HC Deb 09 March 1939 vol 344 c2323
22. Mr. Leslie

asked the Minister of Labour what preparation is being made for the final discussion of the convention on contracts of indigenous workers at the next annual conference of the International Labour Organisation; whether he is consulting the Secretary of State for the Colonies on this important colonial question; and who will represent His Majesty's Government in this discussion?

Mr. E. Brown

The text of the proposed Draft Convention has not yet been received from the International Labour Office. Following the discussions at the International Labour Conference held last June, the International Labour Office circulated a questionnaire, and the Convention will be drafted in the light of the replies received by the Office to that document. The questionnaire was sent by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Colonial Governments and the reply which has been returned by His Majesty's Government was made after considering the replies received from those Governments. When the text of the Draft Convention is available it will be considered by all Departments concerned in order that the attitude to be adopted by the United Kingdom Government Delegation during the discussion of the Convention at the forthcoming International Labour Conference may be determined. The composition of the United Kingdom Delegation has not yet been fixed but, as on previous occasions, the Secretary of State for the Colonies will be invited to nominate representatives on it.

Mr. Hicks

Why has the right hon. Gentleman had no reply from the International Labour Office? Is it due to the fact that they are working with a depleted staff?

Mr. Brown

I do not think so. This is a very difficult and complicated question.