HC Deb 01 April 1908 vol 187 cc493-4

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can state the terms of the amended Immigration Ordinance recently passed in Trinidad and Tobago; whether any change will ensue as to the wage paid to the free labourer; if so, what is the amount; whether any change is made as to the wage paid to the indentured immigrant; if so, what is the amount; and further, as to whether the Select Committee that went into the matter of the Immigration Ordinance found that the indentured man had not been getting the minimum wage agreed upon as a general rule.


The Ordinance in question provides that, in the computation of the average rate of wages payable for task work performed by indentured labourers, there shall be taken into account the value of free quarters for and medical attendance on such labourers, upon such scale as may be fixed by the Governor in Council. The object of this Ordinance is to admit of the payment of increased wages to the unindentured labourers. It is impossible to state at present what the increase will amount to, but it is estimated that the value of the medical attendance and free quarters varies from 11 to 18 cents a day. No change has been made in the minimum money wage payable to the indentured labourer. The Answer to the last part of the hon. Member's Question is in the negative.