HC Deb 10 May 1944 vol 399 cc1890-2
26. Mr. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the estimated number of people in Jamaica in need of employment for whom no work can be found; and what provision is made for their welfare.

32. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the present position of unemployment in Jamaica; how many men have been sent this year from Jamaica to the U.S.A. for farm work in the States; and the approximate number of Jamaican labourers now working in the U.S.A. under agreements between the Governments of Jamaica and the U.S.A.

Colonel Stanley

I am asking the Governor for the latest unemployment figures and will communicate with the hon. Member when I receive his reply. A number of works of public utility are being carried out in Jamaica, some of them with assistance provided under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, and a sum of £185,000 was made available from revenue in 1943–4 for relief works.

Some 9,000 labourers were recruited during 1943 from Jamaica to alleviate the shortage of farm labour in the United States of America, and of these approximately 2,300 remained over in the U.S.A. during the current year. It is proposed to recruit at least on a similar scale this year, and recruiting has already begun. But I have not yet been furnished with any details.

Mr. Riley

Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman considered the possibility of utilising any portion of this unemployed labour in Jamaica on the preparation of sites for future land settlement?

Colonel Stanley

Yes, Sir, all these proposals are being put into action where possible, but the hon. Member must realise that one of the chief difficulties in Jamaica at the moment is shortage of imported material. I hope that that will be alleviated through the very helpful action of the American Commissioner on the Anglo-United States Caribbean Mission.

Colonel Arthur Evans

In view of the grave shortage of labour in Trinidad, is it possible for my right hon. and gallant Friend to arrange for the transfer of overflow labour in Jamaica to Trinidad?

Colonel Stanley

The great difficulty is getting them from Jamaica to Trinidad, which are something like 1,200 miles apart.

Mr. Fraser

Is there any provision made for these workers who are left unemployed?

Colonel Stanley

We are finding them work.

Mr. Fraser

Is any provision made when they do not get work?

Colonel Stanley

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that Question down.

27. Mr. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Fair Labour Code, recently produced by the Industrial Relations Committee in Jamaica, has been accepted by the employers and trade unions; and what are the main provisions.

Colonel Stanley

I have not yet seen the Fair Labour Code, but I am informed by the Governor that the certificate of agreement was signed by representatives of the leading Employers' Associations and the representatives of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union and the Trade Union Council of Jamaica. Copies of the Code have already been despatched from Jamaica and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House as soon as they are received.

28. Mr. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many workers are employed as relief workers in Jamaica in order to relieve unemployment; what are the rates of pay; were the trade unions consulted in fixing these rates; and whether they are comparable with the rates ordinarily paid for similar employment.

Colonel Stanley

I am asking the Governor for the desired information and I will communicate it to the hon. Member on its receipt.