I have satisfied myself after prolonged personal discussion with the Secretary of State for India that the passing of the strengthened Bill at the present stage would bring about the immediate rupture of negotiations with the Government of India and entail grave damage to Imperial interests both in India and in several portions of the Colonial Empire. Nevertheless, you will understand that I do regard a strengthened immigration law of general application as an essential part of general settlements.
The fact is that this settlement has not been a settlement dictated by reason, but a surrender to force. Only nine months ago, after endless discussion, after hearing every point of view put ad nauseam, we got the Wood-Winterton settlement. That Wood-Winterton settlement was, to my mind, a sort of settlement to which the British Government, having regard to the possibilities of the development and the future of the British Empire, could honestly set their hands. I do not attach any importance to the Highlands question, because I believe people who want to sell their land in the Highlands will soon be only too glad to have as many purchasers as possible. But the real difficulty solved by the agreement was the uniting of all citizens in Kenya, coloured as well as white, on one uniform roll. That was the one point in which every Indian, not merely in Kenya, was vitally interested. That statement went out to Kenya, and the "Times" correspondent sent the following from Nairobi on receipt of the instructions from the Colonial Office:
Sir Robert Coryndon is instructed that the terms must be regarded as only subject to minor adjustments, but he has decided to submit the despatch to the Executive Council.
He submitted his despatch to the Executive Council. He did what I suppose any man of that sort would do. He attempted to satisfy the people on the spot by making objections to the settlement which he was ordered to carry out. While the discussion went on, the whole of Kenya was boiling with the agitation, and presently we had the usual threats of secession from the Empire. Plans were got out to kidnap the Governor—why, I could never make out—plans were got out to replace all the Government officials, and appeals were made to South Africa. This was one of the Resolutions passed at a public meeting in the Nyanza Province:
It having come to our knowledge that a despatch has recently been received from the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies proposing to give the Asiatic community equal political rights with the European Colonists, we, the European settlers of Songhor, Muhoroni, Koru and Port Ternan in public meeting here assembled, protest in the most emphatic manner possible against any attempt to enforce such preposterous proposals. Should any-such attempt be made, we, realising that
we have exhausted every constitutional method to prevent such a catastrophe, hereby pledge ourselves to "—
etc., etc., and that was coming from, I suppose, practically the whole of the settlers of Kenya.
This protest was just the ordinary form signed by everyone present at these meetings, and it was a threat of direct action, with which we are so often charged here, that made the Government reconsider their position. They were effectively brought to their knees by 9,000 settlers, and there is not a word about that in the Report which we are now discussing. Reading that Report, you would imagine that the conclusion come to by the Government had been come to after earnest consideration of what was right. Not a bit of it. It was come to after earnest consideration of the possibility of sending the Guards to Nairobi. Would it not have been simpler in dealing with these people not to have taken seriously their threats of force? Secession from the British Empire cannot be done by a small force. Secession is not likely to remain for long very popular among any section of British citizens. The whole fact of the matter is that this agitation has been got up by a small clique of people who, by beating the big drum, have got a lot of people behind them, but when it comes to actual fighting and marching on the King's African Rifles, when it comes to seizing the Government and the officials, I think you will find that there is not quite so vital a spark about the whole thing. This agitation is on one point only. It is on the question of the common roll of the electors. The Indians say they will not have a separate roll, under which they will be considered to be a C3 branch of the British Empire, but a common roll of common equal citizenship. They say this puts them in a permanently inferior position. It is a social slur rather than a political disability. They are content to have them in a permanently inferior position. It is a social slur rather than a political disability. They are content to have educational qualifications; they were content that they should be expected to be able to speak English, they were content that they should have property qualifications which would rule out the vast mass of the population, but they said, "Let some of us in on equal terms with the whites, just to show that the British Empire stands for unity of all members of the British Empire." You may say it is sentiment, but it is sentiment that plays and is likely to play a large part in the development of the British Commonwealth.
Consider the difference between ourselves and France. We are having trouble all over our coloured Empire. France sits comfortably in Algiers she sits tight in Morocco, she sits tight in Tunis, and in Senegal, and there is never a word of trouble. Does that show that the Government is better, that there is more justice or more equity or less corruption there? Not a bit of it. It is because there is no colour bar. There is no distinction between the two races. A coloured man sits for Martinique in the French Chamber of Deputies. The people are proud of France, they become part of it. Because of 9,000 settlers in Kenya you are not to allow the people of the British Empire to have the same unity. That is the tragedy. If I were to advise my Kenya Indian friends what to do about the settlement, I would say to them, "Accept it. It is all you can get, and all you can expect. Do not suppose that you have got justice. It is not your business any longer. Take the five seats and elect your men. Put on men who will stand up for your rights. Do not adopt the silly policy of non-co-operation which has ruined the political situation in India. Get on the Council and carry on. The struggle is not yours. The struggle is now between the people of india and the people of Great Britain, a much bigger problem." The repercussion of this decision on India will be tragic. I do not believe that any step has ever been taken so disastrous to the British Empire since Lord North drove the American colonists out of the British Commonwealth.
Cannot hon. Members see what this means? Do they not see it is a slap in the eye, after the declaration of the Imperial Conference two years ago, after everything that was said by hon. Members, by Prime Ministers, and ex-Prime Ministers about equal rights within the British Empire. They do it because they are afraid of 9,000 settlers? Good heavens, it is not only that henceforth you set up two different categories of British citizens. That is bad enough, but you do it because you are afraid. Is there a corner in India where they will not know why the British Empire assented to this unjust settlement? There will be people in India who will not be sad about this settlement. It will be a tragedy to many of our friends, but do not forget that no people will rejoice more in this settlement than the enemies of England. That is what this Government has done. It is not easy, when a step like this has once been taken, ever to put it right, but I am certain the party I have the honour to speak for to-night, when their turn comes, will do their best. I cannot say more than that, because heaven knows what the repercussion of this will be before that time. But we will do our best to re-establish justice and fair play throughout the British Empire and put an end to what is ruining our chance of real peace and development.
I am sorry I must also say a word about Ceylon. The Cingalese have got their Constitution, but we are in considerable doubt about what the Constitution is. The Government has one view, and the Governor has another. Which will win I do not know. There are six different communities in Ceylon, and the peculiarity about this Constitution is, that the people who have been pressing most for communal representation are the Indians in Ceylon. How they have ever been betrayed into this fatal course I cannot say, I can only say that the settlement will, apparently, satisfy everybody except the Cingalese. From our point of view, we are not interested in the quarrels of the Cingalese and the Tamils. As long as they continue to keep at each other's throats, they will not get a better Constitution than this, but what we are interested about in this particular Constitution, is the fact that the peasants and the coolies have no votes in it. The people who have got the vote and who will administer the country will look after their own communal interests, but the unfortunate coolies, I who form the bulk of the labourers in the plantations of Ceylon, and the peasants, who are the best of the people in Ceylon, who have had votes for local option, time after time, and who have exercised that vote in putting down all sales of liquor, will not have votes for the Ceylon Legislature. That must be left to the people who are better off.
Hardly a single coolie will get the vote; hardly a single Cingalese peasant will get the vote. They will be practically disfranchised, and I am asking that they should have nominated representatives on the Council. It seems to me that this is one of the cases in point where, when you give self-government, you must look after the interests of people who are unable to take part in it. For that reason, I beg the Government to consider that point of view. In Burma 3,000,000 people, who are not so civilised as the Cingalese, have been enfranchised. These people have got the best constitution among the whole of our Colonial possessions. Ceylon, which is also Buddhist and which is about 300 years older in civilisation than the Burmese, get a constitution such as this. I do not think it is any credit to the Colonial Office that they should have given that sort of constitution. It would have been far better to have given the Burmese type of constitution holus bolus to the people of Ceylon. That would have given them a chance of responsibility and of education in responsible government. That is too late now, but even now the Government might do something to make it clear that communal representation is only temporary and that, as soon as the Tamils and the Cingalese can put an end to it, they will be able to rejoice in a settlement which will be worthy of Ceylon.
There are few things more surprising to a new-comer to this House than the amount of time we allot to positively parochial affairs on the one hand and to questions of gigantic Imperial importance on the other. Two days were allotted to the discussion of
the affairs of India, though one day only was originally allowed, and this afternoon we are perhaps to make a pronouncement which will affect the destinies of millions of persons throughout the habitable globe. As I listened to the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, a strange verse from the Bible came into my head. It was
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision,
and I suppose in the course of this evening we shall settle the affairs of these multitudes in rather less time than we are accustomed to allot to settling the salaries of, say, a few school teachers, or the borrowing powers of a few local authorities. Such, however, are the conditions under which it pleases Parliament, here in Westminster assembled, to deal with the nations for whose welfare it is responsible. Before I approach the question of the settlement of Kenya, may I offer one criticism on some of the observations that fell from the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton). He complains that in the past the legislation in Kenya has been selfish legislation, passed by the settlers to their own advantage. It is rather curious that that should be the case, considering that up to the present time there has been an official majority in the Legislative Council, and, if that legislation has been selfish, it must have been the fault of the Colonial Office. The second subject he complained about was that, out of about a million sterling raised in taxation, only the sum of £20,000 was allotted to the education of the African natives. I think he must have forgotten that there are other calls upon the revenue of Kenya than that of education. There is the medical service. There is the benefit the African natives derive from the railways. There is the policing of the native districts, and the administration of justice in Kenya Colony. There are sometimes even pensions to be paid to those who have been engaged in administration in Kenya Colony in the past. All these are claims upon the revenue of the Colony that you have to take into account when you are considering what sums can be spent upon African education.
I have read the numerous pamphlets to which reference has been made on both sides of this controversy. I have read the judgment that His Majesty's Government have pronounced. I have tried in this matter to use my own common sense. How it will be accepted by the colonists or by the Indian representatives, I do not know, for it does not concern me, but I do think that I shall be expressing the opinion of a considerable number of Members on this side of the Committee when I express my satisfaction with the general outlines of the settlement which His Majesty's Government has made. The hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Ly me (Colonel Wedgwood) said that many of his friends in India would be disappointed, and that many of the enemies of this country would rejoice. I can hardly believe that to be the case, since to my knowledge the hon. Gentleman's friends there are mainly recruited from those who are the enemies of this country. While I express general approval of the settlement—
I was referring to the hon. and gallant Gentleman's friends, not to his performances, nor to mine. But I had the privilege and the opportunity of joining His Majesty's Forces as a private in August, 1914, and I served in India; that is why I know something about his friends and about the enemies of this country.
