16 JUNE 1950, Page 17


Kenya and Dr. Malan-

S(R,—Your special correspondent in his article, Round the Bend in Kenya, published in the Spectator of May 26th, makes the following statement: " Kenya electors, on the other hand, not only approached Sir Godfrey Huggins, which is one thing, but Dr. Malan, which is very much another, to speak for them to the United Kingdom Government ; and it is hard to imagine a more stupid blunder. The Electors' Union spokesman has described it to me ft ' an unofficial' approach, and an embarrassing one, but the Electors' Union has done nothing that I know of to disavow it. And the African decides, naturally enough, to judge the local European by the company he chooses." This information is somewhat surprising in view of the fact that i personally had told your correspondent that Kenya electors had not approached Dr. Malan, if, as might be inferred from the above, by electors is meant the Electors' Union. The onl approach that I am aware of was a quite independent one, and an unofficial one, from an individual in this Colony, which was made without the knowledge of the Electors' Union.

The article continues: " But the Electors' Union has done nothing that I know of to disavow it." Your special correspondent cannot have been very observant, for while he was here the following statement was published in the East African Standard: "Major Kendall Ward, execu- tive officer of the European Electors' Union, asked if the Union had ever approached South Africa, stated definitely: No approach whatever has been made to South Africa. Any further contacts South are limited to Tanganyika and the Rhodesias.'" Even before this General Fowkes, a vice-president of the Electors' Union, made a similar announcement at a meeting at Tanga on March 31st, which was also reported in the East African Standard. It is unfortunate that your special correspondent, with whom I discussed this matter at some length, did not ensure that his facts were correct before making such sweeping allegations. I must reiterate that the Electors' Union has never at any time made any approaches to the South. African Government, nor is it,contemplating such an approach.

With regard to Sir Godfrey Huggins, the Kenya approach to him was by the leader, the chairman and the secretary of the European Elected Members Organisation and not either by the Electors' Union or by electors of Kenya. The Electors' Union in fact contacted the United Central African Association of Southern Rhodesia, a body to which the Electors' Union has been affiliated for the past two years and with whom we have been in regular communication since then.—I am, Sir, yours Executive Officer, The Kenya European Electors' Union. Lambert's Buildings, Delon:ere Avenue, Nairobi.

[Our special correspondent writes: " I wrote that flu, Kenya electors' approach to Dr. Malan was unofficial ; Major Kendall Ward confirms this statement. I wrote that it had embarrassed the Electors' Union ; Major Kendall Ward's letter proves me right. I did not say (as Major Kendall Ward suggests) that it was the Electors' Union that approached Dr. Malan, and I am glad to learn that I was wrong in supposing that they have never disavowed that approach. But does the Electors' Union disown the resolution recommending ' an ever-increasing association with the Rhodesias, and further south ' ? The only country further south than the Rhodesias is Dr. Malan's South Africa.

"Last week your Nakuru- correspondent, Mr. Hill, confirmed my recol- lection that in 1923 the Kenya settlers were prepared to place restraint upon a greatly respected Governor' ; added (for all that he qualified his warning) that it would be a mistake to assume that the old spirit is dead' ; and wound up by pointing to South Africa's influence in British Africa and to the possibility of the settlers 'looking south for support.' Are my allegations really so sweeping as Major Kendall Ward says they are ?"I