Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £112,459, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1937, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies.
§ 3.46 p.m.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I beg to move, to reduce the Vote by £100.
The Motion for the reduction of the Vote which I have the honour to move affords an opportunity of discussion on all the important points of Colonial administration. I believe that hon. Members on all sides of the Committee will be very grateful for this opportunity. I hope that the Colonial Secretary will not regard any criticisms expressed in this Debate by me as reflecting on his own person, since this House and the Colonies look to him at the present time, in his new office, for a progressive and constructive policy in Colonial affairs. The Colonial debates in this House do not give rise as a rule to the same bitterness which is often engendered by discussions on home policy. Yet there is a considerable number of matters which are connected with the Colonial policy of the Government which sometimes demand a critical inquiry. In opening this Debate I would like especially in this regard to allude to the question of Kenya and to the land question in that Colony, which has excited so much controversy both here and in Kenya lately. It has caused a spate of interesting correspondence in the columns of the "Times," in which letters have appeared from various important ex-Colonial governors and Colonial Office 1414 officials who can speak with undoubted authority.
In May of this year I put a question to Mr. Thomas on the proposed Order in Council which is to deal with this matter, and the Colonial Secretary agreed at that time to postpone publication of that Order until the matter had been discussed on the occasion of the Vote now before the Committee. That promise made by Mr. Thomas was, I feel certain, in accordance with the wishes of all parts of the House, and I think we are grateful that it should have been made. May I recall that the proposed Order in Council was foreshadowed in the White Paper of 1934, in which it was stated that it would implement the recommendation of the Morris Carter Commission. I wish that this draft was before us now, but since it is not, I hope the Minister will give a full exposition of his proposals when he winds up the Debate. We shall listen very carefully to his exposition and to his justification of those proposals, because it is a fact that they may involve grave consequences not only to the native population of Kenya, but they may create a precedent of far-reaching importance to the whole of the Colonial policy of the Empire.
The tangled and difficult question of land in Kenya is not a new one. The Committee will remember it survives from the days when Kenya was a Protectorate. Under the Protectorate, land was allotted by the Lands Office, and in practice that office restricted the grants of land in the agricultural Highlands to Europeans only. In 1906 Lord Elgin, who was then Colonial Secretary, approved of this administrative policy. At the same time he instructed the Governor that it was not in accordance with the general policy of the Imperial Government to restrict any section of His Majesty's subjects from holding land in the Protectorate. In 1908 Lord Elgin again endorsed the policy but again rejected the suggestion that any legal restrictions should be placed on the landholding rights of any section of the community. In 1923 the Imperial Government reaffirmed the same policy approving of restriction of grant and transfer of land in the Highlands to Europeans. The reason given was that for a period of 15 years Europeans had been led to believe that this practice of restriction 1415 would continue, and that they had developed the Highlands on that understanding.
Another White Paper was published in 1930 on this policy and in it the Government, over the signature of Lord Pass-field, declared that they were not prepared to go back on the decision of Lord Elgin in 1908, but were unwilling to see any restriction extended to other agricultural areas in East Africa. That declaration seemed to imply something new, namely, that there would be no extension of the area of land reserved in practice for Europeans. I submit that the policy which was declared in 1930 may be seriously modified if some of the recommendations of the Morris Carter Commission are adopted. Under these it is proposed to define and enlarge the European Highlands and, further, to create a colour bar by preventing non-Europeans from owning or leasing land within the defined area although a fairly large number of natives, all British subjects, are within that area at present. What would be the effect of the Morris Carter recommendation? It would be, I submit, to create a privileged position for Europeans of every nationality over British subjects in Kenya who are nonEuropeans—both natives and Indians. The Committee is, of course, aware that there is a large population of Indian settlers in Kenya, and I need not remind hon. Members that the administrative policy outlined by Lord Elgin, was first adopted to grant a privilege to Europeans in comparison with the newly-settled Indians. Do not let us forget, however, that we declare ourselves to be trustees for native interests, and we should ask ourselves on this occasion whether legislation of this kind is in favour of the trustee or of the wards.
Another important matter dealt with in the proposed Order in Council is the question of the access of natives to courts of justice in respect of land claims. These claims are dealt with in the Morris Carter report. They will arise wherever native rights are expunged and compensation offered. It is now proposed that no native shall be allowed to bring a claim into court, though he may have grievances of a serious nature which require, in his opinion, immediate redress.
1416 Here, again, I suggest the Government will be in the position of saying to British subjects, "Foreigners may go to the courts with their land claims, but you may not." Lord Elgin's Order may have been good or it may have been bad, but it was a purely administrative Order and its merits are not at issue to-day.
The question now appears to be: Is it right that in a Crown Colony this practice should be legalised in the manner proposed? Let me remind the House of the White Paper of 1922. The right hon. Gentleman who is now at the head of the Colonial Office, then occupied a humbler though very important position in the same office, and he defended that White Paper with great cogency and eloquence, and with all the fire of youth. In that document the Duke of Devonshire pointed out that the Provision of Crown Lands Ordinance did not amount to legal discrimination—that the administration could be altered and that there was no actual legal discrimination between one British subject and another. As regards right of access to the courts, finality of settlement. in respect of land is no doubt eminently desirable after all these years, but I should like the Minister to explain how the exclusion of our fellow-subjects from the courts without their consent is to be regarded as a proper manner of securing finality. May I refer to what Queen Victoria said nearly 80 years ago:in the eyes of the law there should not be any distinction or disqualification whatever founded upon mere distinction of colour, origin, language or creed.That magnificent statement typifies the generous and liberal-minded attitude which this country has shown in its Colonial policy for nearly 100 years. It has been repeated in one form or another in many White Papers published by the Colonial Office and in many utterances of successive Secretaries of State. The present Colonial Secretary himself has pointed out that His Majesty's Government should regard themselves as exercising a trust on behalf of the African population. The White Paper of 1923 said it was the intention of the Government to work for "the protection and advancement of the native races "and further said:It is the mission of Great Britain to work continuously for the training and 1417 education of the African towards a higher intellectual and moral level than that which they had reached when the Crown assumed responsibility for the administration of the territory.The right hon. Gentleman himself on that occasion pointed out the difficulties which existed then and which still exist in Kenya, where Europeans and Indians and Arabs are living together, and he added:It was the common duty of all to subordinate the narrower conceptions of racial consciousness to the higher ideal of working together for the Colony and the Commonwealth as a whole.He said further:It was our duty to do justice and right between the various races and interests, remembering that we were trustees before the world for the African population.He concluded by saying:Our administration of this trust must stand eventually before the judgment-seat of history, and that on it we should be judged as an Empire.I, least of all, wish to disparage the work of the European settlers in Kenya. It is the admirable work of a host of bold and enduring pioneers, who have gone there with their lives in their hands and who have, no doubt, done a great deal to benefit the Colony and for the advancement of the natives. Lord Francis Scott, to whom the white settlers owe such a deep debt of gratitude did, I feel sure, express the views of the Europeans when when he said in London the other day that their policy is in no way anti-native, and added:It is a policy founded many years ago and known as the dual policy—the full development side by side of Europeans and natives alike.In that spirit I firmly believe that a solution of the land question should not be impossible. But this new proposal, in so far as it is going or may be going to introduce a crude racial and colour bar in respect of opportunities in better agricultural land, does not, to my mind, promise to make for good relations between Europeans and non-Europeans at the present time. I hope that the Colonial Secretary will be able to shed some light on what is going to happen.
With the permission of the Committee I will now turn to another question which is also occupying the public mind. It was alluded to to-day at Question time. I refer to the future of the Mandated Territories. I certainly trust that the 1418 Government, through the Colonial Secretary, is keeping in touch with the views of the natives on this important matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will forgive me for interrupting. I think the Committee may be in some difficulty in this Debate with regard to the question of Mandated Territories unless we come to a definite arrangement as to how the Debate is to proceed. I understand that certain Mandated Territories, being self-supporting, come under the Secretary of State for the Colonies and would, therefore, come under this Vote, but there is another Mandated Territory, Palestine, which is not self-supporting and, therefore, involves expenditure which is included in another Vote. Consequently it would apparently be in order to discuss on this Vote certain Mandated Territories, but not to disuss the Mandated Territory of Palestine and Transjordan. Equally, when we come to the other Vote on the Order Paper, on which Palestine and Transjordan can be discussed, the other Mandated Territories cannot be discussed. It has been not an uncommon practice for the Chairman to permit, if it is the general wish of the Committee, discussion of two Votes together. In these circumstances it may be for the convenience of the Committee if the two Votes which are on the Order Paper are discussed together to-day, so that the question of Mandated Territories could be discussed without the necessity of leaving out Palestine and Transjordan. If the Committee feel that that is the most convenient course it would involve this: At the moment the hon. Member would not be able to do what I understand he intends, that is to move a reduction of the Vote, because if he moved a reduction that would confine the Debate to the particular Vote to which the reduction related. I can only suggest to the Committee that perhaps the hon. Member, who is speaking for his party, may, if it be thought to be for the general convenience of the Committee to discuss together the two Votes that are on the Paper, refrain from moving a reduction and later on it would be possible, of course, for an hon. Member to move a formal reduction of the first Vote or of the second Vote, if he so desired, towards the end of the Debate.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I am very much obliged for that Ruling. As 1419 regards the reduction that I have moved, I propose that we should stick to it. The question of Palestine has been amply discussed on previous occasions and has been thoroughly ventilated, and there is, therefore, no reason to start on it afresh now. On the other hand, this new question has not been before the Committee, and I think it would be best if we limited ourselves now to the reduction I have proposed of Vote 8.
§ The CHAIRMAN
In those circumstances, the two Votes certainly cannot be discussed together, because, as I said, it cannot be done except with the general assent of the entire Committee. If that general assent is not given hon. Members must bear ha mind that we are now confined to matters which come under Vote 8, and that we must exclude from the discussion those matters which come specially under "Middle Eastern Services" and other matters under Vote 9.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
The view expressed has our concurrence, inasmuch as we have had a discussion on Palestine on a previous occasion.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Having taken some part in the Debate on Palestine, I associate myself with what the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) has said.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is obvious that my interruption was unnecessary. I hope the Committee will understand that we are now confined, so far as the Mandated Territories are concerned, to discussion of those on which there is no expenditure involved. They come into this Debate only in so far as their administration is under the Secretary of State fur the Colonies, whose salary is included in the Vote that we are now discussing.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I am very happy to find that Members in all parts of the Committee are prepared to subscribe to the suggestion made. I will, therefore, refer only briefly to the question of the other Mandates. When you rose, Sir Dennis, I was expressing the hope that the Government, through the instrumentality of the Colonial Secretary, was keeping in touch with the views of the natives on the important matter 1420 of the administration of these Mandates and the claims put forward by other Powers for the abandonment of our part in those Mandates. The German claims, as we know, have not been officially formulated as yet, but there is no doubt that they have already been clearly stated by Herr Hitler and some of his Ministers; and there can be no doubt that they will shortly be put forward in a manner which will require the consideration of the Colonial Office. If there is a claim for the return of the German Colonies—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid that the hon. Member is now getting on to something which is outside the Colonial Office. What he is now mentioning would be a question entirely for the Foreign Office, I think.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I submit that I am only touching on the attitude of the Colonial Office to these Mandates as an adviser of the Government and of the Foreign Office as to what to do. I am going to discuss only the relations which now are binding the Secretary for the Colonies to the Mandated Territories in order that he may be able to advise the Government and the Foreign Office as to the wishes of the natives in those territories.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member keeps on those lines it may be unnecessary for me to interrupt further, but he will understand that any question of debating the advisability or otherwise of a return of any of these territories to some other Power is not a matter which comes under the Colonial Office, and it would, therefore, be out of order.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I was saying that if there is a claim for the return of these Mandates to some other Power we should not be bound Or even entitled to consider it. That would be contrary to our duty as a mandatory Power, a duty which is in the hands of the Colonial Secretary; it would be contrary altogether to the principles upon which the man. dates system has been set up. After all, we cannot divest ourselves at will of the mandate Clauses of the Treaty of Peace, nor of the administration of these Mandates by the Colonial Office as it is carried out now. We are responsible, the Colonial Office is responsible, to the 1421 Mandates Commission of the League for our administration of these Mandates. The Colonial Office every year is represented at the Mandates Commission and reports on the way the Mandates have been administered. I would remind the Committee that there has been only one case so far of our surrendering a Mandate. That was the Mandate for Iraq. After discussion with the Colonial Office and after advice given by the Colonial Secretary the Government decided that the people of Iraq were ripe for self-government and that the time had come to lay down the Mandate, and through the League the Mandate was surrendered.
In the same way the present Colonial Secretary may be called on to declare his views on the question of terminating one or all of the present Mandates. He may be called on to do that as the administrator of the Mandated Territory affected, and as our representative at the League of Nations. When that time comes it is essential that we should be guided mainly, if not entirely, by the interests and the wishes of the populations of the Mandated Territories. On these matters the Government will need the advice of the Colonial Secretary, and I hope sincerely that the Colonial Office is busying itself with this question, informing itself of the wishes and interests of the native populations, and considering how far they would be affected by any transfer of Mandates to another Power. The observance of native interests must, of course, be paramount both in administration of the Mandates and in any question of the transfer of Mandated Territories to another Power.
I may say, in passing, that for my own part I cannot imagine that the natives would care to exchange British for Nazi rule. I cannot believe they would care to be ruled by German governors, who would share Herr Hitler's view that the black man should always be subordinated to the white man, that the black races are inferior races who can never aspire to a higher status. Indeed, this theory is absolutely contrary to the basic purpose of mandatory rule, which is to bring the natives, by gradual advancement, to share in their own government. Nor can I imagine that if Germany became a mandatory Power, the natives would feel confident that she meant to observe her responsibilities under the League.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Gentleman is now going too far. The wishes of the natives, as to what should be done under British administration it would be in order to discuss, but when it comes to a question of some foreign Power, that is a matter which is outside the Colonial Office Vote.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I will, therefore, merely say that I hope the Colonial Secretary will inform himself as to native feeling and native interests in this matter, and bring his influence to bear on this subject in those circles which would barter away these Mandates in order to buy off some foreign Power which may threaten our own European peace. There is one field where the interests of natives and of Powers without Colonies coincide, and that is the field of medicine, science, technology, and such like. The German pre-war Colonial administration, bad as it was, did recruit men, and good men, from these fields who were prepared to devote themselves to the betterment of native African populations, and no doubt now in other countries there are plenty of such men, in the universities of Europe, who are qualified and anxious to do the same. I am putting forward to the Colonial Secretary the hope that he might consider the suggestion that the technical branches of the Mandate administration should be open to men of non-British nationality. Doctors, architects, bacteriologists, and other scientists would certainly be of great assistance in the development of the natives, and Lord Lugard, whose opinion anyone interested in Colonial matters must respect, has made himself an advocate of this proposal.
Claims for Colonies are advanced on two grounds, political and economic. So far as it rests on questions of prestige, it is out of our purview to-night, but as regards the demand for Colonies on economic grounds, may I point out that our own Colonial policy may well have justified such a demand? Let me remind the Committee that since Ottawa we have sought deliberately to make our Colonial markets into preserves for British trade and that this policy, by excluding other nations from the markets of our Colonies, hampers them in the purchase of raw materials, of which our Colonies produce so much of the world's supply. [Interruption.] At the present time I am discussing the general Colonial 1423 policy, and not only the policy in Ken[...]a. In this sphere again, as in all the others that I have touched upon, the paramount consideration must be that of the Colonial people themselves, and I wonder whether our fiscal policy since Ottawa has been to the advantage of the Colonies themselves. From 1924 to 1929, which were five Free Trade years, the Colonies were dependent on non-Imperial markets for the sale of half their exports. Therefore, it is obvious that the Colonies must be harmed by any reduction of their foreign trade. It is to the interests of the Colonies to sell as much of their produce as they can, and it is obvious that Great Britain, huge buyer of Colonial produce as it is, cannot supply a market for the whole production of the British Colonies throughout the world.
A direct effect of the restriction of imports to the Colonies has been a reduction in the standard of life of the natives. Let us take one instance, the instance of Ceylon. The Committee will remember that in the interests of the Lancashire cotton trade we have regulated cotton imports into Ceylon, and the result has been a drastic reduction in the total imports of cotton goods. Take the year 1934. In that year Ceylon imported 78,000,000 yards of cotton; in 1935 the imports of cotton into Ceylon were only 56,000,000 yards. Also, the average price of cotton in Ceylon has increased; since, although the volume of imports has decreased by 33 per cent., the total price paid for cotton in Ceylon remains practically the same. The price in 1934 was 14,017,000 rupees, and in 1935 the price was 13,871,000 rupees, a difference of about 3 per cent., whereas the difference in the sale of cotton was something like 33 per cent. On the other hand, let us take the instance of Kenya.
Before the hon. Gentleman leaves Ceylon, is it not a fact that the fiscal policy of Ceylon was decided by the natives of the island?
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I am glad the hon. and gallant Gentleman has put that question. The Legislature of Ceylon did decide against this quota on cotton, but was overridden by the Imperial Government. In Kenya the cotton imports have increased from 52,500,000 yards to 89,500,000 yards, because of the free fiscal policy maintained by the Congo Basin 1424 Treaties. These figures show that a Protectionist policy is not in the interest of the Colonial consumer. Lancashire cotton interests naturally take what advantage they can from the Ottawa policy, and I am not prepared to judge them in any way too hardly, but it strikes me as rather paradoxical that while they press for fiscal benefit in Ceylon, they are at the present time opposing fiscal advantages to the British farmer at home, on the ground that such measures will reduce the Lancashire cotton market in South America.
I should like particularly to call the attention of the Government to one aspect of the restriction of Colonial trade, and that is that as a result of this restriction the Germans and other nations in Europe are unable to trade in the Colonial markets, and, therefore, they are making themselves as independent as they can of Colonial sources of raw materials. They are developing substitutes and synthetic products, and this will have a profound effect in reducing the demands on the producers in our Colonies. We all know that the Germans have been making stupendous efforts to urge the most distinguished chemists to get some system of manufacturing synthetic rubber and that they have to a certain extent achieved this purpose. Hitler has said that as regards rubber they are independent, and although rubber, if manufactured, is more expensive than that which can be got from Malaya and other rubber-growing countries, when huge vested interests have grown up in these countries, and when in Czechoslovakia and other countries, which have no raw materials at all and which have to import all their raw materials, efforts are made to create synthetic rubber and other synthetic products, it is bound in the long run to reduce the demands on the products of our own Colonies and thus to reduce the welfare and the happiness of the inhabitants of those Colonies. In a long view, therefore, I submit that the Colonies have everything to gain from the freest possible trade.
It has recently been suggested that the British Government should take steps to denounce the Congo Basin Treaties. I would, in conclusion, urge that the maintenance intact of those Treaties is of the highest wisdom, both in the interests of the Colonial populations and in the interests of world peace. 1425 I believe that the open-door policy maintained by the Congo Basin Treaties should indeed prevail throughout the whole of our Colonial Empire.
§ 4.28 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. de Rothschild), who has just resumed his seat, in a discussion of all the points which he raised, but I am interested, and keenly interested, in the first subject which he brought before the Committee, and at a later stage I should like to enter into a discussion of it in some greater detail. I was rather anticipating, though I make no complaint on the point, that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary would have made an opening statement by way of review of the Colonial Office Vote generally, but I quite appreciate that the notice might have been short, and he himself, after all, has only been at the head of the office for a comparatively short time, but I trust that before the end of the Debate we shall have the advantage of hearing the right hon. Gentleman, for on what he has to say in regard to some of these questions will depend whether we ourselves will press the matter of a reduced Vote.
I cannot help feeling, when these Supply Votes recur in this House, that it is rather a pity that we cannot devote more of our time to examining what our general objective is in Colonial administration. The range of interests, of course, is so vast that the debates necessarily become somewhat cluttered up with the discussion of details, and oftentimes the subject of immediate interest, such as the Kenya subject of to-day, is apt to take a very substantial proportion of our time. The consequence is that administrative problems in other parts of the Empire often pass unexamined and even unnoticed. I can only hope that our friends in various parts of the Empire will not regard that silence on our part as indicative of lack of interest.
I ask the Committee to allow me to raise the fundamental question of what, after all, is our general objective in colonial administration. I want to state what I regard as the proper objective and to examine the Government's administration in the light of our views. it 1426 will be accepted that there are roughly three groups of territories within our Empire. There is first, the self-governing Dominions, which do not come within our purview to-day. Their status is formally recognised in this House and in other ways by the fact that we have a Dominions Office. There remain two other groups which are not in the same stage of development. There are areas of which it might be said that they are substantially ready for a larger measure of self-government, if not of complete self-government. There are other areas, for instance, certain African territories, that are much less ready for self-government. We have to make up our minds what shall be our general attitude in regard to these two groups, which are under the aegis of the Colonial Office.
I think that I shall carry everybody with me when I say that the ideal for us is that all these territories should advance in the direction of self-government. That ideal is an imperative one for us. We accept it cordially, and, having accepted it cordially, we must judge, as I conceive it, from our point of view, the administration of the Colonial Office by how far it enables the peoples of those areas to advance towards the achievement of self-government at some later date. If our ideal is stated in that way our function in this House becomes that of trusteeship. The hon. Member who preceded me indicated that that was the view which he and his friends took. If we accept the concept of trusteeship, it follows that the trusteeship must be characterised by a genuine endeavour to assist the indigenous peoples of those areas to equip themselves for the ultimate task of self-government. Moreover, if we accept the concept of trusteeship it is inconsistent with it so to administer the estate, if I may call it so, for the primary benefit of ourselves or of our own kin and colour who may happen to reside in those areas. The prime function of a trustee is to run the estate for the benefit of those to whom the estate belongs, and not for the friends of the family of the trustee. Finally, I think I can say with complete acceptance—on this side of the Committee, at any rate—that the policy of the open door should be our main objective as between our administration of those areas and the countries outside the Empire. 1427 Having laid down these broad propositions, I venture to ask the Committee to allow me to examine the present administration in their light. I think that the first four will be accepted by everyone, but there might be some controversy about the policy of the open door. We are all, to what ever party we belong, committed to the principle of trusteeship. The spokesman who laid down the proposition of trusteeship was the Duke of Devonshire, whose declaration in 1922 was made in the most explicit and precise terms. It is clear that if we entertain that view of our functions and relations to these people, we must visualise the coming of the time when these people will be able to enter into possession of their inheritance which we now administer on their behalf. The primary duty that devolves upon us as trustees is to enable these people to prepare themselves for the exercise of that function, and our first task is to give them ample opportunities to educate themselves for that function. The British Government are rather open to the charge, generally speaking, of neglecting rather sadly the provision of educational facilities throughout our Colonies. The amount of effort which we put forward and the amount of money which we spend upon the education of the natives in those areas is comparatively small.
It is not true to argue that these people would not respond to the provision of educational facilities. I remember reading some years ago the record of the life of a West African whose education was developed in America, Dr. Aggrey, who proved to be a most distinguished scholar, but was unfortunately cut down in early life. If his ideals had been realised, he would have returned presumably to Achimota College and have become a distinguished cultural leader among his own people in that part of Africa. I am sure that the development of institutions like Achimota College would be well worth while in other parts of Africa, for the native does in real fact respond to educational effort made on his behalf. In any case, if at some future time these people are to be enabled to function on the various governing bodies of the areas where they live, they must be prepared and equipped with some measure of education. I would plead with the right hon. Gentleman at the beginning of his career 1428 as Colonial Secretary to review with particular care the measure of the provision that we make for the education of native peoples.
