§ 139 and 140. Mr. KELLY
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty (1) at what date the Government commenced to recruit native labour for the construction of the Singapore Dock; and through what agencies and in what countries was the recruitment conducted;
2594 (2) whether the Admiralty bears the cost of recruitment and transport for labourers imported from India or elsewhere in connection with the construction of the Singapore Dock; if so, under what heading in the Navy Estimates does the charge appear; and what amount has been and will be thus spent in each of the last three financial years and in 1926–27?
No recruitment of labourers from India is undertaken by the Admiralty. The only men sent to Singapore at the direct cost of the Admiralty are those sent from England. The rest are engaged in the Colony. But under an Ordinance of the Straits Settlements Government the Admiralty, like other employers, have to contribute to the expenses of the immigration authorities, and the expenditure so incurred is provided for in Vote 10, Sub-head B, of the Navy Estimates under the Singapore Item. I could not reply to the last part of the question without inquiry from Singapore.