HC Deb 29 May 1946 vol 423 cc194-5W
86. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will instruct the Government of Nyasaland to grant no more licences for European settlement on the shores of Lake Nyasa, since these result in the removal of African villages and the loss of fishing facilities by the African community.

Mr. George Hall

No, Sir. Rights of occupancy on the shores of Lake Nyasa are granted in two defined areas only, which were set aside for this purpose after full agreement with the Chiefs and people concerned, and only after careful consideration by the Governor in Council of each individual application. I am informed by the Governor that in no case has an African village been removed or native fishing rights been affected as a result of such grants.

88. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies en what conditions land may be alienated from Africans in Nyasaland, particularly, whether it may be alienated with the consent of the chiefs alone; and how many square miles have been alienated.

Mr. George Hall

By the Nyasaland Native Trust Land Order in Council, 1936, all lands in the protectorate were declared native trust land, with the exception of Crown lands and reserved lands, the latter consisting of townships, forest reserves and land leased or otherwise disposed of prior to that date. Native Trust Land cannot be alienated with the consent of the Chiefs alone. This land is vested in the Secretary of State; and, subject to his directions, may be leased by the Governor, after consultation with the native authority concerned, if this appears to be for the common benefit, direct or indirect, of the natives of the Protectorate.

Of approximately 2½ million acres of Native Trust Land 32,000 acres only had been alienated at the end of 1945. Crown and reserved lands amount to three million acres, of which 1¼ million had been alienated at that date. Questions of land tenure and policy are receiving the close attention of the Nyasaland Government, and arrangements have been made for the problems involved to be investigated shortly by the Right Honourable Sir Sidney Abrahams.