§ 28. Mr. Robert Gibson
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what extent and/or proportion of land is held by native owners and non-native owners in Nigeria, the Gold Coast and Kenya, respectively; and how far alienation of land from native owners to European and other non-native owners is discouraged or prohibited in these three areas?
Mr. M. MacDonald
As the reply is necessarily long I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the reply:
§ Approximately 11,300 square miles of land in Kenya had been alienated to non-natives on 31st December, 1937. On that date there was approximately 48,300 square miles of native reserves to which some 2,600 square miles are shortly to be added. In addition, there are some 160,000 square miles of Crown lands, the greater part of which is in native occupation. I have no detailed information available for Nigeria and the Gold Coast, but I am in communication with the Governors of these territories and will write to the hon. Member in due course.
§ As regards the second part of the question, alienation of land in the Kenya Native Reserves to non-natives is prohibited except to a limited extent for purposes which can be shown to be beneficial to the natives. In the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast the control over native lands is vested in the Governor, and rights of occupancy which he may grant to non-natives are limited to a maximum term of 99 years. In the Gold Coast Colony and in Ashanti rights over land may be acquired by non-natives by direct negotiation with the owners. In most cases the rights cannot be for a longer period than 99 years and are subject to validation by Concessions Courts, which are empowered to impose other conditions and restrictions. All lands in the Northern Provinecs of Nigeria are declared by law to be native lands, and their control is vested in the Governor who may grant certain limited rights of occupancy therein to non-natives. In the Southern Provinces no non-native may acquire any right or interest in land from a native except with the approval in writing of the Governor.