§ 18. Mr. WEDGWOOD
asked whether free and indentured Indians working in the mines in Natal were recently, when found guilty of offences, sent not to prison but back to the mines to work; and, if so, can he say whether this procedure is normal in South Africa?
Under the powers given by the Union Prisons Act of 1911 certain mine compounds in Natal were declared out-stations to Dundee and Newcastle Gaols. This, as was explained by the Governor-General in his telegram of 19th November, printed at page 66 of Cd. 7111, was necessitated by the large number of Indians marching in organised bands with the avowed purpose of defying the law. Details will be found in the telegram referred to. The procedure appears to be legal, but like the occasion which called for it, fortunately not normal.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Is this form of slavery one of the subjects that are being inquired into in Natal at the present time by the Commission?
I do not admit my hon. Friend's description of that method of employment; I believe that all the incidents will come under the purview of the Commission.
§ Sir JOHN REES
Has the right hon. Gentleman received any complaints from or on behalf of the Indians themselves?