HC Deb 07 March 1946 vol 420 cc129-30W
Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is in a position to make a statement on European land policy in Kenya and on white settlement in that colony.

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir. The attitude of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to European settlement in Kenya was made clear in Kenya Sessional Paper No. 8 of 1945 on Land Utilisation and Settlement, published last November. The text of this paper had the full approval of my right hon. Friend, who had discussed the questions involved with the Governor of Kenya during his visit to this country last year. The paper recorded my right hon. Friend's approval for an important scheme for further European settlement as part of a comprehensive programme for the fuller and better use of the land in Kenya by all races. Paragraph 6 of the paper stated that the European settlement scheme is based on the recognition of the important contribution which the European settler community can make both to the Colony's prosperity and. to the development and welfare of the African population.

In spite of this authoritative statement it appears from recent Press reports that there is a serious misunderstanding of the attitude of His Majesty's Government in certain quarters in Kenya. I therefore wish to make it clear that my right hon. Friend fully recognises the value of European settlement to Kenya; and that he appreciates the important part which the European community has contributed to bringing the country to its present stage of development and the important part which it will play in developing it further. My right hon. Friend is convinced that if the Kenya Government is successfully to carry out the pressingly urgent tasks, on which it is at present engaged, of rehabilitating and developing the African land units and raising the standard of living of the African population, it can only do so with the assistance not only of the Africans themselves, but also of the European settler community. He believes in fact that European settlement must be viewed as an integral part of Kenya's development as a whol