Archive for January, 1941

50 YEARS AGO

This appeared in TA issue 38 January 1991

The following items come from the Tanganyika Standard in late 1940 and early 1941.

M.P’s QUERY
Mr Creech-Jones MP (Labour) asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies in the House of Commons whether he was aware that Tanganyika had recently sent a considerable war gift to the UK but had had to make cuts in medical, educational and agricultural services as a result. What steps were being taken to prevent these already inadequate services from being crippled in this way?

The Under Secretary replied that Tanganyika had sent £200,000 which had been drawn from the Territory’s Reserve Fund and not from current cash balances. ‘While the Tanganyika Government is, of necessity, refraining from expending social services in the manner and to the extent that might have been possible but for the war, the services are not being crippled’ he said. ‘In fact, the 1941 estimates exceeded the actual expenditure in 1939 by £17,000 in the case of medicine, £5,000 in education and £6,000 in agriculture . These were not cuts’.

REPATRIATING PEOPLE IS ILLEGAL
The Dar es Salaam Township Rule under which an administrative officer can send back to his home any African who may be considered to be undesirable was declared by His Honour, Mr Justice Roberts, to ‘offend against every canon on legality which has ever been established’.

A Resident Magistrate’s conviction of Ramazani Mbendo for having returned to the Township was quashed. In his judgement Mr Justice Roberls said ‘There are few checks as far as Township Rules are concerned. They are not made by the people and f or the people nor are they subjected to public criticism by a vigorous press or by public bodies before they become law and these are, after all, the most effective safeguards and those in which a democratic people place most store.’

‘In this case the accused has been convicted twice for being a rogue and vagabond and six times for offences connected with property …. and he is the kind of person who is best kept out of the town. But the question before this court is whether the Rule under which he has been expelled and for disobeying which he has been punished is one within the rule making powers of the original Ordinance. In this matter any Native could be thrown out of any place at the behest of an administrative officer without nay reason assigned …. Just as equity was once said to vary with the length of the Chancellor’s foot, so might ‘undesirability’ vary with the length of an administrative officer’s temper.’ Mr Justice Roberts further pointed out that Europeans and Indians were exempted from the rules which was unjust and oppressive.

‘It is no good telling me, ‘ he went on, ‘that no District Commissioner could be unreasonable enough to prevent a man showing his face 1n Acacia Avenue .. . . Give a man despotic power, make him accountable to no one, excuse him from giving reasons for what he does and it is perfectly astonishing what such a man may do.’

The Attorney General also indicated that he was unable to support the original conviction.

FINES FOR BLACKOUT OFFENCES
Seven cases under the Dar es Salaam Lighting Regulations in respect of the blackout from September 30 to October 3, 1940 were brought before the Dar es Salaam Resident Magistrate and fines were inflicted in each case. Mr Kassam Damji – Shs 30; the Railway European Club – Shs 30; New Palace Hotel – Shs 60; and, the Dar es Salaam Electricity Supply Company – Shs 70.

TANGANYIKANS AT MAKERERE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
At the end of 1940 there were 32 Tanganyikan students in residence – 11 in medicine, 16 on the teacher’s course, 4 in agriculture and one in veterinary science.

MAIL DELAYS
In an editorial the Tanganyika Standard stated that the average time for airmail from London to Tanganyika was 35 days; surface mail took only seven days more. The Dar es Salaam Chamber of Commerce suggested that an airmail service via the West Coast of Africa might result in big time savings.

WARTIME EMPLOYMENT OF SCIENTISTS
The Amani (Tanga) Agricultural Research Station originally set up by the Germans was under government scrutiny. It had been agreed in 1939 that the station should be maintained but that the research programme should be modified to release as many of the staff as possible for work of more immediate importance to the war effort. It was then decided that they should a11 be released for military service. In 1ate 1940, however, the policy changed again. The scientists would be retained at Amani to work on military supply problems.

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