HC Deb 06 July 1920 vol 131 cc1199-200
1, 2 and 3. Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. HOARE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether His Majesty's Government has withdrawn from the arrangements to which the Portuguese Government consented in 1913 whereby British consuls were specially appointed to report upon labour conditions in Portuguese West Africa;

(2) if he is in a position to state the number of Angola serviçaes sent to and repatriated from the Portuguese islands of San Thomé and Principe during the years 1917, 1918 and 1919;

(3) what is the death-rate amongst the children and the adults, respectively, upon the Portuguese plantations of San Thomé and Principe?


The number of Angolan serviçaes sent to San Thomé in 1917 was 1918, repatriated 2,553; in 1918, 937, repatriated 1,484; in 1919 (10 months), 5,178, repatriated 1,176.

Island of Principe (January to September, 1917), 408, repatriated 43. No further figures are available for this island.

Precise figures of the death-rate in the islands are lacking, but, according to a rough estimate received from His Majesty's Consul-General at Loanda in August, 1918, the death-rate for all classes of labourers on San Thomé had decreased to 4½ per cent. per annum in 1917 and that of Angolan natives to 3½ per cent. No figures for the Island of Principe are available. Owing to the great demands on the personnel of the consular service, it is not possible to detail one of His Majesty's consular officers to carry on inquiries into this subject, and it will therefore not be possible to furnish further official information.


Is the hon. Gentleman certain that the death-rate statistics are correct? I understand there has been some miscalculation. Will he make further inquiry?


Yes, I think the figures are only to be taken as approximate. I will make further inquiry.