The second point I would raise is the attitude of the Government in relation to what is called the labour problems in these various areas. It is impossible for us to hope that primitive civilisation will remain untouched for ever by modern industrialism. It is bound to be affected. It has been brought into contact with it at various points already in Africa, and we have to make up our minds what Is the correct attitude towards labour problems which must arise among the native peoples. We are bound to have raw materials, and therefore we must examine this problem. We do really need a thorough investigation of the whole labour position, in the British African Colonies in particular. Sometimes the curtain is drawn aside by some incident such as the Rhodesian riots. As a rule, the most uncomfortable features are hidden away in the decent obscurity of official documents. Nothing happens, but the labourer himself, the person with whom we are principally concerned is, of course, very inarticulate in these matters. If we are to function as trustees we really must see that his condition is adequately safeguarded. The labourers can be divided into three classes—the labourer who is recruited for labour service outside the territory where he lives, the labourer who is employed in and about the mines, and the labourer employed on farms.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what is likely to happen in regard to the adoption by the International Labour Office conference of a convention for the better control of labour recruiting? That convention will be welcome, for a large proportion of the workers comes from British Protectorates and Colonies and, therefore, it has a special relevance for us. Are the Government likely to ratify it? Are the Government taking any steps to make a special study of the heavy mortality among mine workers? Permission is given to recruit labour in the tropical zone for work in the Johannesburg mines, and I understand that the figures disclose a high degree of mortality. I should like to know whether there is to be an investigation into that matter.
In regard to Nyasaland, I gather there is a report by a Government Commission 1429 on the recruitment of labour there, and that is reveals rather terrible consequences for social life in Nyasaland, and, therefore, I should like to know what the Government propose to do in that matter. I have one suggestion to make on this question of labour legislation. Some years ago, at a time when economies were being imposed, we deplored the reduction of the staff of the labour inspectorate in the Colonies, and we should be exceedingly glad if the right hon. Gentleman would re-examine that question as soon as possible. After all, this labourer of whom I am speaking has no union to safeguard his interests, is very inarticulate, and very helpless generally; he does not understand the implications of this legislation; and it might be worth while to reinforce the staff of inspectors, who should not merely be officials to compile records but officials who will interpret the law to them, establish a sort of close contact with them, and, in short, be a kind of general friend to those unorganised and inarticulate workers.
I am told that a model Workmen's Compensation Ordinance is being drafted by the Colonial Office, for use in East and West Africa. I am told, I do not know what authority there is for the statement, that this ordinance is being submitted in a preliminary way to chambers of commerce. Why they should be specially consulted I hardly know, and I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman would let me know whether, in fact, that is the case. Then there is the question of labour on farms. There are particularly onerous and, from our point of view, undesirable pass laws being imposed on labour on farms in various parts of Africa, and we should be glad to know that the pass laws in their most offensive form are not going to be introduced into Kenya. Further, and here I think I am in agreement with the hon. Member who spoke first, I think we might do very much more in mobilising not merely expert medical opinion in our own country but what is available to us from other countries in advancing all forms of health administration throughout the Empire, and especially in Africa.
I come now to a second part of Colonial administration. I started by saying that I thought we all accepted the idea of trusteeship with a certain ultimate ideal 1430 in our minds. Are we, in point of fact, getting a little tired of this ideal? I cannot help feeling some misgivings about certain things which have taken place, and are still taking place, in Colonial administration, not in one part of the Empire only, but in many parts. There has grown up recently a tendency to introduce ordinances of a particularly onerous kind, and, my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) adds, of an odious kind. Why are we called upon to accept these ordinances with approval? There is an ordinance, No. 21, issued in 1934, for the Gold Coast which has this peculiarity, that under it the onus of proof of innocence falls upon the person accused and not upon the Government. That is a complete reversal of the law as we understand it here, and it is a reversal of the law which, if it were attempted in this country, would be vigorously resented by everybody, to whatever party he might belong.
§ Mr. WISE
Can the hon. Member give us the exact text of that Clause, because it may be one which is in very common use—as under the Indian Penal Code—under which you are entitled to ask a man to show cause why he should not be convicted? That is not a prejudgment of the case, but a simplification of the case. A mere plea of "not guilty" starts the whole procedure in the ordinary way.
§ Mr. JONES
I will give an extract from a more recent Ordinance, one issued in Ashanti in 1936—Ordinance No. 1. Clause 6 reads:No writ of habeas corpus or other process calling in question the legality of the detention of Kofi Sechere under or by virtue of the provisions of this Ordinance shall have any effect within Ashanti.
§ That is an Ordinance which has specific reference to one particular person.
§ Mr. JONES
No, he is detained, and he has no redress. He cannot bring any charge against anybody, because a writ of habeas corpus does not run in that connection. This is of a piece with similar legislation to which I am taking objection. On the Gold Coast we see a similar tendency, and it is not one to be welcomed. There is another case con- 1431 cerning a man named Wallace Johnson, the secretary of the West African Youth League. He was prosecuted for sedition under the Gold Coast Sedition Ordinance. Much depends on what interpretation is given to the word "sedition." I dare say that I could make a speech in this House which to me would seem comparatively innocuous but which might frighten the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Wise). Then there is another case affecting the editor-in-chief of the African "Morning Post," who in May of this year wrote an article. I admit that, to my idea, the article was somewhat indiscreet, but, after all, there are indiscreet people in the Tory party. I have also seen most indiscreet articles in the English "Moning Post," but I should not regard them as seditious; in fact, the more it writes the better I am pleased. The point is that this man wrote an article which was in sarcastic vein and showed a certain bitterness on account of what he regarded as the betrayal of the Abyssinians by the British Government. He was arrested. At what point is the interpretation of sedition to stop? What is sedition and what is not? Is it to be deemed seditious if people write what we might regard as rather advanced literature? How are people to express themselves if they are always to be liable to prosecution or arrest on the ground that their writings are seditious in character?
§ Mr. JONES
I turn to British Somaliland. I am told that there, at this moment, there is a complete absence of any system of legal defence. I believe it was the hon. Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) who, earlier in the year, put a question to Mr. Thomas on this point, and Mr. Thomas replied that he was proposing to inquire into the system which the hon. Member alleged to exist there. We cannot go on condoning this kind of thing. By all means let natives be subject to the law, but do not let us 1432 have laws so repressive that they cannot express their minds at all, because the only way in which they can learn the art of self-government is through opportunities for expressing criticism of government as they see it. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will examine this matter once again, because I do feel disturbed about some things which have happened recently in various parts of the Empire. Rightly or wrongly, we took a certain step in regard to Newfoundland, and now we are taking a similar step in regard to Malta. Not long ago I received strong representations concerning action which is taking place in the municipality of Suva, in Fiji, where an elected municipal council has been completely swept aside and replaced by a council nominated according to the ipse dixit or whim of the Governor. All those things have a cumulative effect, and when we find side by side with them these ordinances and sedition Acts we are entitled to come to the conclusion that there is ground for believing that someone or other is getting uneasy over the measure of criticism of the Government which is rising in various parts of the Empire. Criticism within certain limits is good for the Government, and it is right that those who are governed shall have their chance to express themselves within those limits.
I turn to the last subject I wish to discuss, namely, Kenya. I agree with the hon. Member who spoke first that action by Order in Council may have not only grave consequences in Kenya but far-reaching consequences in other parts of the Empire. It is imperative that we should discuss it here and now. The hon. Gentleman said that the circumstances which have given rise to the Order in Council were not new. For many years, the party with which I am associated has exercised unceasing vigilance over the developments, as we see them and have understood them, in Kenya. I know that the European settlers in that part of Africa have disliked and even resented the flood of light which has been thrown upon certain transactions in that area.
We are not speaking without knowledge. I happen to have a document, which I can quote if I am called upon to do so, and which shows that the spokesman for the settlers agrees with 1433 the proposition which I have stated. They do resent it. They think that our action arises from some opposition to them as settlers. That is not the case. We have no objection to them at all, but we do take objection to their claim that they have a prior right to the right of the people in that area.
§ Brigadier - General Sir HENRY CROFT
Speaking as one who is closely associated with all the Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen and Irishmen who have developed Kenya, I should like to say that they have always resented the attitude of mind which is sometimes expressed by hon. Members in this House, that their fellow-countrymen are always wrong.
§ Mr. JONES
Our main criticism in this matter has not been applied to the settlers themselves, but has always been concentrated upon the reaction of the Government to the approaches of the settlers. I propose to raise this afternoon another instance of the same thing. Whatever these people may think about our interest in the doings in Kenya, we shall continue to exercise the most vigilant interest in regard to matters there. We started some four years ago by making it quite clear to the Government that any future Labour Government would not feel bound—I repeat it explicitly this afternoon—by the Government's action arising out of the Morris Carter Report. When this commission was set up, the then Colonial Secretary, now Lord Swinton, upon his own admission, took a certain step. On 18th December, 1934, he admitted that in December, 1932, he—I use his own words—" caused the chairman [of the Morris Carter Commission] to be informed" that no non-European might own or occupy land in the European Highlands. He condescended to tell this House two years after that action was taken, and in response to a question by an hon. and gallant Friend of mine. If that is the way we treat Commissions, future Governments must hold themselves free to take what line they think appropriate.
In 1921, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Indian Affairs accepted the general principle which the Government of India had laid down, namely, that there is no justification in Kenya for assigning to British Indians a status 1434 inferior to any other class of His Majesty's subjects. That will be found in House of Commons Paper 177 of 1921. In 1923, with a view to assuring the Indian Government that a legal bar to Indian ownership of land in the Highlands of Kenya was not contemplated, His Majesty's Government gave the following declaration, in the Duke of Devonshire's Memorandum, in February of that year:It cannot be claimed that they [the provisions of the Crown Lands Ordinance] amount to legal discrimination against Indians, for it would be possible for the executive government to grant land in the Highlands to Asiatics or to approve of the transfer of land from a European to an Asiatic, without any alteration in the existing law.That is what was declared in 1923.
§ Earl WINTERTON
That was the result of an agreement which rejoiced in the name of the Wood-Winterton Agreement, which had resulted from negotiations conducted by myself on behalf of the India Office and the Government of India, and, of course, His Majesty's Government, and Lord Irwin on behalf of the Colonial Office and His Majesty's Government. The answer which I gave was very carefully drafted as a result of that agreement.
§ Mr. JONES
In that, the Noble Lord has underlined what I said. It is additional proof of the accuracy of my statement. It is well to recall the words which the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. de Rothschild) used. They were words used by Queen Victoria, although he stopped short of one important phrase:There shall not be, in the eye of the law, any distinction or disqualification whatever, founded upon mere distinction of colour, origin, language or creed.It then said:But the protection of the law in letter and in substance, shall be extended impartially to all alike.That is the important section of the declaration. We have never taken the view that the Morris Carter report was wholly bad. We agree that there are valuable parts of it, but we also urge that there are certain shortcomings in the report. But there it is; the report has been published.
Now we are told that the Government are likely to issue an Order in Council. 1435 In connection with this matter, may I address questions to the right hon. Gentleman? Reference has been made to the presence in this country of Lord Francis Scott. I do not know Lord Francis Scott. That is no loss whatever to him, but I must ask this question: Lord Francis Scott has come to this country presumably as an emissary of the settlers, of whom he is a distinguished leader. He has not used the customary machinery, by which the Governor is the intermediary between the settlers and the Colonial Office. He has come presumably to complain to the Government about the state of affairs in Kenya. May I ask what he wants? Is Lord Francis Scott asking for further discrimination in favour of the settlers, favoured though they are already with low taxation, favourable railway rates and land taxes and direct representation in the legislative council?
I am told that those are the facts, and that, in regard to the local government in Kenya, British settlers get a grant while the natives get nothing. I do not know the reason for this discrimination, and I cannot understand it. I do not know what the case is. I ask whether we are not entitled to draw conclusions? These white settlers, entitled though they are to the rather generous tribute paid to them by the hon. Gentleman, and entitled as they may be to credit for what they have done in developing that area, we still ask, Are they entitled to the priority of claim which they seem incessantly to be putting forward on their own behalf in Kenya?
I ask the next question: What is the view of the Government in regard to the treatment of Indians in this matter? I want to know. Do the Government of India take the view that a discrimination against Indians in Kenya is justified or not justfied? Until recently, they took the view that such discrimination was not justified. What is the present feeling of the Government of India, and what is the response of the Colonial Office to the representations of the India Office in this matter? It is of the first importance that we should not give to the Indian people, at this stage in Indian history especially, the feeling that, outside the confines of India, Indian people are of less account than other people who belong to the Empire. If you carry on 1436 this policy of discrimination against Indians you may rest assured that, although you may get away with it today, sooner or later that policy will rebound with terrible effect upon our own country, and possibly upon the Empire.
I further want to say to the right hon. Gentleman opposite that there may be a case for encouraging white settlers, but that when I have read stories of the discrimination between white men and other men in the various parts of the Empire I confess to wondering whether it is worth while encouraging white settlers to go anywhere. If they go, they can only go on the understanding that the British Government will do all that can be done to assist them, but that that assistance shall never abrogate the Declaration, either in the letter or in the spirit, made by the Duke of Devonshire in 1923. The first claim upon us in these areas is to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people. It is not the white settlers who have the first claim but the people who belong to those areas, and to whom those areas should belong. Our interest in them is that of going there and teaching them self-government. I say deliberately that if we are to retain our control of these areas at the price of making concessions to white settlers which give them complete dominion over the lives and wellbeing of the coloured peoples, the community system is not worth while, from my point of view.
I started by saying what I considered to be the broad outlook which should govern us in colonial administration. We take the view, and we have stated it explicitly without fear, that we regard ourselves as trustees for these people, and our prime function as that of guiding them safely and steadily along the road towards eventual self-government.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Having a belief, which is now rapidly becoming old-fashioned, in debate as opposed to reading from a typewritten manuscript—I hasten to assure the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken that I am not referring to him—I should like to reply to some of the points which he raised in his speech, which, if I may say so, was a perfectly fair debating speech. He dealt in a perfectly fair way from his own standpoint with several matters of very great importance, and I should like equally 1437 fairly to endeavour to reply to the points which he made, and also to the points made by the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. de Rothschild). With regard to what the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely said on the subject of Colonies and trade, I am afraid that, in common with several of my hon. Friends, I did not quite gather the purport of his argument. In the first place, he said that so far as possible there should be an open door for trade in the Colonies and Protectorates—an open door which, I understood him to say, would benefit the whole world. I am afraid I take the rather old-fashioned view that in the case of Colonies and Mandated Territories the first consideration should be the wellbeing of the people of those Colonies and Mandated Territories and the wellbeing of the people of this country.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I said that the first claim was that of the inhabitants of the Mandated Territory or Colony, and then I said that the open door policy, if adopted, would also benefit the rest of the world.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I do not wish to enter into an argument on Free Trade and Protection, but the hon. Member is perfectly entitled to make, as the starting point of his argument, the assertion that the open door policy is the one most calculated to benefit the people of those territories and the people of this country. If he says that, I have, although I differ from his views, no objection to it as an argument; but I did not quite gather that that was his policy. I thought that he was arguing in favour of trying to win with two horses. Unlike the hon. Member, I am not very well up in racing terms, but I hope I have stated it correctly.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
I am afraid that anyone who tried to do that would not be likely to win with either the one or the other.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I did not hear what the hon. Gentleman said, but I do not think that the Liberal horses can be said to be very fast. One of them is the complete open door. Whether the open door policy is or is not the one best calculated to benefit the people of the Colonies and Mandated Territories, on the question whether, since the changeover from Free Trade to Protection, the 1438 Colonies and Mandated Territories have gone forward or backward, in my view the basis of his argument that they have gone back is entirely wrong. Of course, one can take the trade statistics from 1924 to 1929 and the trade statistics from 1929 to 1934, and one can find that in particular instances there has been a decrease of trade in particular Colonies, but in the one case the statistics are those for years of comparative prosperity in world trade, while in the other case they are for years in which there was the worst depression in world trade that has ever been seen.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
The Noble Lord is accusing me of doing a number of things that I did not do. It is true that I quoted the figures for the years 1924 to 1929, when we were at the peak of prosperity, but the figures I compared were the figures for 1934 and 1935, and not the figures of Free Trade years.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I think it is true to say that, since the swing-over after the period of trade depression, it will be found that not only has the trade of the Colonies and Mandated Territories been maintained, but that in many cases it has been increased as a result of this swing-over. I have not the actual figures by me, and the hon. Member may have more right on his side than I am prepared to assume, but certainly one statement that he made was completely wrong. I am sure he would be the last person to want to give any aid to the Nazi case, but indirectly he was helping the Nazi case. I find that many of my friends in Germany, when discussing the matters referred to in this Vote, invariably say, "Look at the way in which we are excluded from the raw materials of the world." That statement is quite untrue. There is nothing to stop people under the Nazi or any other Government from purchasing raw materials from any Colony or Mandated Territory in the British Empire.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The trade between Germany and Tanganyika Territory today is larger, both ways, than it was when Tanganyika Territory was a German Colony, and I think that that would apply to German South-West Africa as well. Germany has a favourable balance of trade 1439 with our African Colonies. I beg hon. Gentlemen on the Liberal Benches not to give, in their religious fervour for the policy of Free Trade, an adventitious and entirely fictitious form of aid to the Nazi case. The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely, when speaking about synthetic rubber, seemed to think that in some way we had done something to encourage Germany to produce synthetic rubber. But Germany is now producing/all sorts of things. For example, I think few people in this country realise the degree to which Germany is producing oil from coal. But she is not doing it economically, and she is not doing it because of lack of trade, but for quite other reasons which I must not discuss now. There is nothing in the argument that Germany is being deprived of raw materials on account of the fiscal system of the British Empire. I desire to say that here, because I have no doubt that what is said in this Debate will be made known in other countries. It simply is not true. Another interesting fact is that there are more people of German birth and descent in Tanganyika Territory now than there were before the War. I most heartily associate myself, however, with the statement that there must be the fullest consultation with all the inhabitants of the Mandated Territories, not only before there is any question of recommending a cession of the Mandate, but before there is any question of even altering the terms of the Mandate, and I hope that the whole Committee will be at one in that view. It is most important that that should be known, and I think we are all in agreement on the point.
The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones), who, as I have already said, put his case most fairly, stated very truly that it was difficult in Debates of this kind to take a bird's-eye view; and, moreover, however liberal the Chair may be, we are curtailed by the rules of debate. It is difficult to discuss Colonial administration apart from the Dominions, and even from foreign policy. For example, there is the question of the differences in regard to native administration as between South Africa and the African Colonies. The hon. Gentleman spoke of education in Africa. I share with the Colonial Secretary and possibly one or two other Members in the Committee the advantage of having visited 1440 every African Colony—British, French and German—with the exception of Uganda, in the days before the War, and I think that, at any rate so far as West Africa is concerned, in none of what I may call without offence the native dependencies of any other country is a better system provided than in ours. As regards the cost of that education, one thing that was partly responsible for the depression that occurred in those territories a few years ago was the cost of administration, which was very heavy, owing almost entirely to the provision that was made for native welfare, including education. That is an actual fact.
But do not let us be too certain that an increase in mere intellectual and literary education among indigenous Africans always has the results that we anticipate. When I was in West Africa I asked how far the excellent system of scientific agricultural education enabled improvements to be made in agriculture in the villages, and my informant, who was one of the most sympathetic men possible towards education for the Africans, said, "Unfortunately, it too often happens that, when you give an African the most scientific education in agriculture, he goes back to his village and forgets all about it, or, alternatively the people of the village will not listen to what he says. On the other hand, where you teach that man a slightly improved form of native agricultural practice, that is to say, show him certain things which he can do better in another way, it becomes known all over the place." I do not want to say anything that might seem disparaging to our African fellow-subjects, but it really is necessary to remember that it is not possible to approach the subject of education for a backward people in the same way as in the case of a more highly civilised people. That is a universal fact.
My last point is concerned with the question to which the hon. Gentleman referred in the latter portion of his speech. He laid it down as a proposition that the basis of our rule in what may be called the native territories throughout the Empire should be that that rule was not based on the primary benefit of people of our own race. I am not quite sure what he means by the primary benefit of people of our own race. In my opinion, British subjects, of whatever colour or race, in any British 1441 Colony, are entitled to have their rights considered on an equal basis; that is to say, whether people are of wholly European descent, or half European, or indigenous, the rights of those people should be considered equally.
§ Earl WINTERTON
If we are to take that line we must immediately ask our fellow-subjects in Canada to hand back Canada to the Indians, and the same with the Jews and the Arabs in Palestine. Do not let us get on to that subject. I am sure that my Arab friends in Palestine would be very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. Whether others would be so grateful I do not know. I do not, however, propose to answer his rather rhetorical question. The rule to go upon is that the rights of His Majesty's subjects, of whatever colour or creed, should be considered on an equal basis. That is what we have always thought. There has been some talk in this Debate about discrimination against Indians in Kenya, but you are bound, in a mixed Colony like Kenya, to have certain forms of discrimination. In case the Committee may be under the impression that the discrimination is applied to others, I would point out that it is discrimination against British settlers, in the sense that they are not allowed to take up some of the most valuable land in Africa in the native reserves. There is in Kenya an immense amount of valuable land which neither Indians nor Europeans can take. Speaking as a former Under-Secretary for India, if you were to throw open some of the native reserves in Africa to Indians they would flock there in their millions and you would have all the supporters of the African point of view in this House very properly getting up and saying, "You cannot allow them to do that!" You are bound to have discrimination.
It has been contended that it is grossly unfair to refuse to allow certain African squatters in the Highlands of Kenya to become permanent owners of land, and even to exclude them from the land. The story is far more simple than is imagined. We went to Kenya not merely to trade but very largely in pursuit of our determination to end the slave trade. There are frightful stories of cruelty, oppression 1442 and almost inhuman brutality that went on in the old days of Arab trading, and when one compares that with our administration to-day the criticisms that I have heard in the last 30 years are really terribly exaggerated. I do not suppose that in any administration that has ever existed in civilised times or exists to-day there is a milder and more lenient rule than that of British administration over the world as a whole. I say that, too, in reply to what the hon. Gentleman said about sedition. I have seen newspapers in West Africa whose editors and publishers if they were in this country would be prosecuted and would be liable to imprisonment for seditious libel. When I went there in 1931 my comment was that I hoped they would soon strengthen the sedition law. I have never seen such seditious utterances, even in India. When the hon. Gentleman says we must have freedom of speech, I agree up to a point, but let him be logical and remember what is happening in Palestine to-day. If we are going to give freedom of speech, give it everywhere. You cannot have complete freedom of speech at present with so much combustible material in the world. You cannot allow newspapers in any part of the British Empire deliberately to incite to rebel. Any Empire that did so would soon cease to be an Empire. Speaking generally, our laws throughout the Colonial Empire go neither too far nor too short. They are just right.
To return to the Kenya Highlands, when the British first went there in pursuit of the peaceful avocation of trading, and partly in connection with the suppression of the slave trade, those Highlands were very sparsely populated indeed. There was practically no one there. Native Africans did not settle there. There are huge areas of Africa where there has never been any permanent settlement. The people just move on from one part to another. When white settlers were encouraged to take up land there they entered into an arrangement, to which successive Governments have in no way objected, with the native people, and in accordance with native custom, and permitted a, certain number of natives to occupy land in return for doing a certain amount of work on the land. The relations between them and the settlers are of the most happy character. Many of them treat these people in a paternal fashion, supplying 1443 them with medical comforts, looking after their wives and children when they are away and things of that kind. As far as I know, there has never been any trouble between them. I do not want to make invidious comparisons but, if you want to see a very different system, go a few hundred miles further south to another territory, which we cannot criticise to-day, and see the difference. Go to South West Africa or to the old German East Africa. To make out, as the Liberal party has done, that there is a great land question which will lead to all sorts of trouble, and to object to the recommendations and to the policy of the administration on the subject, is doing no good. Apart altogether from that, these natives have gained because they have been given extra land in the reserves.
§ Earl WINTERTON
No, it is not fair to say that. [Interruption.] I do not think it is full of malaria.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
People who have been there say they have travelled for miles, and at certain periods of the year there is absolutely no water available at all, and it is from their point of view malarial.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I know something about malaria, having nearly died of it. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that, if there is no water, there is certainly no malaria, because there are no mosquitoes. If there is a grievance I am sure the Colonial Secretary will look into it. Such threats as have been uttered leave the settlers completely cold. Neither this nor any other Government could take drastic and unfair action against the settlers of Kenya or Northern Rhodesia or anywhere else. If they did, they would break up the whole Empire. You would have the whole of South Africa saying, "We stand by these men." The settlers are often difficult, but they can be more easily led than driven, and the sort of criticism that they get in this country leaves them cold, but it makes for bitterness and ill-feeling which goes far beyond the territories themselves. It percolates to South Africa, and even to Australia and Canada, and you meet men who say, "What does the British 1444 Parliament know about the overseas possessions? What right have they to do this or that?" That is a bad thing. We should endeavour to find a modus vivendi, a method of getting on with the settlers of our own race overseas.
