HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc185-6
60. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the composition of the Commission of Inquiry into the shooting of four workers in Mauritius; what are the terms of reference to the Commission; how soon it will begin its inquiries; and whether, in view of the long delay in implementing some of the recommendations of the Orde Browne Report, he will insist that immediate steps be taken, including the granting of amended trade union facilities?

Colonel Stanley

With the hon. Member's permission I will circulate the composition and terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards the last part of the Question, Major Orde Browne's Report was only published in Mauritius on 11th June, and many of its recommendations require legislative action. Steps are being taken to amend the legislation with regard to the formation of industrial associations, and in the meantime no application to form such an association has been refused, and certain new associations have been added to the Schedule in the existing legislation.

Mr. Creech Jones

Although the Report was published only in June, surely it has been in the hands of the Government of Mauritius for quite a long time before and, in view of the recent tragic incident and the very bad industrial relations in Mauritius, may I ask that some expedition will be shown by the Mauritius Government in all labour matters?

Colonel Stanley

I am sure that they will show all possible speed, but I cannot help feeling that a Report published in June might well, even in this country, not have received legislative sanction yet, by October.

Following is the composition of the Commission of Inquiry:

  1. (a) The Colonial Secretary as Chairman,
  2. (b) Dr. Laurent, Senior Member of the Council of Government,
  3. (c) Mr. Osman, Nominated Member of the Council of Government,
  4. (d) Mr. Noel, Judge of the Supreme Court, and
  5. (e) Judge Neerunjhun.

The terms of reference of the Commission, which has already begun its inquiries, are as follow: To make a diligent and full inquiry, report upon and make such recommendations as you think fit, in connection with the recent disturbances which leave occurred in the north of the Colony.
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