There are three points on which I desire to express my gratification—and I think other hon. Members share it. The first is that His Majesty's Government have been firm enough—and if I may say so with modesty—wise enough to resist certain demands from the Indian representatives in this case, demands which can only be described as exorbitant. In the second place, the Government has kept the pledges which were made to the colonists, and which have been abundantly ratified by successive administrations, upon which these colonists have taken their stand, and upon the security on which they have made their homes and invested their capital in Kenya Colony. In the third place, although because of what I agree is a wise estimate of the present state of affairs, the Government has not seen its way to concede to Kenya which it has conceded to Rhodesia, yet it has not deprived the settlers there of the hope to which, in my humble opinion, they are entitled, that in the fullness of time, as the resources of the Colony develop, they may hope to arrive at the end of that stage along which they have already proceeded some distance from the status of a protectorate to the status of a Crown Colony, and finally a self-governing Dominion, as Rhodesia now is in a position to be.
There has been, as one hon. Gentleman said, a good deal of propaganda on both sides. I think we must assume that the case for the Indians is summarised finally in the memorial which they presented to the Prime Minister. I say that their demands are exorbitant. Their aims are based on statements which are untrue, and their aims are very much more ambitious than they are ready to confess. First of all they say the subject
is already the cause of grave discontent in India and a strong weapon in the hands of the natives whose object it is to decry and destroy the British connection.
It is only the persons who so decry and destroy the British connection who feel any substantial discontent. I am persuaded that the discontent is felt only amongst political agitators in India and that the enormous mass of the 350,000,000 persons there will feel less excitement over this than they felt over the Salt Tax, and that was precious little indeed. Secondly, they say that
this is a violation of a series of Proclamations beginning with Charles II and ending with George V.
"I am not prepared to extend my historical researches quite as far back as the Merry Monarch, but I think he was probably more occupied with Lady Castlemaine than with the state of affairs in Kenya Colony.
Nobody who investigates these proclamations impartially and carefully can come to any other conclusion than that they were never intended to apply outside India. In the second place, the Proclamations are definitely qualified and limited by the aptitude of the Indians for political life. If you are going to take the wider view contended for by the Indian Delegation it would make nonsense of the thing, because their claims would be at variance with the facts. What are the facts? These Indians are asking to have throughout the Dominions political power which they do not yet enjoy in India itself. The Indian Electorate is a mere fraction of the entire population of the country, and that is because the percentage of persons in the entire population of the country who have sufficient intelligence to be electors is absolutely insignificant. Out of, I think, in British India, 250,000,000 persons, there are only 5,000,000 electors, and few of these had sufficient interest or sufficient comprehension to record their votes at the last election.
We come to the question of the franchise. What is the franchise? It is the Communal franchise, and the reason why it is that is this: because a Mohammed an cannot represent a Hindu nor can a Hindu represent a Mohammedan. Then how, in the name of all that is reasonable, are we to suggest that either of them, in these circumstances, could ever represent a European? That is why in a place like Kenya you must have a communal franchise like that of India. But these gentlemen go further, and they base their claim to perfect social and political equality on the services of India in the War. It is a good thing they do not say too much about the services of Indians in Kenya. Out of a population of 20,000Indians in Kenya, 1,383 joined the forces, and of these 376 were combatants. Nobody was killed. Nobody was wounded. Nobody died of wounds, but five were executed for treachery. That was the contribution of Kenya to the War. Of course the memorial goes further than that, and they ask the House to consider the services of the Punjabis, the Sikhs, and the other Indian races who fought all over the world. These were—
It has been recorded in the Press. [Interruption, and HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw‡"] I do not mean to withdraw what I have said. It has never been challenged and I am perfectly convinced it is accurate. If anyone challenges the statement, they can state their grounds for so doing. When we come to the question of the regular Indian soldiers to whom reference has been made, we find they have served all over the world, and I am convinced that they are perfectly satisfied with the service, pay, and pensions they get. If it was suggested that these Indian soldiers who actually served in the Army should have some special political privileges accorded to them I would not particularly object, but it is the persons who did least in India—as elsewhere—and just as in this country ‡—people who supported the conscientious objectors, and organised strikes against munitions, who are now most sentimental about the ex-service men, and say that those in India who did nothing whatever should reap the reward of the valour of those who fell. [Interruption.]
It is on these grounds that claims to political equality in Kenya are being pressed. The third claim is that they were pioneers and commenced to make the colony what it is. That is a monstrous and preposterous claim—
Made the colony what it is.
We are all well aware there were Indian traders who settled long ago on the coast strip still the territory of the Sultan of Zanzibar—many years before the white man. How did they settle? As pioneers of the development of the resources of the country? Did they really penetrate into the Hinterland among the fighting tribes? No. They were there as the jackals of the Arab slave trader. That is abundantly established by the despatches of the Consul-General at Zanzibar to the late Lord Salisbury. Thirty years ago, in 1888, Colonel Euan Smith, writing home, said:
The trade in arms and ammunition is at present entirely in the hands of the British Indian subjects. It is through these British India merchants that the Arabs and chiefs in the interior are supplied with all these arms and ammunition.
There is abundant evidence to the same effect. They were never given to real pioneer work. Can hon. Gentlemen opposite give me one case? In the year 1900 there was not one Indian in Ukamba, which is the centre of the Kenya Colony. We know that the reason there are so many Indians in Kenya is on account of the influx of coolies working upon the railways. The railway was built by British capital, under British surveyors, by British enterprise, and if they are to claim that they have opened up the country by building the railway in Kenya, I suppose we shall have the compositor who sets up in type the speech of the Prime Minister claiming credit for the composition of the speech‡ All these facts or statements of facts—which are false—are those upon which the Indians claim to outvote the European and inundate the lands on which he has settled. Let me examine that proposition and see whether it is established. It may be true that at the present time there are very few Indians in Kenya who could pass the test of a necessary property or educational qualification which might be imposed. Perhaps half the Indians there are British Indians. I should say as many have come from Native States as from British India: they do not exercise the franchise in their own country. Of the other half how many do you suppose are domiciled in Kenya?
When hon. Members allude to the Resolution of the Imperial Conference of 1921, which repeats the Resolution of 1918, they should remember that it only proposes equal political rights to those Indians who are domiciled there. That is quite a different thing to giving it to birds of passage who come out perhaps to lend money or sell grain. There cannot be more than about 1,000 domiciled Indians there altogether. Do you suppose that those at the back of this agitation are going to be content with that? Not for a moment. Mr. Disai, a supporter of Gandhi, approved of the boycott of the Duke of Connaught's tour, and do you suppose that his ambitions are going to be limited to the enfrandisement of a few Indians in Kenya? Mr. Jeevanjee in 1919 said:
I would go so far as to advocate the annexation of this Kenya territory with Provisional Government under the Indian Viceroy. Let it be opened to us, and in a very few years it will be a second India.
That is a far more ambitious design. On this point let me call in the evidence of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. He was a member of the Standing Joint Committee in 1921, which considered the despatch from the Indian Government upon the question of the reforms, and he said:
We feel that the grant to Indians in Kenya of equal rights might lead to the absorption in due course of the whole Government of the Colony, and in fact this was quite definitely suggested as being their ultimate aim by witnesses claiming to speak on behalf of Indian opinion.
Predominance and not equality is their claim based on a fabrication, and let mo tell the hon. and gallant Member for New-castle-under-Lyme that all this is backed by threats. What an appalling attitude of impertinence under these circumstances for the Colonists to say that they would leave the Empire‡ But this document further says:
If India cannot depend, to the fullest extent, on the good faith of the Imperial Government in fulfilling the pledges given from the Throne, and protecting with that compromise the rights of Indians as equal subjects of the King Emperor, her interest in the Imperial connection ceases to exist. For, on such conditions, there is clearly no self-respecting future for India within the British Empire.
Even if their improvements were limited to political equality I should demur to that because I think hon. Gentlemen opposite make one mistake and it is a grave one when talking about political equality. They assume that there is such a thing as an Indian race, but that is a myth and there is not an Indian race. There are dozens of races in India all different in religion, culture, and language and in everything else that sets a gulf between one man and another.
On this point I think I can leave myself to the judgment of hon. Members of this House, because that is a statement of such an elementary truth that anybody who contradicts it only exposes his own ignorance. That is one of the reasons why you have to have a communal franchise in India, because these different races are incapable of understanding one another or representing one another, and when they meet, with the assistance of the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, to chatter sedition, then they have to address one another in English, because they cannot understand one another's tongue. Upon this question of political equality it may be that you get in the highest type of Indian a man who, intellectually and spirtually, may be the superior of the Englishman. Many of my own Indian friends are men of the highest possible intelligence. [An hon. Member: "Your Friend‡"] Yes, I commanded Indian troops for two years, and I had amongst them some friends who would be prepared to die for me, as well as to talk for me, or vote for me.
While I am prepared to admit that many of those men are spiritually and intellectually the superiors of many of those who call themselves civilised over here—[An HON. MEMBER: "Over there‡"]—I am not speaking of any particular quarter of the House, and hon. Members may classify according to their own caprice. The most enlightened type of Indian may be our equal or superior in intelligence and spirituality, but he is not our equal in political experience. When Chatham, Burke, Fox, and Pitt adorned this House, India was politically in the age of the Heptarchy, but because a few thousand Indians have swallowed our political formulas—which is giving them indigestion—that does not mean that every Indian Bunnia who can pass an examination is on the political level of the European.
Let us get rid of phrases and grasp the truth. When I see these apostles in equality in India associating with the untouchables, and having a drink with the sweeper, then and not until then, will I begin to believe in their sincerity. With regard to the reservation of the Highlands, it has not been seriously discussed and is res judicata. It has been amply argued in the White Paper, and it is sufficient to say that these Indians who are said to be anxious about going to this part of the Colony probably are not anxious because they really want to live there, but simply because they want to assert the right to do so. That right you cannot admit unless you are prepared to admit that the people who first colonise and develop a district are to have no special privilege in return for their enterprise over those who may flow in afterwards by petty trade and commerce, and reap the fruits of the efforts made by others.
With regard to representation, my first criticism is that I cannot see why the Government has added one more Indian member to the Legislative Council. I do not know why the Indians should have five members, except it is done on the principle of the nervous bridge-player who was asked whether he discarded from weakness or strength, and he said he discarded from fright. There does not seem to me to be any other particular reason. Take the case of the Arabs. There are 10,000 Arabs all domiciled in Kenya, and originally they were the dominant people there. They have to be content with one elected member and one nominated member on the Council. The Indians are to be accorded five representatives, not because they are more important, but because they are more importunate. The document from which I have been reading further states that
Indians have nothing to learn in matters of personal cleanliness and hygiene and sanitary habits from the West.
