HC Deb 14 July 1926 vol 198 cc387-8
9. Mr. AMMON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Ruanda-Urundi is mandated territory under the League of Nations; and whether legislative ordinance, No. 52, conferring powers upon the resident to compel natives to perform work in connection with plantations and other undertakings carried on for profit has the consent of all signatory Powers?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part of the question, the consent of the Signatory Powers of the Treaty of Versailles is not required. The Permanent Mandates Commission have asked the Belgian Government for further information regarding the Ordinance to which the hon. Member refers.


Have the other signatories any say in a matter which is imposing slavery on these people? The Ordinance says that, if they do not do the work to the satisfaction of the Resident, he can send them to penal servitude.


In the first place, I express no judgment on the merits of the Order. That is not really strictly necessary for the purposes of the information the hon. Member desires. It is not for the signatory Powers to deal with this matter, but for the Council of the League of Nations, if they think proper, to call for a report from the mandatory Commission.


Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the general treatment of native labour under the mandatory scheme since 1919, and does he not think it would help if we had a fuller statement?


The hon. Member should put that question down. The right hon. Gentleman cannot be expected to answer without notice.