Archive for January, 1948

50 YEARS AGO

The following appeared in TA 59 (Jan 1998)

The following stories are extracted from the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ in the first four months of 1948:

January 17 (1948): Extracts from a letter from Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, written in her own hand to the Governor of Tanganyika: ‘I am pleased with the wedding present which the people of Tanganyika have had the kindness to send me. This magnificent diamond (the amount of money raised by contribution from the public was £2,479 and the value of the diamond was £1,000 – Editor), which they have kindly offered to have cut in accordance with my wishes, is an object of great value and beauty … .I am very glad that the remainder of the money raised to give me this handsome present will be devoted to the Tuberculosis Hospital at Kibongoto.. . .’

February 7: The death of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30 was followed by a letter headed ‘When Gandhi was in Dar es Salaam’ from a person described as a well known Indian gentleman who signed himself ‘HR’. He wrote: ‘After his struggles in South Africa, Gandhi passed through Dar es Salaam in 1912 and stayed two days. He was indifferent in health and was dieting for a natural cure. He used to sit with my mother in the kitchen and help her in the preparation of the food.. . He was never ashamed to do his own work.

February 21 : Car prices are to increase substantially. The Ford Prefect will go up to £435; the Ford Anglia to £390.. ..Some 38 British-built Albion trucks (4- cylinder, 24hp-types operating on paraffin) imported in 1924 and 1925 are still in use after 23 years.. . .. The limited allocation of permits to import up to 200 American vehicles per annum has ceased because of the severe shortage of dollars in the sterling area.

February 28: “Your roads generally speaking are appalling and your hotels are in keeping with your roads” – comment from a visitor recently arrived from Britain.

March 6: Passenger traffic at Dar es Salaam airport is increasing rapidly – the number of passengers doubled from 540 in January to 1,020 in February and the number of planes arriving and departing reached 280 in January 1948 compared with only 13 5 in January 1947.

March 13: There were big celebrations in Tabora when the new Chief, Nassoro bin Saidi Fundikira, was crowned at his palace at Itetemia. Some 40 Europeans, 40 Arabs, 20 Indians and 5,000 Africans including the Chefs of Kahama, Nzega and Shinyanga were present. At 9 am Mtemi Nassoro was presented with the spear and bow and arrows of office. The Kibangwa was placed on his head. The Tabora Secondary School Band provided the music and there was much noise from the firing of volleys from old muzzle loaders.

March 27: Former British Conservative Minister of Agriculture Robert Hudson was quoted as saying that the Labour government’s scheme for the growing of monkeynuts in Tanganyika, which had been announced with such a flurry of trumpets, was going to be a most fantastic failure. After 18 months of work there were thousands of bulldozers standing idle and, instead of the 150,000 acres targeted to be planted this year, there would be just 7,000. £25 million had been wasted, he said. But the head of the Overseas Food Corporation, Major General Desmond Harrison, in a letter to the Tanganyika Standard described Mr Hudson’s statement as absurd.

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