asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the indentured coolies in Mauritius complain of pressure being put upon them by the employers of the sugar estates towards, the close of their term, in order to induce them to reindenture, and that in some cases discharge tickets have been refused to the coolies on application at the end of their term whereby they are forced into a renewal of their contracts; and whether he will instruct the governor to report on this subject?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)
No such complaints have reached me, but I will ask the officer administering the Government to report on the subject.
asked whether, in view of the observations of Lord Sanderson's Committee on the unnecessary and excessive recourse to the penal provisions of the law regulating coolie labour in Mauritius, he 361 will advise the repeal of such penal provisions for mere simple breaches of contract?
§ Mr. HARCOURT
It appears from the observations to which my hon. Friend refers that the trouble is limited to a few estates only. I have no doubt that the remarks of the Committee will receive careful attention from the Government of Mauritius, and that the Government will consider how the evil of excessive and unnecessary prosecutions can best be checked, whether by amendment of the Labour Ordinance or by some other means such as those suggested by the Committee. I will send to the officer administering the Government a copy of my hon. Friend's question and this reply, in order that the matter may not be lost sight of.