HC Deb 23 May 1906 vol 157 cc1267-8
MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the danger to the lives and property of British subjects in the Transvaal caused by the crimes of the Chinese coolies imported for the gold mines, and the admitted inability of the Transvaal Government to maintain law and order, His Majesty's Government will appeal to the mining companies not to import more Chinese coolies into the Colony.


The secretary of State does not accept the statement that the Transvaal Government are unable to maintain law and order. On the contrary, Lord Selborne has telegraphed that he hopes to effect a complete cure.


Is the hon. Member aware that Lord Selborne stated that, owing to the failure of the police to protect subjects from the outrages of the coolies, it would be necessary to serve out rifles to every white man within a radius of ten miles of the Rand? Is that maintaining law and order?


The statement I have read out is Lord Selborne's most recent declaration.

MR. BYLES (Salford, N.)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the increasing number of outrages by Chinese coolies in the Transvaal, His Majesty's Government will consider the wisdom of repeating the suggestion made to the High Commissioner by the late Secretary of State for the Colonies, that it would be good policy for the mine-owners voluntarily to stop importation for the next six months.


The importation under the licences valid at the time His Majesty's Government assumed office and under which alone further importation was permitted to take place are believed to be now nearly exhausted, and the secretary of State does not therefore think that the suggestion of the hon. Member could have any practical effect.


How many licences are there outstanding?


I cannot give the exact figures.