HC Deb 24 February 1904 vol 130 cc846-7
MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any provision has been made in the regulations attached to the Chinese Labour Ordinance of the Transvaal for limiting the number of hours in each day, and the number of days in each week, during which indentured labourers may be required to work underground; and, if so, whether he will state that limit; also whether he has arranged that one day in seven shall be given them as a day of rest corresponding to our Sunday.


I am not in a position to make a definite statement at present as to the number. This is one of the matters which is being provided for in the regulations which are under consideration. I may, however, inform the hon. Member that in the mines ten hours shifts are the general rule. Practically no work is done in the mines from 5 a.m. on Sundays till 7 a.m. on Monday as the result of the Sunday Labour Law.


Will the right hon. Gentleman put the existing law into force with regard to the Chinese who are imported.


The existing law will apply.


The right hon. Gentleman has stated that the regulations are under consideration. Are the House to understand that they †See page 834 have not yet been settled: and if that is the case, when will they be settled?


They will not he settled completely for five or six years; but the substantial pledges which I have given to the House with regard to the regulations are now actually under consideration and will, I think, be settled in a very short time.