§ Mr. SNELL
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, although the Kenya White Paper, issued in August last, declared that racial discrimination could not be countenanced, many of the people of India believe that the Kenya Immigration Bill, prepared by the Kenya Government, does in fact discriminate against Asiatics; whether he is aware that the Viceroy and the Government of India have protested against certain of its Clauses, and that in its present form the Bill causes uneasiness among His Majesty's Indian subjects; whether he is aware that at the recent sessions of the East African Indian National Congress, held at Mombassa, delegates representing Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, and Zanzibar, it was unanimously decided to refuse to pay the poll tax and to resist this Bill in every possible way; and whether he will U6e his influence to secure its withdrawal?
§ Mr. MOREL
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the reasons for the rejection of the draft 1374W Immigration Bill recently submitted to His Majesty's Government by the Governor of Kenya Colony, and whether a fresh draft Bill has been called for; whether it is his intention to submit the new draft Bill, when received, for examination by the Committee to he set up by the Government of India in terms of the decision reached by the last. Imperial Conference; whether, in transmitting the provisions of the Wood-Winterton agreement to the Governor of Kenya, his predecessor, in September, 1922, expressed the opinion that no further restrictions upon immigration into Kenya were necessary; whether he has received through the Secretary of State for India, or otherwise, official statistics from the Government of India showing that, upon a balance of influx into and efflux from the colony, during the last five years, the Indian population has been stationary; upon what evidence he has decided that a new law for the further control of immigration into the colony is necessary; whether the evidence, if any, has been communicated by him to any of the communities affected or likely to be affected by such further legislation or to the Government of India; and whether its observations thereon have been sought?
The draft Kenya Immigration Ordinance was referred back to the Governor by my predecessor mainly on questions relating to the form of the Ordinance, and the Governor was requested at the same time to furnish statistics as to the immigration and emigration of Indians in the year 1923. Pending the receipt of the Governor's reply, I desire to say nothing which will hamper my freedom when the time comes for me to consider the new draft Ordinance, and I hope that my hon. Friends will excuse me from replying fully to their questions. I may, however, say that when the new draft is received full opportunity will be given to the Government of India to express their views on the draft, and that, when the Committee which the Government of India propose to appoint reaches London, I shall give careful attention to any representations which they may make on this Measure, whether it is by that time still a draft or an enacted Ordinance.
§ Mr. MOREL
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of 1375W the recent declaration of His Majesty's Government that the administration of the Colony of Kenya shall be based upon the principle of trusteeship for the native population, he will consider the repeal of the Registration of Labourers Act, which requires of the adult male inhabitants of the Colony the possession of identification papers, failure to carry which by day or [...]y night is treated as a crime involving arrest and imprisonment, and which the chief Native Commissioner has reported is detested by the native population; and will he take steps to rescind the Clause in the Masters and Servants Ordinance which makes desertion from the European planter or farmer a criminal offence cognisable by the police?
The Governor was consulted last August about the Native Registration Ordinance and the Clause in the Masters and Servants Ordinance. He is considering the repeal of the Clause in the Masters and Servants Ordinance to which my hon. Friend refers. The registration certificate would remain only as a passport or certificate of identity and a record of employment. As such it will be of equal value to native workers and to their employers.