§ MR. J. WARD
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can state the number of Europeans who found employment upon the original works of the great barrage at Assouan, and the proportion of British workmen compared with other nationalities.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. RUNCIMAN,; for Sir EDWARD GREY) Dewsbury
By the end of December, 1898, 2,900 men were employed, of whom 271 were Europeans. During the summer months of 1899, the average number of men employed was 10,000, of whom some 900 were Europeans. In 1900, 381 Europeans were employed in the work, and an average of 12,500 natives. Of the total workmen employed, about 5 per cent, were British. They were employed as gangers, overlookers, fitters, crane-drivers, and carpenters; but they were not able to deal with the general work, partly for reasons of climate, and partly on account of the prior claims of the native workmen from the neighbouring villages.
§ MR. J. WARD
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 626 whether any representations have been made to Messrs. John Aird and Son that in performing the work necessary for raising the barrage at Assouan a fair proportion of British workmen should be employed upon that part of the work which can only be performed by Europeans.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
Messrs. Aird are themselves a British firm, but I am not aware that conditions have been made with them as to the nationality of workmen. They will no doubt take care that competent men are employed, as they have done before. But, as His Majesty's Government do not pay any part of the cost of the work, they clearly are not in a position to impose stipulations of the kind proposed.