HC Deb 27 June 1957 vol 572 c401
23. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the statutory minimum wages for industrial, agricultural and other classes of labour in Nyasaland; and in which classes rations and housing are included.

Mr. Profumo

As the information requested by the hon. Member is somewhat lengthy, I am arranging for it to he circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Pargiter

I am grateful to know that I shall be able to get this information. Is the hon. Member aware that there is considerable dissatisfaction at the extremely low wages paid in Nyasaland, which are lower than in many other parts of Africa? Having regard to the fact that qualifications for voting and matters of that kind are involved, does the hon. Gentleman realise how impossible it would be for any of these people ever to achieve any political equity at all? Can something be done to raise the very low standard?

Mr. Profumo

I think that perhaps when the hon. Member reads my reply he will not feel quite as worried about it. I would add that in practice the minimum wages are often exceeded.

Following is the information: The statutory minimum wage for agricultural labour, and for industrial and other classes of labour (except in the tailoring industry in the Central Province) employed in industrial areas outside the main towns is 1s. per day and this will be increased to Is. 3d, from 1st July. 2. In the tailoring industry in the Central Province, the rates are:—
  • Apprentice tailors 1s. 7d. per working day.
  • 3rd class tailors 2s. per working day.
  • 2nd class tailors (and above that grade), 2s. 5d. per working day.
3. The minimum wage for industry and other classes of labour in the main townships is 1s. 4d. per day, which is to be increased from 1st July, 1957, to 2s. per day for the Blantyre/Limbe area and to 1s. 9d. per day for the Zomba/Lilongwe townships. 4. All the above figures are inclusive of the value of proper and sufficient food, if supplied by the employer, and the amount allowed to be deducted for this is limited by law. 5. Generally, for all classes of African labour, employers are required to provide, at their own expense, housing accommodation for any employee who is unable to return to his home on completion of the day's work. 6. The minimum wages are often exceeded in practice and in most industrial employments a free mid-day meal without a deduction from pay is given by employers as an inducement.
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