HC Deb 30 July 1907 vol 179 cc762-3
MR. STARKEY (Nottinghamshire, Newark)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Trinidad Foreign Labour Contracts Ordinance (No. 106) was referred to and has received the sanction of His Majesty's Government; and, if so, whether they have taken steps to ensure that the labourers shall be treated and paid wages in accordance with the terms of that contract whilst working in the canal zone of the Isthmus of Panama.


The Trinidad Foreign Labour Ordinance was sanctioned in 1900 in the usual manner, but its provisions are not applicable to contracts for labour within the Panama Canal zone. The Trinidad Government approved a form of contract based upon that scheduled to the Ordinance and the form, it is assumed, inadvertently, makes reference to the Ordinance. The Government of Trinidad was satisfied that the terms contained in the contract gave sufficient security to the labourers who are working, as I would remind the hon. Member, not for a private employer, but for an organised and carefully supervised department of the Government of the United States.

Lord BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

Has not the right hon. Gentleman said the terms of the contract cannot be enforced?


No, Sir, I said we were sending for further particulars and more precise and definite information on the point. The question whether the contract can be enforced rests between the Governments concerned and the Canal Commission.