LORD OLIVIER rose to call attention to the tenour of the White Paper (Cmd. 2904) on "Future policy in regard to Eastern Africa," to invite from His Majesty's Government a statement of the principles according to which they interpret the admitted duty of trusteeship for native Africans, with especial reference to some recent examples of policy; and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, last February my noble friend Lord Arnold called attention to a demand which was being made in the Colony of Kenya for an elected European majority over all Parties in the Legislature and also to a Bill for conscription, for a white so-called defence force. He asked His Majesty's Government whether they could give any information as to whether any new departure in policy was contemplated in East Africa. The Earl of Clarendon at that time replied:—
… the only statement which I can make at this moment on behalf of His Majesty's Government is that they adhere to the principles as laid down in the White Paper, to which the noble Lord has referred and which is known as the Kenya White Paper of 1923.
The most rev. Primate spoke on the Motion, rather indicating that he trusted no departure would be made from established arrangements without very serious consideration.
§ Since then, at the end of July, another White Paper has been issued by His Majesty's Government, entitled "Future Policy in regard to Eastern Africa." That Paper definitely indicates a departure from the policy which was laid down in the Duke of Devonshire's White 552 Paper of 1923. If there had been opportunity before your Lordships adjourned last summer I feel sure it would have been useful for your Lordships to have discussed the matter at that time. I have taken the earliest opportunity of bringing the matter before your Lordships' House, in the hope of eliciting helpful expressions of opinion on the subject. This White Paper really broaches two subjects. It first of all broaches the question of constituting a Federal Government, or some other form of closer union for Eastern African territories north of the Zambesi. The second question raised is the modification of the declared policy of the British Government in regard to the exercise of trusteeship over native Africans in those territories.
With regard to the expediency of making arrangements whereby "more effective co-operation" may be secured—I am quoting from the White Paper—"between the different Governments in Central and Eastern Africa, more particularly in regard to the development of transport and communications, Customs tariffs and Customs administration, scientific research and defence," I have no objections to offer. But it is obviously not in the least degree necessary for these purposes to establish a Federal Government, any more than it is necessary for such purposes as those of the Postal Union to federate the various States of the world that engage in it and arrange an agreed tariff of postage and distribute the proceeds of that tariff according to fixed arrangements. Moreover, so far as Customs are concerned, I observe that Sir Edward Grigg, speaking at the opening of the Legislative Council, said:
I am very glad the system of tariff regulations between Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika is now in operation. I am sure it will prove valuable to all three territories.
I cannot conceive, therefore, that there is very much else to be discussed as regards Customs and tariff regulations by the Commission which is to be appointed. I do not know whether Tanganyika Territory can be made subject to Imperial Preference—that is an interesting point—but apart from that it seems to me that the question of tariffs and Customs is already sufficiently settled.
§ But in addition to these topics, which I should not regard as controversial, there is inserted in the proposed refer- 553 ence to the Commission the question also of defence, with regard to which I shall have something to say. In regard to the uncontroversial topics, however, I wish to point out that Mr. Thomas, when Secretary of State for the Colonies, appointed two Committees, one under the presidency of my noble friend Lord South-borough, who I am sorry is not here to-day—I had a note from him saying he had hoped to attend but is unwell—and the other under the presidency of Lord Islington. The reference to these two Committees entirely covered, so far as I can judge, the ground which is now deputed to this new Commission to consider. I wish to point out that these Committees were appointed by Mr. Thomas with the full public support of Mr. Amery. When my noble friend Earl Buxton introduced a deputation to Mr. Thomas asking for the appointment of such Committees, Mr. Ormsby-Gore, the present Under-Secretary of State, was present and it was definitely emphasised to Mr. Thomas that the deputation had the support of Mr. Amery who could not be present.
§ Without any derogation to the gentlemen who constitute the Commission now proposed I must say that, these two Committees constituted a much stronger body for dealing with the question which this Commission has to consider, and I think that had those Committees been allowed to proceed with their work there would have been no need now for this Commission. I should like to be informed for what reason these Committees were disbanded by Mr. Amery when he succeeded Mr. Thomas, to whose action in appointing them he had agreed. The present Commission includes two members who are extremely well qualified to deal with the particular financial questions referred to them. One of these members was placed on the Commission to watch over the interests of Indians, which are very gravely affected, and that is a very proper precaution. I am confident that the interest of Indians will be efficiently attended to, and the Indian Government have already taken active steps to have the interests of Indians properly represented. I have no doubt whatever that the interests of Indians will be thoroughly inquired into and done justice to. The fourth member of the Commission is a gentleman who is well equipped to deal with the question of native trusteeship 554 and native interests, but he has not administrative experience, and, without any disrespect to the Chairman of the Commission or to Sir George Schuster, both extremely able men in finance, I think they would themselves admit that they come without any previous qualifications for investigating some of the questions which are referred to this Commission.
With regard to the question of constituting a Federal Government, the White Paper, if read without knowledge of the facts, appears to be misleading in the suggestion which it makes in paragraph 4 that there is some general movement on the part of European settlers throughout the territories in favour of closer contact. The White Paper says:—
The announcement of the holding of the Governors' Conference started a new movement on the part of the European settlers towards closer contact, and two unofficial conferences have been held within the last two years, at Tukuyu in Tanganyika and Livingstone in Northern Rhodesia respectively, which were attended by leading settlers from the various Dependencies. The desirability of federation also figured in the programme of nearly all the candidates at the recent election for the Legislative Council in Kenya. The business communities in this country who are concerned in East Africa have also, through the Joint East African Board and otherwise, indicated their interest in closer union.
I must say I think that that description of the causes which led to the appointment of this Commission reminds me rather unfortunately of Mark Twain's description of the Pennsylvania apple barrel in which there were a great many layers of shavings under a very few layers of sass.
I want really to go to the bones of this matter and bring the purpose of this Commission down to the ground. The so-called conference of settlers which was held at Tukuyu was a picnic party organised by Lord Delamere and paid for by him. He is very active and very much interested in this question of East African federation. It consisted of thirteen members, but there was no representative from Uganda. There were three representatives from Kenya, Lord Delamere, Lord Francis Scott and Major H. F. Ward, a land and estate agent; there were three representatives from Northern Rhodesia, Mr. F. J. Clarke, Mr. T. N. Meiklen and Mr. L. F. Moore, the owner
of the Livingstone Mail; two from Nyasaland, Mr. Sandres, a settler, and Mr. M. T. Seale, tobacco planter; and five from Tanganyika. A special correspondent of the East African Standard, referring to the meeting, wired as follows:—
Lord Delamere has made wonderful arrangements for the comfort of the delegates, many of whom are accompanied by their wives.
That is how large representative conferences on this subject are managed. It is only right to remember that Lord Delamere, who is most interested in Imperial questions, is entitled to try to impress public opinion, but there is no sign of any general movement in East Africa in favour of federation.
§ The question of federation, in fact, is a forced card. Two influences have conspired to force it, and I do not see why His Majesty's Government should not state frankly the reasons that have conspired to force it. The first reason is the desire, very fascinating to the minds of many people, to establish a great continuous British Dominion from Zanzibar to the Soudan, and as part of that scheme to include the mandated territory of Tanganyika indistinguishably in the British Empire. You constantly see that ambition expressed in letters to The Times and in the East African Press, though, so far as I can judge, it is contrary to the intention of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which has already been somewhat strained by the British Government having procured the insertion in the Tanganyika Mandate of a provision that it might be constituted into "such a Federation" as it is now proposed to approach, whatever that may mean. The second cause is the idea of the very enterprising and spirited leader of the Settlers' Party in Kenya that by establishing a Federal Government with a seat at Nairobi, and with the delegates of that Party in a Federal Legislature on the basis of a proportional representation of Europeans, such as it is claimed there should be, he would put the European landowners of Kenya in a position to dictate internal policy, including native policy, throughout East Africa, as they have largely been able to do hitherto in Kenya, but not elsewhere.
§ This programme is quite frankly put forward, and the character of its purpose 556 is so definitely conceived that it has been publicly stated that, unless the Kenya contingent is promised an effective vote in the Federal Council and unless as a preliminary the European community in Kenya is given the mastery of public affairs, they will have nothing to do with the Federation. As it is already well known, without any inquiry by a Commission, that under those conditions of the supremacy of Kenya, the representatives of Uganda and Tanganyika, in so far as they have any voice of their own, to say nothing of Zanzibar, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, will for their part equally have nothing to do with a Federation, it is difficult to see, though not, perhaps, difficult to conjecture, why His Majesty's Government have considered it useful to take up this project. The White Paper does not indicate any adequate explanation.
§ As regards the other question referred to the Commission — namely, how Europeans may be associated more directly with the Imperial Government in responsibility and trusteeship for African natives, the premises are fairly propounded in the White Paper. One thing, however, is not quite clearly stated. I desire to ask whether His Majesty's Government, whilst modifying their view that trusteeship for Africans must be administered by themselves and their agents alone, still adhere to the considered opinion, expressed in the Kenya White Paper of 1923, that in the purposes of that trust the interests of African natives must be paramount and, if and when those interests and the interests of immigrant races conflict, that the former should prevail and not merely be safeguarded. I ask the Government that question. It may well seem reasonable that it should be left to the Commission to interpret what is to be understood by giving Europeans closer association in the responsibility and trusteeship of Government. Indeed, I should have supposed that this was just what the Commission was to consider, were it not for the fact that the Governor of Kenya has already, in addressing the Kenya Council in August last, announced how he interprets it. The immigrants are already associated with the Government by their representation on the Legislative Council, but they have not obtained control. The most obvious interpre- 557 tation of the mode in which association in responsibility is to be exercised is that they are to be given the controlling majority with European predominance which Lord Delamere and his associates have consistently claimed.
Sir Edward Grigg, in his speech, made it clear that he understands that this is the accepted intention. He said:—
I come to deal with the plans of constitutional development in Kenya. It is recognised in England that the time has come to take into partnership the colonists who have made this country their home.
