HC Deb 04 May 1903 vol 121 cc1189-90

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is aware that the contract held by Sir John Jackson and Company to build docks for the Admiralty at Simonstown, South Africa, is being carried out by low-paid workmen from Continental Europe and coolies from India, whilst British and South African workmen are being discharged; and whether, in view of the terms of the contract, he proposes to take any steps in the matter.

(Answered by Mr. Pretyman.) If the hon. Member desires it, inquiry can be made of the contractor as to the nationality of the workmen he is now employing, but under the conditions of contract no restrictions are placed upon the contractors as to the wages paid to their workmen at the Cape. The usual Fair Wages Clause is included, but only refers to the wages of workmen engaged within the limits of the United Kingdom. The amount of wages paid and the source of labour supply (subject to the laws of the colony), are entirely in the hands of the contractors.