HC Deb 25 November 1937 vol 329 cc1431-2W
Major Milner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether, before sanctioning proposals for increased white settlement in Kenya Colony, he will consult with his colleagues on the general position as regards the requirements for increased migration throughout the Empire with a view to satisfying first such areas of the Empire as, being under-populated and incompletely developed, are better suited for settlement by people of our race;

(2) whether he can give any information on the proposal to set up a committee in Kenya Colony to draw up a scheme for increasing white settlement; whether it is contemplated that their proposals will benefit European settlers alone; and, if so, whether similar schemes benefiting all races and the Indian community in particular will be promoted;

(3) whether it will be within the competence of the committee which is being set up in Kenya Colony to promote schemes of white settlement to recommend the expropriation of lands now in the possession of landowners who own more than they are able to develop beneficially?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I understand that the Governor of Kenya has recently set up a committee with the following terms of referenceTo consider, with a view to encouraging additional and closer settlement, what further assistance and facilities to new settlers can reasonably be provided, and to make recommendations for the inauguration of practical Settlement Schemes, and for the setting up of a permanent body for the administration and control of such schemes.

Apart from this I have no official information, but the committee is no doubt intended to deal only with the question of white settlement. I am aware that the question of closer settlement in the Highlands has been engaging the attention of the Government of Kenya for a considerable time and the committee will presumably take into consideration the question of the subdivision of existing large estates.

I am unable to forecast what recommendations the committee is likely to make; and until their report is received it is impossible for me to say what considerations of a general nature may have to be taken into account.