I think it is a very large statement to say that this is recognised in England. I doubt very much whether it is recognised by my noble friends who represent the Liberal Party, and it is certainly not recognised by the Party with which I am associated. I think that if you went to the ordinary man who thinks about Colonial affairs you would find that it is not by any means recognised by the people of England that the time has come to give the Kenya settlers the power to control the affairs of Kenya. He then goes on to say:—
If the Commission is to recommend the important constitutional transition from an official to an unofficial majority certain other changes in the Legislature are essential. It must be remembered that with the reduction of the strength of the Government, effective power will pass to the representative as compared with the official members of the Council.
I want to know whether the Governor made that announcement on the instructions and with the authority of the Secretary of State. Has the Secretary of State already decided that issue which, on being challenged by my noble friend Lord Arnold in February, he said he was far from having decided, and has he instructed the Commission accordingly? If so, is the task of the Commission merely to settle questions of detail for the other trustees? As regards Kenya, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, the British Government is, of course, at liberty to interpret its self-assigned duties of trusteeship as Parliament may allow, but the position in Uganda and Zanzibar is very different, while as regards Tanganyika, the British Government is under its Mandate the sole trustee. I desire to know if it is considered that a trustee of a mandated territory can share the responsibility of its trust with immigrant settlers and, if
so, whether discrimination can be made between settlers of different origin.
§ But before this question of sharing trusteeship is handled, I would desire some light as to the way in which His Majesty's Government consider that their degree of trusteeship may be properly exercised in regard to native affairs. In Southern Rhodesia certain powers of veto on Colonial legislation affecting natives were retained under the new Constitution. I am not going into details of Rhodesian affairs, but I cannot help observing that the Rhodesian Government have taken a certain decision on the Report of the Land Commission, with which I dealt fully in your Lordships' House some time ago, which is manifestly favourable to the interests of Europeans at the expense of those of natives. The Secretary of State has declined to overrule this decision on the ground, as I understand, that he considers that Europeans in Southern Rhodesia must learn to deal equitably with the natives by exercising their own responsibility. We have seen the Constitution of the Cape and of South Africa, and the Constitution of Southern Rhodesia, and on each occasion we said that we would retain the protection of natives in our own hands, and on each occasion, after a short time, we say that we cannot interfere with the discretion of these people to whom we have given responsible government, and we abandon any kind of interference or protest on behalf of the natives.
§ That has gone on step by step and I want to see it stopped in this part of Africa because it is destroying the confidence of African natives in the British Government. I am reminded by this of nothing so much as keeping a happy family of animals and allowing the dog to eat the guinea pig's porridge and the cat to eat the mouse, on the ground that they must learn on their own responsibility to live as a well-ordered family. The rights of the natives are allowed to go by default. The Secretary of State recently sanctioned the principle of child apprenticeship for four years to farmer employers, and the limited application of this to unruly children has been followed by a demand on the part of the farmers, in which the Colonial Secretary of Southern Rhodesia has expressed his sympathy, that a general system of child apprenticeship beginning on tobacco 559 estates, should be legalised. This bears on Kenya. Do His Majesty's Government approve the principle of the apprenticeship of native children to European farmers? The system has been found disastrous and eliminated everywhere else in this country and throughout the British Empire. It was eliminated in Cape Colony years ago. If they do not, does the Secretary of State intend that when Europeans are associated with the Government in their trust, and they advocate, as they are already advocating in Kenya, on the strength of the recent Rhodesian Ordinance, the increased employment of children on coffee and sisal estates, this shall be permitted in order that they may learn, by experience, the proper way of exercising their responsibility?
§ All that has been learned before in our dealing with native populations, and it need not be allowed now to be re-discovered at the expense of the natives, either of Kenya or Southern Rhodesia. It is to be expected that the Mandates Commission would make short work of such a proposal in regard to Tanganyika.
Before any Commission can soundly advise whether immigrants should be associated with the British Government in executing their trusteeship for natives, the preliminary question arises: Has that trusteeship been, even under present conditions, sincerely exercised, and is it being so exercised? The Duke of Devonshire's declaration that the interests of the natives must be paramount is openly derided in Kenya, not only as unsound in principle, but as a profession which no one has ever taken seriously or attempted to put into practice. I will read your Lordships an extract from a letter of a very prominent settler:—
The White Paper raises a new bogey. This now shadowy menace (for it has no substance when proved) is the trusteeship idea, implying that all the Imperial Government has done, and all that European settlement is doing, is primarily on behalf of the native. Of course, candidly speaking there is not an atom of fact in their postulate. Why keep to the pretence?
A fortnight later another correspondent said:—
Its argument seems to be based on the false premise that trusteeship compels the trustee to throw all his own property into the trust. In actual fact so far as land is
concerned, there is no excuse for saying that trusteeship extends beyond the boundaries of the native reserves.
Another correspondent says that "the squatters should be forbidden to keep cattle." He admits that coffee planters are against this proposal, and adds:—
They reckon that their labour supply would receive such a check as it would never recover again. I do not agree. Economic pressure would force Nandi and Lumbwa out of the reserves, just as it does Kavi-rondo.
§ Kenya has not been settled upon the principle of trusteeship, and its public policy really never has been and is not that native interests should be paramount. The spirit of the intention expressed in the Kenya White Paper of 1923 appeared to me admirable and I welcomed it. I never questioned its good faith but I doubted, and I doubt, whether what its language appeared to imply could really be alleged to be in fact pursued as a policy, or, if intended, could be maintained in practice. For example, it could not really be accurately said that Kenya had been colonised under the impulse to act in trusteeship, or that the policy of the Colonial Government as in practice administered, at any rate up to 1923, had been dominated by the influence of that motive. Up to that date the interests of the natives had not in fact been treated as paramount, and when other interests and the interests of natives conflicted the latter and not the former had repeatedly been allowed to prevail. I am not saying this as an instance of turpitude on the part of any one, but I am saying it as an historical fact, for it is an historical fact.
§ In so far therefore as the White Paper of 1923 was a declaration of policy, it was, in asserting the paramount claim of native interests to priority, a new departure of policy. I felt doubt at the time whether it was going to be found a genuine and feasible policy, and whether, in the circumstances, it was a policy which, if acted upon, would be quite fair to all European settlers. No such question has arisen in practice because up to the present time that principle has not been given effect to in the policy of the Government of Kenya. It was, I apprehend, the desire, and may still be taken to be the intention, of the Government that it should be given effect to, but the fact is not made clear in the White 561 Paper, and I ask whether it is the case or not that the native interest is to be paramount. That such a principle should be given prominence in the White Paper and ignored in practice must be disastrous for our reputation as a nation and for our influence among the African peoples. Has the policy been changed, or is it to be changed, under cover of this new White Paper?
§ The Government of Kenya, since the White Paper, have been, and are still being, pressed to push the natives about, contrary to their interest and desires, but in the interest of the European settlers. In the past the Kikuyu, the Giriama, the Masai, the Nandi, the Wakamba and the Tharaka have all suffered in this way. The Masai, who have been the favourite subjects of these attentions, are now again threatened with the alienation of lands along the railway on which their cattle now graze, which can hardly fail to cause trouble. The Commission, of which Mr. Justice Feetham was recently Chairman, has recommended the inclusion of part of the Samburn reserve in a district for white settlers, and there has been very strong agitation on the part of representatives of the white community that this reserve should be opened to white settlers. It happened only yesterday that I heard that the project of evicting the Samburn tribes had been dropped, and I hope that there will be no question of further molesting or troubling them. If so, I hope that an assurance will be given to that effect. If the principle of native interests being paramount really were established, such a policy could not even be mooted.
The two cardinal institutions of Kenya economic policy are the native hut and poll tax and the finger print law for the registration of natives. The intention of these institutions was in their development, and continues to be in their operation, to force natives into a state of employment and to fix them in that position. A much more active policy for that purpose was formerly attempted by the Colonial Government, but had to be repressed. We had a debate in this House in which the late Lord Emmott took a prominent part. Mr. Churchill and the Duke of Devonshire sternly set their face against the attempt to force labourers into employment. We had
reason to hope that that attempt had been effectually repressed. In speaking at the dinner of the African Society on March 13, Sir Edward Grigg said there is no indirect compulsion upon the African to work for the European unless he wishes to do so. He added:—
There is no indirect compulsion by tax in Kenya. Every native can earn his tax quite easily in his own reserve. If he goes outside to earn his tax it is because he can do so more easily, because he likes the adventure and the new life … The idea that labour is driven out of the reserves by taxation is a gross misrepresentation. The most heavily taxed tribe are the Masai, who pay £1. They send out practically no labour at all.
For reasons which I shall presently give I find those statements entirely unconvincing.
They are in direct conflict with the considered judgment of the East African Commission, consisting of Mr. OrmsbyGore, Major Chinch, and Mr. Linfield, who said:—
The motives winch impel the African natives to leave their settlements may be said to be, firstly, the necessity of obtaining money with which to pay their taxes"—
which Sir Edward Grigg said they did not need to do—
secondly, the desire for money with which to purchase clothes and other articles of import; thirdly, the desire for money with which to buy cattle or wives; and, fourthly, the desire to see the world"—
which Sir Edward Grigg said is their principal motive. I leave those two statements in direct confrontation the one with the other, merely saying that all I can learn from time to time with regard to Kenya entirely supports Mr. Ormsby-Gore, Major Church, and Mr. Linfield. I note that in the same speech Sir Edward Grigg admitted that when he went out to Kenya for the first time about eighteen months ago he was new to African problems. I fear that he has not yet completely mastered them. I am in hopes that this Commission may do something to assist him to do so. The reference to the Masai appears to me to be an entire fallacy. The Masai are a special case. They are the wealthiest tribe. They can easily pay their tax of £1, so the tax does exercise no compulsion on the Masai to go out of their reserve to labour, which they would despise doing. The statement I have quoted with regard to the actual operative effect of the tax on the agricultural interests in
driving natives out of the reserves I believe to be incontrovertible. I hope to have further opinions formed on it when Sir Hilton Young's Commission goes into the question of how we are exercising our trusteeship.
