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The Years of Depression 1930 - 1934

The New York Financial Crash of Autumn 1929 was a major disaster which drove shock waves throughout the banking capitals of the world.Commerce dropped to new low levels, capital for industry was withheld and unemployment soared.
Kenya , though a financial backwater, suffered from the drop of world prices for agricultural products. The price of Kenya coffee fell from £120 a ton to just over half that figure; maize dropped to forty per cent of its predepression price by mid-1930. By December maize was down to twenty-five per cent of its previous value.
In May 1930, the Chairman of the Nairobi Chamber of Commerce declared that only twenty-two unemployed Europeans had replied to a questionaire he had circulated. It was clear however that this was by no means an accurate assessment of the problem for in September, following a series of demands for action anf bitter letters in the local Press, the council recommended to Government that the municipal committee which was dealing with the problem should be augmented to formulate immediate plans for relief of those in distress.