HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc566-7
34. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies under what conditions the Forced Labour (War) Regulations, 1939, issued by the Government in Nigeria, permits of the exaction of forced labour for military transport purposes in Nigeria and the Cameroons under British mandate; why it was necessary to resort to forced labour; and whether these regulations will remain operative for the whole period of the war?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I am placing a copy of the Regulations in question in the Library of the House. They were designed primarily to meet conditions that might arise in the event of the war extending to the Cameroons where the sources of labour are strictly limited. No action would be taken under them unless it should prove that voluntary labour were not forthcoming. As regards the last part of the Question, I cannot say at this stage whether it will be necessary for the Regulations to remain operative during the whole period of the war.