§ It is necessary to insist on the fact that the policy of compelling natives to work is advocated by many people on the strength of the doctrine that this is the best way in which the policy of trusteeship can be exercised. I very strongly dissent from that doctrine, but I cannot here fully develop my grounds for dissent, and I cannot expect my own view to be universally accepted. I merely note that the policy of exercising increasing pressure on natives remains continuously active. The latest proposed turn of the screw is the recommendation of the Labour Commission which sat this spring, that the working month in all labour contracts should be increased from a term of one calendar month to a term of thirty working days. The increased employment of children is also urged, and it is recommended that the school holidays should be fixed in the harvest season so that the children may help the planters in their harvest. Why they should not help their parents in the harvest I cannot imagine. Further, I want to point out that a new law is being framed for submission to the Secretary of State, under which not only male employees, but female and other domestic servants, are all to be registered under the Finger Print Ordinance and have their finger prints taken.
§ I submit that before any judgment is approached as to whether, or in what manner, the employing class of the Colony shall be more fully associated in trusteeship for the natives we ought to be satisfied on two points. The first point is: What is the sense in which the idea of trusteeship is now interpreted? Is it to be exercised directly through a general social policy, or indirectly in the promotion of employment on white estates? The second point is: With what fidelity has this trust in either sense been hitherto discharged by the Colonial Government in the spirit of regarding the interest of the natives as paramount, or even as having an equal claim with those of Europeans? Assuming for a moment that the policy of trusteeship may be exercised through the indirect 564 pressure to work on white estates, which is still in actual practice the dominant policy, any Commission which is to report on future provision for trusteeship ought to begin by examining what reaction the present policy is actually having on native agriculture, on social conditions, and native feeling.
We have conditionally been promised research into social problems of this kind. In two previous debates the noble Earl, Lord Balfour—who I am sorry to learn cannot be here this evening—promised us research on this question. We have heard a great deal of purely scientific research into the general problems of health and disease—which I admit are important. I suggest that in this connection those concerned should follow the dictum that "The proper study of mankind is man." I am bound to say that Sir Edward Grigg shows a really pathetic belief in the value of research, as is shown in the following passage of his speech to the African Society:—
We must establish some new moral basis for the old tribal customs we destroyed. We must concentrate the very best organised scientific research we can upon that problem.
I wish there were at this moment some Bishops in this House who could tell me in the course of the debate whether they regard it as necessary in this country to set up some new Committee of scientific research in order to find a new moral basis to substitute for the waning influence of the Church upon morals. I myself think that the counsel and advice of that very able and wise man, the late Bishop of Zanzibar, is much more to the point—namely, that you should not undermine the natives' old tribal sanctions until you have a new religion to give them, and that you should endeavour to substitute for their old moral sanctions those which were substituted, by the Christian Church in the Middle Ages for the old moral sanctions of our barbarian ancestors. That is the kind of scientific research which is the sane way of dealing with this question: do not break up their tribal superstitions until you are sure that you have something to substitute for them.
§ Theoretically the action of His Majesty's Government, in consonance with their White Paper, has recently been that there should be no compulsion on labour, that the Government should pursue a dual 565 policy of encouraging both European and native agriculture. I concur in this policy. I think that the Government should and must discharge its duties to Europeans. But I am afraid that if they do so they will not be able in every case to regard native interests as paramount. That is one reason why I think that word is a little unfortunate if not misleading. Bui I would like to have an impartial, judicially-minded inquiry to report as to whether there is or is not actual pressure, through the hut and poll tax and otherwise, upon natives in Kenya to work on estates. I invite His Majesty's Government honestly to face that question. I find it impossible myself to accept Sir Edward Grigg's complacent dismissal of it.
§ With respect to the other part of the dual policy, which is of course of importance in all these East African territories, it seems to me that as a preliminary the Commission ought to take note of the statement made in the White Paper of 1923 that at present special consideration is being given to economic development in the native reserves, and that within the limits imposed by the finance of the Colony, all that is possible for the advancement and development of the Africans, both inside and outside of the native reserves, will be done. That statement was made, of course, in good faith, but it cannot be said to have materialised. In the speech to which I have referred Sir Edward Grigg appears to have desired to indicate what had been done. According to his own statement it amounts to hardly anything beyond a pious aspiration for research. I see no sign of things being done which I believe, from my connection with mixed communities both in West Africa and in the West Indies in which an African agriculture had to be developed, could be done and could already have been done. I should like to know from His Majesty's Government, or that the Commission will critically examine, what really has been done, and is being done, and how far the assurance given in the White Paper is being fulfilled.
§ Two facts impress me in this connection. The first is that the recent Labour Commission which reported on the Colony, of which the Chairman was a public official, report that they calculate that on an average a native family cultivating its holding in the reserves, of 1½ to 566 2¼ acres, produces crops for home consumption which would amount in value to no more than between 55s. and 75s. per annum, and saleable produce, live stock and other things, to an average value of 15s. They argue from this that it must be much better for the natives to work on estates where, if they work the whole year, they can earn 135s.; that is to say, they think it is better to have half-a-crown a week and a dollar over. The inference that it is better for the natives so to work is highly disputable. But I pass that by. More cash can no doubt be earned. The same Commission estimated the total number of able-bodied men available for labour on estates, if all the natives were taken out of the reserves, at 400,000. The Native Affairs Department recently estimated the number at considerably less than that—356,000. The total amount of the native hut and poll tax last year was nearly £523,000. Every able-bodied man has to help to pay the hut tax of those who are not able-bodied, from which it results that on the Native Affairs Department's figures, the average tax per able-bodied labourer is 29s. 5d. or, taking the Labour Commission's higher estimate of able-bodied men, between 26s. and 27s.
§ Now the same Labour Commission tells us that the native in the reserve only produces between 70s. and 90s. worth of produce a year; so that the tax he has to pay is, at the lowest, about one-third of his total income. Besides this he has to do twenty-four days forced labour, unpaid, on public works in the reserve, which occupies another full month of his time. The public exaction on him, therefore, is five-twelfths of his total family income and the money tax amounts to nearly the whole of the sum which the Commission estimated to be the saleable value of the crops he can raise. Yet Sir Edward Grigg said that it is a gross misrepresentation to suggest that the land and hut tax put any indirect pressure on the native to come out of the reserves to work on the estates. The Labour Commission, writing in an atmosphere in which everybody knows perfectly well the contrary to be the case and has no reason to pretend otherwise, do not dissemble the facts, which prove that the taxation must act as an inducement if not as a compulsion. On their estimate of 135s. as earned income in the year the hut and 567 poll tax is one-fifth of that income, if they go away from home and work. Alongside of these facts, of which every native is perfectly aware, educated natives observe the spectacle of the white community, when the Colonial Office had instructed the Governor to introduce an Income Tax, refusing to pay it, and chasing the Income Tax Law off the Statute Book. At the same time, the amount of taxation levied from the natives is not only enormously high in comparison with their means, but is actually largely used to pay for public services which are maintained, not for their benefit but for that of Europeans.
§ I remember that when we had to recast the whole system of peasant taxation in Jamaica it was said again and again in regard to various cases: "Oh, the tax is high, but he, can easily pay it." How can you say, in regard to a very poor man whose total income is valued at from 70s. to 90s. a year, that it is other than unjustifiable to impose upon him a tax of one-third, one-fourth or one-fifth of the value of his total income? Until one has been in contact with these people as I have, and has gone right down into the question, one does not know how they feel their taxation. It is only then that you really begin to understand the matter. I am quite sure that Sir Edward Grigg has not had time to do that. Jamaica is a large community of estates and of peasant proprietors where the Kenya idea prevailed that you must force the negro to work on the estates otherwise he will never learn to work, and I took the matter up and recast the whole system of property taxation and placed it on the only reasonable and just basis in such a country—the valuation of all holdings—and the land was properly taxed upon the valuation basis. That reduced the average of the peasant's house tax from about, 13s. to about 4s. and distributed the balance properly on the white landowners. The white landowners, very differently from the Kenya white landowners, accepted my policy because they recognised that the thing had to be done. They had to admit that it was a hardship on the peasant to have to pay such unjust and inequitable taxes and that it was ridiculous to say that he could easily pay them. I speak on this subject with some warmth because I speak with very considerable knowledge.568
§ But if it is the fact that native cultivation can only produce about 80s. worth in the year, after more than twenty years of European Government and after what we were told was the active policy four years ago to help them to produce more, then that proves to me that their interests have been grossly neglected. On peasant holdings of the same size in Jamaica, a negro peasant, family, by negro methods of cultivation—improved very greatly by the activities of the local agricultural societies but not essentially different—easily raises produce worth £40 a year and in thousands of cases more. The figure I give was ascertained before the War; but I have no doubt that the productivity is greater now. The Report of the Labour Commission, if reliable, surely proves that the Government have not done all or nearly all that was possible to do for the development of the native interests.
§ The first two necessities for such development are roads and markets. In a recent debate the noble Earl, Lord Balfour, asked what was the use of having roads without railways. I wish I could have left him to the noble Lord, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who would have agreed that the public roads were really of great use long years before railways were invented. The first need of peasant proprietors may be said to be roads and roads and roads, and then they get markets. As soon as you get roads you get markets. "Three women make a market." As soon as you get roads and markets you find a very great amount of prosperity springing up simply as a result of trade between different parts of the Colony. A great deal of the prosperity of Jamaica is due to trading between different parts of the same island which produce different things. Very much more so is that the case when they grow staples for export as they do in Jamaica. But the first thing you have to do is to make roads and to allow markets to spring up.
