HC Deb 15 December 1954 vol 535 cc1769-70
30. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the wages of employees on tea plantations in East Africa have increased in recent years.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Present wages for unskilled labour on tea estates show increases for Tanganyika and Kenya of 128 per cent, and 60 per cent, respectively over 1947 figures, and for Uganda of 115 per cent, over 1949 figures. The value of free rations and housing has also increased substantially.

Mr. Russell

Is not this one of the reasons why the price of tea has increased?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That may be, but in fairness I must point out that the cost of living has gone up also.

Mr. J. Griffiths

If this is one of the reasons, could the right hon. Gentleman tell us what the others are?

Sir J. Barlow

Can my right hon. Friend say what are the benefits and facilities which these employees receive, such as free housing, food, and so on?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I will circulate those details.

Mr. G.Jeger

Is the right hon.Gentleman aware that no one would mind paying an increased price for tea if they thought that the benefits were accruing to workers on the tea plantations and not to the profits of the tea companies?