HC Deb 13 May 1907 vol 174 c624
MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, at any time since the discovery by Lord Selborne that 259 Chinese coolies were being imported into the Transvaal who were not licensed as required by law, any licences have been issued to legalise their position; and, if not, under what law or authority they are detained in compounds.


I am not precisely informed as to the formal steps which were taken to cure the vexatious error to which my hon. friend refers. No one at present has been in a position to decide which particular 259 coolies were those who were illegally imported. The matter now lies wholly within the authority of the responsible Government. If my hon. friends thinks it necessary I will make more detailed inquiries, but the incident must now be regarded mainly in its historic aspect.

MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)

I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the impossibility of identifying which 259 of the entire cargo of 2,129 coolies arriving by the "Cranley" were not covered by the licence, he will say how any one of the 2,129 has been identified as being subject to the terms of the Ordinance; and by what authority any one of the 2,129 is detained in a compound, or otherwise subjected to the restrictions of the Ordinance.


The Ordinance applies to all labourers introduced into the Colony and its application is not I understand dependent on the issue of the licence.