HC Deb 16 February 1938 vol 331 cc1868-9
31. Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether in view of the industrial troubles which have arisen in several of His Majesty's West Indian dependencies, and of the similarity of conditions between all such dependencies, he will take steps for the setting up of labour departments or the appointment of industrial officers in territories where they are not yet in existence?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I have not yet received replies from the Governors of the Bahamas, Bermuda, British Honduras, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands, in regard to the establishment of labour departments or inspectorates of the nature suggested in my circular despatch of 24th August, 1937, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. When sending the despatch to these Governors I suggested that they should carefully consider any recommendations which might be made by the recent Commission appointed to inquire into the Trinidad disturbances before they submitted their detailed proposals, and a number of them have intimated that they are taking advantage of this suggestion.

Mr. Ridley

Having regard to the disturbing terms of the Trinidad report, will the right hon. Gentleman impress on the other Governments concerned the urgency of this matter in order to avoid similar explosive consequences as occurred in Trinidad?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

That is the point. I urged the appointment of these labour departments, and one was appointed in British Guiana. I asked the other Governments to consider the proposals of the Trinidad report in this connection before making their final recommendations.

33. Mr. George Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement on the operation of the minimum wage legislation for agricultural labourers in Granada, St. Vincent, and Santa Lucia?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The Minimum Wage Ordinances which exist in these three colonies have already operated in each to the extent of the promulgation of Orders by the Governor, in accordance with his powers under the Ordinances, fixing minimum wage rates for unskilled agricultural labour.

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