The Colonial Government in Kenya have not made roads; they have made, and are making, railways to enable syndicates to unload the land of which they have obtained possession. The latest example is the railway from Gilgil to Thomson's Falls on which £235,000 is to be spent so as to develop the lands of the East African Land Development
Syndicate. I am not going to abuse the South African Land Development Syndicate. It is an excellently managed company, the Chairman of which is the noble Earl, Lord Denbigh. I am not saying a word against its finance or its management. It is a good company from a City point of view, but not from the point of view that I am considering. I desire to point out that this syndicate, at the invitation of the Foreign Office, was granted 500 square miles of land in Kenya on condition that it did certain works of development. It has done certain works of development and is now in possession of a considerable amount, of land. It has got rid of some of its land and it is gradually getting rid of the land still in its possession, having fulfilled its contract to improve the land. I have the report of the syndicate, which says:—
Taking our expenditure up-to-date upon the development of our land we charge on our land account at the rate of 7s. 10d. per acre. We are now selling land at the rate of £2 7s. 10d. per acre.
That is to say they are already making a profit of £2 an acre on every acre they sell.
The report goes on:—
We have been promised a railway from Gilgil to Thomson's Falls which we estimate will put up the value of our lands near the stations to £7 10s. an acre, will put up other not quite such good land to £4 per acre and land suitable for cattle and dairying to £2 an acre, and we may reliably calculate that the balance of the land remaining in our possession now is worth £400,000.
The subscribed share capital of the com-pay is £111,000 and that value is to be put up by building a railway which is to cost £235,000 and which the chief engineer of the railway says will at the beginning mean an annual loss of £35,000. I have his report in which he says:—
We never can expect to come out at a less loss than £10,000 a year.
It is perfectly clear that after the railway is made that £235,000 worth of the £400,000 value to which I have referred is a free gift from the Government of Kenya and it is a free gift at the expense of the people who pay the taxes. The East African Commission says that three quarters of native taxes go for the benefit of white settlers and only a quarter for the benefit of the natives. Of course the syndicate sell their lands
to settlers at whatever they can get the settlers to pay, and the settlers are left to fight out the difficulties in regard to labour. Pressure has to be put on the natives finally.
§ If the white community or the Imperial Government want to develop an East African estate and say it is worth our while to give all this money away to shareholders of the East African Syndicate, well and good. I am not complaining of it. You say that is acting as trustee for the natives and that you are developing East Africa in the interests of the natives although you are not paying your way. That may be good policy from the point of view of commercial Imperialism and may be good business from the point of view of the City and as regards the fulfilment of the company's contract. I am sure they fulfil their contract in a most admirable and public-spirited manner, but regarded as public finance it seems to me crazy and imbecile. I am sure the members of the Liberal Party will agree with me, as the whole of my Party does, that it is imbecile finance to give away a vast amount of new country and then to make a railway which is never to pay its way and make a present to the company of the whole of the value of that railway. I repeat, that is crazy and imbecile finance. If it were not for the extraordinary views the Foreign Office had twenty-five years ago for the development of East Africa in that manner, the Colony would never have been settled by that method of development, but would have had a more sane and sensible method of development applied to it.
I would like to quote again from Mr. Ormsby-Gore's Report on West Africa. In this Report he says:—
The foundation of a sound agricultural policy must necessarily begin with the production of the food of the people. Food comes first and economic crops for export should come second.
I entirely agree with that. Then he says:—
I wish to emphasise this as a general principle. The development of economic crops at the expense of production of food for local consumption is most undesirable,"—
that is what is going on in Kenya today—
and a plentiful supply of cheap food for the native and non-native inhabitant of
the countries is the first essential. The study and development of native food supplies, both animal and vegetable, should be one of the first duties of Government, and there is no reason why West Africa should have to rely on imported supplies.
Does the Secretary of State consider these observations inapplicable to Kenya and East Africa? Some years ago the Nandi tribe were encouraged to grow wheat in their reserve. They did so with great success and produced an exceedingly satisfactory yield. As this mode of production threatened to compete with European white wheat growers local milling concerns refused to grind the wheat into flour, with the result that this promising experiment was nipped in the bud and has now ceased.
I will give one more quotation from the East African Commission's Report of which I have already spoken:—
The chief Native Commissioner of Kenya, in a Paper submitted to us, estimated that in 1923 the maximum amount that could be considered to have been spent on services provided exclusively for the benefit of the native population was slightly over one-quarter of the taxes paid by them.
They pay about £800,000 to £900,000 a year in taxation. The report goes on:—
As a concrete example, we were informed that in the last ten years the Kitui Akamba have paid £207,749 in direct taxes alone, and that you may travel through the length and breadth of Kitui reserve and you will fail to find in it any enterprise, building, or structure of any sort which the Government has provided at the cost of more than a few sovereigns for the direct benefit of the natives. The place was little better than a wilderness when I first knew it twenty-five years ago, and it remains a wilderness to-day as far as our efforts are concerned. If we left that district to-morrow the only permanent evidence of our occupation would be the buildings we have erected for the use of our tax-collecting staff.
In connection with this question of taking into association with us representatives of the immigrant community as joint trustees I want to ask: In what spirit is that trust likely to be interpreted? I have said nothing I hope in derogation of the settlers this afternoon. In our last debate the most rev. Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made an urgent appeal that we should give the settlers a rest. Well, I have given the settlers a rest this afternoon, but I really cannot help quoting political statements that are made by representatives of the settlers.
I will read to your Lordships an extract from a speech made by the Hon. Captain Coney, a member of the Legislative Council, on February 16, 1926. He is reported as follows:—
The position of the labour market was really serious. 'You will never solve the problem until you have control of the country—when you have that you will immediately solve the problem'—
that is the labour problem—
The policy of the Government should be that every male native of the country must work. Could the meeting define to him how that policy could be enforced? Did the meeting suggest for a moment that Government could force labour? He thought that all the Government could say was this: 'You must work—either in the reserves or on the farms, but work you must.' If that policy were to be applied they would have the politicians at home determined to 'do us in.'
I hope, my Lords, that they would.
There was no solution except to get control of the country in our own hands.
That is the programme—"to get control of the country in our own hands"—and the purpose is to force labour on the natives. I have another statement, made by Major Grogan, to whom Lord Emmott referred on a former occasion as having treated Sir Edward Northey to "a violent and insolent tirade." Major Grogan says:—
A good sound system of compulsory labour would do more to raise the nigger in five years than all the millions that have been sunk in missionary efforts for the last fifty. … Then let the native be compelled to work so many months in the year and call it compulsory education, as we call our weekly bonnet parades church. Under such a title, surely the most delicate British conscience may be at rest.
§ Further, I wish to know why they have authorised the scheme of a white burgher force in Kenya, with conscription for white men. To defend whom against whom? Everyone knows perfectly well that the force is conceived on Afrikander lines to hold down the natives: the natives know that better than anyone else. If you want a force for the maintenance of internal order, you must associate in it the people among whom order is to be kept. All that is required is a force of African rankers under white officers. I want to warn the Government against acceptance of the suggestion of the Commission under Mr. Justice Feetham, that white landowners should be given judicial functions as lay magistrates 573 to try cases under the masters and servants law. I have no objection to giving justices of the peace at petty sessions power to deal with ordinary police cases, to issue process and to discharge other necessary functions of justices of the peace, but the thing which caused the Jamaica Rebellion, to which the most Rev. Primate referred on a previous occasion, was, first, that the black man could not get land and, secondly, that master and servant cases were tried by lay magistrates representing the employing classes. Even if you are confident that you can get independent, disinterested men to try cases under the masters and servants law it is not safe from the point of view of feeling among the natives that you should do so. You must give the natives confidence that in cases which concern questions of labour or wages they will be judged by disinterested persons, and that means by stipendiary magistrates or district commissioners.
§ If and when the Commission has examined the present interpretation of trusteeship on the lines I have suggested, and if in reply to my question the Government will indicate what is their present interpretation of that duty, they will then be in a better position to examine the problem of wider association. And in that connection I suggest that it will be necessary for them to examine and faithfully to report what has been and is the attitude of the leaders of settlers' opinion towards the advertised policy of the direct promotion of native economic interests. I do not like this talk about trusteeship. I was brought up in the Colonial Office when they did not profess to exercise trusteeship, but to maintain the principles of freedom and absolute justice in dealing with native races. In the West Indies, in West Africa and elsewhere we did not say we were trustees. We said: "We are Englishmen and we are not going to have any one class, because it is an employing class, given power to oppress a class which depends on it for employment." We took away the power of interested judgment and we appointed stipendiary magistrates. Until we can realise in these Colonies what Mr. Churchill said was our aim and object for these territories, until we can give equal political rights to men of equal civilisation, it is not safe to place the control and administration of these mixed 574 races in the hands of a few men who, high minded as they may be, have definite personal interests to serve.
§ You must not think those eighteen Jamaicans upon whom the negroes of Morant Bay fell in 1865 were sinners above all other planters. I have known many of the old type of West Indian planter. They have been my greatest friends and they have been the most honourable men in the world, but they could not reasonably have been trusted with the continuance of supreme control over the whole industrial and judicial affairs of the country. I do think it would be much more wholesome if, instead of making idealistic professions that the interest of the natives are paramount, we were to stick to the old British principle that, we will not give interested men power over men who have to work for them and say that we will see that absolute equality before the law in social and political matters, is maintained. Those are the principles which have built among African peoples confidence in British administration and it is departure from those principles in South Africa that has caused the menace of suspicion and hatred amongst Africans against the white men. I want to see the boundary drawn at the Zambesi, and I also want to see the old principles of British justice maintained without any "soft sawder" about trusteeship. Until we can maintain equality and give equal political rights we must not give any class a privileged position. I beg to move.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
My Lords, I feel considerable diffidence in addressing your Lordships' House, but I think I have one advantage over the noble Lord who initiated this debate and that is that I spent several years (and they were happy years) of my life in East Africa. Indeed, I think I may claim to be one of those his Lordship referred to a week or two ago as the filibustering clique of land-grabbers. I did not grab very much land, but I hope that will not prevent me being a filibuster because from my youth up I have envied that term, although I do not even now know exactly what it means. I understand that the object of this debate is to deal with the dual policy in East Africa, and by the dual policy I have always understood 575 that what is meant is that while we recognise to the full our responsibilities to the natives of the country we are also determined to further by every means in our power the development of the country, first, by indigenous natives and also by immigrants, whether they be white or black. That policy was first put into writing, I understand, in 1921, in the Command Paper, I think, 1922 and was affirmed this year and slightly amplified in Command Paper No. 2904.