§ 5.40 p.m.
Mr. OWEN EVANS
This Debate has covered a considerable amount of ground. Both the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) and my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. de Rothschild) touched upon what is to my mind an exceedingly important matter from the point of view of Colonial administration, namely, the attitude of this country to what has been termed the open door policy and the question of trade between the mother country and the Colonies. The Noble Lord said that we look upon the open door policy as a question of Free Trade and Protection. That is not altogether the point that we are considering when we talk about the open door. We regard it as of importance not so much from the point of view of Free Trade and Protection as from the point of view of the relationships between this country and other great Powers. Whatever some Members of the House may say, there are other countries which have not a Colonial Empire such as we possess, which regard the question of the open door as of some importance to the peace of the world, and it is really from that standpoint that we look upon the question when we are arguing as to whether we should maintain the open door or not. I think this aspect of Colonial administration might be discussed with considerable advantage.
A very important function is being observed in Birmingham, the centenary commemoration of one of the most distinguished Colonial administrators that this country has ever known—Joseph Chamberlain. It is well for the House to recall what he said about the open door policy and the question of trusteeship and the real function of this country in the building up of a Colonial Empire. That period was one of great expansion when many great nations beside ourselves were scrambling for territory, in particular in Africa. Joseph Chamberlain made this famous declaration in 1897:In the development, of new colonial territories Britain acts as trustees of civilisation for the commerce of the world. 1445 We offer in all these markets over which our flag floats the same opportunities, the same open field, to foreigners that we offer to our own subjects, and upon the same terms. In that policy we stand alone. All other nations seek to secure a monopoly for their products by preferential, and artificial methods.It was upon that rock, as I understand it that, according to his idea, this Empire was built and was to be built in future. I wish to ask the Colonial Secretary whether that is still the policy of His Majesty's Government, or have the Government made up their minds to abandon that policy, which made the Colonial Empire for this country without incurring active hostility of other great nations who are also bent upon expansion? We are entitled to have an answer, particularly as to the policy of His Majesty's Government in the future. There are certainly examples, as the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) pointed out, where the Government are open to suspicion that they have acted not in the interests of the native population, but in the special interests of this country, and contrary often to the interests of foreign countries.
The Noble Lord stated that Germany can purchase every raw material she requires in our Colonies, and that she is not being deprived of any raw material which is produced in any of our Colonies. That in a general sense is true, but it is not absolutely true. There was, as the Committee will probably recollect, a prohibitive export tax upon tin ore exported from the Federated Malay States and Johore unless it was destined for smelting in the United Kingdom. That is a definite instance of preference being given to this country for smelting tin ore. There was a temporary duty which existed for a number of years, but I cite it because it is an example of what this country, possessing Colonies, may do if its policy in regard to its colonial trade is misguided. There was an export duty placed by West African Colonies upon palm kernels to foreign countries.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
Will the hon. Gentleman say when it was?
I said that that duty was taken off, but I am citing it as an example of what this country has done, can do and may do in the future.
I am alluding to the duty on palm kernels which was put on during the War, and taken off in 1922.
Yes, I am citing that as an example. It was a duty on the export of palm kernels, which had to be crushed in this country or any part of the Empire. It was understood, I believe, at that time that the duty was intended to strike at Germany. My submission to the Committee is that it set a precedent and certainly created misgivings in the minds of foreign countries as to what might be done in the future. It is no use shutting our eyes to the fact that foreign countries, highly developed industrially like Germany, recognise this powerful weapon which the British Government have in their hands and might at any time use against them. It is from that point of view that I want to draw the attention of the Committee to the question of the open door.
I remember questions being asked by hon. Members above the Gangway when reports were received that Germany was rapidly re-arming. Questions were asked in this House suggesting that Germany was purchasing large quantities of such metals as copper and nickel which were produced within our Empire. A suggestion was made that Germany might be prohibited from purchasing these metals during peace time. That is the point that I have in mind. It is sometimes suggested in this House that because these raw materials are produced in the Empire we possess in these raw materials a potential weapon which might be used against a foreign country even in peace time. Therefore, the Government should consider what their policy is to be in regard to the equitable distribution of raw materials among the countries of the world. Take one of the most important metals of which Germany consumes a very large quantity and is probably one of the largest consumers in Europe, that of copper. We are producing copper in one of our Colonies, in South Africa. There has been a tremendous increase in production. What is to be the policy of the Government in regard to that vital raw material to the industries of Germany?
It has been suggested that the Government should have the right and power to veto the export of copper to a friendly country during peace, without even being satisfied as to the purpose for which the metal is to be used. As I have said I am looking upon the question of the open door not from the point of view of whether it is Free Trade or Protection, but from the point of view of its effect upon foreign nations and our relations with foreign nations. Does it conduce to peaceful relations in the world or not? I want to put questions to the Colonial Secretary upon that aspect of the matter. As we all know the Ottawa Conference extended preferences to certain Colonies for the products of this country. Therefore, in recent years the policy of the open door upon which, and with which this Empire has been built successfully without incurring a challenge; from the world, is gradually being abandoned in every case where Treaty obligations do not stand in the way.
It may be argued that these restrictions upon exports are small in themselves and that the preferential tariffs are only granted because in return for them they get preference in our markets for their products. But the question that affects foreign countries is that they have no chance to negotiate similar arrangements between themselves and our Colonies. They have no right to do so because the tariff policy of our Colonial Empire is being dictated by the right hon. Gentleman as Secretary of State for the Colonies. The power is there to restrict exports or to place prohibitive taxes upon exports from the Colonies to foreign countries, and the Germans and other countries know it, and it has a very important psychological effect upon their minds. That is shown by a quotation from the speech made by the German Minister of Finance last year in Frankfurt:If we fail to obtain through larger exports, the larger imports of foreign raw materials required for our greatly increased domestic employment, then two courses are open to us—increased home production or a demand for a share from districts from which we can get the raw materials ourselves.1448 It may be said that even the Ottawa Agreements and what resulted from them in respect of the Colonial Empire have never been challenged seriously by other countries. In what way do the Government want them to be challenged? If these Agreements and the policy of the Government in regard to our Colonies, do, as I submit, cause grave dissatisfaction and unrest among many peoples of the world, and admittedly so, how do the Government want to have it challenged because, as certainly as we pursue this policy, some day it is bound to be challenged? The Committee are entitled to have an answer from the right hon. Gentleman as to whether the policy of restriction is to be the future policy of the Government, or whether it is their intention at some date to revert to that principle embodied in the declaration of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, which I have read to the Committee, and follow that Liberal spirit—I am not ashamed to call it a Liberal spirit—which animated him at that time.
This matter is one of very grave importance in view of the unsettled state of the world to-day, and particularly in the light of the historic statement made by the late Foreign Secretary on behalf of the Government at Geneva last year. I need not quote that statement, but will remind the Committee of the last few lines of it:The Government that I represent will, I know, be prepared to take their share in any collective attempt to deal in a fair and effective way with the problem that is certainly troubling many people at present and may trouble them even more in the future.He was referring to the question of the distribution of raw materials and the economic conditions of this country and the Colonies. That declaration was subsequently confirmed by the present Foreign Secretary, when he said, in his first speech as Foreign Secretary in this House, that His Majesty's Government had in no way withdrawn from the proposals of the previous Foreign Secretary on the question of access to Colonial raw materials. Why is it being discussed at all, unless there is some difficulty being placed in the way of foreign countries?
§ Earl WINTERTON
Surely, the hon. Gentleman has failed to bring out the most important point. The whole effect of the speech of the Foreign Secretary 1449 was directed to show that there should be an inquiry, and that His Majesty's Government would welcome such an inquiry. He seems to assume that the Foreign Secretary suggested that there was not that access.
I was coming to that point. I am simply pointing out that the state of mind of foreign nations is that they have no equal opportunities such as we have to obtain raw materials from our Colonies, and it is clear that we still have this weapon in our hands, and we have used it in the past. We have directed it against foreign nations when it has suited our purpose. I was going on to quote from the speech of the Foreign Secretary that:They are perfectly willing at any time to enter into an examination of this subject, and they think that such an examination could usefully be held at Geneva. The appropriate moment, however, for such an examination must clearly depend on many factors, including the attitude of other Powers towards the proposals.
Exactly. That is a point upon which we should like to have some information from the right hon. Gentleman. The Foreign Secretary said that the Government were willing to enter into an examination of the subject, and that the examination must depend upon the attitude of other Powers.
§ Captain Sir IAN FRASER
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House the words which the Foreign Secretary used to describe the subject he wanted to be inquired into?
I shall be glad to read the whole passage:The appropriate moment, however, for such examination must clearly depend on many factors, including the attitude of other Powers towards the proposals. Useful though we believe such an examination would be, I think that the House would be mistaken if we were to imagine that from a pursuit of it we should discover some magic touchstone for all our ills."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th February, 1936; col. 82–3, Vol. 309.]
Examination of the question of raw materials referred to by the late Foreign Secretary at Geneva. The Foreign Secretary stated that the Government were perfectly willing to examine the question, and I would ask the Colonial 1450 Secretary whether that examination has begun. If the examination must clearly depend upon the attitude of other Powers towards the proposal, has an approach been made to other Powers to ascertain what their attitude is, what their views are and what they really want?
I would ask the Committee to listen to the point that I am about to put. Just over a year ago I happened to be in Washington. Americans are extremely fond of listening to lectures by distinguished men from this country, some of whom are hon. Members of this House. At the time that I was in Washington a distinguished statesman was lecturing there to a very representative audience, consisting of diplomatic representatives and many American statesmen. I was present at the lecture. He spoke on the question of the relations between Japan and Manchukuo. The gentleman who lectured was well known to all of us. He was an authority on the subject and had taken a leading part on behalf of the League of Nations in drafting the report on. Japan and Manchukuo. At the conclusion of the lecture questions were asked. One question was to this effect—I cannot remember the exact words:Was it not a fact that what Japan had done was previously done over a long period of years by Britain, and how was the action of Great Britain to be distinguished from that of Japan.The answer was fairly obvious. The answer was that previously there was no League of Nations. The existence or non-existence of the League of Nations does not make the matter right or wrong, but what I submit now in regard to this important question, seeing that there is a League of Nations now, is that we should administer our Colonies in the time spirit of the League.
§ 6.3 p.m.
§ Captain F. E. GUEST
It is a little hard to bring back the Debate to its starting point, because it has wandered over a very considerable field. There are, however, some of us who wish to take advantage of this opportunity to deal with a specific section of our great Colonial Empire. I should like to say a few words, although they would seem hardly necessary because my sentiments have been so admirably expressed by my Noble Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), and if anything is left to be said that he did not 1451 say it can be said much better than I can say it by the hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg), who has had very wide experience of this problem in Kenya. There are one or two things that I should like to submit for the consideration of the Committee.
I should like in my own way to comment on the word "trusteeship." That word is used in the glibbest possible way by hon. Members on the Front Bench opposite. There is not one of us who does not appreciate the fact that the white man's burden as accepted in all countries, not only by Great Britain, has been to explore the world, to improve the world, and to carry the burden of helping those whom in the process of evolution they have conquered. It began that way when the Huns and the Goths overran Europe. It has been the same for the last 150 years when the great foreign nations have gone exploring in the Continent of Africa. To accuse Great Britain of having failed to do the best for the people who come under our control, is quite untrue. We have done extremely well, and, as the Noble Lord said, we have done a great deal better than many other countries. Therefore, to dwell upon the word "trusteeship" as if we did not understand the meaning of the word, is nonsense.
I will deal with Kenya particularly in this connection, because it was selected by the hon. Member opposite, who insinuated that we had failed in our trusteeship to the East African natives. I do not know whether he has been there or whether he has been inspired by someone who has been there for a very short time. I know that Colony as well as anybody in this House. I have been there every year for the last 23 years, and I served there for several years during the War. There are no happier 3,000,000 natives in the world than the 3,000,000 natives in the Colony of Kenya, and that is because we have accepted the word "trusteeship" in its proper sense. They have their local councils, which they are learning to understand—it takes time—and certainly the question of money plays a big part in the development of their social welfare. Do not let the Socialists imagine that we do not understand the meaning of trusteeship.
What I am concerned about is that someone should put the settlers' case. 1452 Everything that has been said so far has been in putting the natives' case. It is quite proper that the natives' case should be put, but I do not see why the settlers' case should not be considered. I would take the minds of the Committee back 17 or 18 years to the time when I was encouraged, having been engaged as a soldier in the East African campaign, to take up a farm out there. I was encouraged to be a settler. Fundamentally, what the Colonial Office have to decide is whether or not they are going to support the settler movement. Upon that rests the whole of the mental activities that they pursue on the subject. I did not take up a farm, because I had a residence in England and saw no reason to settle out there, but hundreds of my friends took advantage of the Government's offer of free farms as a recompense for their service and as an encouragement to the white settler. Therefore, it is very hard for the Colonial Office to go back upon their original conception of settlement.
I would ask the Committee and the Colonial Office to consider a few of the difficulties from which the settlers have suffered. To begin with, it is true that they did well. It would probably be also true to say that it looked better on paper than it really was. All the years that I have known Kenya Colony I have never known anybody to come away with any money. A great deal of money has been sunk in Kenya. I know as many men as I can count on one hand who put into the Colony something in the region of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and I am perfectly certain that although the money is still there in tae form of land, water and trees it is not in the bank. There has been very little net return on that enormous effort to colonise Kenya Colony. Therefore, I do not think that because once in a way there is a lucky coffee year, it is fair to suggest that the settlers are there to be used and squeezed. They have all sorts of difficulties, including locusts and disease, and if it was not for the fact that they are living on small remittances from home, many of them would not be there. If it is the policy of the Government to encourage settlement, the policy should be to put the burden of taxation as lightly as possible on the shoulders of the settlers. The burden of taxation on their shoulders is far too high. 1453 That brings me to one or two smaller points. It is very important to realise how limited are the primary producers of Kenya. There are to-day not more than 2,000 farms in the whole of the Colony, but it may surprise the House to know that there are 2,000 officials in Kenya. I am sure that they are all good fellows, and I know many of them, but can we afford to carry that burden? I speak as a settler and as a taxpayer there. I pay taxes and I am one of those who has to support 2,000 officials. Therefore, when the settlers hold their annual Convention of the Farmers' Associations and pass resolutions asking the Government to reduce the burden, either by reducing the number of officials or, if possible, by reducing the salaries of the officials, their resolutions should receive more attention than they have received in the past.
I will not worry the Committee by quoting the resolutions, but I would point out that only a year ago a series of resolutions was passed by this very distinguished Convention, representing 35 Farmers' Associations. Resolution after resolution was passed dealing with simple things, economy being the foundation of them, but they were turned down. I will not say that they were turned down by His Excellency the Governor, but by the Colonial Office, which sits 'in Whitehall. The policy is dictated from Whitehall. The Governor is only the mouthpiece of the Colonial Office in Whitehall. Therefore, when we get a chance of putting the case for the settler we have to put it direct to the Colonial Secretary, and I am very glad that he is here to-day for that purpose.
When we come to the bed-rock of the situation we have to remember that there are 2,000 people who call themselves farmers, and we have also the enormous overhead administration to which I have referred. I cannot believe that 3,000,000 of the most peaceful natives the world has ever seen need such an enormous administrative staff. The fact that the prices of primary producers have more or less collapsed, with the exception of sisal, which has jumped up again, is due to world depression, and there is no blame to be attached to anybody for that, but so long as we have out there a number of people who are unable to make any money, and when we know at the same time that they are mortgaged up 1454 to the hilt and have to pay something like 8 per cent. at the least on the land which they bought, probably at much too high a figure, the fact remains that we have to consider whether we want to encourage settlement or whether we want the settlers to drift away.
Here I come to a point which is well worth some thought by the Colonial Office. Instead of there being migration into the Highlands of Kenya there are people actually leaving Kenya. The farmer population is gradually growing less. They do not like to leave, because they have a happy life there, but they are drifting away. They can hardly make ends meet, and the small remittances that they have from home have also suffered from the depression in the homes from which those remittances come.
§ Mr. GALLACHER
The hon. and gallant Member says that they are leaving Kenya. Will he tell us why they are leaving Kenya?
§ Captain GUEST
I have been trying for the last ten minutes to explain that the over-taxation of the farmer, who is the primary producer, has crippled him. There are the railway freights and the various forms of taxation which fall upon him. There are also the import duties, which he has to pay as a consumer. I am suggesting to the Colonial Office that if they want, first of all, to continue the original policy of encouraging migration and white settlement, they must seriously realise that things have very nearly reached the stage of the last straw which breaks the camel's back. I am trying to be careful not to say anything in the form of a threat, but I do ask the Colonial Secretary, whom I welcome very much to his office, to realise that those of us who have been to the Colony a great deal, although we do not live there, have a better chance of knowing the psychology of the settler than anybody in Whitehall. Many of them were intimate friends of mine at school and in the Army, and I am entitled to say that when they get to breaking point they cannot be coaxed any more. A British settler anywhere in the world can be easily led, but he cannot be driven, and if the settler position remains as it was in August and September last it is getting near to breaking point. When they get to breaking point Britons always go on strike. 1455 There is the Vigilance Committee? It was a very strong step for any colonist to take. It means secret organisations and revolt against the administration. I have urged them to take no decisive action, I know quite well what happened as between the setting up of the Vigilance Committee and the disbanding of the Kenya Defence Force. The way that was done—I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will admit it—was inexcusable. It meant compulsory service; every settler was available in his area to give assistance to the law should there be any native uprising. The commandant of the Defence Force was a most distinguished general in the Army and, incidentally, an aide-de-camp to the late King. Without one word of warning the Defence Force, was disbanded by a stroke of the pen. The two members of the Executive Council which is the nearest advisory body to the Governor, were never informed, nor was the commandant himself.
I submit with the greatest respect that this is a matter which wants the closest attention. It may be a tinder pile which only needs a match to set it alight. If it has fortuitously been saved by the Abyssinian war, so much the better. It will give the Colonial Secretary more time to look into it. I was told that every motor car was bought up during the last few months and that cattle raisers have got better prices for their cattle. If that is so it is all to the good, but I would urge the right hon. Gentleman to give the closest possible attention to this subject. They are a grand lot of fellows. It is a small Colony of 18,000 whites, but still it is good. An immense amount of British capital has been provided, but they need leading; they will not be driven.
There are three things that they care about. The first is this: Three years ago, when the Budget did not balance, a certain amount of extra taxation had suddenly to be imposed. The colonists realised this. One of the taxes imposed was an Income Tax, and, rightly or wrongly, the colonists had a feeling that being the only place in the world where there was no Income Tax it was a condition which had the effect of attracting more settlers and more capital from out side, which is what they urgently need. Therefore, they opposed tooth and nail 1456 the proposal to impose an Income Tax. Probably they were impulsive. They were given the opportunity of choosing their own taxes. They might have been wiser if they had accepted the logical tax, which is an Income Tax. Nevertheless, they were well handled and they suggested other taxes of their own, which practically brought about the same result. I was there at the time and I know that they were definitely told, in the simplest language possible, that these were only temporary taxes to meet an emergency and would not be regarded as permanent.
My experience tells me that the danger of all administrations is that they never go back and reduce rates; they are always sure to keep up a high rate, and unless there is a most. drastic order from home this reduction will not be made. They have had a grievance ever since that these emergency taxes which were described as temporary are now regarded as permanent. It is a grievance which represents £80,000 a year towards the Budget. I am certain that with a little good handling and a recognition of the rally which the Colony made to meet an emergency period, the matter can be put right. The second point on which they take their stand is a closer consultation in the financial control of the Budget. As it is, they have a standing financial committee which is consulted, but it is not consulted until after the Budget has been submitted to the Legislative Council. It is a wise thing in dealing with a body of Englishmen to treat thorn as your friends before, rather than run the risk of making them your enemies after a Budget. The name of Lord Francis Scott has been mentioned. He is a man of the highest calibre and in this House would occupy a commanding position. There are many others of the same calibre; indeed, there is a body of men in the country who might be made of great use.
The third point upon which they take their stand is a matter raised in the Morris Carter Report—the question of the Indian invasion. It is a most difficult question. I know exactly what the white settlers want and whom they want to keep out. Those who have visited the Colony frequently and those who have lived there would be inclined to support the Morris Carter Report. and certainly I should support the selection of certain lands for certain purposes for certain 1457 races. They do not mix, and it is no good pretending that they do. There is a tacit agreement among the white settlers that they will not sell to a corporation when they know that the money behind the corporation is Indian money. Only last year a case was exposed and a contract declared void, because the white settlers would not have it; and as soon as the Colonial Office make up their mind that they will not have it either it will be easier to handle this difficult problem. These are the three things upon which I believe the white settlers—I may he wrong—are prepared to die in the last ditch before they give way. It has been decided that we must not mention the word "Mandate"—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Ruling I gave was that there are certain Mandated Territories included in Vote 9, Palestine, and Transjordan, which cannot be discussed, but other Mandated Territories and the question of the administration of the Mandate is open for discussion. The other Ruling I gave was that we cannot discuss on the Colonial Office Vote any question as to foreign Powers.
§ Captain GUEST
I am sorry that I did not quite appreciate your Ruling. I only wish to mention in passing that it is not so much what happens to a Mandated Territory in the end. It may play a part in some arrangements, and it may be that in the international field there should be some give and take, but what I want to emphasise is the uncertainty which the present situation has produced. I have been looking at the statements made on this subject. They are of tremendous importance to the settlers. The same problem arises in Tanganyika as in Kenya. When you get within a period of two years such a variety of statements on this subject, it is no wonder that the settlers in Kenya and Tanganyika do not quite know where they are. In 1934 the then Colonial Secretary, now Lord Swinton, used the strongest words. He said that while prophecies are dangerous, he would make one prophecy, that just as no Government, whatever its complexion, had changed its views in the past 20 years, no Government would ever change its views. Another statement made by the same Secretary of State was that we 1458 would never consider any surrender of Mandated Territories.
His actual words were:
Residents of Tanganyika, both official and unofficial, might count upon this as a fixed certainty.
§ The late Secretary of State, Mr. J. H. Thomas, said that the matter had not so far been considered—
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is not a matter with which the Colonial Office can deal, and, therefore, it cannot be discussed on this Vote.
§ Mr. SANDYS
Surely the point which the right hon. and gallant Member is trying to make is not the cession of these territories, but to draw attention to the serious effect on the settlers and native inhabitants caused by the uncertainty as to their future?
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is exactly the uncertainty as to their being handed over to a foreign Power which I have ruled three times already this afternoon cannot be discussed on this Vote.
§ Mr. SANDYS
In what way can we raise the serious effect upon administration and order in Mandated Territories which will result from this uncertainty and growing unrest which is occurring at the present moment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must not ask me to give a Ruling on a hypothetical question which does not arise at the moment in the Debate on this Vote. There are certain references no doubt which may he in order here, but it must be understood, and hon. Members will follow the meaning of this, that any question of handing over a Mandated Territory to a foreign Power is a matter for the Foreign Office as a Departmental matter or of the policy of the Government as a whole, but it does not come under the administration of the Colonial Office and, therefore, while it can perhaps he discussed on the Foreign Office Vote it certainly cannot be discussed on the Colonial Office Vote.
§ Captain GUEST
I thank you for your help and guidance. I think that without trespassing against your Ruling I may say that to the word "Mandate" there is very closely allied the word. "uncertainty." It would be of enormous help to the primary producers in Tanganyika if their minds could be set at rest on this matter. I feel sure that the Colonial Secretary, after hearing what is said on this matter, will take the first opportunity of getting a declaration from the Government as to the views they hold on it for the purpose of increasing the stability and certainty of those who are in Kenya. I would like to conclude my remarks with a plea that the Government should make up their minds as to whether they believe in white settlement or not. I would ask them certainly not to believe the accusations which come from the other side and which suggest that the white man gets all the fun and the black man none. Believe me, from long experience I know it is very much the other way. Almost everything that can be done is done for the African native who lives in Kenya Colony, and the white man has very largely to support the burden. The white man does the work, he brings the capital and he does his best. I hope the new Colonial Secretary will rise to the occasion and give us a good look in on this difficult problem.
