HC Deb 14 February 1907 vol 169 cc302-3
MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the distress among the unemployed white men at Johannesburg is so great that Mr. J. B. Robinson has given a sum of £5,000 for their relief; whether, in consequence of the distress, the Australian Government has been asked to take steps to repatriate the Australians who can find no work on the Rand; whether, for many months past, there has been a continued exodus of white men from the Transvaal; and whether His Majesty's Government have taken, or propose to take, any steps to check this state of things.


There is acute distress among white men who are unable to find work. I have no official information as to the reported gift by Mr. J. B. Robinson. In consequence of an inquiry from Lord Selborne the New South Wales Government has undertaken to advance money for repatriating immigrants of good character from New South Wales. Many men have no doubt been leaving the Transvaal, but I cannot give figures. The state of affairs indicated in the question is occupying a great deal of attention in the Transvaal and is the subject of a special inquiry. I observe many references to it in the political speeches which are being made with a view to the coming election. It will no doubt engage the attention of the new Government who will be in a far better position to deal with it than are the present administration.

MR. FIENNES (Oxfordshire, Banbury)

Is it not a fact that the distress among the Australian miners and other workmen in South Africa is due to the attitude of the hon. Member for Newbury and those closely associated with him?

[No Answer was returned.]