HC Deb 26 October 1955 vol 545 cc194-5
33. Mr. Alport

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement regarding an agreement reached between the copper mining companies and the European Mine Workers Union in Northern Rhodesia regarding African advancement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Agreement, which has recently been consolidated to apply throughout the Copper Belt, provides for twenty-four categories of jobs at present held by Europeans to be thrown open to Africans. The companies and the union have agreed to employ jointly an independent firm of industrial consultants to make a detailed survey of every European job; and when this is done negotiations will begin for the opening up of further categories of jobs at the end of the three-year period which the Agreement covers.

I feel sure the House will welcome this Agreement and congratulate those responsible. It has put an end to a dangerous deadlock and offers ground for hope that racial relations in the Copper Belt may develop harmoniously.

Mr. Alport

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, in addition to agreeing that this reflects the greatest credit on the unions and the managements concerned, he agrees that it also shows the practical working of the policy of partnership in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That is indeed so.

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