HC Deb 23 September 1909 vol 11 cc597-8

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what were the average number of Chinese, African natives, and white men, respectively, employed in the Transvaal mines in the months of June in the years 1907, 1908, and 1909; and what were the average rates of mortality of the Chinese and African natives, respectively, in each of those periods?

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

The general statistics of mortality furnished to the Secretary of State are for periods of three months, and the figures for the three months ending 30th June, 1909, have not yet been received. The figures for the quarter ending 31st March, 1907, 1908, 1909, respectively, are available, and if the hon. Gentleman will permit me I will circulate them with the Votes.


May I ask the hon. and gallant Member whether he can give us the figures in regard to the whites in the periods named?

Colonel SEELY

The figures in regard to the whites were given, I think, in answer to a question put a few days ago by the hon. Member for Gravesend, but if that is not so I will include them also.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the total number of deaths that have occurred since 1st January, 1906, among the Chinese and Kaffirs, respectively, employed in the mines in the Transvaal; and if he can state how many of the deaths of the Kaffirs must be attributed to the substitution of Kaffirs for Chinese since that date?

Colonel SEELY

The total number of deaths from all causes between 1st January, 1906, and 31st March, 1909 (the latest date for which full statistics are available) is, Chinese 2,142, natives 15,973. As regards the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, I can only refer him to what passed as a result of a similar question by the Noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone on 24th June, 1908.


Is there any reason to believe that the gritty substance in the mines has a more injurious effect on the natives than on the Chinese; and, if so, whether he will take steps to have the gritty substance removed by water or otherwise from the atmosphere of the mines?


Is it not the case that the Kaffirs have not enough grit for the job?

Colonel SEELY

I am afraid I am not able to state in what different degrees the gritty substance affects different races.