HC Deb 16 July 1957 vol 573 c922
35. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the minimum wage rates and the wage rates for skilled workers which will be paid to employees of the firms engaged in the development of the port of Grand Bahama, under the terms of the agreement with the port authority.

Mr. Profumo

Actual rates are not prescribed but the Grand Bahama Port Authority Area has undertaken to pay Bahamian workers, both skilled and unskilled, wages or salaries comparable with those obtaining in similar works elsewhere in the Colony. Firms licensed by the Authority to operate in the port area are required to give a similar undertaking.

Mr. Allaun

Will the Minister consider recommending that the scandalously low minimum rate be raised and further that the minimum rates throughout the Caribbean be standardised, otherwise the islands paying better wages will be deprived of capital which will flow of necessity to the Bahamas where wages are notoriously lower?

Mr. Profumo

I think that is a much wider question than the one on the Order Paper. In the case we are discussing the minimum wages laid down by ordinance are often exceeded, so that the arrangements made by the Government and the Authority are really more favourable than they would otherwise be.