Those who formed their opinions of Indians from a visit to Battersea may believe that, but those who have lived a little while in Benares will not believe it. Those Members who have served in India may have seen the cholera and the plague in India, and they know that those diseases are endemic in the native city. In India Indians and ourselves always live as much apart as we can, but of necessity a certain proximity is unavoidable and many have paid for that proximity by the loss of a child or a wife. In India we have our duty to do and we have to face those things, and facing cholera and plague is part of it, but if the Europeans of Kenya protest that it is no part of their duty to expose themselves to such dangers, I have a great deal of sympathy with them.
These gentlemen are determined to be insulted, and it is part of the same old strategy to ask for what they know is an impossible thing, and then say that their loyalty depends upon our compliance with their demands This is not a question of superiority or inferiority; it is not even a question of equality. You are not only trying to make men equal but identical, and they are not identical. All the habits of the Indians are so different to the habits of Europeans that it is almost impossible for them to live happily together. It is simply a question f inability to like the same thing. The fragrance of Ghi is usually abominable to English nostrils. And on the other hand the Englishman likes a joint of roast pork, and considers that it is delicious, but the same dish is an abomination to the Indian. How can the man who hates Ghi and the man who hates Pork be happy in the same street? They are not separated by walls and fences as they are in England. Why do Englishmen in India send their children over to this country about the age of six years? Simply because a child of six in India is generally made familiar with things which we only tell our children here at the age of 16. They cannot play together. They cannot be happy together. Therefore, say what you like, segregation must, in fact, take place, not because we want to quarrel with one another, but because we want to get on well together. It is the point of contact that is the point of friction. So long as he lives in his own way and so long as we do the same we can love one another, but if we are to be forced to live together hugger-mugger it can lead to nothing but bad blood and further ill-feeling. I wish the Government had recognised that explicitly in the clause upon segregation instead of putting it into Regulations about sanitation, buildings and police, which are likely to prove equally, if not more, troublesome than if the principle had been recognised straighforwardly.
I want to refer to a remark which fell from the lips of the Under-Secretary for the Colonies. He said, and well said, that to avoid racial animosity in the Empire is of the utmost importance. Of course it is, but if it is going to be suggested that the best way of avoiding animosity in the Empire is to say that the race which made the Empire shall not stand on any higher level than any other race in it then I must humbly demur. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme said he had had a conversation with some publicist who had been indecent enough to say, "I stand by my race." I make no apology for doing that in this House, or for ranging myself alongside that publicist. India is one of our achievements. Let hon. Members who dissent from that statement read their history. Never mind the root of our title. Circumstances took us there. What have we done there?
What is India to-day? When all is said and done, it is a well-governed country with a prosperous people on the high road to that autonomy which we have promised and which we shall give, and which we have given it the education and opportunity to achieve. Of course, I know that my point of view will not coincide with the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Theirs is a very simple one. It has the merit of simplicity. It is that wherever you find the British colonist, the British soldier, or the British official you must assume that he is necessarily narrow-minded and selfish if not brutal and false. I noticed in his speech an hon. Member suggested that Sir Robert Coryndon, because he took the side of the settlers was a bad Governor. He said he was a South African rightly or wrongly, and his point of view was the point of view of the Colonists of Kenya; therefore the hon. Gentleman condemned him and wants in his place a gentleman of vast experience of native tribes and questions which can only be acquired in Downing Street.
Is it not rather ridiculous that because some hon. Members opposite choose to refer to our rational ensign as a dirty rag, we should be expected to assume an apologetic manner whenever we refer to the achievements of our race? I do not say that our race is impeccable. No race is, but you can travel the world over, and wherever you find that disparaged rag flying you will find mere prosperity, more humanity and more enlightened government than you will find in any other quarter of the globe. If our record is not stainless, it is yet unrivalled among the Empires of the world, and I have no apology to offer either for my pride in its past or for my confidence in its future. The days when arrogance and self-satisfaction were our national failings are past. They have been succeeded (hon. Members opposite have seen to it that they should), by a habit of disparaging and belittling all British ideas. That is not true chivalry. It is mere political perversity. The danger in the future is not too much self confidence but too little: not too much pride, but of being ashamed of something of which we have no reason to be ashamed. If I may, I will con-
clude my speech, in antique fashion, with a quotation from a poet—
We sailed wherever a ship could sail,
We founded many a mighty State,
God grant our greatness may not fail
From craven fears of being great.
I dare say the Government are grateful to the hon. and learned Member who has just spoken for his support, but I am rather doubtful whether the Under-Secretary for the Colonies is very grateful for the language in which he conveyed that support, and I shall be very much surprised indeed if the Under Secretary for India was very gratified by some of the language which he used. The learned ex-Justice of Kenya (Sir R. Hamilton), in an earlier speech, began by saying we ought to make an attempt in this Debate to try and understand the point of view of the other side. I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken made any approach to that in his little niggling debating points, or by showing in that spirit of true British Philistinism that he is incapable of understanding the British Indians and their characteristics. There is only one sense in which I support the policy of segregation. I think hon. Members who are afflicted by race consciousness to the extent that the hon: and learned Gentleman is had far better have nothing whatever to do with India, with Indian questions, or with the Indian people. There are some people who are taken that way by colour and race prejudice, and the best one can hope for them is that they will live in a racial pen by themselves and leave these difficult and delicate question uninflamed by their observations. I think it was General Gordon who said that the first secret in government was to try and get into the other man's skin. I do not detect the faintest sign in the speech of the hon. and learned Member of any attempt to do that.
I think that to a discussion of this kind we ought really to devote the whole day. We have the Under-Secretary for the Colonies surveying the world—surveying the Colonial Empire from Jamaica to Fiji, and devoting perhaps a quarter of an hour to each Continent. There is a vast mass of questions which have to be dealt with together. It is unfortunate but there is one consolation in the matter that it does bring home to us that this Kenya guestion is one which has to be discussed in the light of the Empire and of the whole Imperial position, and that it is not a separate question by itself. It raises any number of Imperial problems, it affects our Imperial position in Africa and in India itself, and when all is said and done the British Empire is a great deal larger than Kenya and there is more to be considered than the interests of 10,000 European settlers, of 2,000,000 Africans, and of 20,000 Indians. I am afraid I have several points to put before the Under-Secretary before I deal with the Kenya question, in the first place I venture to think we are getting, in our administration of the opium question, out of touch with the best and most enlightened opinion on the subject. We have the Americans pressing us to curtail our production of opium in India to strictly medicinal and quasi-medical requirements, but at places like Singapore we find the authorities raising 37 per cent. of their income from opium, and in the Malay States they are raising nearly as much I hope the Under-Secretary for the Colonies will consider how far he can restrict this production, and at any rate stop opium smoking, which is condemned by everyone. I am quite certain a great-deal more ought to be done, but I merely mention the matter now as I know many other hon. Members wish to speak and I do not desire to trespass too long on the attention of the House.
Then I also want to join in the congratulations to the Under-Secretary upon his Rhodesian settlement. I have no great enthusiasm for prolonged litigation. We did point out the dangers of a compromise. We were anxious to make it clear that it should be a settlement which should not lead to new points involving commissions or further litigation. I do not think it is too onerous for the British taxpayer, considering what we get out of it. I hope the Secretary of State, now that he has got the reserves of native land under his own control, will provide ample reserves for the Africans, and give them some chance, also, of purchasing land outside the reserves, at all events to some extent. In addition to that, I would suggest that it might be well to set up some kind of land board or commis- sion—I do not mean merely a commission which would watch over transfers and see that titles to African land were kept in proper order, but a commission which would study the best method of developing native lands and native production thereon. I think there used to be a feeling, certainly in India, that it was best not to interfere with the hereditary habits of the native cultivator, and that improvements were impossible; but we have got far away from that now. I think that, if we do not ask for too much, if we do not expect too great advances in machinery, if we go slowly and are content to proceed gradually step by step, a considerable amount can be done in the development of native production.
With reference to the Rhodesian question, I hope that the principle laid down in Rhodesia will be kept in regard to the native franchise, and I think that franchise might well be extended to the rest of the African territories. I also want to put it to the Government that the principle of nominating an unofficial representative to look after the interests of native Africans on the Legislative Council is one that might well be considered. Such representative might be a missionary, or someone with some special interest in the welfare of the Africans. With regard to West Africa, I agree with a good deal of what was said by the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) about the export duties, though I do not think I would commit myself to countersigning all the hon. and gallant Member's figures. Some of them were rather illustrative than accurate, and I do not want to push the matter too far. I do not think that these export duties can be said to have strangled production, but I do think they have hampered and checked production. I think we can be satisfied with the progress that has been made in West Africa, and I look forward to the development of these tropical countries as one of the sources from which a new accumulation of wealth may come, both to those countries and to the world at large.
It has been said by some that, with the enormous National Debt that we have at present, we have no such advantage as we had after the Napoleonic Wars when the industrial revolution came. That is partly true, but there is this chance of developing these tropical countries, and I do not think that any system ought to be allowed to develop which will interfere with the production by native Africans on their own land of the products of the country, which we can use as raw materials for our manufactures here. That is a development which would be good for the world at large and for the Africans themselves. I must not go into all the details now, but these duties require a great deal of consideration. I must guard myself against being supposed to think that the only alternative is the development of a new revenue from spirits. I do not in the least agree with the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme on that point. I should have no objection to the matter being inquired into, but the Convention of St. Germain, which prohibited trade spirits, is a lowering of the standard set up for the mandated territories under the Covenant of the League of Nations, and, if we are still further to lower it, to weaken our policy, and find a new revenue by encouraging the importation of gin or other spirits into these countries, it will be very little satisfaction, to my mind, to abolish the export duties in order to get that result. I think you can secure the abolition of the export duties, or, at any rate, their curtailment by 50 per cent., by economies in the Colonies concerned. I cannot believe that when, in one Colony the expense of administration has risen from £2,300,000 to £7,000,000, there is not a real chance for a campaign of economy which would enable that to be done, and I believe that that is the policy which has been asked for by the Chambers of Commerce.
