HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 c1257
24. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Home Secretary the total number of Indian seamen charged with offences in connection with their refusal to resume duties; and how many are still in custody or are being charged?

Sir J. Anderson

The number of Indian seamen sentenced to imprisonment since 1st November last for refusal to obey orders, is 310. Of these 158 are still in custody.

Mr. Sorensen

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any information of the number who have been fined, and is he aware of the extraordinary disparity between the punishments inflicted on various groups, some being fined 5s. and others being given two months imprisonment? Will he deal with the whole situation with a view to making the punishment more uniform?

Sir J. Anderson

I do not think it is for me to constitute myself a sort of court of revision in these matters, but I am always prepared to consider any particular case that may be brought to my notice.

Mr. Shinwell

Is not the sole difficulty that these men want higher wages? Why not give them higher wages and settle this question?

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