HC Deb 17 June 1958 vol 589 cc876-7
18. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on rural wages and conditions in Kenya following the submission of the report on this subject over a year ago.

Mr. Profumo

When my right hon. Friend replied to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on 9th July last, he said that in due course a full statement of policy on rural wages would be made after discussions with representatives of both employers and employees. These discussions, though valuable, did not result in agreement, and the Kenya Government have not yet reached a decision on policy.

Mr. Benn

Is not it very unsatisfactory that well over a year should have passed since the report on rural wages and conditions was made available to the Government and before any statement can be made, in view of the fact that it is one of the real political dissatisfactions now in Kenya?

Mr. Profumo

It has certainly been a long time, but any system for the regulation of wages and conditions of employment stands a very much better chance of operating if there is general agreement between both sides. In the absence of that, the Kenya Government are now having to consider whether they can go ahead without this general agreement. My right hon. Friend is in touch with the Governor on this point.