HC Deb 19 May 1914 vol 62 cc1743-4
1. Mr. T. E. HARVEY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the minimum bonus of £10 promised to all serviçaes on their restoration to the main land of Africa from the Islands of San Thomé and Principe has been withdrawn; and whether any reply has yet been received to Dispatch No. 77, White Book 7279, addressed to the British Minister at Lisbon on 25th November last?


The hon. Member must be referring to the provision of the Portuguese Decree of 8th February, 1913, guaranteeing to every "servical" who entered San Thomé before 29th January, 1903, the date of the inauguration of the Repatriation Fund, a bonus of 50 escudos, or about £10. As the hon. Member is aware, from the Regulations of 1909 (which are printed on page 3 of Africa No. 2 (1912), all serviçaes recruited subsequently to 1903 are provided with a bonus on landing in Angola in the form of deferred wages. As far as my right hon. Friend is aware, both the Decrees of 1909 and 1913 are still in force. With regard to the second part of the hon. Member's question, I may refer him to page 89 of Africa No. 1 (1914), where he will find the reply of His Majesty's Minister at Lisbon to the dispatch addressed to him on the 25th November last.

2. Mr. T. E. HARVEY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the statement made by the Portuguese Prime Minister in November last to the British Minister in Lisbon to the effect that repatriation of the serviçaes is restricted solely through insufficiency of shipping capacity; whether this statement corresponds to the facts set forth in the recent White Paper; and, if not, whether the attention of the Portuguese Government will be drawn to the inaccuracy?


My right hon. Friend's attention was called in November last to the statement that repatriation of the "serviçaes" was not proceeding as fast as it should owing to the insufficiency of vessels to convey the labourers to the mainland. His Majesty's Minister at Lisbon was instructed early this year to continue to impress on the Portuguese Government that His Majesty's Government must rely upon the activity of the Government at Lisbon in impressing upon the local authorities the necessity of repatriating the "serviçaes" punctually when their contracts terminate.

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