§ 6.32 p.m.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I feel that if I waited until the end of the evening before answering the very many questions that have been put to me, I might be answering questions all night and occupy too much time. At tins point I do not propose to make a general reply, but there are one or two matters which have been raised in the Debate which, I think, I. had better clear up as briefly as possible. I will deal first of all with the speech of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Captain Guest), who asked me for particulars with regard to the burden of taxation. I hope to receive a report from Sir Alan Pim on that matter in the course of a few weeks, and I understand that report will be published both in Kenya and here. Sir Alan Pim was selected to make the inquiry on the suggestion of the Kenya settlers. Like all other problems in Kenya, this problem 1460 is a, very difficult one. Let me say frankly that I do not think it has been in the interests of the farmers in Kenya to have had this graduated poll tax instead of Income Tax. I think the primary producers would have immensely benefited if for a long time past there had been an Income Tax. At present it is the commercial community which has the benefit, over the primary producers. I have always been of the opinion that the settlers have been definitely wrong in thinking that anybody is likely to be attracted to Kenya more than to any other part of the British Empire because there is no Income Tax in Kenya. If I may say so, I think that idea is a complete delusion.
With regard to my right. hon. and gallant Friend's remarks concerning consultation, I think it is most important on all possible occasions to carry the community with one in all these matters. My right hon. and gallant Friend said that we dictate from the Colonial Office. I deny that that is so. It certainly has not been so since I have been at the Colonial Office; if anything, it. is the other way; I am always being restrained and told that before I make suggestions, the local government must. be consulted. The whole spirit and tradition of British administration in the Colonies is to consult local opinion in the Colonies. As everybody knows, a characteristic feature of British Colonial administration is its, variety, the absence of dictation, the absence of uniformity, and the endeavour of every Colonial Secretary and every Government to adapt ideas and proposals to local circumstances in full consultation with the local people.
I hope the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. O. Evans) will forgive me when I say that I was really amazed at parts of his speech. He made a case to the effect that the British Colonial Empire was holding up, or was threatening to hold up, or interfere with the free supply of Colonial raw materials to Germany and other foreign countries. He built up a case which, if it were true, would be very damaging to this country; but it is not true. The principal anxiety of the Colonial Empire at this moment is to find markets for our products. The hon. Member quoted copper. We have made no attempt to restrict or to direct the flow of copper any more than nickel has been restricted by the great company 1461 with which the hon. Member is associated. To suggest that we are going to do so or are doing so is completely out of the picture. My difficulty at the present moment in the Colonial Empire is to find markets for our products.
Mr. O. EVANS
How does the right hon. Gentleman explain the undoubted anxiety of foreign countries with regard to this matter? Is it not because it is known that this country has the power to do what I have suggested and has done it?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
These suggestions, I believe, come from the Cobdenite group in this country. Let me refer to two instances in which it has been done. In the first place, it is true that in 1904 a differential export duty was put on tin ore, and I understand it has been maintained ever since. Suggestios were made soon after the 1906 Election that that duty should be taken off, and the then Liberal Government, under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, declined to do so, as has every successive Government from 1904 to this day. The only other example, so far as I know, in the history of British Colonial administration in this century is the differential export duty on palm kernels from West Africa. That duty was imposed soon after the War as a result of the recommendations of a committee set up during the War to ascertain whether any steps should be taken after the War to prevent our being dependent on foreign countries for certain key products. The committee found that although we produced large quantities of palm oil and palm kernels in British West Africa, the crushing and converting industry was practically nonexistent in this country, and that practically the whole of those products before the War had gone to Holland, Germany and one or two other countries. The committee recommended that it was desirable to give a start to a crushing industry in this country in order that we should not be dependent on other countries in time of war for vegetable oils of that sort. Consequently, from the end of the War to 1922, there was a temporary differential duty imposed. After three years that duty was taken off and has never been reimposed. We now have a large palm kernel crushing industry in this country.
1462 The British Government have always practised the policy of no restriction of Colonial exports, and our anxiety at this moment is to sell more of our tropical Colonial products. In a speech made at Geneva, my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty gave the lead. We are urging foreign countries to admit our Colonial products, and we want other countries which practise restriction both of exports and of imports to take the matter up and to follow our example. So far we have not met with a very ready response from other countries. I am faced with this problem, that in endeavouring to get markets for Colonial products on every single occasion there must be bargaining with countries, particularly in Continental Europe, which are imposing quotas, exchange restrictions and the like on almost every product which we wish to sell. Britain is charged with being the wicked protectionist country which is holding up the recovery of Europe, but the reverse is true. It is the narrow economic nationalism in Europe which is to blame. The British Colonies are only too anxious to sell their products, and I want to make that very clear.
I will deal now with some of the points raised by the hen. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones). In the first place, he referred to the International Labour Conference at Geneva this year and the Convention for the recruitment of native labour. The Government representatives sent out by the Colonial Office voted for the Convention. We supported the Convention and we hope it will be ratified without any modifications; but before that is done we have to invite the opinions of the Colonial Governments in order to give them a chance to raise any points they wish to raise, and we shall not ratify until we receive their replies. Another point raised by the hon. Member concerned workmen's compensation. I understand that at the moment discussions are going on in this country to assist Colonial Governments in devising suitable workmen's compensation ordinances where those ordinances appear to be called for by reason of industrial developments. As the hon. Member knows, the important. thing in that respect is that any workmen's compensation Act, if it is to be practicable and to give the compensation effectively, should be coupled with a system of insurance whereby the employer 1463 can insure. The hon. Member will realise that it is essential that the negotiations with insurance companies who do that kind of work should take place here, because although many of them have local agents, it is inevitable that those local agents would be referred back here. I am given to understand that negotiations on this important question of insurance are now going on.
The hon. Member also raised the subject of education and I hope he will not think that Achimota College the experiment carried out by Sir Gordon Guggisberg as Governor of the Gold Coast, which was very well-advertised and deserved to be very well-advertised, represents the only type of elementary or higher education in the Colonial Empire. That institution is unique in this sense that it is about the only institution of the kind which is endeavouring to cater, by means of one organisation, for all classes of pupils, male and female, from the elementary stage to the university. For the most part, however, the work of education in the Colonies is not done on, those lines, but proceeds on the ordinary lines of having primary schools, secondary schools, technical schools, and higher education. I assure the hon. Member that as the purchasing power and therefore the revenue of the Dependencies increases, more and more attention is given to supplmentary education. I agree with that, and I would like to announce definitely that we intend forthwith to take steps in regard to the extension of the Makerere College in Uganda, as a central institution of higher education for Africans in East Africa. A commission of experts will go out there this winter in order to do some definite planning with that end in view. It is already on a good foundation as a centre of higher education, but it requires considerable development and we are determined to develop it.
The hon. Member also asked me about the recruitment of labour. I agree that wherever you get new mining development in Africa you are immediately faced with new labour problems. In the case of the development in Northern Rhodesia there was some little trouble owing to the rather sudden announcement of differential taxation as between the mine worker earning wages at the mine, as compared with the native who remained 1464 on his own farm or in the agricultural village. That, I think, has now been cleared up, and in considering this question we find that a great deal depends, not only on the conditions of life at the mines, but on the conditions on the journey to and from the mines. I have seen an advance copy of the report of the local committee as regards the effect of leaving matters more or less to chance, especially on those singularly enterprising people the natives of Nyasaland—the effect on the village and home life of what I may call promiscuous and unregulated migration from Nyasaland to almost all parts of South-East Africa.
The people of Nyasaland—one or two tribes in particular—are most enterprising. You will find them as far south as Cape Town, and as far away as Kenya. You will find them doing all sorts of odd jobs in Tanganyika and away in the Congo. They seem to have a sort of spiritual affinity with the Scottish race. I remember in Portuguese East Africa when the train in which I was travelling stopped at a wayside halt there was a small gang of natives working on the permanent way. It was some way from Nyasaland but there was a Nyasa boy in charge. When they knocked off work he took out of his pocket a little book of the Paraphrases according to the Kirk of Scotland and he sang the Paraphrases in a distinctly Scottish accent. He was probably a product of the Livingstone Mission. They are, as I say, an enterprising people who like to travel but things do not always turn out well with them and it may be that the Governor will have to consult with the Governors of neighbouring territories as to the best way of regulating the inevitable tendency to migration of these people who have such a desire to see the world.
The main point raised by my right hon. and gallant Friend who spoke last and by almost every other speaker, has been in regard to the land situation in Kenya. I still think that there is some misunderstanding about the Morris Carter Report and the general situation in Kenya and if I deal now with one or two of the outstanding questions which have been raised, it may be for the convenience of the Committee and may avoid having the same thing all over again in the subsequent Debate. What is contemplated, arising out of the recom- 1465 mendations of the Commission, is the issue of two Orders in Council. There are, of course, many other things arising out of those recommendations, but the points which have been raised are chiefly concerned with these Orders in Council. One of them is to define the native reserves and the other is to define the boundaries of those parts of the Highlands which are to be set aside for nonnative occupation. I wish to make it clear that this will not finally divide up anything like the whole of the territory or even the whole of that part which is called the Highlands. The native reserves as defined by one Order in Council will comprise 48,149 square miles and it so happens that in that area 86 per cent. of the total native population live. That is to say, it covers the more densely populated parts and it includes part of the Highlands and certain districts such as Kavirondo. Therefore, 86 per cent. of the natives of Kenya will be in the area now reserved and defined by the Order in Council.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
Unless they are irrigated or unless great developments take place. I now come to the other Order in Council dealing with the European area which is exclusively in the Highlands. I have already I think made it plain that part of the native reserve is in the Highlands. The European area which will be defined by the other Order will be 16,700 square miles of which 3,950 square miles, although included in the area defined by the Order as the European area, are to be preserved for all time as forest reserve. That means, in effect, that for purposes of non-native agriculture there will be about 12,000 square miles in the Highlands of Kenya with a defined boundary.
§ Major MILNER
May I also ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the 16,700 square miles is the total area for European occupation or the additional area for European occupation?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I would not like to take that figure as accurate. At any rate, that is the area which is to be defined in the Order in Council and I want to make it clear, in reply to the hon. Member for Caerphilly, that there is to be nothing in either Order imposing any legal disability against Indians or against any persons on the ground of race, colour, creed or anything else. Equally, I want to make it clear that the existing administrative practice which was first laid down by Lord Elgin is to be continued. I wish that to be understood clearly both in India and elsewhere. The existing administrative practice of the Kenya Government which has been followed since 1908 will continue. In the area demarcated as the European area, not by law, not by anything in the Order in Council, but as a matter of administration, that practice will continue in the future as in the past. I have replied already I think to the qestion put by the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. de Rothschild) in this connection. There will be no legal colour bar.
One or two other Kenya questions have been raised. Reference has been made to the new ordinance dealing with resident native labourers. I ask hon. Members not to imagine that this is a simple problem or one capable of an easy solution. In these 16,000 square miles, or in that part of the area which has already been alienated to European settlers—which was almost entirely land that was free from occupation—there are a number 1467 of natives. They came on to that land by arrangement with the settlers in, the course of years since settlement began in the early part of this century, and there are no fewer than 150,000 natives now living there on European-owned farms. They have come in there from various tribes and from various parts of Kenya and they are there on purely annual tenancies. They are what is locally called squatters. The existing law and practice for a very long time past is this: the European farmer is not allowed to charge a rent. He has to provide the squatter with land on which to build a house and cultivate his own food. The squatter has to have an agreed amount of stock and domestic animals. which he brings with him. In. return the farmer gets from the squatter 180 days' labour a year, which has to be paid for at rates specified in the contract and in the agreement which is come to with the knowledge of the district commissioner.
The practice has been that these contracts have been renewed from year to year. The result is that you have, quite frankly, a large number of detribalised natives who have now become permanently resident on European estates. Whereas in the contract when they arrive they were entitled to bring a certain number of cows or goats, the goats and the cows are no longer of that number, as you can imagine, with the tendency of the African natives to regard all cattle as a form of currency, especially at weddings and so on. It is presenting a very serious problem to know what is to be the future. The Europeans are most anxious to keep a great many of these squatters, but they are not anxious that the whole of their land should be so used. I am not sure how far it is in the interest of the Colony to have more and more of its restricted European. area taken up by the native population, and how far it is not better in the interest of native development for labour required on European farms to come in and out of the reserves, which are not far off European farms in most cases, and so maintain connection with their tribal authority, the native council and all the native administration in the tribal area. It presents a particular problem, and I am not going to commit myself to expressing what is the right solution of that 1468 problem. Quite frankly, I have not come to any decision on that subject, and I may take a little time.
§ Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
Can the right hon. Gentleman indicate the proposals in the Order which is coming before him?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
Quite frankly, I have not seen it. What I want to make clear is that in the debates on this question and in discussion in the Press this question of squatters has got linked up with the existence on European land, and in some cases actually on European farms, of natives who are not squatters but who, as it were, have a prior right to be there. It is obvious that as we are trying to stabilise both the native reserves and the European area, it is desirable to get any of these sort of patches where there is a doubt as to rights cleared up before we make these two Orders in Council final. The recommendation of the Morris Carter Commission is that the rights should be extinguished on provision of suitable land and on payment of compensation for disturbance, which compensation they have advised should be on a general scale. The number of persons affected was considered by the commission to be between 200 and 300, not the 150,000 squatters who have come in since European occupation. These others had occupation rights before the Europeans came there. They are not squatters, and it is intended to move them and to pay them compensation. That, is connected with another small point, which is that of the Tigoni area. There the commission found there was an area in the middle of land alienated to Europeans in which by some access natives have been allowed to settle since 1904. The land had been unoccupied before 1904, and the commission have found on the facts that it had been vacated and that the natives did not return to it until the surrounding farms had been alienated. They recommended an exchange of land to be added to the native reserve and the Government had proposed to carry this out. But it was found on investigation that the land recommended by the Morris Carter Commission was not satisfactory or adequate for the replacement of these natives and—I think that this is what the hon. Member for Caerphilly had in mind—an alternative has now been found which has proved satisfactory to 1469 the natives and has just recently been accepted by them. It is very desirable in the interest of all these charges and counter charges that all these small points of friction which lead to letters in the "Times" and all the rest of it should be cleared up, and that as regards the major native reserves and the major areas for Europeans, these things should be cleared up.
§ Major MILNER
I have in my possession a petition dated 13th June denying that. I should therefore like to know the date of the agreement.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I should be interested to see that document, but this is the information I have. The Government recognise that the area of land proposed by the Morris Carter Commission is not satisfactory and not adequate. They have made an alternative proposal, as I understand it, which the natives have accepted. It is important that it should prove acceptable when they are being moved from this area.
§ 7.10 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I wish in a few words to refer to the speech of the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) as well as the interesting speech to which we have just listened from the Secretary of State. Let me say at once that although I have listened with satisfaction to some of the statements in his speech, it does not remove many of the misgivings particularly in relation to Kenya which I and my hon. Friends feel. I will explain to him quite frankly what the reason for that is. It is important to clear our minds when we begin to discuss this question as to what we believe the fundamental principles of our policy should be in Kenya. I think it has been made clear by speakers in all parts of the Committee that the last thing any one of us wants to do is to appear as a champion of native rights against settlers or of settlers' rights against natives. What we want to see is a 1470 happy and prosperous community there, and we want to see the prosperity of that community built up upon the contributions of all the races there, British, native, Indian and the others. When the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham said that the rights of the natives and settlers must be considered on an equal basis, I go a large way in agreeing with him, but when we come to consider practical issues of policy, it may well be that there is a clash which it is difficult to resolve on a basis of perfect equality. As regards legal rights, certainly they must be equal, but when you are considering the development of policy it may be difficult, though you are inspired by a desire to treat both equally, to strike a balance and the interests of one side may have to give way in some measure to the other, as it is to be hoped, in the ultimate interest of the whole community, and therefore of each part of the community. When such a clash arises I say quite definitely—and in saying it I base myself not on the opinion of any Liberal or Labour statesman but on the opinion of the Duke of Devonshire at the time when he held the high office of Secretary of State for the Colonies in a Conservative Government—that the paramount consideration must be the interests of the natives. To quote his words:Primarily Kenya is African territory and His Majesty's Government think it necessary definitely to record their considered opinion that the interests of the African natives mast be paramount, and that if and when these interests and the interest of the emigrant races should conflict, the former should prevail.Therefore, that must be our point of departure in considering policy in Kenya.
The Noble Lord has referred to the happy relations which existed between the settlers and the squatters in the Highlands. No one on this side of the House wants to disturb those happy relations; we want to see them go on. But the Noble Lord referred to the threats against the settlers; and the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division (Captain Guest) said that the utterances and criticisms of hon. Members in this House of the settlers left them cold. In another passage of his speech he referred to the indignation which they aroused, not only among settlers, but in other parts of the Empire, so apparently they make them 1471 alternately hot and cold. As a matter of fact, these references by the Noble Lord and the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division to threats directed against and unsympathetic criticisms of the settlers have no relevance to the Debate to-day, and have none to the speeches which have been made from this side of the Committee, either above or below the Gangway; but I did regret that in their speeches there was a note of warning which amounted very nearly to a threat. The distinction certainly in the speech of the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division between his very solemn and earnest warning and a threat was very difficult to draw. What is this Vigilance Committee to which he referred?
§ Earl WINTERTON
As my right hon. Friend referred in a perfectly fair way to me, I think he and the whole Committee will agree that when you get a white settlement beyond a certain point in numbers, no matter whether it is in Canada, Australia, Kenya, or wherever it is, you cannot afford to treat those settlers as if they are of no account, because if you do so you will break up the Empire, because you cannot bring the force necessary to deal with them.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Exactly; the Noble Lord's argument is, as I said, quite irrelevant to the Debate. Nobody has said that they are of no account. My hon. Friend who opened the Debate paid a very high tribute to the work of the settlers, a tribute with which the hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Front Opposition Bench associated himself. I have tried to make it clear that I too appreciate the vital importance of the work which they are doing in Kenya, but I think it is unfortunate that hon. and right hon. Members opposite should be expressing the opinions of the settlers to us in language which is minatory in character. What is this Vigilance Committee, and why should we pay any attention to a committee of that kind? I hope it will be kept in order by the Secretary of State or by the Governor there. I do not want to pursue that subject. We have not raised it on this side of the Committee, but that hon. Members on the other side, speaking professedly on behalf of the settlers, should talk to the House of Commons about a 1472 Vigilance Committee which will become active if we take a certain line, is a deplorable argument to use in this Debate.
The Noble Lord asked whit right we had to criticise the settlers and to lay down principles of Colonial administration. I say, every right, because the interests of the natives must be paramount, as the Duke of Devonshire said.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The right hon. Baronet says that I said, "What right have you to criticise the settlers?" said nothing of the sort. I said that that was the question which was being put by people in the Dominions, and the right hon. Gentleman had better address his criticism to every Canadian, Australian, and South African who is putting that question.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I cannot address it to each of them individually, of course, but from my place in this House I am quite prepared to address it to every Australian, South African, or Canadian. Here we have every right, and the duty, to insist that the interests of the natives should be paramount in our administration in Kenya, and we base our claim on the principle of trusteeship. The right hon. arid gallant Member for the Drake Division said that trusteeship was just a glib phrase, which bore no relation to reality. He made it clear that he preferred the phrase," the white man's burden," and he made great play, in the course of his speech, with the white man's burden. It may be very foolish of me, but I find it very difficult to attach any precise significance to the phrase "the white man's burden," but I do attach a very precise significance to trusteeship, which I think was admirably defined by the hon. Member who spoke from the Front Opposition Bench as being an endeavour to train the native to take over an increasing measure of responsibility for the government of his country, and I would add, improving his social and economic condition and. enabling him to raise his standard of living and avoid the imposition of any obstacle between him and the trade of the world which may make it difficult and more costly for him to raise his standard of living. All these things I regard as coming within the ambit of the principle of trusteeship. It seems to me, therefore, a better and 1473 more precise phrase to use than "the white man's burden."
Now I come to what the Secretary of State told us about the plan which he is making for dealing with the problem of land in Kenya. He told us there would be Orders in Council in the near future, one of which would define the native reserve and the other of which would define the reserve for non-native enterprise. The first thing I notice about this second Order is that it is intended substantially to enlarge the area of the Highlands which is to be reserved for nonnative exploitation, at a time when the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division was telling us that the white settlers were leaving the country. It seems to me quite unnecessary and, I think, a little unfair, to the natives to enlarge that territory at a time When the number of white settlers is not increasing, when there is no great pressure of white settlement, but when, on the contrary—and I regret it—the white settlement is falling off.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I think I should explain to the right hon. Baronet that the whole object of these Orders in Council is to give greater permanence, a greater sense of security. We are having regard to getting something really stable for many years to come.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
What I object to is the exclusion of natives and Indians from an area in which only European enterprise will be allowed, to which Greeks, Portuguese, Italians, will be able to go.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
My hon. Friend below me says, "Oh!" but Italians may very likely go and settle there, in an area, from which British subjects, natives and Indians, will be excluded. That that area, at a time when, as I say, white settlement is falling off, should be enlarged does seem to me to be one indefensible aspect of the proposal. There will be a third Order, the Secretary of State tells us—
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
A local ordinance which will refer to squatters, which, as he very rightly said, is an extremely difficult problem. He said he had not made up his mind about that, and how it is to 1474 be dealt with, and therefore, until he can give us a little more information, it would obviously be foolish for us to express any more definite opinion than he is prepared to do on the information which is before him at the moment. But at the same time I would say that surely one solution might be to stop the increase in the number of squatters without affecting the rights of those who are there now. If his proposals are going to affect the rights of men who have for many years acquired an interest in the land, then indeed we shall have something to say in criticism of any such proposal. Now I come to the further proposal to which he referred, namely, his proposal for dealing with the native population which has been there for generations. He tells us the number is very small, but the principle is extremely important, and it seems to me a deplorable thing that you should root these people out of the soil to which they belong, and evict them from their homes. I belong to a country where we have had Highland clearances, and they have left a scar on the consciousness of the people which has never been removed to this day.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
That is the second time that the Noble Lord has made that allusion. I would say that, whereas the basis of our rule in Kenya is this principle of trusteeship and of the paramountcy of native interests, the basis of our rule in Palestine is clear, defined, proclaimed to the world. It is the necessity for constituting the Jewish home in the country that clearly differentiates the two cases. There is nothing in common between them.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I thought the right hon. Gentleman's party treated Colonies and Protectorates as if they were Mandated Territories, as if the principles of the Mandates were to govern the Colonies.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Decidedly, but I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can have followed the point of my answer to the Noble Lord.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Then I will put it again and say that in the case of Pales- 1475 tine we are pledged to constitute a Jewish national home in that country. It is true that we are pledged to preserve the civil and religious rights of the inhabitants, but we are also pledged to establish a Jewish national home there and to bring people in. That is the basis of our rule in that country.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
How does the right hon. Gentleman differentiate that from the action taken by the Imperial Government in settling our own countrymen on the land in Kenya and assuring them that they will not be disturbed?
§ The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey)
I think we are getting on to the Palestine ground, which the Chairman has ruled is not to be raised in this Debate.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I think I can answer, without transgressing your Ruling, the point put by the hon. Gentleman below me, because he brought the question back to Kenya, and the answer to him is that those settlers whom we have brought in there have been brought in on the basis of repeated assurances that our rule in Kenya was based upon the principle of trusteeship and in face of the plain declaration by the Duke of Devonshire, which I have already quoted, that the interests of the native population in that area were to be paramount.
§ Captain P. MACDONALD
That was made a long time after the settlers were settled on the land in Kenya.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
That declaration was not intended to be a new declaration and a new departure of policy. It was merely an authoritative interpretation of repeated declarations of policy which have been made by British statesmen stretching back to Lord Derby in the reign of Queen Victoria. Therefore, I say that there is no such analogy as the Noble Lord draws between Palestine and Kenya. Indeed, if it were proposed in Palestine to root out the Arabs to make room for the Jews by the action of the Government, I imagine that the Noble Lord himself would be the first to protest.
