HC Deb 22 July 1902 vol 111 cc901-2
MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the circumstances which led to the arrest of the native chiefs at Johannesburg at the beginning of this month; how many chiefs were arrested, what was the charge preferred against thorn, and by whom; whether the chiefs have been brought to trial, and with what result; whether an attempt was made to release them; and, if so, by whom was such attempt made; what then took place, and did any bloodshed or loss of life ensue; and whether instructions have been given to the authorities in the Transvaal that no aid is to be given, directly or indirectly, to procuring forced labour for the mines or any other form of industry.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Chamberlain.) I am informed that a number of natives employed by Gendennuis Estate Mine were brought up under Master and Servant Act. The five ringleaders, who had been instigating others not to work, were sentenced to one month imprisonment with hard labour. There was some excitement among the natives, but Lord Milner states that there was no loss of life, no bloodshed, and no resistance either before or after the arrest. The policy of His Majesty's Government, which is against forced labour, is made clear in the Parliamentary Paper Cd. 904; and I have no reason to suppose that anything in the nature of forced labour prevails at Johannesburg.