HC Deb 24 June 1924 vol 175 c219
6. Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether all Lascars signed on the ships on passage to this country are signed on the so-called Lascar agreement, by which the owners are liable for providing passages back to India for the Lascars; and whether any similar obligation is imposed on owners who sign on Arabs and other Asiatics other than Lascars?


In the case of all native seamen shipped in India, Ceylon, Aden or in the Straits Settlements there is an obligation to repatriate, and this obligation is also often inserted in agreements opened at Chinese ports. Apart from this, Asiatic seamen arriving in this country who are unable to prove British nationality may be, and generally are, refused permission to land and are sent back at the expense of the ship.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make these return passages applicable to all coloured races; and is he not aware that in certain ports there are crowds of coloured people, setting up grave social conditions, and that it generally falls upon private charity to get them home again?


I will certainly inquire. The effect of my answer is that the obligation of repatriation is in practice on the shipowners already.