I was very much interested in what the Undersecretary said about the development of education. Anyone who knows how much has been done for the negroes in the Southern States of America through the influence of the Hampton experiment will welcome everything that the hon. Gentleman says, and I hope that we may anticipate great results from that. It is very difficult to speak on the subject of Kenya without the possibility that one may do a certain amount of harm. I thought that a good deal of what was said by the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme was only pouring a little oil on the flames, and I was rather sorry to see that he could not, apparently, resist the temptation of making some party capital out of the situation as he saw it. I do not think it is very wise that we should lay much stress here on wild language which has been used, or extravagant demands which have been made, on one side or the other. In the calmer atmosphere which must, surely, have been induced by all the conferences that have been going on, where each side has been able to put its point of view, and where each side, at all events, has been heard, one would have hoped that there would have emerged some settlement which might, perhaps, have satisfied neither side, where neither side might feel that it had got what it would like, but which both sides could work in a common desire to develop the Colony and promote the good of the Empire as a whole. I agree with the ex-Chief Justice of Kenya, the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir E. Hamilton), that at the bottom, so far as the Indian objections are concerned, it is a question of status, a question of the recognition of claims which the Indians think right to put forward. That is, of course, at the bottom of the objection to the communal franchise. I understand that their objection is that it indicates political inferiority of the Indians in the circumstances of the Colony. I realise that, but I cannot help thinking that they overlook two things.
They overlook, first, the weakness of our ordinary electoral system, which in its working may produce a purely capricious result, under which a minority may get no representation whatever. We all know that that happens in the working of our own system at home. If you have a common electoral roll, and the present system of single-member constituencies, you may quite easily get a situation in which a minority gets, not merely unfair representation, but no representation at all. Where you get blocks of population differing in race, each of them demanding as its right some share of the representation, it is impossible for anyone who knows the working of our present electoral institutions to guarantee that there shall be anything like fair representation. You cannot guarantee any representation of minorities at all under our present system, and it cannot be denied that that is what led Indians themselves in India over and over again to demand communal representation. I know and realise this, for, when I was out in India with Mr. Montagu, one demand after another was pressed by different bodies for communal representation. That was a case which, I am bound to say, the British administrator, accustomed to our political theories, was very reluctant to concede, but the Indians pressed it over and over again on the Government, and got it. When you have the whole Indian polity accepting the principle of communal representation, how can you say, when it is adopted—under different conditions, of course—in Kenya, that the existence of communal representation there is such a vital flaw, such a vicious blot on the whole system that you will not consider the working of a system which includes it. It may be that in Kenya there is a reaction which all Indians do not like, but I am afraid that, when they have pressed that demand under all kinds of conditions in India, it is a little difficult for anyone who knows that development to condemn absolutely and entirely the whole system because the communal system is doubtless theoretically bad.
I have said that I believe that the real Indian difficulty lies in the fact that they feel that they do not get what they asked for—recognition of India's place in the Empire. Take one illustration—the Land Ordinance Act of 1914, which deals with the question of the alienation of land in the Highlands. In the Land Ordinance Act of 1914 it is laid down that you cannot transfer land to anyone not of pure European descent, except with the Governor's sanction. See what that involves for the Indian looking at it from the Indian point of view. It means that you may sell land to a Bulgarian, a Greek, an ex-enemy, but you must not sell land to an Indian. If you look at it from the point of view of the British Indians asking for recognition of their place in the Empire, is not that a kind of sentence in the Statute Book which does violate their natural feelings? There they do not get the recognition of Imperial citizenship which they ask for.
As far as segregation is concerned, I was very sorry to hear what the hon. Member, who spoke last, said. Anyone who knows Indian conditions knows that it is absolutely unnecessary to lay down any policy of segregation. When things settle themselves down, this invidious legal bar would be absolutely out of the question, and I am very glad that the Government on that point has put its foot down and said that that was impossible. You have somewhat similar conditions in Indian hill stations, such as Ootacamund in the Nilgiris, and no question or demand for segregation has ever been made there, or thought necessary. The thing settles itself, and I think it is a great disaster and a great encouragement to racial ill-feeling that this policy of segregation should ever have been raised.
I do not know what lines the Indians will take on this question of the settlement. I realise that the settlement is. not what they would like. I see many things in it that would challenge their natural prejudices, and where they would feel that their very natural sentiments have been disregarded, but I notice that those who have spoken as their champions,, the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) and the learned Member for the Orkneys (Sir R. Hamilton), although they have looked at the question from different points of view, have both advised the Indians to accept the settlement. The hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme said it was a slap in the eye, but it would be wise for them to accept it. I cannot help thinking that that is wise advice which should be given by those who care for the development of the Indians and sympathise with their aspirations, and desire to see India advancing on the road of self-government.
We know quite well that the Indians cannot be satisfied with this settlement. The Government of India has made its. protest. We are told that it is not satisfied. We could hardly imagine that the Indians for whom the Government of India speaks could regard it with satisfaction, and no one is surprised at that, but I think it would be a mistake, perhaps a fatal mistake, for the Indians not to accept it, under protest, pointing out its effects, and pointing out where it seems to fall short. I would appeal to the Under-Secretary, in his reply or behalf of the Government, to show that he does sympathise with the natural desire of these British Indians to feel themselves not merely members of the Colony, but that they are recognised in the Empire as a whole. The principle of African trusteeship which has been laid down is a right and an admirable one. I trust that the franchise in future will be open without any colour bar. As the people advance in education the very small numbers who can be admitted to the franchise at present will gradually increase, and I trust that, with the advancing education of the Africans, that their numbers also will increase on the franchise roll. It is in that spirit that I contemplate a settlement which is not by any means what one would have wished, but which is perhaps all that could be obtained at the present time, and which may be accepted by the Indians under protest in this controversy.
I wish to refer to only two points with regard to the Kenya settlement, namely, the question of the franchise and the question of the Highlands. These two points seem to me to constitute the crux of all the disputes that have been so prolonged between the European settlers and the Indians in Kenya. The claim of the Indian is based in both cases on the principle that there must be equality of status throughout the Empire in the case of every member of the Empire, and that there is no justification in any colony or protectorate for giving the British Indians an inferior status to that of any other member of the Empire. I support the decision of the Government in this case, because I think it is a very reasonable one, based on careful consideration of a very difficult problem. I have too great an affection for India and its people, and I owe India and its people too much, for me to be ready to give my support to any scheme which would, in my opinion, brand them with the stigma of inferiority, and it is because I believe that this settlement does not have that effect that I give it my whole-hearted support.
I differ entirely from the preference expressed by the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) for the common as against the communal franchise in Kenya. I repudiate particularly the assertion which he made that the Government had been driven to support the communal franchise by fear. I believe there is no foundation for that suggestion. I believe that communal franchise can be justified by cold, hard reason, and it is owing to that fact that I give the communal franchise my support over the common franchise. It will take me a little time to give the reasons why I favour the communal franchise, and I beg the indulgence of the Committee while I attempt to do so. I would draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that the Indian society in Kenya has not within it the gradations which you find in Indian society in India, whether the city, the town, or the village. You find in India representatives of the landowning classes, the cultured and political classes, the merchants who are carrying on business and those who have retired. You find Indians who are fond of sport, and you find large religious societies, with the Pandit priest for the-Hindus, and the Maulavi for the Mahommedans, while in the villages you have a very large agricultural class constituting three-quarters of the whole population, and in the provinces in which I last served in India 66 per cent. of the whole population. These are the men from whom the Indian Army is recruited. They are the men from whom the police are recruited both in India and in other parts of the Dominions. In Kenya you will not find a single Indian agriculturist. You will find a very different society from that to be found in India, You find a commercial class, mainly consisting of very small traders, You find a class of clerks, most of them under five years' agreement, and many of them but resident even in the native States of India, but coming from Portuguese India. You find a number of artisans and carpenters, who form the great majority of the Indian population in Kenya. The great majority of these men have really no desire for a vote at all, and if they went back to India they would not get the vote, and what is more, I firmly believe that the Indians who have been agitating to get them a vote in Kenya would not like them coming back to get the vote.
We have in Kenya 25,000 Indians. 12,500 of them come from British India, 10,000 from the native States and 2,500 Goanese from Portuguese India, Is this the sort of population into which to import common franchise when one does not exist in India at all? In India, there are people who denounce the communal franchise, but the fact remains that opinion is much more strongly in favour of the communal franchise in India now than it ever was, and only the other day, in a discussion on this very question of the Indian status in Kenya, several Mahommedans and one Sikh in the Legislative Assembly roundly asserted the benefits of communal representation and denounced a Madrassi Brahman who spoke in favour of a common suffrage. I should like to ask whether it is reasonable that any portion of the 10,000 men from the native States of India should be given the franchise as British Indians in Kenya when they will have no franchise at all when they go back. I should also like to ask whether it is reasonable that Indian females who have not yet got the vote in India, though I myself am in favour of the most intellectual of them getting it, and gave evidence to that effect before the Joint Committee of the two Houses on the Reform Bill, should receive a vote in Kenya when they have no vote in India. I should also like to ask why an Indian lady in Kenya of the age of 21 should receive a vote when English women in our own country do not get it until they are 30, which I think is a great shame. For all these reasons I urge that there is a very strong case against a common suffrage in Kenya, and I cannot see that there is any ground whatever for the Indians saying that not to give a common suffrage is equivalent to treating them as inferior people. It is nothing of the kind. They have no right, it seems to me, to claim anything more in Kenya than they have in India, It is very difficult for Indians who regard communal representation in India as absolutely necessary to contend that it is going to be an indignity to have to submit to it in Kenya. There is also, it seems to me, a very strong argument, and one which to my mind settles the whole matter, as regards communal suffrage. The Government has stated that it is its paramount duty to look after the Africans. There are 2,500,000 Africans in Kenya. When they get the vote how on earth are the Europeans and the Indians to be given a vote at all unless they are given it by communal representation? For these reasons I think we should be committing a great mistake if at present, in the present conditions of Kenya, we were to endeavour to stabilise a common vote there.
I turn to the question of the Highlands. I know there is a very general feeling that the decision of the Government should be accepted, but I should like to give my reasons for thinking that that decision is a thoroughly sound one. The Highlands consist of a large tract at an altitude of from 5,000 to 8,000 feet. They correspond to the country described in India as the hills. The climate of the hills in India is not liked by the ordinary Indian, and residence there is distinctly distasteful. I believe the same is the case in Kenya. The Indian, to my mind, does not wish to be able to purchase land in Kenya in order to cultivate it himself, or to supervise the cultivation of it. He wants to purchase it with the very laudable ambition of making money out of it, and what he resents is that he cannot take advantage of an opportunity of making money. He also thinks it a slight that he cannot buy land where Europeans can, but has he any ground for saying that this is invidious treatment, which implies that he is being treated as an inferior? I think not. In India no European can purchase any land in most of the Indian States, and if there are a few of them in which purchase is permitted to individual Europeans, the process is bound up by so many restrictions that there is really no opportunity of effecting it. If Europeans are subject TO this restriction in India, is it reasonable to say that if you subject the Indians in Kenya to similar restrictions you are treating them as inferiors? The fact is that the Highlands are the only place in which Europeans can live and bring up their children, and can enjoy the domestic life which is so often denied to European settlers in the tropics.
