HC Deb 23 April 1928 vol 216 cc609-10

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, seeing that under the Juveniles Employment Act of Southern Rhodesia the maximum age for such juveniles was fixed at 14 years without any limit downwards, the Government of Southern Rhodesia has taken into consideration the advisability of fixing such lower limit, and with what results?


The hon. Member will see from pages 36 and 37 of the Command Paper relative to the Southern Rhodesia Native Juveniles Employment Act, 1926, issued on the 16th April, that instructions were sent out last January by the Government of Southern Rhodesia to all Native Commissioners in the Colony to make it clear that the Government do not approve of children under 10 years of age entering into contracts of service. It will also be seen from the covering despatch from the Governor of Southern Rhodesia, which is printed on pages 35-6 of the Command Paper, that the question of amending the Act in order to provide that native juveniles under 10 years of age shall not be permitted to enter into contracts of service has been under the consideration of the Southern Rhodesia Government. I am not, however, aware what decision has been reached in the matter.


Is this Act supposed to apply to children without parents or guardians; and, if so, why is it that in the White Paper referred to, it is distinctly stated that the Native Commissioners may return children to their parents?


I think I ought to have notice of that question.

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