HC Deb 09 July 1958 vol 591 cc368-9
2. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Labour whether a reply has yet been sent to the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation, answering its inquiry as to whether full freedom of movement has been restored to trade union officials in Northern Rhodesia; and what are its terms.

Mr. Iain Macleod

As the next meeting of the Governing Body's Committee on Freedom of Association will not take place before November, the International Labour Office has been informed that it is proposed to defer a reply so that account may be taken of the latest information then available.

Mr. Prentice

Can the Minister say why it has taken so long to prepare a reply in view of the fact that this inquiry was made some months ago? On the wider question, can the right hon. Gentleman state the reasons why in this territory normal standards of freedom of movement of trade union officials do not apply?

Mr. Macleod

The reason it has taken a long time is that a fuller explanation was asked for on the second point, which is the one to which the hon. Gentleman refers in his Question. I am sure it is right that we should consult carefully with the Governor of the territory concerned before we make our reply in November. On the subject of complaint, that, of course, is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies.