§ 32. Mr. MARJORIBANKS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet anything to report as a result of his inquiries with regard to forced labour in Russia?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
Yes, Sir. Article 9 of the Constitution of Soviet Russia imposes the duty of labour on all its citizens, but compulsory unpaid labour of whatever nature is illegal. Forced labour may be imposed by judicial and administrative organs as a punishment for crime or misdemeanour, and, in addition, labour may be mobilised far special national emergencies (e.g., earthquakes, floods, etc.). As regards the timber industry, provincial communities are empowered by a decree of the 13th February last to employ compulsory labour at special rates of pay where the fulfilment of a production programme calls for such action.
§ Mr. MARJORIBANKS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an official Soviet organ, namely, "Trud," has described this practice as akin to slavery for Soviet citizens; and will he take 15 steps to prevent the products of this labour coming into this country and displacing British labour?
That is an entirely different question, which does not arise out of the question on the Paper.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Has my right hon. Friend received any inquiries from Russia as to the conditions of forced labour in Kenya Colony?
§ Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the American Ambassador as to the steps which have been taken by the United States?