HC Deb 10 August 1909 vol 9 cc233-4

asked the Secretary for the Colonies whether he can now state whether the conditions of labour in the New Hebrides affecting women and children are identical for French and British subjects?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Colonel Seely)

No, Sir. The French Regulations as they appear in the Instructions printed on pages 18–22 of Cd. 3876 of 1908, whereas only men can be recruited for service with British subjects, with the exception that women may be engaged as domestic servants under the provisions of Article LV. (1) of the Convention.


Do I understand the hon. Gentleman to say that the Regulation issued by the French Government did not include a prohibition of the recruiting of women and girls outside the New Hebrides, except accompanied by the heads of their families?

Colonel SEELY

If the hon. Gentleman will put down a question as to the precise conditions under which recruiting for French subjects is carried on, I will give him an answer. I could not say off-hand whether he is accurate as to the details.


Did not the hon. Gentleman convey in the answer he has given that women can be recruited for labour outside the New Hebrides?

Colonel SEELY

I have answered the question put to me. The Regulations remain as they were as laid down in 1908. If the hon. Member will put down a question I will answer it, or perhaps he will look at the Regulations, as I have done an hour or two ago. It would be unwise of me to state from memory.