Skip to main content

African Colonies

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Cattle Industry


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to develop the cattle-rearing industry in South Africa, Rhodesia and other parts of East Africa which may be suitable, with a view to making this country less dependent on the Argentine and other sources of supply outside the Empire.

In regard to South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, the hon. Member knows that Questions relating to these territories are not answered by the Colonial Secretary. In regard to East Africa and Northern Rhodesia, increasing quantities of meat and animal products have become available in recent years, both, for local consumption and for export. But increased production depends on many factors, including greater control over diseases, improvement of pastures, etc., and these are being tackled. The provision of additional facilities for marketing and for processing or refrigeration are also receiving consideration but I would add that in some areas much depends on the willingness of African owners to co-operate with the technical advisers of the local government or to sell their stock for food. The whole question continues to be actively pursued.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the enormous benefit we should receive in this country if we were not so dependent on supplies from outside the Colonial Empire; and is he further aware that increased production would prevent prices being raised against us, as is at present happening?

We are doing all we can to increase the export of meat from East Africa.

Maize-Growing Areas


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to develop the maize-growing areas in South Africa, Rhodesia, East Africa and Kenya, with a view to making this country less dependent on supplies from the Argentine and other sources.

It is not within my province to deal with matters affecting South Africa or Southern Rhodesia. As regards East Africa, the whole maize production is likely to be required for local consumption. Production was maintained at a high level during the war at the risk of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility, and these dangers limit the possibility of increased production now. Production will, however, be kept at as high a level as possible.

Will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that in the case of Northern Rhodesia there is a great deal of opportunity for further maize-growing, and all that is required, which I understand the Government have provided, is a guaranteed price over a number of years?

Yes, there is a guaranteed price, and the whole problem of maize production and the production of other food crops is now receiving the closest attention.

Nigeria (Ordinance)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether his attention has been drawn to the Criminal Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 1947, by the Nigerian Government which makes strike action by persons employed in public utility undertakings a criminal offence; if he is aware that the Nigerian Trade Union Congress has criticised it as an attempt to bind the workers concerned to their jobs without binding the employers to give fair treatment; and if he will call the attention of the Nigerian Government to the desirability of a reconsideration of the Ordinance.

I am aware of the Ordinance in question, which relates no breeches of contract by persons employed in certain services, and of the criticism which it has evoked from the Nigeria Trades Union Congress. As regards to the third part of the Question, I would invite attention to my reply to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) on 3rd of April. For the reasons then stated, I do not consider that there is any necessity for the action which my hon. Friend now suggests.

Agricultural Development Fund, Tanganyika


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the Agricultural Development Fund was started in Tanganyika; to what sum it now amounts, how it is derived, and on what purposes it is to be spent.

The Fund in question was started in October, 1943. The total amounts credited to the Fund up to 3rst of May is approximately £885,000. The Fund is derived from profits accruing from the purchase and resale by Government of African-grown cotton and coffee. The Fund is expended on the development and betterment of African agriculture.

German Nationals, Tanganyika


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many German missionaries have been allowed to resume missionary work in Tanganyika; what conditions are attached to their residence; and what precautions have been taken to ensure that they will not carry on political propaganda.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what public announcement was made by the Tanganyika Government for the information of African ex-Servicemen setting out the reasons why certain Germans are being permitted to return to the territory and the conditions under which they will settle.

I have not the information available to reply to the first part of the Question but will inform the hon. Member when the information is received.

As far as I am aware, no conditions were attached to the permission given to certain Germans to return to Tanganyika. Only 47 families (comprising 102 Germans) have been allowed to return there from Southern Rhodesia and these people either were refugees from the Nazi regime or have been cleared of any suspicion of having held Nazi or hostile sympathies.

Is the Minister aware that if these Germans are returned to Tanganyika—and I do not wish it to be thought that I am against the return of non-Fascist Germans—the natives, especially the African ex-Servicemen, should be given clearly to understand how it is that these men are allowed to return?

The Governor has given special instructions to his Commissioners in regard to that point.

Arising out of the Minister's first reply, would he guarantee that British people who have been allowed to lease estates previously owned by Germans will not now be ejected without compensation if they have spent some capital in improving the properties?

I would like notice of that Question because, as the hon. and gallant Member is aware, it is a point full of difficulty.