HC Deb 17 July 1907 vol 178 cc684-5
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, if ho can state the number of identured East Indian immigrants entering Trinidad for the past two years who have been charged with and punished for crime; whether the cost of such prosecutions is borne by the estates employing them or by the Government; and, if by the latter, could he state the total cost of such prosecutions to the Government for the said two years.


The annual Returns furnished by the Trinidad Government do not specify the number of indentured immigrants punished for crime. The number of natives of India punished for various offences in the two years 1904–5 and 1905–6 was 4,640 out of a total East Indian population exceeding 98,000. Of these 3,565 were punished for breaches of the Immigration Ordinance. The cost of these prosecutions cannot be ascertained without reference to the Colony; and it is doubtful whether the proportion of the cost borne by the Government on this account can be separated from the total cost of the judicial and police services of the Colony.


asked whether, seeing that breaches of the Immigration Ordinance are merely technical offences, there was any reason to believe that crime was more rife among East Indians than among any other class of the community?


No, Sir; I believe that in matters of morality and public order they have proved themselves to be a very law-abiding people.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state the cost of the prosecutions?


No, Sir, but I will inquire.