HC Deb 13 May 1908 vol 188 c1129

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has received from the annual assembly of the Jamaica Baptist Union a communication protesting against the continued introduction of East Indian indentured coolies into Jamaica, and pointing out that the labouring and small settler classes, who contribute the bulk of the revenue of the Colony, are unable to obtain regular and paying employment on the sugar estates and fruit plantations, and are, therefore, under the necessity of emigrating to Central America and other places to seek work, and that thereby a great injustice is done to these classes and the island generally in taxing them to introduce East Indians to compete with the superabundant labour market of the country; and, if so, can he state whether it is the intention of the Government to restrict the introduction of such coolies, and to place the entire cost of the same on the planters requiring such labour.


The petition has been received. The Secretary of State has had an opportunity of communicating with the Governor, and Lord Crewe is not prepared, at any rate at the present, to disturb or vary an arrangement which recently received the approval of the Legislative Council by a vote of twenty to two, and my hon. friend will, of course, understand that the Secretary of State is not prepared to admit the accuracy of all the statements in the Memorial from the Jamaica Baptist Union.

*MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

Did not the late Charles Kingsley state that all the East Indian coolies whom he saw in Trinidad had the manners of ladies and gentleman?

The reply was inaudible.