The putting into writing of that policy created, I think, some little stir over here, but remarkably little in the Colony itself. I think the reason for that was that the policy there affirmed is, in fact, the exact policy that His Majesty's Government have been endeavouring to carry out ever since, through their Colonial Office, they first took over the administration of those lands. I freely admit that there have been mistakes in the carrying out of their policy. Such mistakes were quite inevitable. There have been handles given to those people whose joy it is to think that their fellow countrymen in foreign parts can do no right. But as a whole I think that His Majesty's Government have, both in the spirit and in the letter, endeavoured since we went there to carry out that policy. I understand that it is suggested that the present Government out there is failing to carry out that policy in one or more respects. I do not think that the noble Lord who will speak for the Government will find any great difficulty in answering the charges that have been made. My reason for that opinion is that the Government out there is, to all intents and purposes, the Governor, and the Governor at the present moment is, as we have heard, Sir Edward Grigg, a man distinguished in many spheres of life—as a writer, as a soldier and not least as a legislator in another place, where he represented the Party of the majority of noble Lords who sit opposite.
I think that the really debatable point in regard to this last White Paper lies in the question of the status that the white population over there are to have. I think it is clearly expressed in the last White Paper that the Government recognise that those settlers, like settlers elsewhere, are to have their right share in the government of the country. Yet there are those who think that they should have 576 no share, or as little share as possible, in developing the country and helping the natives. They would shut them up within community walls, treating them as if they were a leprous community. Who are these much-criticised white settlers? Of another criticised individual, the British soldier, Mr. Rudyard Kipling once said:He ain't no thin red heroNor he ain't no blackguard too,and I think the same words might be applied to this individual. After all, who are these settlers? I venture to say that they are merely a representative section of the white races of the Empire and, with all due respect to the noble Lord, I hold that no mean compliment. Your Lordships will remember that the population which counts out there is not those few rich people who go out for a few months and then come back, mainly for the edification of the weekly pictorials, but those people who live and have their being out there.
A large proportion of them are Cape Dutch—the Boers whose wrongs some noble Lords opposite have doubtless in the past championed, but whose great qualities I am sure there is no one in the House to-day who does not recognise. Another considerable portion consists of Scotsmen—a very considerable proportion—and surely constant repetition has convinced your Lordships that no ill thing comes out of Scotland. There are also Irishmen, both loyalists and Sinn Feiners, and there are Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. If the majority of them may yet be—I do not know that they are—Englishmen, need we apologise for that? I do not think so. They have one crime and one outstanding offence, and that is that their elected and avowed leader is a member of your Lordships' House. Lord Delamere has won that position, unique among the colonials and unique among the native population, through pressure of sincerity, through pressure of great ability, but mainly—I do not suppose the noble Lord is likely to believe this—by the fact of his unselfish and ungrudging devotion to the development of that country and to the interests of all sections of it.
§ LORD OLIVIER
I have said nothing about Lord Delamere except quotations from his own writings and statements.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
I do not refer to your statements here, but to your writings in other quarters, where I have followed them with great interest. After all, this is not the first time that the noble Lord has harped upon this theme. Your Lordships have heard him here before, and those of us who have followed his writings with interest will have observed his letters, his articles, his replies and his reviews in papers and magazines throughout the length and breadth of the land.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
Early last August a lady, a Mrs. Mordaunt, wrote a letter to The Times. She wrote from a small plantation in Kenya a long and interesting letter. The main motive of it was, I understand, to suggest that the attacks on our fellow-countrymen in Kenya by various people might cease. This brought the noble Lord into the lists. He wrote a lengthy and dignified reply which contained much erudite, though to me surprising, information, such as that the ration of a native working for an Englishman there was half a pound of corn meal with an occasional snack of meat.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
Tie main effect of the letter was that this lady should not have written without long and careful study of the subject. I am quite certain that this was not the intention of the noble Lord, but ninety-nine out of a hundred people who read that letter would have gained the impression that the noble Lord had obtained his knowledge from long, careful and exhaustive study of the question on the spot. I may be wrong—the noble Lord will correct me if I am—tout I understand that he has never served there either as 578 an official or as a soldier, and that he has never lived there as a settler, planter or trader. I do not even know that he has set foot there as a globe-trotter. I am not one of those who think that a fair and just opinion cannot be formed by any one who has not studied a question locally and gained local knowledge. On the contrary, I think that very often a fairer, clearer and juster judgment can be made when it is unclouded by local influence and local politics. But I think that this postulates one thing: an impartial mind. It postulates a mind free from bias and preconceived ideas.
If you have preconceived ideas you can take what evidence you like and you can disregard the evidence on the other side. If you think these settlers are all high-souled altruistic patriots you can search the local Press and find evidence to convince you that you are right, but if, on the other hand, you believe them to be a greedy, sordid crew of slave-drivers then, again, you can look at the speeches and writings of disgruntled officials and others and come to the conclusion that you are correct. I cannot but think that it would be for the good of all concerned if the noble Lord could find time to leave us for two or three or four years in order to study the question on the spot. If he did so it, would involve that amount of time perhaps, because it would necessitate the learning of one if not more of the native languages without which you cannot get at the mind of the native, since what you get out of his mouth will probably be what you wish. If, however, the noble Lord could spend that amount of time out there, I venture to think that he would come back with an appreciation of the difficulties "which face our colonists and officials in their task out there and also with an appreciation of the way in which they have faced their task and of the great progress they have made. I make that appeal to the noble Lord. He demands earnestly and frequently, though I think quite unnecessarily, fair play for the natives. I ask him on his part to give some measure of fair play to his fellow countrymen in the same place.
§ LORD PARMOOR
My Lords, I understand that it would be convenient to the noble Lord who will reply for the Government that I should raise the specific question which I wish to raise before he 579 answers Lord Olivier. I think, however, that I must take some exception to the speech to which we have just listened. I do not profess to have read all Lord Olivier's pamphlets and papers, but I have read a good many of them and I certainly do not carry away the impression which the noble Lord opposite seems to have carried away. With regard to what happened to-day surely he has entirely misinterpreted what Lord Olivier said. I heard him myself say that it wag not his object to criticise the residential white population in Kenya and, so far from criticising them, he developed his view, in which I entirely concur, of what he thinks is the best form of administration founded on his great experience in matters of this kind. It was this: Make quite certain that every man, white or black, has equality of justice. Do not put the black man under his employer, but as far as possible have an independent stipendiary, and in every case let every black man feel that his interests and rights, whatever they may be, are to be as fully and justly considered as those of any white man.
I should have thought that we all desired that. I expect that is what the noble Lord desires. He may think that there is some better way of arriving at it. That, however, I do not want to discuss this afternoon, nor have I the local knowledge which he has and which Lord Olivier has. I think, however, the noble Lord has mistaken the whole purport of my noble friend's speech and I certainly hope that when he looks over those documents again he will find that he has made this mistake. At any rate, I think he will admit that so far as this afternoon's discussion is concerned, Lord Olivier has not embarked upon those questions with which he was apparently prepared to deal, but has merely stated an impression, with which I understand the noble Lord opposite agrees—his desire and his views, speaking from a Liberal standpoint, always having been, and now being, to ensure that equality of justice is provided as between black man and white man. It was on that foundation that the black man in Africa has for so long been contented with his treatment by the white races. I should have thought that that was the teaching of history; it was at any rate what my noble friend impressed upon your Lordships this afternoon.
580 All this is, however, a digression. The particular point which I wish to ask the noble Lord is as to the possibility of including in a federal body, such as is proposed here, I understand, a mandated State. There was a convention of the organisations in this district which I understand passed a resolution which appears to me to be of a straightforward character. They said that they felt there could not be this federal system as between a mandated State and other States, and that in their view the first real step was to get rid of the Mandate. Of course, that is an impossible suggestion. I am perfectly certain that the noble Lord will not say that this Government, or any other Government of this country, was seeking to get rid of the special obligations placed upon a Mandatory under the Covenants of the League.
Let me remind your Lordships what these obligations are. First of all, we are not in the position of voluntary trustees, in the sense of accepting some policy which we think may be favourable to the mandated people, but we are under the obligation to treat them as trustees, which is a very different proposition altogether. More than that, we are not sovereigns of the mandated territory. We only have such powers as have been conferred upon the Mandatory through the agency of the League of Nations. We have not the power of land ownership and land distribution, which sovereignty has been held to confer upon a sovereign people for the time being. It is perfectly clear that all that has been done as regards these mandated territories is that there has merely been a surrender of sovereignty. There has been no transfer of sovereignty of any kind, and whatever rights we have to administer they are not sovereign rights or the rights of owners of Dominions, but merely as trustees of the native under the jurisdiction of the Council of the League which acts through the advice of the Mandatory Commission.
It is a little more than that, because the definition is very precise in Article 22. It is that thewell-being and development of such peoples forms a sacred trust of civilisation.It goes on to say this:—The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage 581 of such people should be entrusted to advanced nationsmost capable of carrying on such administration. In fact, we are not dealing with Dominions, we are dealing with peoples whom we have undertaken to educate in order that as soon as possible they may be able to stand on their own rights and be masters in their own country. Of course, in our own territories we may set up various forms of government and devolve various powers upon them. But where we are trustees we cannot do that. This country has no right to divest itself of the responsibility we have undertaken, and which we have to exercise directly for the benefit of the natives in the particular districts. Is that really possible under a federal system? I know what is stated as regards Article 10 of the Tanganyika Mandate. That states that so long as mandatory responsibilities are not interfered with you may have federation with a district of which we have the entire responsibility. I do not myself very well see how that is to be carried out, because where in one district we should have a free hand in the other district we should be the Mandatory only. But that is all that Article 10 says; it does not go beyond that. It does not give any powers which would interfere in any way with the responsibilities of the Mandatory, as created by the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Let me give one illustration. Take Southern Rhodesia. Take the legislation which has already been sanctioned about the indenturing of young children; or take the legislation, which has not been sanctioned but which has been referred back, about the control of natives. That would not be applicable to a mandated territory. On many occasions statements have been made as though Tanganyika stood in the same position as our Dominions which are part of the Empire. The two are essentially distinct. It was upon that point I wanted to lay emphasis. I thought it would be better to do so before the noble Lord rose to reply.
