HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 c1207
43. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any recent steps have been taken in Northern Rhodesia to introduce Africans into supervisory or more skilled work in the copper mines; and what is the policy of the Government in this matter and in the problem of stabilisation and family settlement about the mines?

Colonel Stanley

The Copperbelt Disturbances Commission in 1940 recommended that the mine managements should consider, with representatives of the Government and of the Mine Workers' Union, to what positions not now open to him the African worker should be encouraged to advance. It has not been possible, particularly under war conditions, to give effect to this recommendation. The problem of stabilisation, which would involve the provision of new housing accommodation, schools and other amenities, is not capable of immediate solution. As the hon. Member was informed on nth February last year, every encouragement is given to workers to bring their wives with them to the mines for the period of their employment.

Mr. Maxton

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman think it would help the negotiations out there if the leaders of the union were let out of prison?

Colonel Stanley

No, Sir; I do not think it would.