HC Deb 17 May 1944 vol 400 c165
26. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to safeguard the conditions and wages of native conscript labour on the sisal estates, Tanganyika, in view of the recent considerable increase of such conscript labour; and will the wages and conditions of the labourers be improved as a result of the increase of approximately 20 per cent, in the price paid by the Government to the farmers.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Colonel Oliver Stanley)

The wages of compulsory labour are safeguarded by the Compulsory Service Ordinance, which lays down that they shall be not less than the ruling rates for voluntary labour in the area concerned. Other conditions are as prescribed in the Masters and Native Servants Ordinance, and the Administrative and Labour Departments have specific instructions to see that they are satisfactory. The new contract price is based on increases already effective in the cost of estate running (including medical services, housing and welfare), machinery, etc., and will not affect the wages of labour.

Mr. Riley

May I ask my right hon. and gallant Friend whether the increases to which he refers really cover the full increase in the cost of living, and whether they include the increase of 20 per cent. in the price paid by the Government to the farmers?

Colonel Stanley

I tried to explain in my answer that the new price is based on the increase in the cost, including wages, that has already taken place.