HC Deb 21 November 1911 vol 31 cc1018-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has taken any, and, if so, what, steps to prevent the recruiting and employment in the mines of the Transvaal of the natives of the British Nyasaland Protectorate and other Crown Colonies where the inhabitants are not physically fitted for work in the mines, and amongst whom the death rate reaches the rate of 77 per 1,000?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

The recruiting of labourers in Nyasaland for the Transvaal is not now permitted. The death rate, as I stated in a reply to the hon. Member on 31st July, is causing me great concern, but the hope of the Union Government that a reduction would be effected by certain improved arrangements has been to a small degree fulfilled. The period that has elapsed, however, is not long enough at present to enable me to judge with certainty.


May I ask if there are still any considerable number still remaining in these compounds, or if the authorities have succeeded in getting them sent back?


If the hon. Member wants details as to the figures I must ask him to give notice of the question.


May I ask whether there is still any considerable leakage from Nyasaland into the Transvaal, whether any representation has been made to the Transvaal Government on the subject, and whether steps are being taken to stop the illegal recruiting as much as possible?


I must ask for notice of that question.


May I ask whether it is not in the interest of Nyasaland to keep the natives there so that the planters may have cheap labour?