Therefore, I say that it would be a most unfortunate proposal to root out the 1476 people who have been living in these areas for generations. It would leave a scar in the consciousness of those people and of the black peoples all over the Continent of Africa, who would feel that an injustice had been done to men of their own colour because they were not white-skinned. I hope, therefore, that this proposal will not be pursued but that it will be made absolutely clear that these men will be able to remain in their homes as long as they want to. If you think it is advisable in the interests of the Colony and of white settlement to offer them land in compensation, and if they will take it voluntarily, by all means let that be done; but let no man be evicted against his will, and let no British citizen be denied access to the courts of law, which is part of the Morris Carter proposals. To these two proposals we on these benches offer firm opposition. We are opposed to the idea that there should be a denial to British citizens, whatever their colour or race, of access to the courts. We dislike the whole principle of reserving for the exploitation of British white settlers, and of Italians and Greeks it may be, areas of land into which British Indian and African citizens are not allowed to go.
I pass from that to reply to what the Secretary of State said on the subject of the open door. The right hon. Gentleman tried to draw a distinction between the opinions held on this subject by Members sitting on these benches and the opinions held by everybody in every other part of the Committee, including the Labour party. He said that this subject of the open door was only raised by the old Cobdenite group. There was a most eloquent passage in the speech of the hon. Member who spoke from the Front Opposition Bench on this very point. What the right hon. Gentleman says is not true. When my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan (Mr. O. Evans) was speaking of the possibility of restrictions upon exports, the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) interrupted and said, "Stop the copper going to Germany because it is being made into war material." We on these benches do not take that view. To say that it is only our policy to create prejudice on this subject, that there is no reality or actuality in the fears of those who believe that restrictions of trade of this kind may be imposed, restrictions which may easily 1477 compromise the prospect of peace, is to say what is really not true.
There was a great meeting of economists and statesmen from the United States of America and from all over the world at Chatham House last year. This is one of the subjects on which men of all parties, distinguished men who pursue the study of politics and political economy in different countries, regarded as important, not only from the point of view of the economic future of the world, but from the point of view of peace, which was the point my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan was making. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that this is a matter in which only a small group of persons is interested, he is living in a world of illusions.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
The right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood me. I said that it was only a small group of people who thought that Great Britain in regard to its Colonial Empire was trying to restrict and narrow the range of its exports. I appreciate why the First Lord of the Admiralty made his speech in Geneva and why statesmen of the world have raised this question, but the accusation of a change of policy by Great Britain in regard to the Colonial Empire only comes from the right hon. Gentleman and his friends.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
The right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. If any of those who share our views have said that the British Government is solely to blame, they have been guilty of inaccurate statements.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Of course this Government is to blame. It is to blame because of the Ottawa Agreements, because of the import duties which have been imposed under those agreements, and because of the Japanese quotas which have been imposed. All these things have tended to restrict trade and hamper purchases in our Colonial market. It is a significant fact that two speakers from among the right hon. Gentleman's own supporters used arguments which buttressed our case. The Noble Lord the Member for Horsham, in trying to disprove some argument on the same subject by my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of 1478 Ely (Mr. de Rothschild), said that the trade of Tanganyika was flourishing. It is, but Tanganyika is a Mandated Territory and is not affected by the Ottawa Agreements. It is notably flourishing. On the other hand, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the Drake Division referred to the grievances of the settlers in Kenya, and said, "There are, the heavy import duties which they have to pay."
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
That is true, but I am not contrasting the two cases. I am only saying that when the Noble Lord wanted to find a prosperous Colony, he went to one where import duties are comparatively low and which is not affected by the Ottawa Agreements at all. I was not saying that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's illustration of Kenya was in conflict with that. I was only saying that by the right hon. Gentleman's testimony imports duties, even at the level at which they exist in Kenya and Tanganyika, are a burden upon the enterprise of those countries. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman, speaking, as he said, on behalf of the settlers, agree they were a serious burden upon their enterprise. It, therefore, follows that if import duties at the comparatively low level which prevails in the area which is covered by the Congo Basin Treaties are a burden upon the trade of those Colonies, so the higher duties and the quotas which have been imposed on certain Colonies are inevitably a burden upon their trade. As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan pointed out, they add to the obstacles of world trade generally and they make it more difficult for Germany, for Italy, and for all the Powers that have not a sufficient number of Colonies to satisfy them, to buy the raw materials they want because they find it more difficult to sell their goods, because of those duties and quotas, in competition with British merchants.
The problem is a greater one than that. It is one that is too great to discuss on this Vote because the problem which those countries have to face is that of getting exchange. That brings us on to the whole problem of obstacles to trade generally, because, until those obstacles to world trade are removed, it will be 1479 impossible for the Germans, the Italians and other countries to obtain the exchange which they require in order to effect the purchase of the raw materials which they want for their industry and which they can get from our Colonies.
§ Mr. SANDYS
Does my right hon. Friend really mean that Germany and the other countries, but particularly Germany, are being prevented by the British Colonial system from getting the raw materials they want because they have no Colonies? If that is his argument will he say how it is that Germany is at any disadvantage considering the fact that all her former Colonies are now Mandated Territories and are not under the restrictions to which he referred?
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I have already referred to that, and I do not think the hon. Member could have followed my argument. The answer is the difficulty which Germany has in obtaining exchange, not only because of our Ottawa duties, but because of the height of trade barriers which is killing German world trade. Our trade with Germany for the three years 1027–9 was just over £100,000,000. Our trade with Germany now is just under £50,000,000. Half of that trade has been destroyed by tariffs and quotas and by economic nationalism, and that it what is making it difficult for Germany to buy in our Colonial markets.
§ Mr. SANDYS
Surely my right hon. Friend is aware that Germany's trade with her former Colonies has a favourable balance, which means that she is taking currency out of those Colonies, so that no advantage would accrue to her by having those territories under her control.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
It is true that she has a very slight favourable balance of trade but if the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, he has a bee in his bonnet about Mandated Territories, and he is always badgering the Government to make a declaration about them. I do not happen to be discussing that question. I have expressed publicly my view that I am opposed to the return in existing circumstances of Mandated Territories to Germany, and I am opposed to any declaration of the Government that would do that. I am not discussing that particular point now, and the hon. Gentleman's interruption has no particular 1480 relevance to the argument I happen to be addressing to the Committee. It opens up, however, an interesting subject of discussion which, no doubt, the hon. Member will develop when he enters the Debate. We on these benches attach the utmost importance to the reassertion of the principle of the open door both from the point of view of the prosperity of the Colonies and from the point of view of world trade and the trade of the British Empire as a, whole; and also, I would add, as one of the great contributions which could be made—not by this Government alone, it is true, but which we want to see this Government give a lead to the world in making—to the establishment of world peace.
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
I am very glad that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) brought us back to first principles, and before I sit down I will deal with that aspect of the great question of administration which we are discussing. But before I come to that I should like to thank my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary for the statement which he made to us, and to urge him, even in his absence, not to listen to the criticisms which have been made from behind him on the measures which he proposes to take. I am convinced that those are necessary in the interests of all races in Kenya. Kenya has been stirred and bedevilled in this country by controversy, which has always been kept alive, but now, at last, there is an opportunity of getting some of those points of controversy fairly removed. They have been investigated by a most responsible body, months being devoted to the investigation, and I believe that we have a fair settlement, and. I hope that the Government will, without hesitation, put it through.
Now I come to the question of trusteeship, which my right hon. Friend raised. The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) raised it earlier in the Debate, and I was grateful to him for the speech he made. I think it is immensely important, when dealing with the question of Colonial administration, to get down to first principles. If we did that more we should find that our differences were very much less. Personally, I attach the utmost importance 1481 to Colonial policy, particularly as it concerns these difficult racial questions, being as far as possible a matter of agreement. When there is not agreement in this House the difficulties on the spot are enormously increased. We tend to foment racial trouble if we ourselves are divided about them. It is of the utmost importance, if we can do it, to lift Colonial policy in these matters out of the field of party controversy or even of wide political recrimination in this country. For that reason I was grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this question of first principles, and I would like to give him some of the reasons why we differ from him on the question of trusteeship. What I am going to say applies equally to what was said by the right hon. Member for Caithness.
We are agreed unquestionably that our position is that of trustees. That was laid down clearly in this House by the great Colonial Secretary whose centenary is now being celebrated. Mr. Chamberlain said that we were trustees for civilisation. He said it from that Box as Colonial Secretary, and I believe that was the first time the phrase was used. We are agreed, and the hon. Member for Caerphilly emphasised it, that the object of our great Colonial system is always, to lead the people up to self-government, that that is the distinctive mark of the British Empire. Other empires have given their subjects quite as much as we have given in the way of law and order, of peace and of great public works; the Roman Empire was not second to us in that respect; but we, at any rate, have made it a principle of our administration to spread responsibility as widely as possible, and to bring people up to the use and enjoyment of freedom as soon as they are able to use it and enjoy it. I think there would be absolutely no disagreement on that point among Members in this House.
Where we do disagree, I think we disagree in this, that the hon. Member seemed, on the whole, to take too narrow a view of trusteeship and to forget one aspect of it altogether. This trusteeship is not in one form but in two forms. That is clearly laid down in Lord Lugard's book on government in Africa, which is the classic on the subject. The book itself is called "The Dual Mandate in Tropical Africa," and on the title 1482 page Lord Lugard quotes from a proclamation made by King George V on his Accession:It will be the high task of all my Governments to superintend the development of these countries for the benefit of the inhabitants and the general welfare of the world.Not only the benefit of the inhabitants, but the general welfare of the world. It is that consideration which must be taken into account in discharging this trusteeship. Let me put to the hon. Member an instance of what this may mean. There has been, in this country, a great deal of controversy which has now, happily, died down, about gold in Kenya. Gold is a matter of immense importance to the world as a whole. It is important not only to those who make money by getting it out of the earth but to all who buy and sell; it is important to every working man and woman in the world. Everybody knows that the production of more gold, if it can be arranged, will help in raising prices and in reducing our difficulties at the present time. I do not think anybody would deny that the winning of gold is a vital matter to the whole world.
Are we to say that this metal, so valuable to the world as a whole, is to be denied to the world because it happens to lie under the soil inhabited by a few tribes of African natives? That seems to be an impossible attitude to take up in trusteeship. You have to think of the welfare of the world as well as of the interest of those particular natives. You must be absolutely fair to them, but you cannot inflict upon the whole world the disadvantages that might come from refusal to develop that talent lying in the earth, merely in order that a few people in a very primitive state should remain undisturbed. I think the hon. Gentleman agrees with me.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I think I have already made it plain that we do not take the view that the primitive peoples of these countries can remain unaffected by the march of industrial civilisation.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
I am delighted to hear that statement, because the trusteeship has to take into account something be sides the benefit of the particular inhabitants of those countries. People who say that we are entitled to consider only the advantages to those particular countries are taking too narrow a view of 1483 trusteeship. There is another qualification which I should like to make, and I think it is very vital. The hon. Gentleman seemed to me to imply that our main aim was a political aim, and that we should concentrate on the particular aim of bringing all the people within the British realm along the road to the enjoyment of self-government. I believe it is very dangerous at the present time to look at the task of administration as primarily a political one. I do not believe that it is. I believe that it is primarily economic. We should learn from the mistake we made over India.
I think I have quoted this observation in the House before, but I make bold to quote it again. That great Frenchman, M. Clemenceau, went to India after the War and at the end of his public service. On his return I asked his view about our administration in India. He said the administration was wonderful, that he had had no idea of what a perfect system of administration we had established. He said, too, that our system of justice was prodigious, considering that it was established in an Oriental country. Those things had impressed him; but, he said, we had made one mistake. I asked: "What is that?" He said, "You have not considered sufficiently how to enable the people of India to pay for these benefits." I believe that was a perfectly just criticism. So intent were we on making a perfect administration that we rather tended to ignore—and more than to ignore, to set aside—the economic development of India, with the economic problems involved. We went further—and this is another lesson for Africa—and we pressed on with literary education, anxious to give the people there what we were giving to the best of our people here, and in that process we produced hundreds of thousands of young men for jobs which did not exist. That is one of the troubles which has led, perhaps, to more unrest in India than anything else in our time. There is a great danger of doing that in Africa too, and we must learn from India that concentration on a political aim, or on education looking towards a political aim, is a very dangerous thing.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
All I have advocated is the development of the natives educationally and culturally along 1484 the lines most appropriate to their needs in their own areas.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman and glad to know that he agrees with me about it. On this question of administration we must concentrate on the fact that economic progress is vital, and that economic development is far more important at the present time than political development. If I could have any hope that my friends among the settlers in Kenya would listen to me, I would beg them to leave political agitation alone and to concentrate on their economic necessities. They would be in a far stronger position. It is the economic question on which their future ultimately depends, and it would be far wiser for them to concentrate on asking for the things which can help them economically than on making political demands which certainly do not meet with much sympathy in the greater part of this country.
If it be true that we have to look to the economic side as well as the political side of development in colonies like Kenya, and to look principally to the economic side, I would ask the right hon. Member for Caithness to consider the white settlements from that point of view. Why was the white settler brought to Kenya? He was not brought there for his own benefit—nobody cared about him; he was not brought there for the general benefit of the Empire; it was for the benefit of the Colony because further revenue was necessary in order to enable the Colony to live. The records are quite clear—the records of Sir Charles Elliot, who administered the Colony in the days of the Foreign Office and was the first administrator to bring in white settlers, and the records of subsequent governors before the war. It was the same reason for which settlers were brought in afterwards—the great necessity to secure an economic revenue to carry the burden of the improvements which we were undertaking in Kenya for all races. If that be true settlement was introduced not primarily in the interests of the settler but in the interests of the Colony, and those settlers are still vital to the Colony. I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman had had my responsibility in a case like that he would have realised that dual development is the life-blood of Kenya. The place would collapse if either native development or 1485 white development failed; they are the two pillars on which it rests.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
The hon. Gentleman is only saying far more eloquently and with a greater mastery of the subject exactly what I said at the beginning of my speech. I referred to the two races who had worked together for the development of the Colony and said we wanted to help both.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
I often find it difficult to reconcile the right hon. Gentleman's principles with the policies which he afterwards expounds. He seemed to be making a speech, at any rate towards the end, which was entirely hostile to the settlers in Kenya, and suggesting that they were getting too much consideration. I am sure that there must have been other hon. Members in the Committee who misunderstood. I am delighted to have drawn that reply from the right hon. Gentleman. What do the settlers want at present? They want security with regard to land for nonnative development. They will get that, if the Government pursue this policy of the Order in Council which the Secretary of State has just announced. They want also cheap capital. A question was asked in this House quite lately as to the amount of money spent by the Government of Kenya on the support of farmers during the last few years. I do not know what the amount is, but I know that it is small, and that it compares very badly with the immense sums which have been spent everywhere else throughout the British Empire upon farmers, during this crisis. Farmers have been carried in this country, and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The only place where they have not been carried to anything like the same extent is Kenya. It is very remarkable—in spite of the very slight amount of support and the weeding out which has taken place the good men are still there—that the exports of the Colony have gone up by 56 per cent. in the last year. That is, as I say, a very remarkable achievement, considering how little help these men have received.
This increase is not solely due to the exports of the white settlers, but also to a considerable improvement in native production. If this improvement is to continue, there is one way in which the Government can help the settlers, and 1486 that is by ensuring them cheap capital which would be repaid. The capital should be available at the lowest possible rates, as has been done for farmers in the other parts of the Empire. It ought to be done in Kenya. A third thing which they need is the satisfaction of knowing that, in the area now set aside for non-native development, the Imperial Government are, at long last, ready to give their moral support to the white settlers. That support has been in great doubt for years past, but the time has come to make the position clear, now that a dual policy is restored and we are going ahead with development in Kenya.
So much for the white settlers. I should like to say a word about native development, which is equally vital to the Colony. I do not differentiate between the two. An increase of native production is absolutely necessary to Kenya. The process will involve changes in the attitude of the Africans to land, and will mean the development of group tenure, family tenure and, ultimately, individual tenure, as opposed to communal tribal tenure, which is the most primitive form. I am sure that a demand for that sort of tenure will grow, and I do not believe you will get a very greatly increased native production without it. When a man develops skill to use land well, and has mastered the rotation of crops and the use of manures, he wants to feel that the bit of land which has done all that for him is really his own, so that he can go on doing with it what he has done before. That applies to group or family tenure, as well as to individual tenure.
The demand for a different principle of land tenure will grow in Kenya very fast. It is one of the signs of change, and it comes very naturally, not only from the fact that the native is looking upon land with different eyes because he is learning how to use it with much more skill, but also because he is being widely educated in ideas which have never before reached Africa. I was told the other day, for instance, of the son of a very distinguished old Kikuyu chief who has just finished his time in a college in America, and who is now coming back to Kenya. The Kikuyu will learn a great deal from him; there is no doubt about that. The old tribal ideas will be broken up. People talk of keeping Africa African. That is exceedingly difficult to do. You 1487 cannot put up a barrier to ideas, which are like dynamite and are spreading in Africa at the present time. This idea that you can just set aside a great area of land and say that it is reserved for the tribe will be found utterly inadequate. You will have to go further, and lay down principles as to how it is to be held, by groups, families or even by individuals.
I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman is not in his place at this moment, because I wanted to say to the Government that this question is too big to be dealt with on the basis of Kenya alone. It is more an East African or a Central African question. New study should be given to the principles by which we are gradually to evolve from the tribal holding of land to something nearer to our own ideas, which the native will want to pursue. There ought to be one policy laid down in this respect for the three East African territories. You obviously cannot have one land policy in Tanganyika, another in Kenya and another in Uganda. The same principle should govern this development of all of them. That is the strongest argument for a central authority in those three territories at the present time.
Meanwhile, and before that pressure for a new system of tenure inside the reserves comes, you will have, I think, to deal with the needs of the progressive young man, who is multiplying at the present time, and who comes not only from the reserves but may belong to a squatter family residing upon land outside the reserves and wants to start out upon land of his own. The land set aside by the Morris Carter Commission for restricted development should, if possible, be used both in the tribal reserves and outside. We should proceed with the development of land upon a new principle of tenure, so as to keep the reserves intact as long as we can.
I hope that the new ideas in regard to tenure may be tried out first of all in the experimental areas outside the reserves rather than within the reserves themselves, and if this is to be done the Government must take the initiative. The problem will arise largely with regard to the Kavirondo and the Kikuyu, which are agricultural tribes and are much the most advanced tribes of Kenya.
1488 They number between them more than one-third of the whole Kenya African population. I was glad to see that the Morris Carter Commission set aside areas which ought to be valuable to those tribes. For instance, the Kavirondo take naturally to the sea coast. The lake basin and the sea coast are similar in climate. The Kavirondo tribes are to be found not only all over the coast but also in Zanzibar. I hope that the Government will consider some sort of scheme for the Kavirondo families, and will try a colony at the coast, because that would make a valuable start in the process of colonisation and would help the Kavirondo as well as the coast provinces. That is very important at the present time. Another area has been set aside for the Kikuyu. The plan will need the initiative of the Government, who, I hope, may be prepared to proceed on the lines which have been so successful in the Sudan, under the Sudan Cotton Syndicate.
One other thing vital at the present time to the development of the natives and the white colonists, is markets. They will come. There are only three kinds of markets available, so far as I know. The first is the world market, which is of some use; but I doubt whether there can be adequate development for either race in Kenya at the present time, with respect to a world market. Prices are low and competition is vast. I believe that if we are to depend upon the world market we shall find great unrest in Kenya, because it is not going ahead. There are coffee, sisal, basic oils and that kind of thing, perhaps, but the world market will not provide satisfactory prices for some time. There is the market which might be made by the miners. When the mines are developed you may get a market for agriculture, as in South Africa, where agriculture has lived on the Rand for years. It has been subsidised by the Rand and has sold to the Rand. It sells everything it produces to the Rand, and exists entirely on the production of gold. If gold were found in payable quantities in Kenya there might be immense advantage to the producers of all races there.
This is a very uncertain question, and I know very little about it. I very much doubt whether mining development is going ahead at the, present time. Prob- 1489 able an immense amount of capital will have to be sunk before anything is discovered on a large scale. The third alternative which, I believe, is the key to the prosperity of East Africa at the present time, is the development of the native market. The native market has immense potentialities in regard to tea, coffee, dairy produce, meat, cereals, and all the things which can be produced in the Highlands and elsewhere.
I beg the Government to remember that this, again, is an East African question and not purely a Kenya question. In spite of the fact that there is a customs union between the three territories in East Africa, there are ridiculous restrictions in force at present prohibiting exports from one territory to another. I am told that Kenya meat is prohibited in Uganda, although Uganda can produce practically no meat of its own, and that there are immense difficulties about tea. These things are ridiculous. There ought to be a development of the native market and of native purchasing power throughout the East African territories by a central authority upon a considered plan. I believe that that would ensure the prosperity of these territories as nothing else would.
§ 8.14 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
One of the difficulties of a Debate upon the Colonial Estimates is that any one of our Colonies or Protectorates would provide sufficient material for one full day's Debate. One feels oppressed with the multitude of subjects that ought to be covered and with the importance of them all. I feel bound to follow the hon. Gentleman in some of the things which he has just said. He commenced by dealing with the subject of trusteeship, as to which a good deal has been said in other parts of the Committee. While he admitted that the principle of trusteeship had been laid down, in words which I do not think I need repeat, in the Duke of Devonshire's White Paper in 1923, he sought to add to the terms of that declaration an additional condition. The declaration was in these terms:Primarily, Kenya is an African territory, and His Majesty's Government think it necessary definitely to record their considered opinion that the interests of the African natives must be paramount, and if, and when, those interests and the interests of the immigrant races should conflict, the former should prevail.
§ Sir E. GRIGG
The hon. and gallant Gentleman realises, no doubt, that that formula gave rise to so much controversy as to what exactly it meant that it was followed by another White Paper, and was finally referred to a Select Committee of the two Houses of Parliament, which gave a final verdict four or five years ago. That statement, therefore, by itself is certainly inadequate.
§ Major MILNER
If the right hon. Gentleman had waited, I would have quoted to him the final declaration, which was laid down in these terms by the Joint Committee on East Africa in 1931:The doctrine of paramountcy means no more than that the interests of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous population should not be subordinated to those of a minority belonging to another race, however important in itself.That is our complaint to-day—that the minority interests are subordinated in all the matters of which complaint has been made from these benches.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to make a very rash statement indeed. He made a special plea on behalf of the settlers, as did also the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Captain Guest). The right hon. Gentleman said that farmers throughout the world, and particularly in this country, received this, that and the other, and he implied, if he did not say it in words, that the settlers of Kenya had been the most hardly dealt with of all farmers and settlers in the world. According to my information, however, the European settlers in the Kenya Highlands are beyond question the most highly subsidised farmers and settlers in the world to-day, or certainly in the British Empire; I cannot speak with any authority as to other countries. I have a list here, which must be well known to the right hon. Gentleman. It was given by Sir Humphrey Leggett when he gave evidence before the Joint Select Committee on Closer Union in East Africa. It sets out 10 points on which the "white colonist" type of development, as it has been termed, has been built up. There is one instance in regard to which I have had inquiries made, and which will be within the knowledge of the right hon. Gentleman. In Kenya a network of State railway 1491 branches has been built throughout the whole of the white-settled area, on which an inquiry, conducted in 1932, showed that there had been losses during the previous two years of something over £200,000 in each case. Incidentally, Mr. Richard Gibb, who inquired into these losses, recommended that, to avoid political pressure in Kenya, these railways should be run by a board in London—a recommendation which, so far, has not been carried into effect.
I will give one example with regard to discrimination in railway rates. I went to the goods department of the London and North Eastern Railway at King's Cross, and asked how far the London and North Eastern Railway would rail a ton of grain for 8s. 6d. The reply was 22 miles. But, if it were part of a bulk consignment on a long-distance run, say from London to Lincolnshire, they quoted a special rate under which a farmer would get his ton of grain moved 63 miles, instead of 22 miles, for 8s. 6d. The Kenya farmers had a concession in December, 1935. Previously they had enjoyed a flat rate for their country produce, and in December, 1935, that flat rate was reduced on the State railways from 13s. 6d. to 8s. 6d., so that at present the Kenya farmer, even if he is some hundreds of miles inland—for example, on the Uganda border—can get his ton of maize carried 677 miles for 8s. 6d., as compared with 63 miles in the case of the English or Scottish farmer. I suggest that there cannot be any stronger evidence than that of the degree to which farming is subsidised in Kenya. If, on the other hand, one looks at the native crops grown by our fellow-citizens of the British Empire, for example, cotton and cottonseed, there has been no reduction whatever of railway rates on these. They come, chiefly from Uganda, by the same line that carries the settler's maize at 8s. 6d. for the whole distance, but the African pays £4 a ton for the haulage of his crop. Some 300,000 bales of African-grown cotton are coming out this year—60,000 tons at £4 or more a ton. It is the principal item in the State railway receipts, and this alone enables the railway administration to assist the white farmers by granting them a subsidy in the way that I have mentioned.
