§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies under what agreement the Chinese Government is providing the depots for the reception of indentured labourers; can he say who is paying for the labour and material which is being used in their erection; and when Article III. of the Convention, which provides that the British Government shall erect and fit up these depots at its own expense, was varied or abrogated.
§ THE SECRETARY of STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON,) Warwick and Leamington
There is no agreement other them the Convention. The position and obligations of the Chinese Government are there defined. See especially Articles 1 and 3. The depots are being erected at the expense of the Transvaal Government. As I explained to the hon. Member on 1st May, the British Government is responsible to the Chinese Government under the Convention on behalf of any Colonial Government which may desire to import indentured Chinese labourers, but the charges will be borne in each case by the Colonial Government.
§ MR. WHITLEY
Last Thursday the right hon. Gentleman told me the Chinese Government were erecting these buildings, and now—
§ MR. WHITLEY
I want to know who is paying for the labour and material.† See (4) Debates, cxxxv., 434.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
I presume the Transvaal Government are. I have not traced the cheques, but if the hon. Gentleman wishes, I will do so.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire? If the British Government are paying out the money, clearly there should be Parliamentary authority.