Indian Subjects, East Africa.

Oral Answers to Questions — Iraq. – in the House of Commons on 14th February 1922.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

21.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any regulations have been made to prevent Indians from travelling first-class in Tanganyika mandated territory; and whether he is aware that an Indian who held a first-class ticket was recently forcibly removed from a first-class carriage ostensibly because of some such regulation?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have made inquiry of the Governor of the territory, and am informed that it is the case that certain restrictions of a temporary nature were in force, but have now been withdrawn. I have no knowledge of the incident referred to.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to the incident referred to and consult the India Office, because if it is true it is most lamentable for our relations with India?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I do not think I can make further special inquiries on the subject, but I think the expression "most lamentable" goes beyond what is required.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

22.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will communicate to this House the arrangements recently come to or attempted regarding the Indian question in Kenya; whether he has consulted the delegation from the Kenya Indians on the matter or only Lord Delamere and the European delegation; and why the Resolution of Equal Rights made by the Premiers' Conference has not been acted upon in East Africa?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The negotiations conducted locally by the Governor of Kenya have unfortunately failed to reveal any common ground for settlement between the European and Indian communities. I do not think that it would conduce to a settlement if I were to make any detailed announcement at this stage. I have not consulted with the European or the Indian delegation, but the former asked for an interview with me, which I have given, and if the delegation representing the Kenya Indians also desire an interview I shall be happy to meet their wishes. The application of the resolution of the Imperial Conference to any part of the Empire must depend on the local circumstances, and the hon. and gallant Member will be aware that the first part of the resolution, dealing with the control of immigration, presents, in the case of Kenya, as much difficulty as the second part, that deals with the rights of citizenship of Indians already lawfully domiciled in the territory.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether, before he made his speech the other night, the India Office had been consulted as to the language and the contents of that speech?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have been for a long time in the closest discussion and negotiation with the India Office, and the statement which I made will, I think, be found to fall within the general limits of the policy which will ultimately be agreed upon between the two Departments, but we have to represent very different interests and to do our best by them.

Sir J. D. REES:

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult Mr. Srinivasa Shastri, who has the confidence of the Indians, has special knowledge of this question, and has just returned to England?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I do not see any particular reason for consulting him.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the policy which he laid down after dinner during the week before last has the approval of the Cabinet or not? Is it merely the view of the Colonial Office?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I was very careful, in choosing the words which I used, to frame the stab merit in such, a way as to embody what I believe to be the real position at the present time. I carefully wrote them clown and followed exactly what my departmental advisers recommended to me—and what my own judgment confirmed—as the actual situation. I have not in this matter yet specifically consulted the Cabinet. An enormous mass of business has to proceed, and decisions have to be taken in every department of the administration of the Colonial Office, and cannot be, in every case, specifically referred to the Cabinet. I do not think there is any serious difficulty in bringing the policy which the needs of Kenya require, within the ambit of the very general Resolution passed by the Imperial Conference, to which I am a party.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Is it not a fact that there is a third party concerned in this question—the natives of East Africa—and does the right hon. Gentleman know that those of us who are associated with white settlers in Africa greatly resent the attacks made upon our co-settlers by hon. Gentlemen opposite?