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Kenya

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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Sheep Stealing

24.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many sheep have been reported as stolen in Kenya during the last six months.

2,398 sheep have been reported as stolen in Kenya in the six-month period ending 31st March, 1961.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the reports of sheep stealing for the purposes of obtaining sheep for Mau Mau rites show that the stealing is nearly as prevalent as it was nine years ago and that there is every indication of a revival of Mau Mau in its new form, as the terrible murder of Mrs. Osborne only last week clearly shows? Would he reassure the House that he is taking firm and immediate steps to suppress Mau Mau in its new form?

Of course firm steps will be taken. In view of my right hon. Friend's Question, I have asked for a comparison with the figures for previous years, which I have not yet received, except that last year the figure was 1,500. If my right hon. Friend wishes to put down another Question, when I have the figures I will bring them to his attention.

Ministerial Talks

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will state the subjects he discussed, and the results achieved, at his recent conversations with the present Ministers of the Kenya Government.

31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the outcome of his recent discussions with representatives of the new Government of Kenya.

The talks were concerned almost entirely with problems of finance and commerce. At the conclusion, we issued an agreed communiqué which I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Is not it a fact that Her Majesty's Government have made a substantial grant to give the new Kenya Government a fair start on its new régime?

With respect, I should not like to put the matter quite in that way. We met a delegation of Ministers of all races who had a number of projects which they wanted to start in Kenya. We discussed the whole of the future development of Kenya. Regarding Kenya's next financial year, we are now to contribute from this country£14½million, plus an amount which cannot be revealed but which has been described as substantial toward Kenya's current figure and forthcoming Budget.

While not wishing to take sides between the different political parties in Kenya, would not my right hon. Friend agree that the constructive and courageous attitude of the new Ministers has resulted in a constitutional advance and that we ought to be as generous as possible to them—I recognise we have given them a lot—to ensure that there is a stable Government under the new constitution?

With similar considerations in mind and apart from the money mentioned in the communiqué, I agree that if Ministers wish to do so, later in the year I would hold further discussions.

Can the Secretary of State tell the House why he cannot state the amount of money given towards current expenditure?

Yes, because the budget speech in Kenya has not yet been made and I cannot announce it in advance.

If it is a fact that Her Majesty's Government have granted amenities to the new Kenya Government with a view to helping them on their way, does the Minister realise that that will be welcomed on this side of the House?

Following is the communiqué:

In the course of the discussions the delegation affirmed their determination to proceed with measures designed to effect an early improvement in the country's economy. They pointed out that to this end certain projects for which plans had not previously been made, must be put in hand forthwith.
Her Majesty's Government informed the delegation of their keen appreciation of the Kenya Government's intentions in the economic field, and, as a result of detailed discussion with the delegation, agreed to proved further assistance both for development and to support the budget. As recently announced in Parliament the amount of aid to Kenya already provided in United Kingdom Votes for the current United Kingdom financial year is£7½million. In addition to this it is contemplated that an Exchequer loan of£1 million will be provided for the Kenya land settlement schemes. It was also contemplated that an Exchequer loan of£3 million would be made available provided the need for this could be established.
During the discussions, the delegation satisfied Her Majesty's Government as to the need for this loan. Her Maesty's Government have also agreed to provide a further£3 million, half of which will be grant and half loan. This means that the total assistance to be made available by Her Majesty's Government for the Kenya financial year 1961–62 will be£14½million with, in addition, and subject to the approval of Parliament, further substantial help towards recurrent expenditure which will be announced when the Kenya Government present their forthcoming budget.
This increased level of assistance will now make it possible to start at once on further agricultural, educational and works projects which in the view of the Kenya Government need to be tackled immediately.
Finally, Her Majesty's Government agree that further talks should be held before the end of the next financial year with a view to considering Kenya's needs for development in 1962–63, and subsequently. The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Iain Macleod) has also undertaken to review the situation in respect of the financial year 1961–62 if this should prove to be necessary.

Mau Man Activities

32 and 33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) in view of the further evidence of resurgence of the bestial practices of Mau Mau in Kenya, forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the Governor of Kenya, on 3rd May by the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West, what steps he is now taking to deal with this situation in the interests of all the peoples of all races in Kenya;

(2) if, in the short- and long-term interests of the peoples of Kenya, he will instruct the Governor of Kenya to hold immediate consultations with the leaders of all political parties in Kenya, with a view to the issue of a joint declaration in support of the putting down of the resurgence of Mau Mau and the maintenance of law and order.

I have drawn the Governor's attention to material forwarded to me by my hon. Friend. The Governor has ample powers to deal with any threat to security and will not hesitate to use them if necessary. I gave details of convictions in connection with oath taking in reply to a Question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) on 4th May.

Hon. Members will be aware that leaders of both the main African political parties in Kenya have already clearly and publicly condemned violence in expressing their abhorrence—which I know the House will share in full measure—of the murder of Mrs. Osborne. I am, however, passing on to the Governor my hon. Friend's suggestion regarding a joint declaration by leaders of political parties.

In view of the very regrettable fact that some ten years ago the then Kenya Administration was unfortunately not fully prepared for the outbreak of Mau Mau, and the subsequent fact of the terrible death roll of Europeans, Asians and 10,000 Africans, will the Colonial Secretary assure the House that the present Kenya Administration is fully prepared for any resurgence of Mau Mau and has all the strength and ability to deal with it should it unfortunately arise? Will he assure the Governor of Kenya that this House is completely behind him in firm dealing with a matter of this kind and the maintenance of law and order in Kenya?

Yes, I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. I am sure the Governor knows what has been referred to in the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, but it is right to have it stated in this House and I endorse it. On the situation now as compared with some years ago, my hon. Friend knows Kenya very well indeed and I am sure he knows the number of police, for example, and the forces available now, which are entirely different and much stronger than they were before. As to the intention to use all forms of protection against violence whatever may motivate the violence, if anything, my hon. Friend need be in no doubt at all. The Governor, I think, showed conclusively in what was called "Operation Milltown" a year ago how swiftly and effectively the security forces in Kenya could move.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I say that I appreciate that the forces are there, but can he make certain that the forces know they can be fully utilised to safeguard law and order without any question of doubt in Kenya?

I am sure there is no doubt about that whatever. I have been in touch with the Governor for a long time on this particular matter.