Land (Native Titles).

Oral Answers to Questions — Genoa Conference. – in the House of Commons on 29th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Robert Richardson Mr Robert Richardson , Houghton-le-Spring

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the natives of Kenya Colony possess, either tribally or individually, any indigenous titles to land which give them security against expropriation?

Mr. WOOD:

I do not clearly understand the hon. Member's reference to indigenous titles. Before the British administration there were no courts in which a title to land could be upheld, and natives were open to the attack or pressure of their neighbours. An explanation of the principles on which native land matters are now determined will be found on page 19 of House of Commons Paper No. 68 of 1912.

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

Have the natives any title whatever to their reserves, or are those reserves still unprotected by law?

Mr. WOOD:

I cannot offhand answer as to the position in law, but I can tell the hon. and gallant Member that only so late as last August the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in a despatch to the Governor of Kenya, laid down the principles on which land might be taken, and I think that probably meets the point of the hon. and gallant Gentleman.