HC Deb 08 August 1901 vol 99 cc24-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the introduction into Rhodesia of persons of colour as immigrants for the purpose of labour are protected by provisions similar to those contained in the Trinidad Ordinance laid upon the Table of this House relating to "Immigrants introduced at private expense" (Acts 37–57) which permit such introductions only on order by the Governor and making the contract of service dependent on the approval of protector and proof that the parties entered in the contract voluntarily and with full knowledge of its meaning; and also whether such immigrants have the protection secured to them equivalent to those provided in the same Ordinance in respect to labour and wages (Part VIII.); and whether he will lay upon the Table the Regulations in force in Rhodesia relating to labour, whether of natives or of immigrants.


Up to the present time there has been practically no introduction of coloured labour from over-sea, but with a view to providing for such introduction an Ordinance has been passed within the last month by the Southern Rhodesia Legislative Council. I understand that this Ordinance makes provision for the appointment of a Protector of Immigrants, and for securing in other ways the proper treatment of immigrants, but the actual text has not yet reached me. The labour of natives and immigrants in Southern Rhodesia has hitherto been regulated by the Cape law of master and servant, and I understand that an Ordinance codifying that law has been passed by the Legislative Council at their recent session. A copy will be laid on the Table when it is received.