HC Deb 18 March 1942 vol 378 c1500
32. Mr. David Adams

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Government of Sierra Leone have declined to award to all Government workers the bonus recommended by the recently-established Labour Advisory Board; and whether, as general discontent exists concerning wages paid to Government employees, and as this refusal will influence private employers to disregard the findings of the Labour Advisory Board, he will make inquiries with a view to the Board's recommendations being implemented by the local Government?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

After consideration of the cost-of-living survey, the Government of Sierra Leone worked out a cost-of-living bonus scheme. The details were given in my reply to the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on nth March. This scheme was examined by the Labour Advisory Board who had already expressed their approval of a food issue for the lowest paid wage earners. Certain members of the Board moved that the amount of the bonus provided by the scheme should be increased. But they did not support their recommendation with arguments cogent enough to convince the Governor that the rates fixed do not adequately meet the rise in the cost of living. Since the introduction of this bonus scheme, my Noble Friend has not received any information indicating general discontent concerning wages paid to Government employees in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Adams

Does not the Minister agree that for the Governor to reject the recommendations of the Labour Advisory Board, must shatter the confidence of both public and private employers in its findings?

Mr. Macmillan

It was only a suggestion made by certain members of the Board.