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Nyasaland (Land Policy)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the reference in a recent speech of the Governor of Nyasaland to the rise in land values and the considerable interest shown by purchasers in freehold estates suitable for tobacco growing in the Shire Highlands; whether any number of Europeans can purchase land in Nyasaland; what proportion of the land is freehold; and what is the Government's policy in the matter?

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. The total area of freehold and leasehold estates, which are mostly held by Europeans and are included in the reserved lands, is approximately 1,300,000 acres, representing 5 per cent. of the total area of the Protectorate. This area cannot be extended. With this exception, the land of the Protectorate is either Crown Land or Native Trust Land which is vested in the Secretary of State and administered and controlled for the use and the benefit of the natives of Nyasaland.

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman quite satisfied that the interests of the natives regarding agricultural production are being fully safeguarded, and is he paying any attention to the increase in the price of land in that area?

I think the interests of the natives are being fully safeguarded. I will look into the other point.