1492 With regard to the question of trusteeship, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, and to the discrimination of which we complain, here again the right hon. Gentleman put himself in my hands. He raised the subject of gold. Between July, 1934, and March, 1936, there have been some 10 gold-mining flotations in London in connection with Kenya gold mines, when something like £1,500,000 was slipped into sundry pockets in Nairobi or in London; but, so far as the poor workers in the gold mines are concerned, they earn 8s. 11d. a month, that is to say, 30 working days of eight hours each, Saturdays and half-holidays, if any, not being counted. That is less than ½d, an hour—the lowest wage on record in any British-controlled goldfield in the world. Therefore, when the right hon. Gentleman speaks about gold, it is desirable to bear in mind that on the one hand a few financiers are obtaining something like £1,500,000 from these flotations, without doing any useful work. while the producers earn something like ½d. an hour.
The Colonial Secretary, in a very pleasant and, as it seemed to some people, very satisfied fashion, gave an explanation with regard to the proposed Order-in-Council in Kenya. I do not know how the rest of the Committee feel, but I am quite dissatisfied with that explanation. It is proposed to make an Order-in-Council which, the right hon. Gentleman said, in the first place would define native reserves, and, in the second place, would define the boundaries of those parts of the Highlands which are to be reserved for non-native occupation. He said in an answer to me yesterday:There is not and never has been any intention of varying the procedure hitherto followed, by which this question is dealt with as a matter of administrative practice."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th July, 1936; col. 1184, Vol. 314.]Surely it is quite a different thing to deal with the matter as one of administrative practice, having always the right of changing that practice and permitting Asiatics or anyone else to have land in the European Highlands from passing an Order-in-Council whereby there is a legal discrimination against any native occupying land in the reserved area. I take strong exception both to the Government's proposal, based as it is on the recommendations of the Morris Carter 1493 Commission, and the way that proposal by the Morris Carter Commission was brought about. My hon. Friend mentioned that the then Colonial Secretary, Lord Swinton, admitted for the first time in reply to a question from me in effect that he had given instructions to the Morris Carter Land Commission that no person other than a European should be entitled to acquire by grant or transfer agricultural land in such area. If that was not an improper act it was, at any rate, a, wrong act for the Colonial Secretary, who had laid down terms of reference for the committee to carry out afterwards, to give a lead to the committee as to the decision that it should bring in. The responsibility is not that of the Morris Carter Land Commission but of His Majesty's Government, which gave instructions that a recommendation on those lines should be brought in.
What is proposed by this Order in Council? It is said that there is to be no variation in the procedure as it is at present carried out. I should like to ask whether there is any legal discrimination against Asiatics or Africans to-day as far as the White Highlands are concerned, and, if the answer is that there is no discrimination, is it not a fact that, if the Order in Council is passed as proposed, there will be such discriminations in future? It is a travesty to say that there is no variation in the procedure hitherto followed. The present law permits alienation to an Asiatic. It may be that as a matter of practice such alienation rarely, if ever, occurs, but supposing my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. Grenfell) was appointed, as he might very properly and deservedly be, Governor of Kenya. He might desire to effect a variation in that procedure and to permit Asiatics to occupy land in the White Highlands, but if the Order in Council be passed he will not be able to do so. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Because the Order in Council will presumably have the force of law and will forbid him.
§ Sir ARNOLD WILSON
It may be modified by another Order in Council much more easily than an Act of Parliament.
§ Major MILNER
That may be, but what then becomes of the claim that, if this Order in Council be passed, the settlers will get stability and security?
1494 If it is anticipated, as it may well be, that the next Labour Government will alter the Order in Council and permit Asiatics and Africans to occupy land in the White Highlands, there is no security and not stability. Why should the Colonial Secretary make the claim that there is? The draft of the Order in Council has not been laid before the House. It may be that there is no legal obligation to lay it, but it would certainly have been a convenience, and I should have thought a necessity, to permit the House to consider it before it had the force of law. If it is brought into force, the Government will be guilty of a violation of that principle which has been enunciated on countless occasions that there will not be any distinction whatever founded upon race, colour, origin, language or creed, but that the protection of the law, both in letter and in substance, shall be extended impartially to all alike. In my view there can be no justification whatever for the Government taking the action that they propose to take.
When the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) was speaking of the reserves that were to be appropriated to Africans, I called out "desert," and the Noble Lord and others disputed the fact that those reserves would or might consist of desert land. I should like to read an extract from a letter in the "New Statesman" from the Secretary of Kikuyu Central Association:More than half of Kenya's 144,000,000 acres is made up of arid desert or semi-desert tracks. Turkana and the Northern Frontier Province (not to mention the Taru Desert) the areas chiefly comprised, support only a very scattered semi-nomadic population (144,000): and drought and famine are such a regular feature that the hut and poll tax is generally collected there at a lower rate than in the other parts of the Colony. Nevertheless it is noteworthy that in these very areas that are shown in the Morris Land Commission Report as 'D Area (subject to Native Priority Interest)' i.e., intended to meet the future needs of an expanding native population.So one might go on. As the Leader of the Liberal Opposition pointed out, it seems an absolutely absurd position to add something like 6,000 square miles to the lands that are at present alienated to non-natives when so little use is made of the lands which at present are in their occupation. I have some figures here 1495 which I have taken from the Annual Agricultural Census and the Annual Reports of the Department of Agriculture for Kenya, and they show that the land alienated to 2,102 Europeans is over 10,000 square miles, and that the only cultivated portion thereof amounts to 869 square miles, something like 3,600 square miles alleged to be used for grazing of live stock, and 2,200 square miles alienated but lying unoccupied in 1934, and a further 3,600 square miles alienated but not used for cultivation, grazing or fallow. So that in 1934 there were no less than 5,817 square miles of the European Highlands lying unused, and yet the Government propose, if they bring in that Order in Council, to add a further 6,455 square miles, making a total of 16,700 square miles in all. That proposal is ridiculous on the face of it. It is outrageous, and particularly so when one sees that the area cultivated year by year in Kenya is declining progressively. In 1932 something like 12.25 per cent. was cultivated, in 1933, 11.41 and in 1934 10.82 per cent. From year to year there is a progressive decline in the land which the white settlers of Kenya think fit to use and occupy. Therefore, why put on one side another 6,000 or 7,000 square miles of territory for their sole use, so that thereafter no non-European shall be permitted to enter upon that land?
On the matter of the sedition ordinances, I wish to make a request to the right hon. Gentleman. I have an immense list, with which I will not trouble the Committee, of ordinances and laws in regard to sedition passed in almost every Colony and Protectorate coming under the administration of the Colonial Office. I hope that we may have some explanation of why it has been necessary in the last few years to bring in all these ordinances. I remember some time ago asking whether in Kenya there had been any instances of sedition and disorder, and I was told by the then Colonial Secretary, "No." Why then is it necessary to pass all these repressive measures and so many of the Press ordinances and regulations, and to bar so many books and papers of one sort or another, the great majority of which, in my opinion, are quite innocuous? I see that one of the publications which the natives of Kenya 1496 and the natives of other Colonial territories are forbidden to read is, "A Negro Anthology," by Nancy Cunard. The book is a masterpiece of negro literature from all parts of the world, and yet the negroes themselves are forbidden to read this masterpiece of literature. It is intolerable that that state of affairs should continue. I notice that these ordinances make what hitherto has been a misdemeanour into a felony, so that those found to be guilty are subject to seven years' imprisonment rather than to the usual two years for a misdemeanour.
I wish to make two requests to the right hon. Gentleman in this regard. The first is that he should give instructions for an annual report to be presented to this House giving particulars of the persons who have been charged with offences under these various sedition and Press ordinances, and that the particulars might include the alleged offences, and the result, and such particulars as the right hon. Gentleman found it possible administratively to give. There is great anxiety in this matter throughout the Colonial Empire. Secondly, I would ask that provision should be made in each of the Colonial Territories for a public defender, so that our African citizens may at any rate be assured of something like an adequate defence in matters which obviously, for the most part, they cannot themselves properly understand. Had the right hon. Gentleman been in his place, I should have expressed the hope, knowing of his very considerable knowledge extending over a long period of years of Dominions, Colonies and Protectorates, and the sympathy which he has expressed in regard to many matters in the past, that he might have made his administration memorable by righting at any rate some of the many wrongs which at present exist throughout these Territories. I still hope that he may do so. I should like to read a rather notable passage from an address which was given a few days ago by Dr. H. A. Moody, the first coloured man to be elected President of the British Christian Endeavour movement. He said:
"For the first time in history a national British institution has placed a man of colour in such a position and it will not be the last time. The bonds which bind the Colonies to the Mother Country are now becoming so loose that she is yielding to the impulse of fear and passing Sedition 1497 and other Bills which restrict the liberties of her peoples in these Colonies. That is the way to make these bonds still looser and to produce the results which she now dreads. If the Government of our people is just and liberal, and we are indeed acting as trustees of weaker peoples, then there is nothing whatever to fear. The British Empire is predominantly a coloured Empire. The coloured section, especially its African section, is not only an important section, but has paid a great price for its place in Empire. We are free citizens and no longer want to be beggars at the table of Empire. We courteously ask for our rights."
I cannot believe that the right hon. Gentleman will permit himself to be a willing instrument to refusing to our Colonial brethren overseas those rights which we claim ourselves.
§ 8.44 p.m.
§ Mr. PICKTHORN
I have a good deal of sympathy with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) who wished that we might sometimes be able to debate not the details of colonial administration, but the general question of what is the ultimate purpose of having a Colonial Empire. I do not think that this is the time to do that at any length, but I wish to discuss a more general branch of the question of Colonial government than has been mentioned at any length to-day so far. I think that anyone who has paid any attention—and I am bound to confess that my knowledge is entirely indirect and through others—to Colonial government in the last 20 years, will not doubt that the educational factor is fundamental to the whole thing, and that possibly among the fundamental factors it is the most urgent at the moment, and the one which is most widely common to all the Colonial territories. That consideration would be by itself enough to make us welcome the accession to the headship of the Colonial Office of the right hon. Gentleman who is now Colonial Secretary, for he has shown his interest in these matters before. I believe that the Advisory Committee on Education at the Colonial Office is very largely if not altogether his creation.
The hon. Member for Caerphilly rather gave the impression that in African education nothing had been done except at Achimota. I am glad that the Minister mentioned Makerere. Other institutions might have been cited e.g. at Yaba and Fourah Bay. Outside Africa a good deal 1498 has been done lately to improve educational administration. In Cyprus a positive and largely successful attempt is being made to free education from the dead hand of the departed Turkish and Greek Governments and to adapt it to modern requirements and local conditions. The Arab schools in Palestine have been very much improved and have been doing remarkable work. The recent memorandum on education in African communities is, I think, having some effect on some of the Governments in Africa. There has been an extremely valuable report on education in Hong Kong, and I hope that it will not be long before we can be assured that that report is having real effect. The same thing may be said about the recent recommendations concerning secondary education in Malaya.
All these things are very well, and are largely an answer to the criticism that education is being neglected in our Colonial administration. But all these things are piecemeal and are necessarily by way of recommendation rather than of direction. I would ask whether this is not the moment, and the present Secretary of State the man, to try and give us a continuous policy in regard to this matter. In Africa especially I think it may be said that the whole problem is the problem of education and the problem of agriculture, and that these two things cannot be separated. It is very easy to exaggerate the possible pace of advance in Africa and especially is it very easy to be highfalutin about what can be quickly done in the higher ranges of education. That has been very largely done in print but, making all possible allowances for that, it remains true, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) that there is a demand for education in Africa which the African can think to be comparable with university education. If only on economic grounds it is important that that should be supplied as far as may be inside Africa. Certainly, some advance towards a standard of that sort there must be, and if it is to be done with any effect at all it cannot be done by unco-ordinated administration between six or seven African territories.
That there cannot be unification is certainly true, partly because of local jealousies and partly because of differences in agricultural practice, which 1499 must be a principal faculty in these colleges for some time to come. For these reasons and others a scheme of unification, having one college dealing with one subject and another dealing with another, that scheme which has been suggested would not be a complete solution, but some sort of co-ordination between territories there must be. Incidentally, if that is true, the first necessity clearly is that it must be known what territories they are which are to be co-ordinated. A planned relation is necessary not only geographically but chronologically, between the periods of office of different Governors. Without criticism of any Governor, it is clear that you may have one Governor who has taken a great interest in education followed by another who takes very little interest in education; or if you do have two Governors running who are interested in education, one may be interested in primary education and the other may be interested in the higher ranges.
Therefore, it is extremely necessary that there should be some sort of coordination over periods of time as well as between the various territories. I do not want to go into this side of the subject at length, but I might point out that so far the Governors who have most effectively and with the most lively minds attacked the problems of education in Africa have been men who were not the products of the conventional English system—Cromer, Kitchener, Wingate, Cameron. To mention that is perhaps sufficient indication that there ought normally to be some sort of direction to the Governors from home.
What sort of policy ought there to be in regard to education? The first requisite is that there should be a designed relation between the process of education and the product of education, so that at any given moment, at whatever level you have got your education up to, there can be some reasonable chance of that level of education being used; [...]o that for going successfully through the best course of education that Africa can provide the natural reward should he responsible and important employment. That seems to me to be the first, and an absolute, necessity. How far you can go on raising that level is a matter which only years can tell, but if we should be foolish to assume lightly that the 1500 raising of the top level can be very rapid and very wide, we should be more profoundly mistaken to doubt that the effort must be constant.
If there is to be any continual integrated educational policy, it must depend upon the British officers who serve it, upon getting the best men into the educational service and making the best of them when we have got them there. It is important, above all, to look after their status. That is more important than the question of remuneration. They must be treated as being equally valuable with men in the administrative service or the agricultural service or other services. They must have equality of consideration, which has not always been given. They must have equality of opportunity in influencing policy. I do not mean that they must have opportunity to influence policy equally with the administrative officers, who must in the highest ranks be able to influence policy more than others; but they must have some opportunity of influencing big decisions; otherwise the best men will not accept educational employment. Alternatively, although they may start off on the educational side, as soon as they begin to be successful and a little ambitious they will try to get into the general administrative side.
The question of status is fundamental to the whole business of building up the educational system if we are to have a long-term policy that will do what we want it to do. Questions of remuneration are much less important, but there are one or two things that may be said. People who are in the teaching service may very often begin later than the man who comes into the administrative service and who usually comes in at 22 or so. They may not be wanted to be so long in any one Colony. Therefore, there are all sorts of reasons why, if they are to have effectively the same remuneration as other people, they should sometimes be given artificial seniority at the beginning of their service, or they should have accelerated promotion towards the end of their service; and sometimes they should be seconded for service from one Colony to another, or to England, and back again.
As far as I have been able to inform myself, technical difficulties of this sort are not sufficiently met, and in so far as 1501 they are met they are met mainly by the dispensatory powers of the Governors; but no man can found a career upon that, because one Governor may use such dispensatory powers freely. If a man comes at 28 into the educational service one Governor may arrange for him to have artificial seniority of four years, but another Governor may not do that. It is important that there should be a continuous policy, but such continuity cannot be assured by anything except the continual attention of the Colonial Office.
If there ought to be a continuous and comprehensive policy of this sort, and if it must be directed by the Colonial Office and not left entirely or even mainly to local initiative, the Colonial Office ought surely to be controlled in that direction by this House. If we were always to have the present Secretary of State perhaps one might not feel so much anxiety, but in the way of all flesh he must pass and there ought to be a policy which will go on, modifiable and perhaps even reversible, but a policy going on without interruption. I submit that there ought to be periodically a comprehensive survey of what the educational policy has been in the recent past, what the effects are, and what the next line of development is expected to be. I suggest, if it is not impertinent on very imperfect information to make so specific a suggestion, that there might be at regular intervals, at periods of, say, seven years, inspections made by a very small committee, perhaps only two or three people who should fly all round Africa—a similar suggestion might be made about the West Indies or the Far East—and inform themselves how the policy had been going on, whether it could be better co-ordinated, whether they considered that the right sort of staff had been got or whether they felt at all doubtful about it, and how the line of development might be quickened or varied.
§ 8.57 p.m.
§ Mr. CREECH JONES
Our discussion has covered a wide field, and as opportunities are very few for discussing what is going on in our Colonial Empire, it is important that we should have freedom to range over a fairly wide field and bring to the notice of the Colonial Secretary some of the problems which are agitating us now. The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) pointed out that at 1502 times there is a difficulty in appreciating precisely what is actually our Colonial policy. It is true that from time to time there are Colonial Conferences and that there is the Colonial Development Fund, and we have heard from the Minister that in certain directions developments are contemplated in respect of education and labour, and workmen's compensation. That, of course, we welcome, but it is true that it is difficult at times to discover precisely what policy the Government of the day are pursuing. We have heard that it is our responsibility to act as trustees of the native peoples, and that in the long run we hope the native peoples will learn the art of self-government and build up their economic and political life. But I submit that at the present moment there are some grounds for disquietude, and that in certain of our Colonies there is a tendency towards stratifying their life; that there is developing a vast number of detribalised and industrial natives, who are subjected to laws and conditions which they scarcely understand.
When one also recognises that there is an increase in repressive legislation one is apt to doubt whether the policy of the Colonial Office is strictly in accord with the principles of trusteeship. Important as world interests may be in defining the principles of trusteeship, it is equally important that the interests of the natives should, in the last resort, be paramount. I suggest that it is time that a clear and long-sighted policy for our Colonies was stated. It is obvious in places that there is a departure from the old Liberal traditions in administration. Reference has been made to the sedition laws, but I should be out of order in discussing what is going on in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. It seems to me that what happens in South Africa one day is adopted in Southern Rhodesia the next day, and in the end we shall find it adopted in Northern Rhodesia and in Kenya. There is a tendency towards an illiberal policy which is marked in the growth of repressive legislation, and we are, therefore, entitled to be a little sceptical in regard to the general drift of our Colonial policy at the present moment.
I was interested in the speech made by the right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division (Captain Guest). He suggested that the colonists had a raw 1503 deal, that, in fact, white colonisation was a matter of considerable difficulty and had to be bolstered up in a number of ways. It is clear from the answer given by the Secretary of State in reply to a question the other day in respect of white settlement, and in the evidence given before the Joint Select Committee on Greater Union in East Africa, that if white colonisation is to succeed at all it must be considerably bolstered up by special subsidies and measures in the interests of white colonists. In the light of the economic difficulties Which are widespread among the Colonies, in the light. of the fact that the policy is extremely expensive to the white people, if that white colonisation is to be anything like a success, there has to be a considerable amount of repression of native races. I should like to see an inquiry whether the policy inspired by Cecil Rhodes, in sending men to colonise in these difficult tropical districts, is actually succeeding, whether there are not inherent weaknesses in it and whether economically it can ever succeed.
I put that point because of the many cases which have been brought to my notice of colonists who have fallen into bankruptcy, walked away from their farms, because of the difficulty of maintaining them after losing all their resources. I should like to see this matter more clearly studied before we go on driving many of the native peoples into desparation, creating in them a sense of frustration, and increasing their bitterness against the British people. Before we allow more waste of economic resources, the whole of this policy should be carefully re-examined. I would go further and say that the principle of trusteeship in respect of native peoples might be expressed by our volunteering an annual report to the League of Nations on the way in which we are administering our resources and administering the territories from the point of view of the natives. The world could then see what our policy is and how we are carrying it out. I do not think that is a revolutionary proposal.
In discussing Colonial policy in the House, hon. Members are in a very difficult position in that they do not know precisely what is happening in the 1504 Colonies. It is all very well for us to talk about the trusteeship of our Government, but, in point of fact, ordinances are enacted and Orders in Council are issued, and this House never has the opportunity of knowing what is under discussion and of criticising or objecting. Many ordinances and Orders in Council are issued without the knowledge of the House and are only discovered some considerable time afterwards when irreparable harm has resulted from them. If I may stray for one moment, I would point out that we have the spectacle of the Southern Rhodesian Registration Bill which has now become an Act without the knowledge of this House, and it is only by stray reports that one knows that these Orders are contemplated and these ordinances likely to be enacted. I raised this matter before and the Minister suggested that if I felt strongly about it I might raise it on the question of his salary. The objection put forward is, apparently, that long constitutional usage is such that it would be too revolutionary, and that there are too many ordinances and Orders in Council for the House to be informed of them. I suggest that some means ought to be found, if the House is to discharge its responsibility to the native peoples, whereby it can have knowledge of ordinances and Orders in Council that are contemplated so that it may have an opportunity of stating objections and subjecting those ordinances and Orders to criticism. I do not think that would be contrary to democratic principles, and in any case it is likely to make the principle of our trusteeship a little more effective.
I welcome the statement of the Minister in regard to contemplated labour developments I particularly welcome his announcement that, so far as the Colonial Office is concerned, they are in sympathy with the International Labour Office Convention on the recruitment of native labour, and that after consideration by the Colonies concerned it is likely that the Convention will be ratified. I welcome also the study which is going on in regard to a model workmen's compensation act, but I would like to emphasise, as did the hon. Member for Caerphilly, the importance of a development of inspectorates and the importance, which the Minister should urge on our Colonies, of building 1505 up labour departments. I would like to see an extension of inspection of working conditions in the Colonies under our control. That is all the more important because one is dealing in this connection with people who are largely defenceless, who are poor and who have no knowledge of the complicated industrial system in which they are being caught up. I emphasise it also in the light of the reports we have had concerning Northern Rhodesia. It is well worth directing the attention of the Committee to paragraph 143 of the report of the Commission appointed to inquire into the disturbances in the copper belt in Northern Rhodesia:Here there are considerable numbers of natives concentrated in compounds; without chiefs; with their tribal organisation being broken down by disintegrating influences; becoming accustomed to machinery and modern methods; feeling an increasing desire for luxuries; and what has been called pathetic contentment rapidly giving way to what has been called divine discontent. Experience in all countries shows that industrial disputes give rise to violent passions and often to sudden violent destruction, to the loss of all parties, which is afterwards regretted; and it is unreasonable to hope that no such industrial dispute will ever take place on the copperbelt. It is a possibility which must increase with the development of industrialism, and it seems necessary to recognise the fact and to take such measures as are necessary to preserve the public peace.It seems to me that that is an admirable description of increasing detribalisation and industrialisation of the natives, which must inevitably involve industrial disputes between one side and the other, and it is important that before the situation drifts too far there should be developed some kind of organisation and machinery for dealing with these troubles. Therefore, I hope the Minister will encourage such developments.
The Minister also said that he welcomes consultation on every possible occasion. May I express the hope that that consultation will be as freely exercised in regard to the native peoples as in regard to the white people? I put that point because I have in my hand the case of the Gold Coast Aborigines Protection Society, which sent a petition to the Colonial Office. The delegation is still waiting for an answer, but I very much hope that the Minister will not keep it waiting much longer in view of what he said concerning consultation.
1506 I would like also to say that I hope the Minister will be firm in regard to the proposals for the amalgamation of the Rhodesias. I hope he will object very strongly to any such amalgamation taking place. I am glad that in reply to questions put to the Government, assurances have been given on that point, because, after all, Northern Rhodesia is a native protectorate under British law, and Southern Rhodesia has comparatively little in common with Northern Rhodesia. If we are to exercise to the full these principles of trusteeship on behalf of the native peoples, that definite responsibility can only be exercised by maintaining the partition. At the same time, I would like the Minister to look into the dreadful conditions now existing in Northern Rhodesia, and particularly the great exodus which is taking place from Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in order to supply the mines in other parts of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia and other places. I think it would be deplorable if Nyasaland arid Northern Rhodesia were regarded merely as labour farms for the feeding of the great industrial centres in other parts of Africa.
