, the Highlands of the Cameroons, and other parts of our Crown Colonies and Protectorates, suitable for the settlement of white men, are closed to the unemployed ex-service applicants for free grants of land, and that applicants are refused entry into the two Rhodesias for this purpose unless they possess a capital of £2,000, the Government will have these territories thrown open for these free grants?


As regards Rhodesia, I would refer to the first part of my reply, on the 14th May, to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir J. Norton-Griffiths). The alienation of Government land in the highlands of Kenya has been discontinued, pending a settlement of various political questions, and I doubt whether in any case that region would be suitable for the settlement of unemployed ex-service men, since even those who are most anxious to promote the entry of new British settlers consider a minimum capital of £2,000 to be essential, preferably with a stand-by in the form of an assured private income of at least £200 a year. In the Cameroons, development has been on plantation lines and considerable capital is required. It should be borne in mind that, in order to make free grants of land, land suitable for European settlers must be at the disposal of the Government, and must not be required for the present or prospective needs of the African population, whose interests the Government are bound to protect. These conditions are by no means easy to satisfy in our tropical African Dependencies.