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Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development what progress has been made with the resettlement scheme in Kenya; how many European farms have been bought and how many African farmers settled; and what plans she has for assisting the Kenya Government to purchase further European mixed farms.

Purchase of land under the Million Acres and the O1 Kalou schemes is virtually complete. About 1,000 European farms have been bought under the Million Acre scheme, on which about 25,000 African farmers have so far been settled. A further 83 farms have been bought under the O1 Kalou scheme.As regards further assistance for the purchase of European mixed farms, perhaps I may refer the hon. Member to my reply to the Written Question on the same subject by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker).

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will now make a statement on her meeting with Kenyan Ministers.

I have offered the Kenya Government, subject to Parliamentary approval, financial aid in the form of interest-free loans which will lead to disbursements of £18 million during the four-year period beginning in April, 1966. These loans will meet the cost of further purchases of European mixed farms at the rate of 100,000 acres per annum and will also be used for other development purposes to be agreed between the two Governments, including land consolidation. The Kenya Government have accepted this offer.I have also indicated that I am prepared to provide a limited sum over and above the £18 million to enable the Kenya Government to continue to purchase land belonging to farmers who are deemed eligible on compassionate grounds on the same criteria as hitherto.I am placing a copy of the joint communiqué, issued at the end of the talks yesterday afternoon, in the Library of the House. I hope also to place in the Library later in the week a fuller statement of the background of the talks.