HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1259-60
12. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any arrangement has yet been made, or is about to be made, for consultation between the managements of the mines and representatives of the Government, together with representatives of the Northern Rhodesia Mine Workers' Union, with regard to the extension of opportunities to African workers to advance to positions not now open to them?

Mr. George Hall

As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, it was indicated in the Statement by the Government of Northern Rhodesia on the recommendations of the Commission, that Government hoped to initiate discussions on this question. My Noble Friend is not aware whether arrangements have yet been made for the opening of the discussions, but inquiry is being made of the Governor.

Mr. Harvey

In view of the great importance of this to the future of Africans, will the hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the Government of Northern Rhodesia are requested not to delay these negotiations?

Mr. Hall

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Creech Jones

Will the Government throw the whole of their weight against colour discrimination and the practice of the colour bar in this area?

Mr. Hall

I think it is necessary to make it quite clear that the Colonial Office and the Government do not stand for the colour bar either in this country or in any of the Colonies.

13. Mr. Harvey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government has approved the recommendation of the Commission to inquire into the disturbances in the Northern Rhodesian copperbelt that shade trees should be planted in the mining compounds and that facilities should be afforded to the African worker for gardening in his leisure hours; and what steps are being taken to implement these recommendations?

Mr. Hall

My Noble Friend is not in possession of the views of the Governor on this particular recommendation. His views are being sought, and further consideration will be given to the matter when they are received.

Mr. Maxton

Do I understand that white miners live in compounds?

Mr. Hall

No, I do not think so, but, to make quite sure, perhaps the hon. Member will put a Question down.