§ 76. Mr. Paling
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the rates of wages of 1s. 2d. per day for Indian males, and 11¼d. per day for Indian females, working on the rubber estates in Malaya have been fixed for a definite period; and whether when such rates were fixed consideration was given to the rise in the price of rubber?
§ The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
The standard rates mentioned were fixed in the last few weeks, to come into effect on 1st April. They represent an increase from 11¼d. and 9d. respectively for the last half of 1936, and 1s. o½d. and 10d. respectively for the first quarter of 1937, and may be taken to reflect the improved capacity of the rubber industry. The present rates remain in force unless and until they are revised.
§ Mr. Paling
Do I understand that it is due to the fact that there has been a rise in the price of rubber that the natives' wages have risen?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
Yes, Sir; undoubtedly the increase in wages this quarter as compared with last quarter has been due to the increased price of rubber.
§ Mr. Paling
If the price of rubber keeps rising, will these people be able to make further application almost immediately for another increase in wages?