HC Deb 05 July 1926 vol 197 cc1634-5W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the policy of the Government in Kenya Colony remains that indicated in the despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1921, which laid down that Government officials should take no part in recruiting labour for work for private employers; and whether it is made clear to officials that no pressure shall be brought to bear on the natives to influence their choice as to whether they will cultivate their own land or work for white settlers?


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether officials in Kenya are forbidden to influence the choice of a livelihood by natives and are especially forbidden to persuade them that it is their duty to work for wages in preference to cultivating land of their own?


The policy laid clown in 1921 is still followed, and administrative officers take no part in recruiting labour for private employers. They are instructed to impress on the headmen and people that the Government desire both the economic development of the reserves by the natives themselves and the general development of the colony as a whole; to place no unnecessary restriction on natives desiring to leave the reserve for work, whether on Government railways, etc., or on farms; and to encourage young unmarried men who so desire, to do so. Officers in districts containing non-native estates are required to give sufficient care to the conditions of housing, feeding, and medical and educational attention of those Africans. The question of labour policy was considered at the recent Governors' Conference, and I am awaiting a despatch from the Governor of Kenya on this matter so far as that colony is specially concerned.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the object of the inquiry into the labour problem which is being conducted by the chief native commissioner of Kenya Colony, with the aid of the district commissioner and the elected member of the legislative council; and what is the reason for the holding of the meetings of the committee in camera?


I cannot yet add anything to my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) on the 21st of June.