I cannot help thinking that if it had been explained to the Indian population what were the real aims of the Europeans in the Highlands there might have been little or no opposition to this restriction. What the European wants is to have a group of farms nestling in a township where he and his family can go to market, can attend chapel or church, find a hospital in case of illness, obtain education for his children and get most of those amenities of domestic life which he loses if he lives in isolation in a far-off country. If anyone of another race takes a farm within the group, it naturally tends to destroy the harmony and interferes with the objects of the little community. I do not believe that the taking of a farm in the Highlands by an Indian would cause more trouble than the taking of a farm there by a Greek, of whom there are many in East Africa, and it Has occurred to me that the feelings of the Indians as regards this particular matter might be modified if the order regarding the purchase and transfer of land in the Highlands were somewhat altered so as to limit the land to British holders.
We have got to remember that among these people there are no fewer than 2,500 ex-service men. I believe that this feeling of patriotism is one of the best inducements which could be given to them to carry out in the highlands of East Africa the work which is going a long way to help our Empire in that country. I think that the settlement which has been effected will be accepted by both parties. I dare say that it may not be accepted in its entirety by either of them at first, but I do believe that it will come to be regarded as a good settlement before very long, and that both parties will be able to feel drawn to work together for the advancement of the Empire. It does not cause me much concern that the Government of India have not agreed to this settlement, because I cannot feel, after reading all the papers, that the Government of India have treated this subject in altogether a judicious or judicial manner.
Neither the Indian nor the European settler can pose as the trustee of the African. It is only, I think, in both cases recently that a very active interest in the African has been developed. The Government now announce that the great problem in Kenya is the problem of looking after the African population. I believe that, in the decision which is now come to, there will be nothing to hamper this matter receiving proper consideration and being dealt with in the way in which it should be dealt with. Had either of the parties to this dispute receive their claims in full, there might have been difficulties when the time came to size up the African situation. It has not come yet, but when it does come the Government will be free, whatever party may be in power, to act in the very best way for the African. I feel confident that not only the African, but also all those who have his interests at heart, will feel that the British Government will, when the time comes, act with justice and equity in the settlement of all matters connected with the African situation. I hope sincerely, now that this decision has been come to, that this Government and successive Governments will retain it intact, so that, when the time comes to solve this great problem in regard to Kenya, there may be found nothing on record as between the Indians and the Europeans which will hamper a settlement of the question.
This is my maiden speech, and I claim the usual indulgence of the House. I feel sure that I shall require it all. I want to refer briefly to two matters. The first is emigration and the second is the Imperial Conference. As Member for the Western Isles, I could not let this occasion pass without raising the question of emigration, particularly as upwards of 600 men, women and children have gone from my constituency to Canada since the beginning of this year. Not all went willingly. Many of them went with very bitter feelings in their hearts that the promises made with regard to land settlement had not been fulfilled, and, sick at heart, they got tired waiting and were determined to try their fortune in another land. It is bad for the Empire that they should go with bitterness in their hearts. Even though they may prosper, as they nearly all do, they never forget.
It must not be forgotten that there has always been a large and natural flow of emigration. It is not new. Certain things are responsible for emigration. For instance ambition. This applies not only to those who are thinking of settling in another land, but they also take into consideration the future prospects of their children. In addition, however, they are not directed by sentiment to any particular place, the advantages of all countries being weighed in the balance. In the past, unfortunately, a great many of those who have gone from this country have gone to countries outside the British Empire. Another motive power which has considerable influence is the desire for adventure. In this group there is a very large number of unattached men and women who go away with a view to seeing the world, hoping that one day they will return home again. From this group a very big proportion of our very best settlers is drawn. Then there is the domestic situation that compels emigration, and from this the greater number of emigrants is drawn. It is this natural expansion that has made the British Empire.
For nearly seven years the War stopped this natural flow, and in spite of the wastage of war our population increased much more rapidly than it did before the War. The increase of population in the Dominions was naturally checked, and it has been calculated that, as a result of the War, the population of the Dominions is about 2,000,000 less and that of the British Isles is about 1,000,000 more than it otherwise would have been. Before the War, about 500,000 people, at least, left this country every year. This was about the natural increase of population, and has been reduced by about one-fifth. Owing to the fact that about 1,000 people per day come to a workable age in this country, and to the amount of unemployment now existing, it means that unless some course is taken to keep the population at a normal number our difficulties will grow instead of diminishing. Immigration within the Empire seems to be the only natural and logical remedy for this state of affairs. It has been said that this country is a fine one to live in, but there are others within the Empire better adapted for making a living.
No one desires to see his relatives and friends leave these shores, but, taking the situation as it is to-day, it surely is better to maintain one's spirit of independence, and to take advantage of the facilities that are being offered for migration to other parts of the Empire, than to wait for the slow process of trade recovery at home. I know there are two sides to the problem—the home and the Imperial side. As regards the home side, I cannot now discuss the shortcomings of our attempts to relieve unemployment by land settlement and by the development of our latent resources. I merely mention it to show that in dwelling on the Imperial side I do not lose sight of the other responsibility. Recently the various Dominions have made agreements with the Overseas Committee regarding assisted passages. Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have all entered into certain arrangements with a view to permanent settlement. Land is the chief asset which our friends beyond the seas have to offer, and no man with so-called land hunger need go without if he be willing to work. As I have stated, I have had some direct experience of emigration to Canada, and I felt it my duty to ascertain what provision was being made in regard to my constituents. I can testify to the great trouble taken by the Dominion Government of Canada and by the Government of Ontario.
The other subject to which I wish to refer is the Imperial Conference, which will assemble in London in the autumn. It is impossible to attach too much importance to this Conference. It concerns the lives and development, directly and indirectly, of about 18,000,000 white people in the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire. Its progress during the last generation has been phenomenal, and proves conclusively what an extraordinary thing the British Constitution really is, and how capable it is of accommodating itself to changing conditions. The Imperial Conference is the Council of the Cabinets of the Empire, without either legislative or executive power; yet it works and produces most valuable results, both in legislation and in administration, throughout the British Empire. Its benefits can be seen in such various subjects as defence, foreign affairs, postal and telegraphic communication, transport facilities, Empire settlement, nationalisation law, Income Tax adjustment, and so forth. Theoretical Constitution makers would laugh to scorn at the machinery by which the British Empire is governed. They would give us a rigid and cast-iron system, which would break up the Empire within a short time. Our system works. Why? Because the motive power within it is good will. The Empire is based on good will. It would not be worth maintaining if it were not.
The function of the Imperial Conference is to inform and guide political opinion within the Empire. It has done most valuable work in the past, and I do not think its constitution could be changed without danger. It consists of the Prime Ministers who are responsible for shaping both the legislative and administrative policy of their respective Dominions. Of necessity, only the parties in power are represented; it is like a Cabinet Council, in which other political parties cannot be represented. I think it is essential that we should seek means of extending and developing the influence of these Conferences. I make two suggestions. I submit that the time has come when the distinguished statesmen who form this Imperial Cabinet or Conference should be entitled to appear in the Imperial Parliament, in either House, and to take part in the discussions on Empire policy. This firsthand contact would have a powerful effect both in this House and in the country.
Secondly, the Imperial Conference is always held in London. Could it not be supplemented by a series of less official inter-Parliamentary visits and conferences? Would it not be possible to ask the Dominion Parliaments to send representatives to this country, to hold some informal conferences with Members of this Parliament next year, in connection with the British Empire Exhibition? The Empire Parliamentary Association is doing excellent work along those lines, but the Government might do more. Why should not a delegation from each of the parties of this House be sent to visit some part of the British Empire each year, and in that way gain a first-hand knowledge? I speak from an intimate knowledge of our Dominions, and I feel assured that these suggestions I have given, if acted upon, would promote progress and good will throughout the Empire.
In common with a great many other Members of the Committee, I feel rather disappointed that the Under-Secretary has said nothing about Palestine, and I do not therefore apologise for intervening myself to say something about, that country. I should remind the Committee that the population of Palestine is not Jewish. It is and has been for many hundreds of years from 90 to 92 per cent. Mahommedan Arab, and I think neglect of this fact has been responsible for what can only be described as the present deplorable situation in Palestine. May I briefly sketch our relations with the Arabs and especially the Palestinian Arabs since before the Armistice to the present moment. Long before the War there was no European nation more popular or more trusted among the Arabs than the British, and in 1915 the Sherif of Mecca was only too glad to conclude an alliance with us, largely because he said the Arabian people among whom he dwelt were determined if possible to be friends with the British. This desire for friendship with the British was even more strikingly evinced during our advance in Palestine. We were received at the opening of our campaign with open arms by the Palestinians. They treated us not as conquerors but as deliverers, and the inhabitants came to meet us—men, women, and children with fruit and flowers in their hands. Before we had been many months, possibly not many weeks, in Palestine, the Commander-in-Chief of the Turks actually threatened to pull down Gaza stone by stone, because he said the inhabitants were all "British." When the Armistice came there was but one feeling from Dan to Beersheba, and it was that the British must remain in Palestine and help to guide the Palestinians along the path of good government towards peace, progress and prosperity. When I asked a leading Palestinian why they wanted us to remain, he said: "Because we consider the British people are a good people." I asked him what he meant by a good people and he said, "You are a people who, if you govern another people, do so in order that you may help them and not in order that you may gain advantage for yourselves."
