HC Deb 28 April 1948 vol 450 cc385-6
23. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans have been made for large-scale agricultural production in Borneo; from what sources it is proposed to recruit labour; and whether he will give an assurance that no immigrant labour will be introduced into Borneo unless steps are taken from the beginning to enable these to become integrated as part of the local population if they so desire.

Mr. Mayhew

No definite arrangements have yet been concluded as to possible sources of labour. Any policy of encouraging the settlement in North Borneo of suitable labour will be subject to the protection of the rights of the indigenous population. My right hon. Friend is considering proposals for two small pilot rice schemes, as further investigations are required before large-scale agricultural development can take place.

Mr. Sorensen

Can we have an assurance that before any immigrant labour is brought into this area, everything will be done to see that local labour is first used?

Mr. Mayhew

Yes, I can give the assurance that this will be closely supervised, and that the rights of the indigenous people will be safeguarded.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will that be the same in this country, and particularly in Scotland?