20 FEBRUARY 1953, Page 1

Progress in Kenya

From the point of view of the military and the police the situation in Kenya is improving. This is the first necessity, for before anything else can be done effectively order must bo restored. There are many gangs still hidden in densely wooded areas, but their range of activity grows increasingly restricted as the troops establish and consolidate their control over wider areas. Casualties have been heavy lately among the active and militant members of Mau Mau, and they will be heavier still as the operations against them grow more efficient and if the intelligence network continues to improve in scope and reliability. The forces in Kenya have had to face unfamiliar problems, and the main purpose of the visit of Sir John Harding, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, is to see how well they have been solved. The military news is encouraging certainly; but, on the other hand, the murders continue, especi- ally of Kikuyu brave enough to stand out against the terrorists, and there is no evidence that Mau Mau is losing much influence in the tribe at large. That is the tragic paradox of events in Kenya : as the forces of law and order extend their power, so does the Kikuyu people contract into a race set apart from all other communities in the country by reason of that savage organisation which has grown up in its midst and which now dominates it. It should not be forgotten at any stage that the great majority of Mau Mau's victims are not Europeans but Africans, and Kikuyu at that. Meanwhile the movement of the Kikuyu, dismissed from service on the settlers' farms, back to the reserves gathers momentum. The problems which will face the Government after the emergency proper is ended loom like an impassable mountain range.