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RE: [LandCafe] A Kenyan perspective on land tax

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  • Harry Pollard
    Ron, At the 1912 Royal Commission on the “Shortage of Native Labor” they didn’t know anything about PR – or maybe they were simply too arrogant to
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 16, 2004
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      Ron,



      At the 1912 Royal Commission on the “Shortage of Native Labor” they didn’t
      know anything about PR – or maybe they were simply too arrogant to care. So,
      Delamere was able to say that though the “solution” – confining the natives
      - would not be quick, it would be permanent.



      Some 40 years later Koinage and Oneko came from Kenya to see the Home
      Secretary. They were protesting the ‘alienation’ of tribal land by whites.
      The Home Secretary refused to see them.



      Perhaps the Mau-Mau was an inevitability



      What interested me was the pattern of landholding. The whites were landless
      too and were stealing tribal land. Yet, the best land in Kenya – the
      temperate zone – was known as the White Highlands for obvious reasons.



      Meantime, while whites and blacks were fighting each other for land, some
      84% of the White Highlands was unused – but owned.



      A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then and I haven’t followed
      this aspect of Kenyan history. I wonder who owns the temperate zone now –
      maybe it’s now called the Black Highlands!



      Harry



      _____

      From: cobden [mailto:cobden@...]
      Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 10:32 AM
      To: Land Café; Mark Porthouse
      Subject: Re: [LandCafe] A Kenyan perspective on land tax



      *
      Many people will remember the film "Out of Africa". It featured Lord
      Delamere
      (played by Esmond Knight, I believe).

      In 1912, Delamere petitioned the British Government to reduce the Kikuyu
      land holdings by 25% because the natives were able to work for 4 or 5 days a
      month to live a reasonable life. This meant that white farmers could not
      employ enough native labour.

      Thank goodness there was a Liberal government and the Delamere Petition was
      refused. But, after the First World War, one of the first things a
      Conservative government did was to reduce the Kikuyu land by 25% AND made
      the natives pay a poll tax of £1 a year.

      Used to barter, the natives could not pay the poll tax unless they worked
      for the white farmers. Problem solved for Delamere and colleagues.

      It is no wonder that present day Kenyans take matters into their own hands.
      We know the answer these days, but you have to have some sympathy for the
      Kenyans.
      Ron Banks

      Cobden@...







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