HC Deb 20 February 1894 vol 21 cc831-2

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he can inform the House of the rate of mortality among the Coolie labourers in the tea gardens of India; whether, when the Inland Immigration Act was introduced in 1882, the rate of mortality was 37.8 per 1,000, while in the six succeeding years the rate averaged 39.1 per 1,000, and whether the rate has increased or diminished since then; whether he is aware that in Assam the mortality amongst labourers under the Act is twice as large as that among the general population and among the police force of the same country; and whether he will give a Return of the rate of mortality in the Assam tea gardens, with the names of the respective gardens and their proprietors, on which the highest rate of mortality prevails?


The average mortality of Coolies in the tea gardens to which the Act of 1882 applies was for the six years preceding that year 47.6 per 1,000; in the year 1882 it was 37.8 per 1,000; for the next six years it was 39.5; and for the four years ending with 1892 it was 38.7. Allowing for the fact that the registration of deaths among the general population is known to be defective, and that the police force consists of picked men, these rates are not considered to be comparatively high. The death-rate of 1892 among the general population was nominally 34.2, and that among the police 28.9. The Secretary of State has no information as to the names of the proprietors of gardens; but if my hon. Friend will move for a Return of the names of gardens classed as unhealthy and of the death rate in each for 1892 it can be given.