HC Deb 12 February 1931 vol 248 cc569-70
36. Mr. GOULD

asked the Minister of Labour whether the delegates of His Majesty's Government to the international labour conferences, held under the auspices of the League of Nations, between December, 1924, and May, 1929, brought forward any proposal to suppress completely forced or compulsory labour; and what was the attitude of the representatives of His Majesty's Government on this question at the International Labour Conference held at Geneva from 10th–28th June, 1930?


As the reply is necessarily long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The discussions on this subject, prior to May, 1929, took place in the Council and Assembly of the League of Nations and resulted in the International Slavery Convention, 1926. Under Article 2 of this Convention, which was supported by the representatives of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, the signatories undertook to take all necessary measures to prevent conditions analogous to those of slavery resulting from compulsory or forced labour. The Council of the League of Nations referred to the International Labour Office the task of finding means to carry out the intentions of this Article and this course was adopted on the motion of the leading delegate of the British Empire. The final result of the work of the International Labour Office in this connection was the preparation of the Convention which formed the subject of discussion at the Conferences of 1929 and 1930 and was adopted by the latter. At that Conference the representatives of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom did everything in their power to secure an early and final termination of the use of forced or compulsory labour in any territory under the control of any member of the International Labour organisation.