The Minister has referred to the inquiry which has recently taken place in Nyasaland on the subject of the recruitment of labour. The conditions in Nyasaland are dreadful, and if the full story were told it would harrow the feelings of hon. Members. One is glad to know that some action is contemplated, and I sincerely trust that the Minister will give his whole-hearted support to the Colony in its effort to tackle the problem. Attention should also he given to the conditions under which Nyasaland natives, who can no longer work, are sent back into Nyasaland. These men who are broken and diseased have to make their way back home under dreadful conditions, and often have to make their way on foot for very long distances in getting back to their villages. I hope the Minister will encourage the Colonial Government in its effort to deal with this very difficult problem, and will see that the recent report is implemented in order to deal with the grave evils which are now working such havoc in this important Colony.
§ 9.17 p.m.
§ Captain P. MACDONALD
The hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) has referred to one aspect of the native 1507 problem in East and South Africa, namely, the recruitment of labour. There has been a great deal of loose talk in this House and a great deal of loose thinking generally about the conditions under which this labour is recruited, and I suggest that the hon. Member before he accepts the rumours and reports, which he quoted at great length, ought to take a trip to those countries and see the conditions for himself. If he does so, I think he will agree that the reports are exaggerated.
§ Mr. CREECH JONES
So bad are the conditions that it has been necessary for the International Labour Office this year to consider a Convention for the regulation of recruitment. May I also draw the hon. and gallant Member's attention to the report of the commission which has recently investigated this matter, as far as it relates to Nyasaland? I would welcome an opportunity of reading to the House that report, which shows that the commissioners were amazed at the dreadful nature of the conditions.
§ Captain MACDONALD
I accept the statement that there are cases which require investigation, and those cases should be investigated. It is in the interest of the mineowners themselves that these questions should be looked into, and they have a vigilance committee of their own. When I was in the mining areas in South Africa I consulted with mineowners on this subject. I saw native labour being signed on and I expressed grave doubts as to whether it was done in the best way. The fact remains that these natives walk, in some cases, as far as 100 miles, in order to be taken on at the mines, but only a small percentage of those who offer themselves are accepted. Only those of the highest physical standard are accepted. Statements are also made about the conditions under which the natives are obliged to work. I have been down some of the mines and I have seen the conditions for myself. However deplorable they may have been in the past, I assure hon. Members that to-day the natives are well looked after, if only for the very important reason—apart from the vigilance constantly exercised by bodies like the International Labour Office to see that conditions are favourable—that it is in the interest of the mineowners to keep the men fit. They have underground casualty clearing sta- 1508 tions, and if a man gets even a cut finger he is immediately rushed to hospital for treatment. I do not say that there are not cases in which improvement is not possible, but I know that statements made in this House and by Labour speakers throughout the country are grossly exaggerated.
I think this Debate has done much to clear up a number of points which for too long have been clouded in obscurity. I welcome heartily the definte declaration of policy by the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the Kenya Highlands. That question has been hanging fire for a long time and has caused a good deal of uneasiness to settlers in that Colony. Now I hope that the matter has been made clear and that people will know where they stand. There has been a great deal of talk to-day about trusteeship, and I hope this declaration of policy will do something to settle that point also. I never liked the talk that went on some time ago about the paramountcy of the native races. It implied that the white settler had no right in Kenya, and the result was that when a statement on that subject was made by a former Colonial Secretary such exception was taken to it in this House that a Select Committee was set up in order to put forward a different statement. They did so and that statement suggested dual responsibility. That dual responsibility has been proclaimed in this House by the Colonial Secretary and I hope the white settler in Kenya will now go forward and forget many of the grievances which he has been nursing against both the Kenya Government and the Colonial Office on the ground of obscurity and delay in statements on this question.
The hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) said that the real issue confronting the white settler in Kenya was economic, and with that I thoroughly agree. Far too much time has been spent by the white settlers in Kenya, excellent as they are, in magnifying their grievances against the home Government and their own Government, to the neglect of their real problem which, as the hon. Gentleman said, is economic. It is true that they have causes for complaint. Their taxation is high, their freight charges and interest charges are high, and the cost of administration is out of proportion to the size of the Colony. But these 1509 are things that have grown up without much complaint by the settler when the Colony was prosperous, prices higher and markets good. They were only too pleased then to enjoy the fruits of all these things, and to go on borrowing money without thinking of the future. To-day they have to face realities, and it is not pleasant. The depreciation in commodity prices, bringing in its train other evils, is a problem that we and every other country have had to face. It is no use settlers in Kenya or anywhere else forming vigilance committees to bring pressure on the Governor and on the home Government. It is far better that they should face the problem as we have done in this country, and deal with it in an economic way.
What was the position in Kenya a couple of years ago? The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the Drake Division (Captain Guest) made what I considered was a personal attack on the Governor of Kenya, though he said that he made no attack on the Governor but rather on the Colonial Office which had dictated policy to Kenya. As the Colonial Secretary has disclaimed any such responsibility or intention it remains a reflection on the Governor. My opinion is that mistakes have been made on all sides. The settlers were unwise, when they were faced with the crisis, not to do more to assist the Governor to deal with it. Sir John Byrne is a man I have known for many years. He has a good Army record and a good record as an administrator. He was promoted to the Governorship of Kenya at a time when he had to face problems which would break the heart of any Governor. He found himself with instructions from the Colonial Office that as there was a financial crisis at home all Colonial Budgets must be balanced. He called the settlers and asked their advice. They gave him no assistance and said they were over-taxed already, and that he must cut down administrative charges and freight charges and economise in that way. That was no doubt necessary, and it has been done, but it would not balance the Budget. The result was that the Governor had to take decisions himself without assistance from the settlers, and he imposed an Income Tax. Representations were made to the Colonial Office who, I think wrongly, upheld their view and over- 1510 ruled the decision of the Governor. That has destroyed the prestige of the Governor, has added to the difficulties in the Colony, and means that the settlers now think that whatever decision the Governor takes they have only to agitate sufficiently and the home Government will uphold them.
I hope, now that important points of difference have been made up, they will forget their political worries, and as prices, markets and exports are improving, they will go ahead and prosper as they deserve. Kenya is a difficult country in which to farm. I have great sympathy for the settlers. They were told after the War that it was desired that they should settle in the Colony and develop it. There is no doubt that certain parts of Kenya are very attractive. It has the most wonderful climatic conditions in the world. These people settled in the country, put their money into it and developed it, and for a time they prospered. But they have had a serious time in the last three or four years. First, they had a, visitation from locusts which destroyed the crops, the next year they had a drought, and the next year an economic crisis. Unless a man has considerable capital there is every prospect when that happens, of his being faced with a period of economic trouble or complete ruin. That is what has happened in Kenya. A great many settlers have gone under, and a great many others are disheartened and may feel that the burden of administration is far too high. It is extremely high and might be cut down, but where are you to start cutting? If I were asked, I would say that there is too much money spent upon education, for what we get out of it. I think it is spent in the wrong way. I think it is wrong that the cost of the railways should fall entirely upon the settlers, because if that had been the case in Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway would never have been built. It is a charge that the Government should be prepared to accept, and they ought not to put the whole cost of the railways on the settlers, but that is what is being done to-day. The freight rates are extremely high and almost ruinous. There is also the competition of the lake steamers, and I feel that there is a great opportunity there. Something has been done between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika in the way of co-ordinating rail- 1511 ways and transport, but a great deal more can be done. There is too much competition between lake steamer, rail, and road transport, and I feel sure the right hon. Gentleman, with his great knowledge of the problem—I do not think there is anybody in this House who knows more about this territory than does the present Colonial Secretary—will take steps to see that greater economies are effected in that direction.
Another thing that I am very pleased to hear is that he is making use of MacEllory College in Uganda as a means of educational development. That is a step in the right direction, as long as you work on the right lines. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman: Whither are we going in the direction of the higher education of the natives in Africa? Personally, I think that is a very important question indeed. I was very impressed with its importance on a visit which I paid to Uganda with a Parliamentary delegation a couple of years ago. I was shown over all these institutions, and with some of them I was very much impressed indeed, but with MacEllory College as it was then run I was impressed unfavourably, not because of the officials who were running it, but because of the curriculum on which they were working. I was bold enough to question the wisdom of a curriculum of that kind for natives, and they agreed, and they were at that time changing it to something more adequate to meet the needs of the Colony. There is no use in turning out a failed B.A. class of native in East Africa. It is far better to work on the lines of turning out a good native rather than a bad European, and there is great danger of giving the natives too high an education, encouraging them to be lawyers or politicians and then having no means of putting them into the administration of the country. I think that may come, but in these matters it is better to hasten slowly.
They have a wonderful native administration in Uganda. It is a model for the whole world, and as a result you have happy natives, you have a wise administration, and you have, what very few other Colonies have, a Budget surplus of £1,500,000. That, I hope, will be used in developing the Colony, and I feel sure it will, because it is not the policy of 1512 the Uganda Government to build up surpluses, as the Colony is definitely administered for the natives. That is the important point of difference between the administration of Uganda and that of Kenya. At the very outset in Uganda we took the definite line that the Colony was to be administered for the natives, and it has been ever since. It is an education to anyone to go there and see what wonderful work has been done. I hope the same lines will be adopted in Tanganyika, as they are working on these lines, and that the same fruits will accrue.
Another thing that the Debate has done, I hope, is to destroy some of the fallacies which have grown up about the question of the open door. I was very glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman emphatically destroy the statements made by several hon. and right hon. Members below the Gangway opposite and their arguments about the problem of raw materials. It is fantastic to talk about any restriction of raw materials in East Africa to-day. I think the problem is one which confronts all European countries to-day, Germany as much as any other country. The Congo Basin Treaties are imposed upon us by the League, which says there must be an open door maintained in Mandated Territories, with the result that it is impossible for us either to put a quota on imports or to impose any restrictions or tariffs whatsoever. The result is that Japan is using these Congo Basin Treaties as a means of dumping goods wholesale into these countries, to the exclusion of all European countries, and that is a problem confronting not only ourselves, but Germany and other European countries as well, who are trying to maintain a higher standard of living. I only wish we were free from the Congo Basin Treaties, in order that we could deal with any country which used such methods of trade as to try to depreciate the standard of life in all other countries in the world. That is exactly what is happening to-day. By lower standards of working and living conditions, by ex-change restrictions, and by assisting exports, Japan is a menace to every country in Europe to-day, and it is a very serious problem in East Africa.
I visited a large number of Dukans in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika, where we find them stacked with Japanese 1513 goods, and if you say, "Is there any demand for British goods?" they say, "There is," yet the Japanese goods are so cheap that the natives will always buy them. One or two of these shopkeepers were honest enough to say that the intelligent natives preferred to buy the British cycle, even if it was more expensive, but the methods of camouflage used by the Japanese exporters are so subtle and cunning that the native thinks he is buying a British article. Several examples of that sort of thing were brought to my notice, and the most glaring was the case of the bicycle.
To-day in Uganda, Tanganyika, and Kenya most natives have a bicycle, on which they carry their hundredweight of cotton to market and at times quite considerable loads. As a result of experience they know that the British bicycle stands up to the load far better than does the Japanese or any other bicycle, and the result is that there is a great demand for the British article. That applies particularly to the Raleigh bicycle. In one shop I found some Raleigh bicycles and some very good-looking Japanese imitations. The methods of camouflage used by the Japanese, were very ingenious. They were not allowed to use the label, so they made the lampholder in front in the form of a broad R. A native came in, and seeing the R, thought he was buying a Raleigh bicycle, but he found the difference when he put his one cwt. of cotton and himself on it and went to market. That was one example out of a great many which were brought to our notice.
The real menace, I would point out to my hon. Friends who uphold the open door, is not the fact that restrictions are imposed on imports or exports, because no such things exist in East Africa. The real problem there is the dumping of Japanese goods. That is a problem which confronts every country in the world today. It is a problem with which we have had to deal in every Colony where the Congo Basin Treaties do not apply. I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor at the Colonial Office in taking advantage of such measures as Orders in Council in order to impose a quota on those Colonies that refused the quota of Japanese goods, because it has had a wonderful effect on our Lancashire cotton trade; and that to me is far more important than whether or not there is a 1514 greater volume of cheap dumped goods into these Colonies.
I feel sure that, as a result of this Debate, a great many important points have been cleared up. I had great misgivings when another debate on Kenya was suggested, because poor Kenya has been in the limelight so much in recent years that I felt a great deal of harm might be done by again dragging her in the mud. This Debate however, has done a great deal of goo[...] and has cleared up many points. I feel sure the result will be that the British settlers as well as the natives will go forward to greater security and prosperity.
§ 9.48 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Commander FLETCHER
I should like to invite the Minister's attention to one or two parts of his far-flung Colonies which have not been referred to in the Debate. I realise the pressure which there must be upon the right hon. Gentleman in regard to Palestine, and that first things must come first, but when the pressure eases, as we all hope it soon will, I would invite the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the island of Ceylon and ask him to find time to give some consideration to it. I have a certain amount of first-hand information from people there who are well-wishers and supporters of the right hon. Gentleman's Government. There is an amount of poverty among the native population of the island which is extremely distressing to the English colony. It must be a matter of great regret to us that in an island where so great an amount of wealth has been made by the English business community, there is such a dreadful amount of depression, poverty and suffering among the native population. In that regard, I would like to call particular attention to a recent malaria epidemic in the island in which the death roll was really appalling. The natives died like flies, and there were indescribable scenes of horror and misery during the epidemic. I think that there is a case for inquiry as to whether the medical administration in the island was really adequate to the situation which it had to meet, and whether, in view of the events of the epidemic, there is not good reason for overhauling the medical administration and making sure that better supplies of 1515 medicine and more medical assistance can be available in the event of a recurrence of such an epidemic.
I should also like to call the Minister's attention to another grave and distressing feature of life there, namely, the constantly recurring instances of terrible and dreadful cruelty to children which arises out of the custom of child adoption in Ceylon. I do not wish to take up the time of the Committee by recounting instances of cruelty nor to convey that adoption and cruelty always go hand in hand, but I can assure the Committee that there is a constant stream of cases of the most dreadful and barbarous cruelty to children who are victims of this system of adoption. I would only mention that a widespread form of this cruelty is the inflicting of burns upon children.
§ Lieut.-Commander FLETCHER
By the Singalese natives. The sentences imposed for these cases of cruelty seem to me completely inadequate, and so inadequate as not to act in any way as a deterrent. There is an admirable society in Ceylon which is trying to deal with this question. I believe that one way to mitigate the evil would be a system of registration of adopted children. I can assure the Minister that it would bring the greatest relief to the white Colony in Ceylon if, during his period of office, he were able to take some steps with the Governor which will result in a diminution of this grave and distressing feature of life there.
I would like to ask one or two questions with regard to the West Indies. There was a Royal Commission on the sugar industries in the West Indies, which revealed bad social conditions in the islands, and generaluly revealed great neglect. The impression left upon my mind by the findings of the commission was that, while a certain amount of State assistance has been rendered to planters, yet the peasant holders and labourers have been neglected, both economically and socially. It seems to me that very little has been done to help the West Indies towards self-government which should be the aim and object of our colonial administration. The findings of the Royal Commission raises a question 1516 in one's mind as to why we should subsidise beet sugar at home while West Indian sugar is so badly hit. If the commission had any object, it was to encourage sugar production in the West Indies, yet legislation at home seems to take the form of trying to keep that sugar out of this country. I should like to ask what has been done about assistance to the industry and about other points mentioned by the commission, namely, the establishment of alternative industries, the development of peasant settlements, and the improvement of labour conditions. It would be interesting to many Members to hear what is the acreage of the official schemes of peasant development. Again, it would be interesting to know if the Minister has anything to report regarding the commission which was set up to inquire into the labour disputes in British Guiana, where there seems to have been very considerable disturbances indeed. Further to this matter of labour disturbances, has the Government received any final report on the serious labour disturbances at St. Kitts in January, 1935? They seem to be a very ugly feature indeed in the West Indies, and it would be interesting to hear the reports of the commissions set up to inquire into them.
If the Minister will forgive my passing on rather quickly, I should like to mention one or two points in regard to Malaya. Again from what I have been able to read and gather, the viewpoint of the Government seems to be that the maintenance of the authority of the Malay rulers must always be a cardinal point of British policy. From the evidence I have been able to see there is very little to indicate that these Malay rulers show any special aptitude for, or have any great interest in, administration. Their idea of life seems to be morn bound up in their own ideas of pleasure, which is not at all a bad idea if nobody else suffers in the process, but it would be far more desirable and far more in harmony with the traditions of British Colonial administration to endeavour to develop the Malay States in a democratic direction, and to try to establish there a system in which the public good and not the rulers' personal wishes and pleasures is the aim. Perhaps the Minister will be able now or at some other convenient time to let us know what is the Government's 1517 policy in regard to the report on Malaya which was rendered by Sir Samuel Wilson.
There is one other point which I should like to bring specially to the notice of the Secretary of State and that concerns the governors of our Colonies. I should like to make it very clear that I am not for one moment wishing to indulge in any criticism of any of our Colonial governors. Through the auspices of that admirable institution the British Empire Parliamentary Association I have the privilege of meeting governors of our Colonies from time to time, and always receive the same impression of great enthusiasm and great ability in the discharge of their tasks, but I should like to suggest that perhaps in the Colonial Service, as happens in my own profession, the Navy, those in high position or in authority rather tend to guide their actions entirely by the regulations of their service. There is always a tendency in that direction. A man has his career to make in his service, he looks to that service for advancement and promotion, and one of his guiding considerations must always be not to come into conflict with his own chiefs, and to a certain extent he is guided by the routine and the regulations of his service. I suggest that it might be a very good thing indeed for all our Colonies in turn if, say every 12 or 15 years, a governor from completely outside the Colonial Service were appointed for a period of two or three years. I think that to get a man from completely outside the Colonial Service who was not dependent in any way upon the Colonial Office for the gratification of his ambitions in life, as governor who would render to the Colonial Office reports on the Colony from a completely fresh, non-routine standpoint, might result in the Colonial Office getting the most valuable information and insight into the affairs and conditions of each Colony in turn.
I think that what I have suggested could be done without prejudice or damage to the careers of officers of the Colonial service. There need be no damage to the career or prospects of advancement of a man who had reached the point where he might expect to be appointed a governor of a Colony, if in his place a governor were appointed from outside the service for a short period. It would be quite possible to make arrangements so as to ensure that the 1518 officer in question need not suffer in the way of promotion or pension. I would strongly commend this suggestion to the Secretary of State, because I believe many of our Colonies would get a great impulse from the appointment of a governor from outside the service with a view to the Colonial Office getting independent reports. I know that this has been done from time to time. We on these benches remember that Sir James O'Grady was appointed to Tasmania, and I believe he made a most successful governor, and it seems to me that he met with a rather unfortunate reward in being sent subsequently to the mists and fogs of the Falkland Islands. I should be very grateful if the Secretary of State would take this suggestion into his consideration, as I believe it would be of benefit to the Colonial Office, and to our Colonies.
§ 10.3 p.m.
§ Sir A. WILSON
One of the first English essayists began an essay on Paradise with the words:Of Paradise I cannot rightly speak, because I have not been there";but that did not prevent him from writing some 20 pages on the subject. Some of the speeches to which we have listened this evening have reminded me rather of that early essayist, both in the extent of their vision and the surmises and speculations with which they have been replete. A pleasant exception was the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Isle of Wight (Captain P. Macdonald), who had been there and who, therefore, gave us something at first hand. The hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) talked of Orders in Council as though they were secret documents of which the House never heard until long after they had been published. Surely he must know that the Journals of the House contain a reference to every such Order. They are placed on the Table of the House, a copy will be found in the Library, and any Member of Parliament who is curious as to what the Departments are doing need only go to the Library to look and he will get a bellyful of Statutory Rules and Orders. And if he will refer to that "Parliamentary Child's Guide to Knowledge," the Guide to Official Statistics, he will find, price 1s. 6d., an Annual Report on every Colony which is not merely presented to 1519 Parliament—a far more effective body than the League of Nations or the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations—but is in fact sent to the Mandates Commission, and I have no doubt they will be very glad to answer any questions on the subject posed by that body. But to suppose that the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations is capable of discussing or usefully contributing to the discussion on the administration of British Colonies is to assume that unfortunate body capable of assuming responsibilities which it is quite incapable of bearing.
We have heard a good deal from the benches opposite of repressive legislation under these Ordinances, of which, apparently, they never hear until too late. I hear of them generally before they have been issued through the medium of the Aborigines Protection Society. That indispensable and courteous body of men, the Librarians of the House of Commons, have every single document regarding the Colonies and the British Empire sent to them week by week. When I compare existing legislation with regard to the control of the Press in the British Colonies and Dominions with that of any other country in the world, I stand amazed at the risks which we take. Neither in France nor in any French Colony, the United States, or in South America, or in any part of the world where I have been, is there any country constructively so free, and where there is so little censorship.
The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) referred to the judiciary in Somaliland. The position should be known by this time to the Secretary of State himself, as his predecessor initiated inquiries some months ago. At the present moment counsel cannot appear on behalf of a man accused on even a capital charge, though it is not difficult to procure counsel from Aden. We dealt by question and answer this afternoon with the point whether a prisoner upon a capital charge in this country had been adequately defended by two junior counsel. There are parts of the British Empire where no counsel is retained at all. While not associating myself with the suggestion that there should be a public defender, I think that the employment of counsel at the expense of the Government and under some sort of Poor 1520 Prisoners' Defence Act, where a capital charge or felonies are involved, should be examined.
I should look with the greatest alarm at the prospect of our Colonies being fitted out every 15 years with amateur Governors, for the good of the Colonial Office. The Colonial Office has many sources of information, and the peripatetic journeys of British Empire delegations will give Paget, M.P., in every part of the House an opportunity of telling the Colonial Office what he thinks ought to be done. The very last thing the Colonies want is amateur Governors. A heavy responsibility hangs on men in the supreme command, under the Crown, of a Colony.
We have heard from the Opposition Benches references to the Kenya colonists as having proved that it does not pay to colonise. It is suggested that they should he told to go if it does not pay. I wonder how the Opposition Benches would like to apply those easy words and phrases to Palestine. Zionism does not pay; should Zionism be ended because it does not pay? The interests of the natives of Palestine have not been regarded as paramount. Do the Opposition hold that we are not doing our duty by the Arabs of Palestine? If we had a Mandate for Kenya from the League of Nations, with instructions to found there a national home for British colonists, and if we had to make an annual report to the League of Nations as to what we had done to provide such a home, the conclusion of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations would be that we had done a good deal more in regard to a national home for the Jews in Palestine than we had done for the national home for the British in Kenya.
We are not in the least called upon to apologise for the steps we have taken in the last 30 years to make Kenya Colony a success. It may be necessary in the future to reconsider the steps that we have taken. If so, we ought to face the position, and ought to he prepared to buy out the colonists, to compensate them, whether that cost £3,000,000 or £5,000,000, and thereafter to make it clear that we cannot allow the Highlands of Africa to be used either for the British or for Indians. As to Indians, I know how difficult it is, but we must be careful lest, under the guise of promoting 1521 freedom, without distinction of colour, race, creed or language, we start yet another minority problem there. How many minority problems have we started since the War? We started one vast minority problem with Zionism in Palestine. We have been landed by the League of Nations, owing to a mischievous decision, with another, the Assyrians. No more fatal decision was ever reached than that which excluded the Assyrians for ever from their national home, and left them, a disgrace to this House and a disgrace to England and to the League of Nations, lying derelict upon the sands of Arabia. The decision reached by the League of Nations that the Assyrians had no title to return to their own land was disgraceful. Let us not laugh about it, except in ignorance.
There is ground for thinking that we are not giving some of the Crown Colonies as ample justice as they should have. We still apply to every Crown Colony the exclusively English conception that the King can do no wrong, that no action in tort can lie against the Crown and that no action in respect of Crown lands can be entertained by the Government, unless the fiat of the Attorney-General be obtained. The position of the Crown in England has long ago been the subject of inquiry by this House, and action was unanimously recommended by the Ministers' Powers Committee, on the strength of the report of the Crown Proceedings Committee in 1927. We have not yet taken action.
