HC Deb 31 October 1906 vol 163 c1101
MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether 1,000 whites have been discharged from the Rand mines during the past six months; and whether 1,000 skilled whites on the Rand are now registered as unemployed.


Yes, Sir. The number of white workmen employed in the Witwatersrand gold mines was diminished during the six months from April to September by nearly 1,000; and during the same period the increase in the numbers of Chinese under licences issued by the late Government was 3,598. There are numbers of white men on the Rand who are at present unemployed, but I am not able to say how many. I should add that there is abundant evidence that the population of the Witwatorsrand are becoming fully alive to the significance of these facts, and they will shortly be able to express their own views of them in a representative assembly.


Does the hon. Member attribute, as I infer, the discharge of the white men to the introduction of 3,000 Chinamen? [Cries from the LABOUR PARTY of "Certainly."]


It is concurrent with, if not consequent upon, it.

MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

Cannot information be given of the decrease in Kaffir labour for the same period, and is there any information showing that any of the Chinese are doing the work of skilled white labour?


Perhaps the hon. Member will give me notice of the Question.