HC Deb 01 June 1927 vol 207 cc398-9W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the statistics of native employment in Kenya recently issued by the Chief Registrar of Natives in that Colony, which show an average of 40 pet cent. of the able-bodied adult male population to be working outside the reserves, the proportion being as high as 72 per cent. of the Lumbwa and 55 per cent. of the Kikuya; and whether, before any further encouragement is given to the native population to go outside the reserves in such large numbers to work for Europeans, an impartial scientific estimate of the numbers of natives required for their own productive purposes in the reserves will be made?


The figures I have seen in the local Press differ in some respects from those given in the question, and as they are figures for a particular date, it is not certain that they have any relation to native cultivation and production, which may continue side by side with the temporary absence of men from the reserves. But while I do not admit that these figures give any cause for dissatisfaction, I may point out that this is the kind of question which will come within the scope of the research into native welfare which, I hope, will shortly be inaugurated.