HC Deb 18 June 1906 vol 158 cc1361-2
MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Under-secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now state what were the precise recommendations made by the Committee, appointed by Lord Selborne, for the prevention of further outrages by the Chinese deserters from the gold mines, and which of these recommendations His Majesty's Government have decided to adopt.


The main recommendations of the Committee appointed to inquire into the control of the Chinese labourers, and the arrangements for dealing with desertion, were: That there should be a system of guarding the mine boundaries and the erection of physical barriers on such boundaries in the shape of wire fences: That an effective system should be instituted, in place of the present system of roll-call, for ascertaining from day to day the number and identity of labourers absent from work: That the European control on the mine premises be strengthened generally and in such a manner as to operate as a check upon the Chinese mine police and interpreters whose services the Committee consider cannot be entirely dispensed with: That in order to ensure better and more effective police control, the Witwatersrand area, as defined by the Labour Importation Ordinance, 1904, be contracted to the actual mining area and the towns situated on the line of Reef; That the known bad characters now employed on the mines be repatriated. His Majesty's Government are not able to sanction further restrictions either by legal enactment or by physical barriers, and are not, therefore, able to approve wire fences or the proposed amendment of the law for contracting the "Witwatersrand area. With these exceptions the recommendations are in process of being carried out as far as possible. Lord Selborne has informed the Secretary of State that regulations will be issued compelling every employer of Chinese labourers to employ at least five white men on each mine whose sole duty it will be to keep order among labourers and Chinese police and chock gambling and sale of opium in the compounds.

VISCOUNT HELMSLEY (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk)

Is it not the case that up to now there have been no physical barriers of any kind in any of the mining areas?


I believe there has been no general system of circumvallation.