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR DOMINION AFFAIRS (LORD LOVAT)
My Lords, we have all listened with interest to the exhaustive statement made by the noble Lord, Lord Olivier. He has covered so much ground 582 that I am sure I shall be excused if I do not follow him into every ramification of his argument. He was kind enough to give us notice of certain questions that he wished to ask, and I shall certainly answer all I can, although a certain list of supplementary questions came in only this morning, some of them of so detailed an order that it is quite impossible to give more than a general answer to one or two of them.
I may say straight away that I am at once debarred from entering into a very considerable section of the matters that he has raised. The noble Lord, as a private individual, at the present time has every right—indeed it is most opportune that he should do so—to raise the questions which are now about to be considered by the Commission which has recently been appointed. But very obviously he cannot expect a member of His Majesty's Government to offer an opinion on the four principal subjects which have been handed over in the reference. The question of federation or closer union is one the area of territories is another, and there is the question of the composition of the Legislative Council and the duties that will be allocated to them, and various matters affecting dual policy development. The noble Lord would remind me at once, in the first debate after that Commission had reported, if I in any way indicated the lines on which this Committee should proceed. Fortunately those gentlemen have the opportunity—and we will see that they have it, even those who have already left the country—of reading the noble Lord's speech, and it is most desirable that his point of view should be presented and considered by them at the same time as they consider the views of those who do not hold exactly similar ideas.
But even if I leave out those questions which are definitely referred to this Commission I shall have ample matter to deal with in referring to the questions which he has raised. May I take these questions in order? In the first place, the noble Lord raises the point as to the composition of the Committee, and the reason why Lord Southborough's Committee was not asked to continue its remit. May I point out to the noble Lord that these two Commissions appointed by Mr. Thomas, most eminent in their way, were set up in 1924 and that one of the Commissions, that under Mr. 583 Ormsby-Gore, visited the Colony, and, having such opportunities of going over the ground, and also having that great advantage which all of us know who have ever been on a Commission, of being able to write their Report very quickly, when, with the whole time at their disposal, they are tied up together on the boat, were able to produce their Report by the end of 1924, or certainly early in 1925. It was in your Lordships' hands in the month of April, 1925. Mr. Amery's decision, after having got that Report, made by men on the spot, was a wise one in bringing that body's work to a conclusion. It did valuable work, the record of which is at the present moment in the archives of the Colonial Office, and already certain portions of that work have been taken over by the Committee of Civil Research, as Lord Southborough was informed at the time.
This new Commission, which I am afraid that the noble Lord in his remarks rather disparaged, is one of very strong personnel. I do not think I need say anything about the Chairman, who has shown his ability in very wide financial fields, but I should like to say something about the second gentleman referred to, Sir George Schuster. That gentleman has lately administered probably the biggest experiment in co-operation, finance and government of natives ever conducted within the Empire. It may be news to the noble Lord that under their work, which is being done in the Soudan at the present time, roughly £1,500,000 were distributed among 10,000 tenants working there this year, that the amount will be larger next year, and, should further water be supplied from those lakes about which we have already had discussions in this House, the sum which may be divided among the population of roughly a quarter of a million might be very considerably greater than it is at the present time.
I would like to join my noble friend who sits behind me in what he said about the disparagement which the noble Lord has made of the efforts of the British race all through this great country. I myself visited this area 26 or 27 years ago. At that time the population did not even know the value of money. It was impossible to buy even a sheep except by means of barter. 584 There were no irrigation works; the people were dependent entirely on rain for cultivation; they had no money and they were in a state of starvation about once in every five years. Those people to-day will have, as I say, £1,500,000 distributed amongst them. Surely a gentleman who has had that experience of native work, with the very closest care of the interests of the natives throughout, is a worthy individual to take part in such a Commission as this.
Still on the question of the personnel of the Commission, the noble Lord says that Indian interests should be represented. The gentleman who is appointed is not appointed in connection with Indian interests, but because he has first-rate experience of dual government. The noble Lord referred, I thought, a little disparagingly to the gentleman who had experience of native education. May I remind the noble Lord that this gentleman has been for a considerable time on the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Native Education, has considerable executive knowledge and is a man whose opinions are generally considered, I think, as of the very highest importance on the question of the moral and intellectual advancement of the natives on the best lines? For these reasons I at once say what I can in contradiction of the opinions expressed by the noble Lord, that this is not a qualified and adequate Commission to carry on this work.
Turning now to the questions which are outside of this reference and which I have the liberty to discuss with the noble Lord, there is first the question of what may be called the paramount position or the trusteeship. The noble Lord, Lord Olivier, has mentioned, I might almost say with alternate blessing and condemnation, the White Paper of 1923. He read a certain excerpt from it in which it is said thatthe interests of the African natives must be paramount and that if and when those interests and the interests of the immigrant races should conflict the former should prevail.He did not go on to read the following sentence, which is important—thatobviously the interests of the other communities, European, Indian or Arab must severally be safeguarded.On the big, broad principles which the noble Lord has raised in this debate, I 585 do not think there is very much between him and His Majesty's Government. Speaking for myself, I should say most certainly that I share the noble Lord's doubt of the value of catchwords such as paramountcy and trusteeship, and I do so all the more if the word "paramountcy," which can be translated in a great many different ways, is not accurately applied in all of them. In dealing with native races it is infinitely better to use terms that you can certainly give effect to than to pretend to do more and not be able to do it.
I would submit that there is not the least change in the policy which His Majesty's Government has now, or had in 1923, or that I submit it had during the time the noble Lord's friends were in power. I do not intend to attempt to define "paramountcy," but I would say that it would be satisfactory if it was viewed from the Colonial Office end and that no action should be taken without the fullest consideration, in the first place, of the native interests. Further, that at the administrative end no action should be taken without considering not only the immediate but the future effect on the natives in the districts affected. I would certainly bless the noble Lord's remark that equal-handed justice is the first objective, with equal opportunities for both sides, and I would submit that the dual policy which is now being considered is the one which is most likely to work to that end.
On the subject of trusteeship, the noble Lord made a great many criticisms, but they were all directed to one line. I do not think that a single word he uttered in his speech—and I followed it very closely—gave credit for any work that had been done or attempted. I would submit that not only in Kenya but all through the whole of those great African Colonies most important advances are being made at the present time, and that the native is not left out but is gaining more than anyone there. The noble Lord shakes his head. I know those countries. I have spent many years in them and I know something about them, as does the noble Lord who sits behind me. Let me give your Lordships some examples of what has been done. In Kenya there is the recent gazetting of the whole of the boundaries of the 586 native reserves. It is true, and I will come to it later when I deal with the particular tribes, that some of these boundaries are not even yet quite decided. Lines have been pointed out by different owners and it is not like dividing up the fields in England. Unless you know these great countries and the wildernesses there, where at one time there may be a drought in one area and good grassland in another, it is difficult to realise the difficulties. At times people think that they ought to have the right to graze in their areas and at times the custom lapses. I would appeal to the noble Viscount, Lord Haldane, who knows something about grazing rights even in our little island, how difficult they are to define. How much more difficult, then, is it to arrive at these rights and to define them in a great country in which our own little island would be as a mere dot on the surface of a sea?
Talking only of recent events in regard to the trusteeship, there has been the amendment of the Crown Lands Ordinance to prevent the permanent alienation of land. Then there is the proposed Native Land Trust Board, which, when constituted, will no doubt be able to do excellent work. There are other lines of development also. In the last few years no less than fifty-five medical officers have been working practically entirely on native work. There is a great increase in necessary native hospitals—a work only just begun. The expenditure on medical services was £118,000 only three years ago and next year it will be over £204,000. It has practically doubled in a few years. Then civil research, which I mentioned before, has concentrated on certain very important lines, such as dietetics. The whole of that question, which is an economic as well as a health question, is an example of the work that is being done here as well as over there. Then there are special inquiries into tuberculosis and leprosy, two matters which are of the greatest importance to the natives.
A big advance has also been made on the educational side. That work has now been divided into work which is done in the villages in the improvement of village life; that is, the native life in their own reserved areas. There are schools for the artisan and the craftsmen and schools also for the better educated classes. Kikuyu and Kabete are places which are well known not only in Kenya 587 but outside it. The whole question of veterinary and agricultural research is being reconsidered. I have had the misfortune to sit on two Committees for nearly two years, and I can assure your Lordships that the very greatest interest is being taken not only in this country but by the officials of all our Colonies on the question of the advance of veterinary and agricultural research.
The noble Lord referred to the question of agriculture. I should like to assure him that the policy laid down by Mr. Ormsby-Gore of the importance of food for the local population before considering the question of export, is still the policy of His Majesty's Government. The exports of native produce in 1922 were of the value of £176,000 and this had grown to £564,000 in 1925. The amount sank in 1926 to £470,000 but that was, to a large extent, due to the fact which the noble Lord brought out, that they are concentrating upon the production of hides and maize for local consumption. When they have completed that policy no doubt they will, in a very short time, raise the exports with the same rapidity as formerly. I think what I have said to your Lordships indicates a very great increase of knowledge and prosperity and shows that His Majesty's Government here and the Government overseas are very much concerned in the progress of these Colonies. I might go on to show your Lordships the work which is being done in regard to demonstration plots in the reserved areas.
I cannot say offhand. The question of maize seed distribution and the question of vaccine are amongst the most important aspects of the work done. These efforts will lead to a much greater prosperity locally and to much greater production. Another point is the question raised by the noble Lord in his attack upon Lord Denbigh, whom he has apparently frightened out of the House.
