HC Deb 25 March 1913 vol 50 cc1454-5
3. Sir J. D. REES

asked whether His Majesty's Government has any information to the effect that the Liberian Government contemplates the prohibition of the systematic exportation of boys from Liberia; and whether His Majesty's Consul at Monrovia has instructions to the effect that such a measure would be acceptable to His Majesty's Government?


I understand that the Liberian Government are making inquiries as to the employment of Liberian labour in foreign countries, but I am not aware that they intend to prohibit labourers leaving Liberia. The only instructions sent to His Majesty's Consul-General at Monrovia that are at all relevant were to inform the Liberian Government of some abuses that had come to our notice respecting shipment of labourers under false pretences, in order that they might take what measures they thought right to protect their own people.

Sir J. D. REES

May I ask would it be contrary to diplomatic propriety to express satisfaction with the prohibition of the export of labour from Liberia, in case that should be the view of His Majesty's Government?


I do not see that we have a case for expressing an opinion on the total prohibition of labour. We have informed the Liberian Government that some of their labourers were being sent away under false pretences in order that they might take whatever measures they thought fit to prevent such labour being shipped under false pretences.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that quite apart from the question of fraudulent exportation of Liberian boys, there is the point that there is not now sufficient labour recruited for the industries already existing in Monrovia and Liberia generally?


No, I was not aware of that.

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