HC Deb 15 April 1913 vol 51 cc1807-8
27. Mr. O'GRADY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the terms of the reference under which Mr. James M'Neill, of the Bombay Civil Service, and Mr. Chimman Lal, an honorary magistrate in the United Provinces, are now making a visit of inquiry and inspection to those Colonies in which there are Indian immigrants employed under the indentured labour system; what Colonies these gentlemen are visiting or proposing to visit; and whether they are empowered to take evidence; and, if so, from whom and of what character?


The general object of the inquiry is to report upon the conditions of life of the Indian immigrants in the Colonies, and the officers concerned are instructed to submit recommendations as to any arrangements that may be desirable to promote the welfare of those Indians. They are to visit British Guiana, Trinidad, Jamaica, Fiji, and the Dutch colony of Surinam. Their instructions do not contemplate the formal taking of evidence, but, so far as the British Colonies are concerned, the Colonial Governments would doubtless give further facilities of this kind if needed.

Sir J. D. REES

May I ask why it is necessary to have this inquiry so soon after that of Lord Sanderson, who reported that all was well in regard to this matter?


It was considered that it might be possible to get arrangements made in these places which would be more suitable to Indian immigrants, and the attempt is being made.