HC Deb 06 July 1926 vol 197 cc1870-1
40. Lieut.- Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the death and sickness rate amongst the natives employed in the goldmining industry of the Gold Coast Colony during the last complete year for which statistics are available?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

From figures which have been supplied to me by the Officer Administering the Government of the Gold Coast it would appear that the death rate per thousand amongst all labour, surface and underground, in the goldmines in the Gold Coast is approximately 8.3. No reliable figures are available as to the sickness rates.


Can the hon. Gentleman say what is the death-rate of those who go down into the mines?


I asked for those figures, but it is rather difficult to give combined figures for the surface and underground workers in the case of the Gold Coast mines, many of which are merely workings on the side of a hill as it is hard to differentiate absolutely between underground and surface workers. The mines are not like the coalmines in this country.


But does not the hon. Gentleman realise that this is a very heavy percentage, and is he taking actual steps to try to secure a reduction in these figures.


Considerable reductions have been made. As a matter of fact, it is not a heavy figure compared with the ordinary death rate. In tropical Africa the death rate and the birth rate are both vastly higher than in this country, and in view of that fact I am rather surprised that 8.3 per 1,000 should be the figure in this case.