HC Deb 15 November 1906 vol 165 cc95-6
MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether in July last the Portuguese Government gave assurances to His Majesty's Government that the Governor-General of Mozambique had been instructed to extend to the recruiting body of the Robinson group of mines equal facilities for recruiting natives in Portuguese territory in; South Africa with those engaged by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association; and, if so, what is the reason why, up to the present moment, no such facilities have been granted by the Governor-General: and whether he is aware that, relying upon the promise of the Portuguese Government, the Robinson group surrendered their right to 3,000 outstanding licences for Chinese labourers; and when he expects that the instructions given to the Governor-General will be carried out.


An application for a licence to recruit natives for Mr. Holmes as representing the Robinson group was made to the Portuguese Government in July last and complied with. They were asked last month to extend to the Robinson group through Mr. Holmes, as their representative, the same facilities as are given to the Wit- watersrand Native Labour Association, by giving him the right of applying for recruiters' licences for certain approved individuals. So far the Portuguese Government have not seen their way to complying with this request, as they consider it a breach of an arrangement made with the Witwatersrand Association, and I am again pressing the subject.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could say when the Portuguese Government were likely to carry out the pledge.


All I can say is that I am again pressing the Portuguese Government on the subject with a view of getting their consent. I cannot say how soon I am likely to be successful.