HC Deb 13 December 1906 vol 167 c660
MR. FIENNES (Oxfordshire, Banbury)

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether thirty-six mines on the Witwatersrand employ about 53,000 Chinamen, 17,000 natives, 8,300 whites, and that, therefore, about 6,200 whites at least are directly dependent on the retention of Chinese labour, and will be thrown out of work when these Chinamen are repatriated.


The official monthly statistics do not give the numbers employed on various mines, but I have no doubt my hon. friend's figures are substantially correct. The general bearing of the Chinese labour experiment upon the interests of white labour in the Transvaal is not a subject which can be conveniently dealt with in answer to a Question. The views of His Majesty's Government have often been explained; and I should be ready to repeat them if desired on any suitable occasion.

*MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

asked if the Robinson Group might not employ a far larger number of white miners if they were allowed to recruit Kaffirs, and whether the very same mineowners referred to in the Question of the hon. Member for Banbury were not pressing the Portuguese authorities to refuse the Robinson Group facilities for recruiting Kaffirs?


said it was no doubt true that the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association and the Chamber of Mines did object to the increased facilities for recruiting native labour in Portuguese territory, which the Government believed would very probably result in supplying any deficiency in the labour supply to the mines which the absence of Chinese might create.


asked whether it was not the fact that Mr. Robinson had surrendered his right to 3,000 Chinese coolies because he preferred to employ white men.


was understood to say that that was so, and that a beginning had already been made in spite of many delays with the employment of white labour on one of the Robinson mines.