HC Deb 01 January 1913 vol 46 cc334-5
10. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether natives of Liberia are now being recruited under contract to labour in San Thomé and Principe; and whether, in view of the fact that sleeping sickness prevails in the latter island, he will, in order to ensure the safety of the British Colonies north of the Equator which are at present immune from this disease, represent to the Liberian Government the desirability of not allowing recruitment for the islands?


I understand that natives of Liberia have recently been recruited for labour in San Thomé, but I have no reason to believe that any are being recruited for Principe. The British West African Governments are fully alive to the importance of preventing the importation of sleeping sickness and precautionary measures are taken with that object.

Sir J. D. REES

Is it possible for the Foreign Office to make friendly representations to the Liberian Government that it is not worth their while to run the risk of sleeping sickness for the small fees which go into the pockets of those concerned with the export of coolies?


Perhaps the hon. Member would put that question down.


Are these indentured labourers imported to San Thomé returned to their homes?


The general policy carried out is that of returning the labourers to their homes. If the hon. Member wants details, perhaps he will put down a question.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that at the present time in Liberia it is almost impossible to get sufficient native labour for the industries already established there, and will the Government take into consideration the making of friendly representations to the Liberian Government to prohibit such export of native labour?


Would the hon. Gentleman put down a question?