HC Deb 04 August 1925 vol 187 cc1143-4
36. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs how many men are now doing compulsory labour in Kenya Colony: whether these include any Indians or Europeans; what is the general period of service; what is the rate of pay; and are they all employed on railway construction, or what other form of compulsory labour is involved?


As shown in the Paper, Cmd. 2464, just published, 1,587 compelled men were at work in May, the latest month for which I have a return. They were employed solely on railway construction or railway relaying, ballasting, or regrading. No non-natives are so compelled. I presume that the term is normally the maximum permitted by the Ordinance, 60 days. The rates of pay are shown in the Paper, namely, 14s. a month on the Uasin Gishu and Thika-Nyeri lines and 18s. a month on the main line, with rations in each case.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to whether a rise in the rate of pay would not obviate the necessity of compulsory labour?

Commander WILLIAMS

How many were employed in May last year?


Perhaps I had better have notice of that question. In answer to the right hon. Gentleman, I will look into the matter.


Is not this a form of slavery?