The attack was perhaps on the Government for having allowed certain things to occur. The noble Lord suggested that land was given for nothing and that great gain to the company 588 was certain to accrue. May I remind the House of two things? When I read the prospectus of a land company I view it with the greatest suspicion. Of Lord Denbigh's company, which no doubt is a most reputable one, I am afraid I had not heard before to-day. The noble Lord quoted a statement about the expectation that that company was going to make £400,000 immediately and suggested that it was disgraceful that the land should have been given to it. I do not know whether the noble Lord is going to invest his money in that company, but if I see that land is to be sold for great sums I ask how, and when and where. Lord Denbigh, as he passed by me, informed me that the company in question had already been in existence over twenty years. They introduced 5,000 merino sheep to develop the country, and had many other expenses.
But the point I want to make is this. If you can induce people to go into the highlands of Kenya, a great deal of which is unpopulated, and put their money there, you cannot expect them to do that for nothing. People can invest at 6 or 7 per cent, here at home with ease, whereas if they go to a country to develop it they take a great risk, and of course they expect to make money. By all means see that the native is safeguarded but if you have to wait twenty-two years for a return on your money you expect to make something. If you are to get four times your capital in twenty-two years it only works out at something like 5 or 6 per cent. per annum. I have not heard of this company before to-day and I do not in the least know whether the statements made by the noble Lord, Lord Olivier, or Lord Denbigh are correct.
I have, however, been led away from the question of railways. May I point out that this fifty miles of railway which the noble Lord says is to develop the property of Lord Denbigh's company, will, I have no doubt, also develop a great many other properties? This railway as well as a corresponding railway through native territory shows that if the land owned by the company is developed the native land also is developed in the same way. The noble Lord asked to be told the amount of railway running through native land and I understand there is not less than 371 miles of 589 railway which run by or through native lands. I think I have said enough to show that the native lands are being well looked after in this respect.
The noble Lord in his next question branches off to Rhodesia. If I may have your Lordships' attention I would like to follow him to Rhodesia for a moment. The noble Lord said the results of the Land Commission were translated into methods manifestly favourable to the European. If I remember correctly, I heard the noble Lord say here no longer ago than June last that this was the most broadminded and liberal document he had seen from any official source with regard to Rhodesian land.
I am coming to that point and I am glad the noble Lord interrupted me. What is the action of the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly? They have approved generally of the Report. On one important matter there were two alternatives and they decided on the second. I have not the least doubt if they had decided on the other alternative the noble Lord would have said that they should have adopted the first.
The noble Lord referred to the juvenile apprenticeship law. May I say in the first place that the Act is one for regulating the employment of native juveniles and docs not deal with apprenticeship, which is regulated by another law that has been in force since 1901? The main object of the new Act is to give the Government power to control the employment of native juveniles who seek employment voluntarily. Children with no control get into the town and I believe some of them are female children. It is therefore possible for the Government through the Native Commissioner to take action. He may in the absence of a parent or guardian contract a male juvenile for a period of service not exceeding six months to any fit and proper person willing to engage him. We have the Southern Rhodesian Government's definite statement that it is not anticipated that a Native Commissioner will exercise his powers of contracting juveniles under this section more than once or twice a year. They point out that the juveniles in question will be 590 those who have entered a town without the consent of their parents or guardians and that it is eminently desirable the Native Commissioners should have the power to assume guardianship in such cases. This is not an apprenticeship law. That was passed in 1901 and, as the noble Lord is aware, that law has existed all that time.
I pass now to the question raised about the Labour Committee's Report. Surely an experienced official, as the noble Lord is, is fully aware that in every Colony Committees are appointed to investigate every sort of thing. Those Committees report sometimes, wisely and sometimes not wisely. I can imagine that the noble Lord, when he has occupied high positions, has had experience of Committees whose Reports were not accepted. Those Reports carry no weight until the Government decides to take action on them. The mere fact that this Committee, which the noble Lord says was constituted almost entirely of these hated settlers, made certain calculations, does not mean that we should accept them here as a final statement on the subject.
The next point that the noble Lord raised was the question of the burgher force. Surely in great countries like Kenya, possibly in others, certainly in South Africa, there is a definite necessity for the protection of white women. It is surely better to be armed and ready in case horrors such as have happened in the past should happen again. Surely it is infinitely better that it should be known that such a force as this exists than that there should be burnings and lynchings such as are frequently reported in the American Press. We never have, or practically never have, in our Colonies burnings and lynchings and mutilations such as happen in other countries. Those who live at a great distance from any armed bodies and have their womenkind with them must surely feel that some organisation of this kind is essential.
Then the noble Lord raised the question of justices of the peace and of Mr. Justice Feetham's recommendations on the subject. I would submit that in matters affecting justice for the native people—I am sure the noble Lord knows it as well as I do—what is essential is rapidity. It is infinitely better to have a decision given and the matter settled quickly than to wait a long time before 591 a stipendiary magistrate can be got to deal with the case. Surely in this area it should not be impossible to find the very few people necessary who are of such probity, and of such recognised probity, that they are able to carry out these duties even in matters which may perhaps affect their own class. Nothing has been decided yet on this point, but anyone who knows these wide spaces and the character of the natives generally will agree that it is a matter which is well worth full investigation. If powers were given and were not properly exercised they could be taken away in a moment.
The noble Lord also raised the question of taxation and compulsion to work. I assure the noble Lord that there is no intention of introducing compulsion to work on farms, and that there never has been any such intention. On the question of taxation I am prepared to believe that, just as in this country, the incidence of taxation is not always fair. I have not been able to get the whole of the facts about the area which paid £250,000 in taxation and had not any buildings raised on it, but I must remind the noble Lord that this particular tribe, the Akamba or Kitui, were the most witchcraft ridden natives in the district. They were continually harried formerly by the Kikuyu and the Masai and they had the habit of travelling the very shortest distance from their own dwellings. The Pax Britannica was the greatest possible blessing to these people. If they got nothing else, they got at all events their own safety. Like many of the tribes of the country, one of their principal vices was drink, and perhaps the noble Lord on some future occasion will complain that Sugar Ordinance No. 31 was enforced there so that they should not practise the drinking habits which had formerly disgraced them.
The noble Lord referred also to a tribe which was prevented from growing wheat. I have not been able to get any facts about that. The only fact I have been able to elicit was that one tribe did grow 150 acres of wheat on one occasion. If that was put down there must have been some reason for it. It may have been that there was dahar smoking or something of that kind. I should have to inquire further into the position before I was satisfied that there was any action conceived in any way hostile to the natives. I only had notice this morning 592 that the matter would be referred to, and I have not had time to get the facts, but I really doubt whether a trifling matter of something like 150 acres of wheat is likely to affect the fiscal policy of a place the size of Kenya. May I say in conclusion that as the spokesman of the Government I have no quarrel with the noble Lord over the questions he has raised to-day? On the question of trusteeship, the question of compulsion to work, the question of paramountcy, I do not think there is much difference of opinion between the noble Lord and His Majesty's Government.
May I add a word as a private individual? I happen to have visited French Colonies, Italian Colonies, Portuguese Colonies and German Colonies, and I can say from my personal experience that I do not think in any one of those Colonies—I am speaking of some time ago—the treatment of the natives is such, or the friendship between the natives and the resident white men is such, as it is in our Colonies. I know that frequently Ordinances have been passed to prevent men near the border crossing the border in order to get under the British flag. The last time I travelled up the East Coast of Africa I happened to travel with the second most important German official who ever visited their Colony. A boy came aboard who could not have been more than twenty-three or twenty-four years of age, and who had been practically controlling something like half a million natives. The official talked to this boy most of the morning, and in the evening we visited one of their Colonies. The first action of the local official who came on board was to kick in the stomach the native who was assisting him over the side because he dropped his bag. That night the official said to me: "You succeed with natives because you have centuries of experience of controlling natives, you have a system of justice, you send out a different class of men from that which we are able to send out and you have a real affection for the natives of Africa." I believe that to be absolutely true.
I have spent nearly four years in different ways in Africa and I believe that the number of bad things that are done by white men against natives is remarkably small. I believe that the administrators as a whole have the greatest wish to improve the condition of the natives 593 and I think that criticisms of the settlers, unless they are fully founded upon fact, do not help the cause of the natives, which we all have so much at heart I would only say in conclusion that I can answer in a word the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Parmoor. If he will turn to the passage, he will see that his point is safeguarded by the third principle, beginning with the words:To give effect to Article 10 of the Mandate, Tanganyika Territory.…and so on. I need not read it to the noble Lord. The Government have Article 10 in mind, and the gentlemen who are considering the matter will no doubt consider it when they are making their recommendations.
§ VISCOUNT HALDANE
My Lords, before my noble friend Lord Olivier replies, I should like to say a few words about the speech of the noble Lord who has spoken for the Government. We always listen to his speeches, which are too few, with interest. He brings great experience, great industry, much travel and knowledge of very varied occupations to bear upon his subject, and he has done so to-night. In one respect the conspicuous merit of the speech has been a drawback. My noble friend Lord Olivier began his very careful speech by taking a number of concrete points on which he asked whether the principle of trusteeship, expressed in the White Paper of 1923, had been carried out. His criticism was addressed to the question whether that principle had been observed in the matters of which he gave details. Then came the speech of Lord Cranworth, also an interesting speech because Lord Cranworth has been in East Africa, has lived there and knows the people. Lord Cranworth told us a good deal, but he devoted his speech mainly to a defence of the British settlers against the accusations that have been brought against them.
