§ 56. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a full statement on the East African Industries Limited, the arrangements concluded with Unilever Limited, and on the proposed future developments.
§ Mr. Lyttelton
During the war the Government of Kenya set up and operated a small factory near Nairobi, where pottery, refractories and miscellaneous chemicals were manufactured. This was intended as an emergency 141W measure and to meet local war-time shortages. After the war some units of the enterprise were sold, but there remained the main body of the factory comprising plant for the manufacture of pottery and refractory bricks, a hydro-genation plant (principally cooking fat), sulphuric and hydrochloric acid plants, and general chemicals plant (principally liquid caustic soda and quick lime).
In January, 1949, the Colonial Development Corporation agreed to participate with the Government of Kenya in the operation and development of this enterprise. A joint company, named East Africa Industries Limited, was formed with an authorised capital of £750,000 of which the Corporation has subscribed £300.000. The Kenya Government was allotted £150,000 as part consideration for the assets transferred. In addition the Corporation has advanced £60,000 on loan. The Kenya Government's interest is now held by the Industrial Management Corporation of Kenya.
The Colonial Development Corporation has recently announced that agreement in principle has been reached by which Unilever Limited will take up a substantial shareholding and will be responsible for the management of the Company. It is planned later to extend the company's activities to the manufacture of margarine and soap. A technical mission from Unilever Limited is at present in Nairobi.