HC Deb 04 July 1905 vol 148 cc977-8
* MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether a system exists of hiring out for various terms of servitude persons convicted of offences in Cape Colony to the De Beers Diamond Company at the rate of 2d. per diem; and, if so, by what authority and under what regulations does the system exist, and does the Colonial Office accept any responsibility in the matter.


The Ministers of the Cape Colony have stated that the system has legislative sanction under Section 52 of the Colonial Act No. 23 of 1888. The matter is one entirely within the control of the responsible Government and Legislature of the Cape Colony.


Do I understand that the Secretary of State here accepts no responsibility?


I cannot go further than my Answer. It is the act of the responsible Government of the Cape Colony.