I would say at once, in answer both to the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, and to the noble Lord who represents the Colonial Office, that we do not fail to recognise the very great good that has been done in East Africa by the British settlers. We know very well that, without their energy, their capital, their enterprise and their knowledge, Kenya, for instance, could not have been the fairly prosperous Colony that it is at 594 present. We give them full credit for that. But that is not the whole of the story. We have watched, and watched with anxiety, some of the things that have been done—I am far from saying by all the settlers, because there are very good men indeed among them, but by some of them. We look at the documents and at the records, and we see some cases, at all events, in which the principle of trusteeship in its real meaning has not been fully carried out. Whether you take the conditions of employment or the conditions of taxation, there are at least questions that require careful scrutiny before we can be satisfied. Some of us here, and I was among them, read carefully two books which have appeared comparatively lately. I am not taking their contents by any means as gospel, but they were books which impressed me because they were very carefully documented and were full of extracts from speeches and reports of proceedings. I refer to Dr. Leys's book on Kenya and also to Mr. Macgregor Ross's book, which appeared subsequently. I do not take everything that is there as a completely accurate narrative. No doubt there is another side to the story. But I do say that these books are full of specific allegations which demand the closest investigation and scrutiny at the hands of the British Government.
What I understand by the principle of trusteeship is that we have gone into a great tract of territory and that we have there undertaken the obligation to treat the natives as they should be treated according to principles of equity and justice, to give them liberty, to give them education and to give them the advantages of civilisation. I was impressed by the instances which the noble Lord gave us of the good things that have been done—largely scientific, but also industrial—by the British Government in East Africa, and I think I could have added to the list a few more instances equally creditable. All that is to the good, but it does not alter the fact that we must be meticulously careful to avoid giving a sense of wrong to the native population with which we are dealing. These people, after all, come first, simply because they are there. British settlers who go among them certainly go to develop the country and they must certainly be encouraged to make money in every legitimate way, 595 but at the same time they go with the obligation to observe the basic condition on which we are there, and that is the right treatment of the natives.
This question has been illustrated to-night by the speech of Lord Olivier. Lord Cranworth has brought up other phases, although he confined himself mainly to a defence of the British settlers. But I think that this is only half the question. The question is whether our administration is being carried out in a wholly satisfactory fashion. I know our difficulties. No one who knows Sir Edward Grigg as I have had the opportunity of knowing him doubts that he will do his very best, but he is working under difficult conditions and to a certain extent with difficult people around him, and he needs every encouragement. What is, I think, necessary above all is that His Majesty's Government should adhere firmly and stoutly to the basic principle laid down by the Duke of Devonshire and contained in the White Paper, that the interests of the natives come first in the sense of being the condition subject to which everything else is done. I believe all that can be carried out without prejudice to the industrial development of the country.
The noble Lord, Lord Lovat, has made a very interesting speech, and given us a great deal of detail. Some of the points were points about which questions may be raised. He was entitled not to tell us anything about matters which have been referred to the Commission, on the ground that that Commission should not be prejudiced. But everything has shown the necessity of debates from time to time, and there is no better place than this House in which to hold a debate on the policy of His Majesty's Government in East Africa. I therefore hope that Lord Olivier will be inclined to repeat his Questions and Motions on a subsequent occasion in the coming Session, and let us have from the noble Lord opposite such developments of information, and such fresh material as he can give us, in order to satisfy us and deliver us from that feeling of unrest which reading such books as I have mentioned, as well as what we have heard from public sources, has inspired. If only the public feels that in this House there is the guardian of native 596 interests, then I think we shall not only confer benefit upon the public but be doing our duty as a House.
§ LORD OLIVIER
My Lords, I am much indebted to Lord Lovat for the trouble which he has taken to answer as many of my questions as he was able to. I must, however, protest a little against some part of his speech, and also I must protest against Lord Cranworth having brought into this debate lines of argument against points none of which were indicated in my speech in the slightest degree. I asked merely for an interpretation of what the Government meant by the words "paramountcy" and "trusteeship," and I am much obliged to the noble Lord, Lord Lovat, for having given us, in careful words, the statement of the Government, which is now on the records of the House. I was certainly not dealing with the record of the white settlers in Kenya. Indeed I hardly referred to them at all. I was dealing with the question of the record of the Government in its exercise of the duty of trusteeship, and I said I trusted that the Commission, who were exceedingly well qualified to go into these questions of administration and finance, would do so.
One definite question of administration and finance which I wanted to have gone into was the moot point between Sir Edward Grigg and Mr. Ormsby-Gore, as to whether native taxation does act as pressure upon the natives to go into employment. I also want them to go into the point as to whether taxation upon the natives is not really onerous and excessive, having regard to the incidence of taxation in more equitably arranged countries. I want them to look into the question of what the Government, have done in carrying out the policy of developing local agriculture, and I am bound to say that the reply of the noble Lord must, I think, have struck your Lordships as extremely jejune. He has told us things that have been proposed to be done, but my trouble is that nothing has been done. I want to know how many experimental agricultural stations have been established. Speaking from past experience I say that what you want to do, and what you ought to have done, and what the Kenya Government did not do, was to go to other Colonies 597 and find out what has been done there. Why have they gone on year after year saying they are going to set up experimental stations? We set them up in Jamaica thirty years ago, and we found that nothing very much came of it. What you want is men who will go round among the settlers and help and advise them. You must do it by working on their own land, and giving them an interest in producing their own stuff.
With regard to what was said by Lord Cranworth, of course I perfectly well recognise the advantage of white colonisation and of white contact with the black man, and I confess I was surprised at what Lord Lovat seemed to say. I was merely criticising the details of the Kenya administration and trusteeship, and I was saying that it had been very far less than it might have been. I say that I have watched the Kenya Government with consternation for years, and watched their neglect of what they could do, and my complaint is not of my fellow countrymen in the Colonies but of the Colonial Office, and its totally wrong policy. With regard to the work that Englishmen have done in Africa, and all over the world, nobody can be more proud of it than I am, and it is perfectly ridiculous to say that I am a man who comes in and attacks everything which is, done by the white man in Africa. In my books I have over and over again justified the settlement of white men in Kenya, and of Europeans in Africa, and I say again and again that it is to the benefit of the natives, and must be, provided the settlers adhere to considerations of equity and justice, and stand aloof from oppression.
I am sorry for the prejudice with which any one who may speak on this subject for the Labour Party is apt to be received. I gave a very careful reference to the work of the African Land Syndicate, of which Lord Denbigh is Chairman. The noble Lord said that I attacked it. I ask any noble Lord who heard my speech whether I did attack it, or any noble Lord who may read my speech to-morrow whether I attacked that syndicate. I said nothing except what was complimentary of it. I was attacking the policy of giving away a large estate for very little, and then giving the railway, and paying out of taxes a subsidy towards the loss on that railway, and not levying any kind of taxation in compensation upon the company. 598 I say that it is crazy and imbecile finance giving away the whole of that land to the company at the expense of the taxpayers. You are getting back improved and developed land, and the improvement of these lands—I am not so sceptical as the noble Lord—would more than enable them to pay the guarantee of loss on the railways. I say it is bad finance, though that is a matter of opinion. But that is not an attack on the company, but an attack on the Foreign Office policy of 1903 in developing the country by these grants.
There was one very extraordinary statement made by the noble Lord, namely, that the white defence force was for the defence of the white women. Anyone who has been in Kenya, I am sure, recognises that the white defence force is founded on the old idea of a burgher force for defence against the natives. What justification is there for saying that in Kenya Colony you want a defence force for white women against the natives? Kenya has been defended, the natives have been pacified, and the whole work was done by the King's African Rifles, which was a black defence force under white officers. In all our Colonies where there has been a scare about the black man—a perfectly unreasonable scare in Kenya, where the natives are peaceable—I have said, as in the West Indies and elsewhere: "Yes, have a constabulary force under white officers, if you like, with military drill, and have the blacks as your privates and non-commissioned officers." Does anybody tell me that this white defence force is meant for the defence of isolated women in out-of-the-way places? Sir Edward Grigg, speaking last November, said himself that the defence force was not for the purpose of holding down or repressing the natives. I think the noble Lord is mistaken, and I think Sir Edward Grigg was mistaken. I think, from my experience of dealing with these questions of white defence forces, that they are intended as a sort of warning to the natives that they are not to indulge in palavers, and not to congregate together, and, if they do congregate together and discuss their grievances, they are liable to be shot by white men. I think it is a most unwholesome principle. It is not necessary for the maintenance and defence of public peace, and it is unwholesome and hateful because it instils into the mind of the 599 white man and the white woman the idea that they need to be defended against the natives, and into the minds of the natives that the white men are there to hold them down.
The noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, I am sorry to say, made a speech which he had prepared before he heard what I had to say, because I said nothing whatever by way of an attack on the white settlers in Kenya. I only quoted from them a deliberate statement of what their policy would be if they had control of the Legislature, and that policy was to teach the natives to work; it was an educational policy. I said in the course of my speech that that was a theory which was sincerely held by many people. I profoundly dissented from it, but I did so without suggesting any turpitude on the part of those who held that opinion. Many admirable persons have held the theory that it is necessary to apply compulsion. It is an educational theory—a perfectly pestilent and misleading educational theory, as I know from my own experience of the working of that theory in the West Indies. But that is not an attack on the settlers.
In regard to the noble Lord's statement that I continually attacked the settlers, especially Lord Delamere, I should like to say that I have great admiration for Lord Delamere, and I have paid a tribute to his public spirit in organising that little picnic down to 600 Tukuyu and getting resolutions passed. I asked the noble Lord why he thought I attacked Lord Delamere, and he said it was because he had read my writings. I have never said anything about Lord Delamere except to make certain quotations from his speeches and writings—quotations of his own policy, which was the policy of making the natives work. If he has altered his opinions on that subject I am very glad. But I have made no attack on Lord Delamere, and I rather protest against that sort of red herring being drawn over the trail. I also rather protest against the noble Lord, Lord Lovat, trying to suggest that I did not recognise the good that the white Government did in Kenya. I raised certain definite points about that, and put them on record, and I am bound to say that the noble Lord's answer is not particularly satisfactory to me. He has not been able to show me that the trusteeship has been properly exercised. I do hope that the Commissioners will pay some attention to the humble contribution I have made to the discussion of this subject. In regard to the Motion for Papers, the noble Lord, Lord Lovat, has told me that there are no Papers that could be laid, therefore I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before seven o'clock.