HC Deb 28 April 1936 vol 311 c720
37. Lieut.-Commander FLETCHER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether following upon the communications from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1913, as set forth in Cmd. 7148, steps have been taken to keep the Board of Trade informed upon any misconduct of British subjects or companies registered within the British Empire; whether this obligation includes operations of companies and activities of British subjects in mandated dominion territories; whether his attention has been drawn to the operations of the New Guinea Goldfields Company, whose London office is Adelaide House, King William Street; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


The arrangements outlined in the circular letter from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to which the hon. and gallant Member refers related to the collection of information by consular officers as to the treatment of native labour by British companies and persons in foreign countries. I am unable to trace the receipt in the Board of Trade since 1913 of information on any cases of ill-treatment of native labour by British companies nor am I aware of any action that my Department could have taken under the Companies Acts if such information had been received. With regard to the second part of the question, matters relating to mandated Dominion territories are the concern of the Dominion Government in question. With regard to the remainder of the question, I have no information as to the operations of the company mentioned, which is incorporated in New South Wales.

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