HC Deb 21 February 1907 vol 169 cc1029-30

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, considering the minimum scale of pay is 10s. a month for the indentured labourers recruited from the New Hebrides, he will consider the desirability of extending the principles of the Workmen's Compensation Act to these people, so that they may be ensured in case of accidents during their period of servitude.


The question of compensation for accidents to labourers serving outside the New Hebrides must, of course, be governed by the law of the place where they serve. With regard to labourers serving in the New Hebrides, His Majesty's Government doubt whether, †See Col. 706. having regard to the present social condition of the group, the principles of the Workmen's Compensation Act could be effectively applied; but no doubt the introduction of more regular systems of government and administration throughout the Group will pave the way for continual improvements in the laws affecting the employment of labourers. I may observe that the rate of 10s. a month, which is to be taken as the rate of wages where no other sum is mentioned on the record, has been fixed because, from the information available, it appears that that is a usual rate for newly-recruited labourers in the Group.