HC Deb 29 March 1904 vol 132 cc975-6
MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies what safeguard there will be for the Chinese indentured labourer if he finds that continuous work in the mines is deleterious to his health; whether, if, under these circumstances, he breaks his contract with the object of returning to China, he will have to repay the expenses and the cost of his passage home; and, if so, whether arrangements will be made to render it possible for him to earn the necessary amount, seeing that he is prohibited from doing any work above ground.


The safeguard is that if he is unfit for work, he will be returned at the importer's expense; if being fit for work he breaks his contract he will have to repay expenses and cost of his passage home. The assumption is that, having entered into the contract, he should keep it, unless he proves unfit.


What I wish to know is, what will be the position of the indentured labourer whose health breaks down in the mines.


I think immediate unfitness for work is provided for in the answer which I have given.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

Will care be taken that every Chinaman who is indentured shall deposit a sum sufficient to cover the cost of his being sent back to China. Otherwise the whole thing will be a farce.

[No answer was returned.]