That was the situation at the time of the Armistice. What is the situation to-day after four years of British administration? Everywhere distrust and simmering unrest. We have had two deputations elected by the Christians and by the Arabs and, I believe, also representing largely the feeling of the resident Jews. These deputations have been sent to this country to voice the grievances of the Palestinian Arabs and Christians, and both have returned to their own country absolutely unsatisfied. I am told a third deputation has actually arrived within the last few days. In addition to this, the constitution which we offered to the Palestinians during the past few months was looked upon by them with such distrust and dislike that I it had to be withdrawn. What is the reason for this extraordinary volte face of the Palestinians in their attitude towards the British. Why has their affection of four years ago has been turned into something like suspicion? Why is it that these people who are, per- haps, the most peace-loving and most progressive and certainly the most pro-British of all Arab peoples, who welcomed us with open arms when we invaded their country, are now publicly declaring that they regret the disappearance of the Turk? There is only one reason and that is fear the fear of Zionist domination—the fear that our advent and that our administration are stepping stones to complete political domination by the Zionists. I ask whether there is any real foundation for this fear? I hope there is not. I hoped, before the Debate had concluded, we should have heard from the Under-Secretary something that would have allayed those fears. We have not had that, and I therefore think it is only right that I should marshal, so far as I can, the evidence which is the foundation of those fears. First and foremost we have the Balfour Declaration, which promised a National Home to imported Zionist Jews in a country which is inhabited by a population 93 per cent. Arabs; Arabs who believe that they have been promised self-government twice—once by Treaty, in 1915, and once by Proclamation, in 1918. And side by side with the Balfour Declaration we have the Palestine Zionist Commission, a Commission with its extreme aims and enormous powers. The Arabs hear the spokesmen of that Commission, who practically say that not only are the Zionists soon going to make the desert blossom like the rose, but they are also going to turn Palestine to-morrow into a place as Jewish as England is British to-day.
The leader of the Zionists, Dr. Weizmann, said that, and not only that, but later on a representative of the Zionists, when he was asked what was going to happen to the 93 per cent. of Arabs left in Palestine, said, "They can go to Bagdad or to Mecca, or out there"—pointing to the desert.
I know Dr. Weizmann, and I have discussed matters with him, and he has no such sentiment, and I should like to know the authority for that statement.
That is what he said two years ago. Sir Louis Bols, who was our representative in Palestine, actually considered the Zionist Commission so dangerous that he advised its dissolution, but he was not listened to, and he was succeeded by Sir Herbert Samuel, who, as a Jew and a Zionist, has been described by Zionists as "our Samuel." Sir Herbert has two trusted advisers. One is his Attorney-General, who is a Zionist and a Jew, and I think we might almost say out-Herods Herod in his Zionism, and his other adviser is a gentleman who before he was adviser to Sir Herbert Samuel was secretary of the Palestine Zionist Commission.
Next we see that all this results in the Hebrew language, which is the language of only something like 5 per cent. of the inhabitants of Palestine, being elevated to an equality practically with the Arabic language, which is the language of 93 per cent. of the native inhabitants; while behind and beyond all this the Palestinians see enormous economic advantages granted, to whom? To an Englishman? To an Arab? No; to a Russian revolutionary Jew. We have been told by Mr. Winston Churchill that the reason why Mr. Rutenberg should be accepted by the British in the job which he asked for was because no more eligible applicant offered himself. It strikes me that if no more eligible applicant than Mr. Rutenberg offered himself for the job, the British Government might very well have left that job vacant for some time longer. Next to the rather sinister figure of Mr. Rutenberg, we see the far more amiable personality of the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, but here the Palestinians see that the Under-Secretary, when he was in military service, was actually attached to this very Palestinian Zionist Commission, and although we know very well that, being an English gentleman, he would never allow the Zionist prepossessions which he might have gained there to in- terfere with his duties towards the 93 percent. Arab population—
—we cannot expect the Palestinians to recognise this fact. Then we find, parallel to all these things, a continuous, steady stream of immigrant Jews, many of them, until recently, of the most undesirable character. I am told that recently, whilst the quantity has increased, the quality has somewhat improved, and I only hope that is the case, because certainly there was great need of improvement. A gentleman who represents a very friendly Power said to me a short time ago:
I am very sorry for the Palestinians that they have this immigration policy forced upon them, but it is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good, and my country realise that, thanks to your policy, their ghettoes are being rid of their most undesirable inhabitants.
No, it was not. Last, but not least, the Arabs, see the Constitution which has been offered to them, which, on the surface, appears to be more or less representative, but which, in actual effect, will leave the Arabs in a permanent minority. Consequently, they believe that that Constitution is practically a camouflage for maintaining Sir Herbert Samuel in perpetual control, until he shall have so increased the imported Jews by his immigration policy that they may in the end outnumber the Arab inhabitants. I do not pretend to say that possibly some of these fears may not be exaggerated. Anyhow, I think we have sufficient evidence to go upon for the friends of the Arabs to ask the Government if they will actually give a declaration of what their policy is. Some months ago, questions were asked in another place with regard to that policy, and an answer was given by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. That answer practically said that His Majesty's Government intended eventually to give self-government to Palestine, and I think we all agree that, so far as it goes, that declaration is satisfactory, but that declaration, in the opinion of the Palestinians and of those who believe in them, does not go far enough. They say, "It is all very well to tell us you are going eventually to give self-government to Palestine, but, for all we know, that self-government may be held up until you have imported sufficient alien Jews to outnumber the resident inhabitants, and what we want is some guarantee that you are not going to do that."
I believe it is possible for His Majesty's Government to give some such guarantee. The Arabs are a reasonable people, they lived for many years under the Turks on quite good terms with the resident Jews, and I believe they are quite ready to receive a certain limited number of selected Jews, if those Jews wish to return to the land of their fathers, which most of their countrymen have deserted for the last 2,000 years. I believe that that guarantee could very well be given by His Majesty's Government in the following way: They could, first of all, give control to the Arabs over immigration, and, in the second place, they could give the Arabs a High Commissioner, who would be an ordinary Englishman with no axe to grind, with no Zionist fads, an ordinary Englishman, whose one desire would be to do the best possible for the largest number of the inhabitants of that country.
If the Noble Lord will wait one moment, I will answer that question. I have a great admiration for Sir Herbert Samuel. I believe that he is an able man and an honest man, but Sir Herbert Samuel is attempting the impossible. He, a Zionist Jew, with Zionist aspirations, is attempting to reconcile those aspirations with doing absolute justice to 93 per cent. of the population who are Arabs which is impossible, and I suggest that Sir Herbert Samuel and his Attorney-General, both of whom are able and, I believe, honest men, might very well be rewarded by His Majesty's, Government by being given, somewhat quickly, promotion to another sphere. You might then have in their place what hon. Members opposite seem to think a most disreputable kind of thing, an ordinary English gentleman, who will have no axe to grind.
Exactly what it says—absolutely no intention of doing anything except what, in the opinion of those men, is his duty towards the in habitants of the country over which ha rules.
Certainly, in the shape of his being a Zionist, with Zionist aspirations, and it is impossible to reconcile Zionist aspirations with his duty towards the 93 per cent. Arab population. If His Majesty's Government will grant some such guarantee to these poor, almost friendless Arabs, I believe their unrest will disappear as if by the stroke of a magic wand, and they will once more become the best friends of the British; but I would warn the Government of this, that if they continue what I can only term their somewhat dubious policy, handed down by the Coalition to them, there will be only one end to it. Arab unrest and Arab distrust will increase side by side with a decrease of British prestige, and the evil will not end there, because that evil will, I am perfectly certain, have a serious and most pernicious repercussion throughout the entire East.
I confess I have a good deal of hesitation in intervening in this Debate lest I should do some injury to the cause for which I speak, because I understand from some speakers on the other side of the House that if anybody from another country consulted us on these benches, or asked our advice, it would prove that they were enemies of this country. When they speak of the settlers of Kenya that, presumably, is all right; it is the natural thing to do. But if we should speak for groups of Indians, who require reforms in their constitution, or for any other group in the outlying parts of our Empire, that would seem to label them as being enemies of this country. That, I venture to say, is a very deplorable suggestion, of which hon. Members on the other side ought to be entirely ashamed. There is, however, just this point, that although the Members of the Labour party may have different ideas of Government, and even as to the ultimate end of our Empire from hon. Gentlemen on the other side, it is conceivable, in the long run, that our theory may hold the Empire together, and the other theory may disband it. It is worth while in that connection to point out that the theory advanced by the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) has already lost us from our Empire Ireland and Egypt, and if such racial impertinence as he indulged in to-night is repeated very often in this House, it might result in our losing India.
That 1s all I desire, or trust myself to say upon the matter, but I do ask the attention of the House for one or two minutes to another matter that was mentioned by the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, namely, the relation of this country to the Colony of Ceylon. It is not so exciting a subject as Kenya, but it does affect 4½ millions of our fellow-citizens in the Empire, and it is worth while, therefore, that the House should give it some slight attention. The people of Ceylon are engaged in bringing their constitution more closely in accord with the growing capacitiee and progressive culture of their people, and as the constitution is being revised, it is not surprising that the views of certain sections in the community do not entirely agree with the views put forward by His Majesty's Government. One would assume that the purpose of revising the constitution of any part of the Empire would be to make it as good as it possibly could be made, and that any criticisms of plans suggested, so long as they were courteous and helpful, would be welcomed by His Majesty's Government. I shall assume in what I have to say that the principle which should guide us in revising a constitution is that the constitution should be so constructed that it would function efficiently, that it would safeguard the liberties of the people of Ceylon, for instance, and at the same time promote the well-being and protect the interests of the Imperial Government. It should, further, evoke the assent of the great majority of the people who will have to live under the Constitution.
Now the aim of the Imperial Government, in revising the constitution of Ceylon, should, I suggest, be to build a constitution which is expressive of the national idealism of the great majority of the people of the country, to develop a spirit which is bigger than the spirit of any section within that community, and aim at transforming those who are divided into races, tribes and religious sects and interests, into a people; in other words, to create a national spirit so healthy and so strong that it would dominate over the sectional interests and ambitions as they exhibit themselves in different races. What does this constitution which His Majesty's Government are proposing for Ceylon actually do? Is it likely to promote the end that I have described? As a matter of fact, it would seem by its proposals to disregard the fact that the discontent which exists there is a natural thing. After all, racial ideals and racial ambitions are very slow to die, and they accommodate themselves very slowly to national ideals. But this constitution does not gain the assent of the majority of those who will have to live under it, and in that respect is bad. It does not create a people. On the contrary, it would seem to intensify every difference, to separate still further one race from another, and to perpetuate difficulties which it should aim at solving.
