HC Deb 07 April 1937 vol 322 cc172-3
10. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information he can give to the House regarding the stranded condition of more than 100,000 British West-Indian negro labourers in the republic of Cuba; and whether he is aware that the Cuban Government is insisting that these British subjects should be repatriated from the republic?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

According to the most recent information received from His Majesty's Minister at Havana, the suggestion that more than ioo,000 British West Indian labourers are in a stranded condition in Cuba bears no relation to the facts, nor is it the case that the Cuban Government are insisting that they should be repatriated. The effects of the Cuban Government's attitude towards immigrant labour have hitherto been felt not so much by the British West Indian field worker, several thousand of whom are finding profitable employment in Cuba, as by office workers, who have had to give up their posts to Cubans. Some of these are in a state of destitution and are being gradually repatriated with the assistance of the British West Indian Governments under the supervision of His Majesty's Consulate-General at Havana.

Mr. Lunn

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the numbers that are in a state of destitution?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I have asked for the numbers, but I have not got them yet. They are largely clerical workers.