I would ask the Colonial Secretary to remember that, whatever we do in this country, it is even more necessary in the Colonies to introduce some remedial legislation to assimilate the position of the Crown to that of the subject in tort in the Crown Colonies. Important steps were taken in this country in 1333, in the Business of Courts Act, 1933. I suggest that the whole question of the fundamental basis of the courts in the Crown Colonies, and their relation to the Executive, should be dispassionately considered and assessed.
§ 10.14 p.m.
§ Mr. D. GRENFELL
I feel exceedingly honoured by the speech to which we have just listened. I must confess my ignorance and lack of oratorical advantages as compared with the hon. and gallant Gentleman. We know of his taste 1522 for blue-books. He likes them. But, while we admire his voracity, and the wonderful, miraculous, metabilic powers he possesses, we do not altogether trust his judgment when he suggests a diet of blue-books for us. The hon. and gallant Gentleman is, perhaps, as well informed on this subject as he is on many others, and I should not be disposed to question his judgment, except with regard to the charge which he made against my hon. Friend behind me with respect to amateur Governors. The Government have just appointed an amateur Governor, and I believe, too, that the hon. and gallant Gentleman himself is a kind of Pooh Bah in that regard.
My remarks to-night will be very brief, because I know that the Minister has to reply, and I believe that there is to be another contribution to the Debate from the Liberal Benches. In discussing the subject of Colonial administration, such an extensive territory has to be brought under survey, and the range of subjects is so wide, that I feel that the House cannot deal competently with a question of this kind in one day, and that, therefore, the subject of discussion must necessarily be limited. You, Sir Dennis, have curtailed the discussion by your Ruling, I think to the great profit of the Committee. There are, however, one or two subjects to which reference has already been made, and which I think will bear a little more attention from those who are interested, in order to represent our point of view on these matters.
Much has been heard about Kenya, which, indeed, is one of the most critical of our Colonial problems at the present time, and no one wants to say anything here that would add to the difficulties of the situation; but I think we ought, at any rate, to clear our minds. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who spoke last said that the League of Nations had created one or two very difficult minority. problems, but here is a minority problem in Kenya which was not created by the League of Nations, nor by the present Government, but was created a decade or two ago by certain enterprising gentlemen who went out there, largely, in their own interests, and who now, to the number of over 2,000, present a tremendous problem for the Government administration. I would like to examine the claims of these people, who have not only 1523 acquired lands which were formerly in the possession of the native people, but have tried to exclude those native people from their own land, a thing which is probably unheard of in the history of Colonial administration.
The right hon. Gentleman gave us some figures this afternoon. He said that something like 48,000 square miles were reserved for native peoples in Kenya, but I have another set of figures which show that 12,000 or 13,000 square miles have been acquired for the white population in the Highlands. That is an area larger than the country in which I live and to which the right hon. Gentleman belongs. These 12,000 or 13,000 square miles are reserved for white settlers, who need not necessarily be English, but may be French, German, Italian—or Welsh. They must be white people, but they need not be British subjects of the Crown, either from any country in Africa or from India. As compared with these figures, the Committee should know that only 3,000 square miles are reserved for the Kikuyu, who number 500,000, and only 7,500 square miles for the Kavirondo, who number 2,000,000. The Masai, a more nomadic people, have a larger area of land, but much less water, and hardly any land suitable for cultivation. The small minority of white settlers have an area equal to that of all the cultivable land of the native population.
There is another problem which arises out of that. We know from statistics given us that the product of white agriculture is equal to about £2,500,000. It is almost equal in value to the total product of native agriculture. Only 15 per cent. of the native production is exported, while almost the whole of the production of the white population is exported. You will find that the native is handicapped in exports, in transport and in the sale of his products. This vast native population, living and working on the land, is handicapped in every way for the special benefit of the white population. In the matter of freight we are told that they pay £4 a ton for the carriage of goods on the same route and for exactly the same distance as the white settler pays 8s. 6d. for.
§ Sir A. WILSON
Is it tons by measurement or by weight, because it makes a 1524 profound difference as between cotton and maize?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
I do not think it makes so much difference, and the rate charged to the native producer is over nine times that charged to the white settler. It is utterly unjustifiable. It is a form of subsidy paid by the native. This discrimination is observed in a variety of ways. The native is denied the right to buy or sell land. He is compelled to work 180 days for the white possessor of the land on which he lives. It is true that he is given some interest as a temporary tenant. This term "temporary tenant" is given to the person whose home it is. This small minority of white people who have gone thousands of miles away from their homes are given all these privileges at the expense of the native population. I do not think this can be justified and the Committee will have something to say to it. If the interests of the indigenous people in our Colonies are to remain paramount, if there is any sense of justice, we cannot allow these people to be discriminated against as they have been in Kenya. The wages paid them are scandalous.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
There is no defence to the wage conditions in Kenya, Rhodesia or in other parts. May I also say a word or two about the registration of natives in the two Rhodesias? There again you have a terrible scandal. The native in his own country has to get a pass to visit a town—not only the township where the people reside but an area outside which may extend to 80 or 100 square miles. The native of that country is not allowed to move about in his own country unless he carries a pass entitling him to look for work, a pass to assure all those who may be interested that he is at work, a pass to allow him to go to buy or sell goods in the town. All these restrictions upon the movements of these people, which deny them the possibility of a free livelihood and free citizenship, are designed to achieve the end of creating a large army of the black proletariat for the service of white capitalism under conditions which could not be defended anywhere.
In these days of oppression, it is the duty of this House to see that under the 1525 British flag we denounce any such tyranny, if there is any suggestion in the comparison made to-day between the British White settler and the native, and if we are to nurture and sustain the world in these matters. There are restrictions on the free movement of these people, and even upon their minds. There are ordinances to prevent men from thinking. To-day we are glad to hear the Minister say: "We are providing advanced education in various colonies and have already achieved very satisfactory results; and we are very proud of this system." It is not a perfect system, and I am glad to think that the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to make it very much better than it is. In improving the conditions of these people, we must provide for their physical assistance and for the retention of their society. We must not try to model their lives exactly on ours, and certainly we must not try to crowd them into compounds and make them the ready slaves of anyone who can exploit them.
The important thing is to educate the people in all these parts of the world. But what is the use of giving education to these people, if they are not allowed to read when they have learned to read? Why should they be permitted to read "Comic Cuts" and "Sketchy Bits," but not allowed to read good books? Why should not these people have full freedom? Having begun to understand the achievements of citizenship, they are not able to read about these things. These stupid ordinances will bring disgrace upon this nation and untold trouble upon the nation in the years to come. There are difficult times before the world. There is the question of reconciling Imperial possessions. There was a suggestion made from the Liberal benches that we should provide access to all the raw materials contained in the British Empire. I share that view, but really that is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is to satisfy the people within this Empire, over whom we claim the right to govern and over whom the Minister governs at the present time without any intermediary body. He is at the head of many of those people whom we have discussed to-night. There is no one between him and these people. The responsibility is on this side. It is upon this House.
1526 We have heard of amateur and professional Governors. That is not so highly important, but what matters is that the Governors in these parts of the Empire have more power than the Prime Minister or the Crown in this country. They have almost absolute power to deal with the lives of those under their charge. We must carry out our trusteeship and responsibilities, and must not try in any way to limit the development of the lives of the people who live in the scattered parts of the Empire. If the Empire is to justify itself, it will do so by gathering in every one of these Colonies and establishing a common citizenship. It is difficult for a native person, dispossessed of his right to land and denied opportunities in his own country, to feel any pride of association with a country so far away, which shows so little sympathy with his daily needs.
I will conclude because there are other speakers, but I do beg of the Minister to pay attention to the references that have been made from this side of the Committee because they represent the serious thoughts of those who are just as much concerned as any hon. Members opposite with doing justice to the people who for the moment are under our care. We shall return with our complaints, our accusations and our condemnation time and time again unless the injustices which are done to the native people are remedied.
§ 10.31 p.m.
§ Sir FRANCIS ACLAND
My right hon. Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) dealt so fully with the matters that I wish to bring before the House that little remains for me to say, before giving the Colonial Secretary a further innings. I do not complain in any way of the length of the speech to which we have just listened, which I have very much enjoyed and appreciated. I am very glad that my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. Grenfell) got the chance to make that speech. I should like to say something on the subject of Kenya, although I welcome very much the statement which the Secretary of State has already made on that question, and I do not want him to trouble to say anything more about it. What I want to say is not in specific disagreement with anything that the right hon. Gentleman said but only to em- 1527 phasise certain points which seem to us important.
Very important Orders in Council, or whatever the proper instruments are called, are in contemplation which will decide the destinies of Kenya for some time to come. Therefore this is the time to say what we feel we ought to say. In regard to the attitude of the Secretary of State, he seemed to show a human touch and sympathy in dealing with some of these matters from which the whole House will hope for the best in the settlement that is to be made. I gathered from what he said and from the report of the Royal Commission that the proposed settlement will be on the lines of greater differentiation than hitherto—more land, more stability for the natives in enlarged and extended native reserves and, on the other hand, more land in the area where, to use the phrase of the Royal Commission, "a special privilege for Europeans obtains." It has been suggested by hon. Members who have commented on what has been said from these benches that we are inclined to ignore the interests of the white settlers. My hon. Friend the Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) suggested—I do not know whether he was referring to us—that we should be in favour of clearing them out altogether if they got in the way of our particular friends, the natives.
That is not so, but one does doubt a little bit in reading the Report of the Royal Commission, which contains statements very often rather than justifications, whether the interests of the white settlers can best be safeguarded by segregation of them in one area and of the natives into an entirely different area. We are glad that the Secretary of State in that connection is going to give careful consideration to what is obviously an extremely difficult matter, namely, the position of the squatters. He ought to give very careful consideration before anything final is settled, and before anything is irrevocably done which turns off from their land the ancient inhabitants of those lands who were there before the British settlers came. It is proposed to give them land or money in exchange. I hope the settlement will always be friendly, and that wherever possible it will take the form of giving them land rather than money, because money goes, and land stays. We know in the history 1528 of our own villages how certain people with village rights were given money when enclosures were made, and how the money has been spent and the rights have entirely disappeared, whereas if they had had a bit of land it might be theirs now instead of their being landless.
My second point is that if the natives have certain rights of access to the courts of law now with regard to land questions, it would be very difficult to prove any denial of those rights as a part of the new settlement. In dealing with the natives you must not only do what is right, but convince them that you have done what is right and fair, and it is rather difficult to reconcile that with a denial of whatever rights the natives possess to present their cases in the law courts. The hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir E. Grigg) laid stress, quite rightly, on the importance of economic rather than political development. I must express my agreement with the hon. Member in connection with one question about which I really know something—the question of forestry and forest development in the Colonies in general.
The right hon. and gallant Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Captain Guest) complained very much of the heavy salaries which were paid to hordes of officials. I hope no one will apply that to the money spent on forestry services wherever they may be. I know that they suffered severely in the economy cuts which had to be made, but in many of our Colonies you can only keep agriculture going if you have a definite and well thought out and scientifically-directed forestry service working in close connection with agriculture. If you cannot keep up trees you get denudation, the rains descend and the soil is washed away, and the area for cultivation, particularly for pasturage, is entirely destroyed, the whole tract of country may be almost uninhabitable. In other cases, the humidity necessary for growing certain crops is kept up largely by the continued existence of the forests, and from every point of view a close co-operation of the forestry services and agriculture is of immense importance to the Colonies.
I was glad to hear one phrase in the speech of the Secretary of State about 1529 Kenya, when he said that certain areas were intended to be reserved as forests for ever. If he will refer to the report of the Royal Commission, paragraph 1977, he will see that they contemplate with regard to certain forest reserves in the Northern Highlands that the time may come when they will be available for agriculture. I hope such a possibility is not contemplated. The idea that if sufficient pressure is put on by European settlers to get a little more land for agriculture it can be converted from forestry to agriculture, means the ruin of any stable policy in the forestry services.
There are just two other points, one about Southern Rhodesia. I want to say a word about a Sedition Bill. I am not sure whether the Bill has yet been enacted. I gather that it contains a phrase which is said to be well known in South African legislation—
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I am in no way responsible for Southern Rhodesia. In so far as it is not completely self-governed, it is administered by my colleague the Secretary of State for the Dominions. I cannot make any reply with regard to Southern Rhodesia.
§ Sir F. ACLAND
I am glad of that, because it relieves me of the necessity of dealing with that subject. I will conclude by referring to a subject which has been discussed to-night, that is, the open door. We have been given a good deal of good advice, almost of lecturing, on that subject, and I am bound to say that I was impressed by what the Secretary of State said about it. I am naturally glad to hear that he is doing all he can to encourage exports from the Colonies to whatever countries will take their goods. In regard to the Colonies—I am not referring to East Africa now—it seems to us that as long as the Colonies have differential import duties against foreign countries, one cannot expect them to be able to sell to foreign countries as much as they would otherwise do. That may be a Cobdenite doctrine, but it seems to us to be a perfectly sound one. In these unfortunate days of difficulty, if we want countries such as Czechoslovakia and Poland, for instance, to be able to buy from our Colonies, we ought not to put any obstacles in the way of their selling their goods to those Colonies.
§ Sir F. ACLAND
I am not going to give way, not because I do not like controversy, on the contrary; but I do not wish unduly to delay the Secretary of State.
§ Sir F. ACLAND
I excluded the East African Colonies, because I know that in their case there are certain special conditions. We take our position with regard to that general doctrine of the importance of the open door if there is really to be the greatest amount of trade for the Colonies. As I saw my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Isle of Wight (Captain P. Macdonald) wanted to cross a sword with me, I will conclude by crossing a sword with him. I do not take the view that it is much more important that there should be good trade in the Lancashire cotton industry than that our Colonies should flourish. That was his point of view and it emphasises the difference between us.
§ Captain MACDONALD
I did not say I do not want to see the Colonies flourish; I said that I want to see them flourish and increase the trade of the Lancashire cotton industry by buying from them instead of from Japan.
§ Sir F. ACLAND
If my hon. and gallant Friend will look up his phrase in the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow, he will see that he said that his interest was rather that the Lancashire cotton industry should flourish than that the Colonies should have increased trade. That is a point of view with which we cannot agree, and against doctrines of that sort we maintain our doctrine of the importance of the open door.
§ 10.44 p.m.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
There is not much time left for me, but I make no complaint, because we have had an extremely interesting Debate covering a wide area, and I have been asked far more questions than I can hope to answer. The right hon. Baronet the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland) asked me a question with regard to forests. In reply I would say that I realise the vital need for adequate forest reserves, in the interests of both communities. It is unfair to suggest that in 1531 the increased area allotted under one Order-in-Council to native reserves we have included a lot of desert land or that in regard to the extended European Highlands, as I may call them, we have included a lot of extra good land. Admittedly, the future of the land in the greater part of the Colony is still undetermined. There is still land which is sparsely populated and hardly developed at all and some of it I believe to be capable of development, but that is all in the future.
Do let us remember that these problems with which we are dealing in terms of land, of square miles, of boundaries, of legality, of Orders-in-Couucil and so-forth, are, fundamentally, human problems. One of the difficulties which we have is that everything said by us here goes to both the natives and the settlers in Kenya and even a single phrase used here may cause one or other of them to believe that their sentiments, their feelings, their point of view are not understood and appreciated by us, and that does irreparable harm. The only way in which we can keep control in the House of Commons of a great dependent Colonial Empire is by an understanding of the human problems in every case. Let us be perfectly clear that in Kenya the dual policy stands—the policy of developing the native in his own area and the European in that area where successive British Governments have invited him to try to make good in very difficult circumstances. There is no Colony more attractive than Kenya. On the other hand, there is no Colony with greater problems or greater difficulties. Having regard to the fact that recent settlers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been in difficulties in the last few years, can we wonder that Kenya has difficulties? We have to make allowances.
I really believe that the hon. Gentleman who spoke last from the Front Opposition Bench is wrong in suggesting that there is any differentiation in railway freights between native produce and European produce. I do not believe that there is any such differentiation, but I intend to look into the matter and to check his statement. He began with a phrase which I really think we must get cleared out of the way once and for all, 1532 to the effect that the Europeans have occupied land which was previously in the occupation of natives. With the exception of those 200 or 300, about which we have heard, that is not so and I entirely agree with the last speaker that if it is possible to find land it is much better to deal with the difficulties in that way. To have a, European farm and a couple of natives working uncontrolled is liable to upset the economic future of both. We hope for a clear situation in that respect. Do let us remember that when Sir Charles Eliot was Governor of the East African Protectorate, as it then was, he reported that vast areas of that country, some of the finest parts of it, were absolutely empty. They had been swept for years by the Masai raiders. One still remembers that before the days when the Zionist movement reached the position which it has reached in Palestine to-day, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, as Colonial Secretary, and Lord Lansdowne as Foreign Secretary, saw the then leader of the Zionist movement, Dr. Herzl, and offered him this very area, of the Highlands of Kenya, as a national home for the Jews. He refused it. It was then that the Government advisedly said "In order that this country may be developed, in order that we may have some return for the strategic railway up from Pretoria to the headwaters of the Nile, we will settle this country." And the first settlement was made just after the South African war.
The next great settlement took place under the officers' settlement scheme, when 1,000 war agricultural settlers were sent out at the suggestion of the Government of this country. It is necessary to remember that history when we are assessing the great problems of Kenya. Although there are many sub-divisions of the black race in a country like Nigeria, in a purely native country like Nigeria administration is easier in many ways than in a Colony like Kenya, with Arabs. natives, Indians and Europeans. When hon. Members talk about Uganda and Kenya, when remarks are made about the high costs of administration in Kenya compared with Uganda, do remember that, quite apart from the fact that you have three groups of immigrant races of different kinds, the natives of Kenya are in themselves far more of a problem than they are, say, in neighbouring Uganda. 1533 In Kenya you have the meeting-ground of different races and people of very different stages of culture, with no common habits, and above all nowhere in Kenya have you anything like the ancient quality and the political and social organisation of the Uganda people.
Hence in Kenya we find to-day that the high costs of administration are due to the fact—and it has been a little too much stressed—that it has been found necessary to employ Europeans, European clerks, officials and district commissioners, to do a lot of the work which in other territories, including Tanganyika and Uganda, is performed by natives and particularly native chiefs. The mere fact that you have this community of white settlers does necessitate your having European policemen and clerks to deal with that community, whereas in native territories you have native policemen and native clerks, and when settlers complain of the high cost of government let them realise that in a mixed country such overheads are inevitably higher.
I must take up one point of the hon. Member for Gower, He said that he did not like these passlaws. We heard from several hon. Members on these benches references to the migration of labour from Nyasaland. The complaint there is that, without regulation and control, up and down Africa, from South Africa to the north part of East Africa, Nyasa boys have gone on their own initiative to seek work here, there and everywhere. I am now asked to control that migration which has hitherto been free, where a man has been allowed to go about "on his own," with, I admit, sometimes success, but sometimes, as the Commission found, anything but success for himself and his family, and if I am asked to control the organisation of labour which is seeking to see the world, then it is inevitable that you should have a pass system. You have to have a man given a certificate, you have to organise him and direct him to go to a particular home or employer, and watch over him and see that he is brought back along approved routes. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have freedom for the native to do as he likes, and you must have something in the nature of pass laws if you are to regulate and control the supply of labour going from 1534 native reserves and countries to the new industrial areas. I want to make that perfectly clear.
§ Mr. PALING
Surely the control of natives in that way is a very different matter from the pass laws which have been embodied in the Southern Rhodesia Act?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
That Act has nothing to do with me. There are one or two questions to which I think I ought to refer, which were raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton (Lieut. -Commander Fletcher). In the first place, he asked about Ceylon. It is true that the richest part of Ceylon historically is Northern Central Ceylon, which is now practically derelict and unused. Malaria is the biggest problem Ceylon is up against, first and foremost, and I would impress upon everybody that malaria is not a problem of medicine and treatment of a disease, but a problem of prevention. I lectured the whole Legislative Council of Ceylon on the subject of the life history of the malarial parasite. Most of them did not know it, and unless they tackle the problem, not from the point of view of curing it, but of preventing it, they will not succeed. It is not a medical problem, but an engineering, an Agricultural, and entomological problem more than anything else, and unless they tackle that, they will have another epidemic. They have self-government now in these respects, and I hope self-government will be successful in setting about it.
As to child adoption, I will make inquiries, but there again that is now within, the province of the State Council of Ceylon. They have in these matters of social progress complete self-government, and it is very difficult for us in this House to interfere with these ancient customs of other races. It is our hope that now that they have self-government they will take up these questions of social reform. I think the hon. and gallant Member for Nuneaton was very wrong in what he said about the Malay rulers. I know most of the Malay rulers, and those I know are extremely conscientious servants of their State, and they certainly have the whole of the Malay people behind them. Any suggestion that they are not fulfilling their function coupled with the British resi- 1535 dents, is most unfortunate. I am certain that it will be resented by the Malays as a whole, and I want to take this opportunity to contradict it.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £112,359, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 86; Noes, 171.1537
|Division No, 282.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Quibell, D. J. K|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Ammon, C. G.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Riley, B.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Ritson, J|
|Barr, J.||Holdsworth, H.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Rothschild, J. A. de|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire)||John, W||Rowson, G.|
|Burke, W. A.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Silkin, L.|
|Chater, D.||Kelly, W. T.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Lathan, G.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Daggar, G.||Lawson, J. J.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Leach, W.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Davies, S. 0. (Merthyr)||Leslie, J. R.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Ede, J. C.||McGhee, H. G.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||MacLaren, A.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Edwards. Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Mander, G. le M.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Evans, D. 0. (Cardigan)||Marklow, E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Marshall, F.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Mathers, G.||Westwood, J.|
|Foot, D. M.||Messer, F.||Wllkinson, Ellen|
|Gallacher, W.||Milner, Major J.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Gardner, B. W.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Woods. G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Paling, W.||Young, Sir R.(Newton)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Parker, J.|
|Glbbins, J.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Potts, J.||Sir Hugh Seely and Mr. Acland.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Price, M. P.|
|Albery, Sir I. J.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Leckie, J. A.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Apsley, Lord||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Leighton, Major B. F. P.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Entwistle, C. F.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.|
|Assheton, R.||Errington, E.||Levy, T.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Erskine Hill, A. G.||Lindsay. K. M.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Little, Sir E. Graham-|
|Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.||Findlay, Sir E.||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Lloyd, G. W.|
|Birchall, Sir J. D.||Fraser, Capt. Sir I.||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Furness, S. N.||Loftus, P. C.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Ganzoni, Sir J.||Lumley, Capt. L. R.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Goodman. Col. A. W.||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gower, Sir R. V.||M'Connell, Sir J|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.)|
|Bull, B. B.||Gridley, Sir A. B.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)|
|Butler, R. A.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)||McEwen. Capt. J. H. F.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll,N.W.)||McKie, J. H.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Gunston, Capt. D. W.||Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Guy, J. C. M.||Magnay, T.|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.|
|Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Hamilton, Sir G. C.||Manningham-Buller, Sir M.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hannah, I. C.||Maxwell, S. A.|
|Craddock, Sir R. H.||Hartington, Marquess of||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.|
|Craven-Ellis, W.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Holmes, J. S.||Moreing, A. C.|
|Crooke, J. S.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. 0. J.||Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.||Hopkinson, A.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.|
|Cross, R. H.||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Munro, P|
|Cruddas, Col. B.||Hudson, R. S. (Southport)||Nall, Sir J.|
|Denville, Alfred||Hume, Sir G. H.||Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H.|
|Donner, P. W.||Hunter, T.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.|
|Dugdale, Major T. L.||James, Wing-Commander A. W.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.|
|Duggan, H. J.||Joel, D. J. B.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Penny, Sir G.|
|Petherick, M.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Smithers, Sir W.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.|
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)||Turton, R. H.|
|Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Remer, J. R.||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Spens, W. P.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Storey, S.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Salmon, Sir I.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Sandeman, Sir N. S.||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Sandys, E. D.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Scott, Lord William||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.||Wise, A. R.|
|Selley, H. R.||Sutcliffe, H.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Shakespeare, G. H.||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)||Tate, Mavis C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)||Major Sir George Davies and|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceedings, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.