In spite of what has been said on the other side, this all centres in what I regard as the very unwise and dangerous expedient of communal representation. It is seeking to run a community on racial lines for an indefinite period, and there seems to be no justification for this narrow and limited conception of tribal interest. When the electoral principle was established in 1912, the various populations were then formed into an electorate for the purpose of political and administrative representation. That experiment has resulted in no such disadvantage as would justify it being broken up, and the communal system of representation being reestablished. There has been ample evidence of the willingness and the capacity of the people of Ceylon to transcend the racial limitations, and they have shown that by appointing men of different races and different creeds in popular elections to undertake their government. The people of Ceylon very naturally fear at the present time that if this communal representation is imposed upon their colony, with all the racial and tribal jealousies, which it should be the aim and business of the Imperial Government to try to abandon, and if this constitution passes, then we may never expect to have the national spirit developed, but the racial needs, and so on, will be intensified. Each group will watch and fight for its own interest, and all kinds of artificial antipathies will be stimulated. What advantage is to be gained by this principle being proposed in this way? It settles no problem, but it does create new problems. It seems as though the intention of His Majesty's Government was to play off one section of the community against the other on the principle of "divide and govern." One knows that that is not the intention of His Majesty's Government, but people looking at it from the island to which it refers may think it is so.
I would remind the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies that, when he spoke of Ceylon, he said nothing about the position of the Executive Council in the new Constitution that is proposed. There is one deduction to be drawn from the Constitution proposed, to which I desire to draw the attention of the Committee. It appears to me, in certain of its features, to bear a very ominous resemblance to certain features of the Soviet Constitution of Russia, with its nominated members, with its specialised representation and all the other antidemocratic expedients associated with that system. I am a polite person, and all I would venture to say is that my enthusiasm for the Soviet system is under very strict control. It surprises me, but I am sure it must interest the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Newbold) to see certain features of that system imposed upon a Colony against its will by the Imperial Government of the Empire. I, for my part, am content to leave Russia to a monopoly of its own methods and try to conduct our business in the Empire on lines which have been tried and proved by many years of experience. May I try to draw a parallel of what would happen if the same system ruled in our own country. We should be a people not striving for a common purpose but divided into separate groups, each group looking after its own interests. Supposing we had Members elected to this House as Jews and Scots and Irish and Welsh, whether they lived in Scotland or Ireland or Wales or anywhere, just on the point of nationality; or supposing we were the elected as Roman Catholics, or Protestants, or Dissenters, or Sceptics, or whatever we happened to be, the nation would lose a good deal. We should be further away from that unity of purpose and outlook we are striving to obtain, and whatever difficulties we have would be intensified If it is our aim in this country to develop that larger fellowship of the nation as a whole, then we have to transcend the boundaries of sects and creeds and races and think of something bigger than that.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, in his speech, said that nothing could be of greater peril than the clash of races, and he told us that the great fellowship of the Empire could not be subordinated to norrow ideals of racial consciousness. These were admirable statements of high principle, and I ask him, in relation to this Constitution of Ceylon, to apply, where he has the power, the advice and the principles he so ably enunciated to this House. I understand the matter is not finally settled, and that in a few weeks the Government will issue a report. Presumably, therefore, the matter is still open, and the final decision is not made. I therefore appeal to the Government to make an earnest attempt to accommodate its views, so far as that is possible, to the views of the representatives of the Ceylon Congress. It may be a bad thing that a majority of a nation should rule, but it is a worse thing that a minority should rule over a majority. This Constitution makes the minority rule the majority. I can understand why His Majesty's Government has introduced that, because it itself rules on a minority vote in this country. [Laughter.] But this matter is too important to be a matter of banter in that sense. I only suggest that an opportunity is now presented for revising a decision come to and for trying to bring into accord both the views of the people of Ceylon, as expressed by the Ceylon Congress, and His Majesty's Government. If that is done, it will make for peace and security abroad; it will supply one example at least of that desire for fair government which hon. Members on the opposite side have said is the prominent feature of our Empire policy.
Recent official statements on the future of Mesopotamia have had a stabilising effect and given a respite to argument on either side, but I venture to think the time has not yet come when an irrevocable decision can be reached, and that it may well be that the uncertain events of a still uncertain world will fashion our policy anew. I think it is necessary in order to avoid confusion, to try and keep separate in our minds the problem itself as distinct from the methods we employed to deal with it. For it is because these methods have often been mistaken, because administration has been costly, because we have incurred taxation and because the Arabs have displayed discontent that many people in this country have been led to confuse a temporary and passing failure in administration with the abiding problem of a country and a people whose resources are almost without limit, who hold more than one gateway to trade and strategy, and who for centuries have never had a chance. I am sure the question of honour and obligation can safely be left in the hands of the hon. Gentleman who represents the Colonial Office, but I would be interested to know whether he accepts the statement that our obligation is not merely to set up but to maintain the Arab state. However that may be, I am well aware that this question of honour or obligation is capable of widely different and equally sincere interpretations, and I do not for one moment contend that the interpretation of a very junior officer is of any importance to anyone except himself. Yet there are many of us who, in the ordinary routine of duty, and, very probably, upon occasions not unknown to the Under-Secretary for the Colonies himself, were brought into close association with the Arabs whose help, whose supplies, whose news were desired and received. In all probability the word "honour" was never used. If it had been, doubtless it would have lacked authority, but to me, at any rate, despite the very minor rank I held, the cumulative effect of such association of bargains scrupulously kept, of help received, perhaps even of Safety assured, the cumulative unspoken effect of such association meant honour and the fulfilment of an obligation in years to come. Personal association is apt to bias argument, and it is not easy to visualise in terms of cash and taxation the vivid impressions of years of war. I therefore confess that I am not uninfluenced by the recollection of a land in many parts so barren that was once so prosperous, that in the words of the old saying, a sparrow might hop from tree to tree from Babylon to the Persian Gulf, or by the recollection of those same barren lands one day barely scratched by the crude, improvised harrow of a battery of field artillery, almost the next sprouting into native corn; or of the tribes patriarchal, almost Biblical, wholly in a stationary stage of civilisation, and beside them the men of the larger cities, men of eminence and ability, possessing a confidence in themselves based, not on superficial assumption of Western culture but on the pride and tradition of their race. And till we came, neither people nor country for centuries ever had a chance. Two things might have brought that chance to fruition had the fates been kinder and mankind more wise. First, had General Maude lived. Second, had private enterprise been encouraged instead of obstructed at a time when it was ready and anxious to come in. With better fortune and greater wisdom the whole history of the past four years might have been very different. Meanwhile the Government have come to their decision. It may be wise though I profoundly differ from it. At any rate, it might have been far worse, I frankly admit that. But most of all am I inclined to believe that even yet it must be modified, perhaps by events still unrevealed. I only hope it may not be too late.
I desire to say something on Ceylon. It is rather unfortunate when on a matter of this kind party interest obtrude, but I may say that, so far as the Under-Secretary is concerned, he has always been ready to listen to views put forward and to give them consideration. I wish for a few moments to put the question from the broad point of view. What we do to-day may affect for good or evil the Colony of Ceylon in the years that are to come. I sincerely hope the Minister will not be influenced too much by the men on the spot. There is a danger always that the man on the spot, the European section, will endeavour to bring an undue weight to bear on the Minister in charge. I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will have an open mind on this question and consider it in all its bearings, and then come to a decision that he himself would feel to be right and just, and in the best interests of the inhabitants of the islands and the Empire.
Our aim should be to equip and assist people to govern themselves. There will be general agreement with that idea. I think also we should be agreed that it is a mistake to encourage racial differences. Ceylon is far ahead of India. It has 50 per cent. of illiterates, and in the matter of social progress the women are freer in Ceylon. I was delighted to hear the Member for Luton (Sir J. Hewett) suggest that he was favourable to the franchise being extended to educated women in India. So far as Ceylon is concerned, there is no segregation as in India. There is no racial exclusiveness. It is true that caste prevails, but it is limited more or less to marriage. People of all castes and of the same social standing meet freely in social intercourse. There is no hostility to Europeans, for I frankly admit that it would not be wise to give self-government to Ceylon or anywhere else where the people were hostile to the Empire. So far as the people of Ceylon are concerned, there has always been a perfectly friendly feeling between the people and Europeans and other foreigners.
One other point. The people of Ceylon are absolutely loyal. When the Prince of Wales visited the island he had a magnificent reception which contrasted somewhat with the reception that befell him in India. Other reasons might be advanced in favour of the legitimate aspirations of the people being encouraged. We ought to go as far as we possibly can towards self-government for them. A scheme has been promulgated, and I should like to hear that the last word has not been said on the point, for that scheme appears to bear somewhat hardly on the majority in the island. I have the particulars here. There is a population of 3,016,000 Cingalese. It is proposed to give to these 14 seats. There is a population of Europeans, Burghers, Mahommedans and others of 1,456,000. This population is to have 18 seats. If in a matter of this sort you in any way act so as to put the majority in a minority you are bound to have trouble. I want to invite the Under-Secretary to give this matter his most serious attention, for so far as I can gather the people have every desire to come to an amicable settlement. May I make a suggestion. The Southern Pro-
vinces has 600,000 people, and it has only two members. The Central or North-Western Province has 400,000 of a population, and that is only to have two members. The Northern Province, with 300,000 of a population, has three members, and I wish to suggest to the Under-Secretary that he should grant two further seats, and consider that suggestion also in relation to the Southern Province and the Central or North-Western Province. I suggest this, because I think it will go a long way towards settling this very difficult question. In these matters I think the Government should try and meet the wishes of the people as. far as they can, and I trust the Under-Secretary will sympathetically consider this suggestion. Injustice will always breed discontent, unrest, and agitation, and may I say in all honesty that is what I desire to avoid. I listened with much interest to the speech of the Prime Minister on the 23rd July, and this is what he said, and with great respect I submit it for the consideration of the Under-Secretary. Speaking of the British Empire, the right hon. Gentleman said:
It is a large assembly of free nations not all of the same kin, or the same colour, but animated largely by a common purpose, and all equally anxious to see extended in every corner of that Empire or Commonwealth those ideas of liberty and justice and freedom which we believe are in our hearts, and which we wish to see spread throughout our Empire and throughout the world..
Those are the Prime Minister's words, and I am asking the Government to put them into practice. Here they have an excellent opportunity. The spirit of liberty is really abroad in the land. We have fought for it. When I look at the benches above the Gangway I see many evidences of it here. I remember visiting this House over 25 or 30 years ago, and in those distant days it would have been an unheard of thing for one to suggest that 140 or 150 men who had toiled with their hands could be found in this House.
I suggest that this Empire has been built up by that spirit of freedom and liberty, but if the spirit which has been preached to-night by the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) had prevailed we should not have had any Empire at all. That spirit lost us America, but the spirit of freedom and liberty and self-government has secured for us South Africa and Canada, and the biggest Empire the world has ever seen. I ask the Under-Secretary to do this little bit of Empire building, for it is only a small thing we are asking. We are asking him to satisfy the righteous claims of these people, and I am sure if he will do that he will earn, not only our gratitude, but the gratitude of the people for whom we are speaking.
TheCHANCELLOR of the DUCHY of LANCASTER (Mr. J. C. C. Davidson):
I think hon. Members will expect some reply to the discussion. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up‡"] I think everyone will agree that we have listened to a most interesting and instructive Debate, and if I am unable 'to deal with all the specific points which have been raised, I can assure hon. Members who have made suggestions that they will receive very careful consideration at the hands of the Department. In the few moments that still remain, perhaps I may be permitted to offer a few general observations, and bring back the Committee to a realisation in general terms of the present position and the trend of Imperial policy. Perhaps the Committee will forgive me if I appear almost platitudinous, but the position as I see it is that, since the War, European markets have been destroyed, and of necessity, if we are to have a trade recovery, we must look, for the moment at any rate, elsewhere. It therefore follows that the problem which faces the Economic Conference, and which faces the Colonial Office in relation to the Crown Colonies, is to find some means of developing markets within the British Empire which will replace those markets which we have lost, although perhaps only temporarily.
One important sphere of operations in this respect is Africa. We have heard a lot to-day on all sides about the balancing of the Budgets of our Colonies, and of their essential requirements before they can take an active part in a forward policy. Surely the time is coming when private enterprise must take a part, and a greater part in such development. Personally I have no fears, although I am afraid hon. Members opposite shall have the fear that the white settler or the white trader will pursue a policy not very remote from the Press Gang of 100 years ago. I have no fear of that under the wise guidance and administration of our great Colonial service in which I have taken a humble part, and in which I have many friends. Under that guidance and under the progressive initiative of individuals and groups of individuals who are anxious to see the native provinces prosper, we shall see a development which will benefit the natives as well as ourselves. I have no fear but that the policy which we are pursuing will prove successful. Remember also that by the service of our Debt to America we have to find many millions a year, and at the same time we have to purchase raw material from America amounting to many millions a year. Every single pound that we can take off the American exchange so much the better for us, especially if it is spent within the British Empire. The development of cotton, sugar and tobacco—all these are matters of the most vital importance, not only in providing our own people here with employment, but they are equally important because if it is essential to purchase these commodities they should be purchased if possible from our own people.
As has been announced a Committee has been formed at the Colonial Office to inquire into the possibilities of interesting private enterprise in transportation systems in Africa. It would not be proper for me, as a member of that Committee, to give any indications of their intention, but I do not think that the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under
Lyme(Colonel Wedgwood) need fear that anything will be contemplated by the Colonial Office in the nature of block land purchase and other matters to which he alluded in his speech. It is a subject for congratulation that the hon. and gallant Member has been converted, in the matter of the Tanganyika land laws to one of the oldest principles of Toryism, namely, peasant proprietorship, which is one of the underlying principles of those land laws which have been in force in Nigeria for a long time. It is the transition stage between tribal ownership and individual ownership, and I was somewhat surprised at the very fervent blessing which the hon. and gallant Member gave it.
The Under-Secretary for the Colonies has presented to the Committee a very fine review of the labours of the Department. There is one aspect of it which is very satisfactory. It is that it announces three settlements of outstanding differences. We have, in the first place, the Rhodesian settlement, and in the second place, the Kenya settlement, and I think I am voicing the opinion of all sections of the House when I say the less bitterness which is imported into that question the better, because more harm than good will be done. Finally, we have got the Lausanne settlement, and if we continue to pursue the enlightened policy that the present Government is pursuing, we may be sure of maintaining a prosperous Empire.
|Division No. 310.]||AYES||10.0 p. m.|
|Adams, D.||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cape, Thomas||Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Chapple, W. A.||England, Lieut.-Colonel A.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Charleton, H. C||Entwistle, Major C. F.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Clarke, Sir E. C.||Evans, Ernest (Cardigan)|
|Attlee, C. R.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Fairbairn, R. R.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Falconer, J.|
|Barnes, A.||Collison, Levi||Foot, Isaac|
|Batey, Joseph||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||George, Major G. L. (Pembroke)|
|Berkeley, Captain Reginald||Darbishire, C. W.||Gilbert, James Daniel|
|Bonwick, A.||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Gosling, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Graham D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Briant, Frank||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Broad, F. A.||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Gray, Frank (Oxford)|
|Bromfield, William||Duffy, T. Gavan||Greenall, T.|
|Brotherton, J.||Duncan, C.||Grenfeil, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Dunnico, H.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Buckle, J.||Ede, James Chuter||Groves, T.|
|Burgess, S.||Edge, Captain Sir William||Grundy, T. W.|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Edmonds, G.||Guest, Hon. C. H. (Bristol, N.)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Linfield, F. C.||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lowth, T.||Sinclair, Sir A.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Lunn, William||Smillie, Robert|
|Hancock, John George||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Smith, T. (Pontefract)|
|Harbor, Arthur||McLaren, Andrew||Sneil, Harry|
|Hardie, George D.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Snowden, Philip|
|Harney, E. A.||March, S.||Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, S.)|
|Hartshorn, Vernon||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Spoor, B. G.|
|Hastings, Patrick||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Middleton, G.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Hayday, Arthur||Millar, J. D.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Hemmerde, E. G.||Morel, E. D.||Sullivan, J.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.)||Morris, Harold||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby')|
|Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Mosley, Oswald||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Herriotts, J.||Muir, John W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hill, A.||Murnin, H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Hinds, John||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)||Tout, W. J.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Newbold, J. T. W.||Turner, Ben|
|Hodge, Lieut.-Colonel J. P. (Preston)||O'Grady, Captain James||Wellhead, Richard C.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Oliver, George Harold||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Hutchison, Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)||Paling, W.||Warne, G. H.|
|Irving, Dan||Parker, H. (Henley)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Pattinson, R. (Grantham)||Webb, Sidney|
|Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Weir, L. M.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Potts, John S.||Westwood, J.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Pringle, W. M. R.||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)|
|Jones, R. T. (Carnarvon)||Ritson, J.||Whiteley, W.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Royce, William Stapleton||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Sakiatvala, S.||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Kirkwood, D.||Salter, Dr. A.||Wright. W.|
|Lansbury, George||Scrymgeour, E.||Young, Rt. Hon. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Lawson, John James||Sexton. James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Leach, W.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Lee, F.||Shinwell, Emanuel)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Phillips and Sir A. Marshall.|
|Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Bruford, R.||Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel) Hempstead)|
|Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark)||Bruton, Sir James||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Buckingham, Sir H.||Davies, Thomas (Clrencester)|
|Apsley, Lord||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Col. Sir Martin||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.||Burn, Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew||Dixon, C. H. (Rutland)|
|Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)||Butler, H. M. (Leeds, North)||Doyle, N. Grattan|
|Astor, Viscountess||Butler, J. R. M. (Cambridge Univ.)||Du Pre, Colonel William Baring|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Butt, Sir Alfred||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Button, H. S.||Ednam, Viscount|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cadogan, Major Edward||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Ellis, R. G.|
|Banks, Mitchell||Cassels, J. D.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Cautley, Henry Strother||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Erskine-Boist, Captain C.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. M.|
|Becker, Harry||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Falcon, Captain Michael|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Fawkes, Major F. H.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Chapman, Sir S.||Fermor-Hesketh, Major T.|
|Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Flanagan, W. H.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Churchman, Sir Arthur||Foreman, Sir Henry|
|Berry, Sir George||Clarry, Reginald George||Forestier-Walker, L.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Clayton, G. C.||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Fraser, Major Sir Keith|
|Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Frece, Sir Waiter de|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Furness, G. J.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Cope, Major William||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Brass, Captain W.||Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Gardiner, James|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Garland, C. S.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Goff, Sir R. Park|
|Gould, James C.||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Rogerson, Capt. J. E.|
|Gray, Harold (Cambridge)||Lumley, L. R.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.|
|Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Maddocks, Sir Henry||Russell, Alexander West-(Tynemouth)|
|Gwynne, Rupert S.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Russell, William (Bolton)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Hall, Lieut-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Manville, Edward||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'I,W.D'by)||Margesson, H. D. R.||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.|
|Halstead, Major D.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.|
|Hamilton, Sir George C. (Altrincham)||Mercer, Colonel H.||Sandon, Lord|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Harrison, F. C.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Harvey, Major S. E.||Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Simpson-Hinchliffe, W. A.|
|Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)||Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Singleton, J. E.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Morrison-Bell, Major Sir A. C. (Honiton)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Murchison, C. K.||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Herbert, Col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)||Nall, Major Joseph||Smith, Sir Harold (Wavertree)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Herbert, S. (Scarborough)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Hewett, Sir J. P.||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.|
|Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Stanley, Lord|
|Hiley, Sir Ernest||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Stewart, Gersham (Wirral)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S J. G.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Stockton, Sir Edwin Forsyth|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Nield, Sir Herbert||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Hood, Sir Joseph||O'Neill, t. Hon. Hugh||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mosslay)||Paget, T. G.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)||Parker. Owen (Kettering)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Houfton, John Plowright||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)||Penny, Frederick George||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hudson, Capt. A.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Hume, G. H.||Perring, William George||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Peto, Basil E.||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Philipson, Mabel||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Pielou, D. P.||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hutchison, G. A. C. (Midlothian, N.)||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Hutchison, W. (Kelvingrove)||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray||Watson, Capt. J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Warrington)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Privett F. J.||Wells, S. R.|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Rae, Sir Henry N.||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul||Raeburn, Sir William H.||Wheeler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Johnson, Sir L. (Walthamstow, E.)||Raine, W.||White, Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Rankin, Captain James Stuart||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Kelley, Major Sir Frederick A.||Rawlinson, t. Hon. John Fredk. Peel||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel-George|
|Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel||Rawson, Lieut.-Commander A. C.||Winterton, Earl|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wise, Frederick|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.||Remer, J. R.||Wood. Maj. Sir S. Hill (High Peak)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Remnant, Sir James||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Reynolds, W. G. W.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Rhodes, Lieut.-Col. J. P.||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Lordun, John William||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Colonel Leslie Wilson and Colonel the Rt. Hon. G. A. Gibbs.|
|Lorimer, H. D.||Robertson-Despencer, Major (Islgtn, W)|
|Lougher, L.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
It being after Ten of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15, to put severally the Questions, "That the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the several Classes of the Civil Services Estimates and of the other outstanding Votes, including Supplementary Estimates, and the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the Estimates for the Navy, Army, Airand Revenue Departments, be granted for the Services defined in those Classes and Estimates.