HC Deb 05 April 1960 vol 621 cc182-3
19. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are taken to safeguard the interests of, and provide legal and financial help to, British-protected persons from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland who go to the Union of South Africa to work and find themselves in difficulty under the pass laws and other legislation of that country.

Mr. Alport

The Federal Government, through their High Commissioner's Office, are primarily responsible for safeguarding the interests of anyone from the Federation while in the Union of South Africa and for providing them with assistance where appropriate. Assistance is also available through the Nyasaland Labour Officer in Johannesburg.

Mrs. Castle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I have here a report from the Johannesburg Star giving details of a typical case of an African from the Federation coming to the Union to work, losing his pass, being refused another on the ground that he is a foreign native, being refused a chance to stay and work to earn his fare to go back, who has been jailed four times and has finally disappeared? Will not the hon. Gentleman make representations, both to the Federal authorities and to our own Nyasaland representatives, to ensure that full legal and financial help is given to those persons who get caught in the trap of the vicious South African pass laws?

Mr. Alport

As regards the help which the Nyasaland Labour Officer can give to a particular individual, I should like to see the details of the case which the hon. Lady has. As I have said, under the Constitution the interests of these Africans are a matter for the Federal Government and I have no doubt that they are most anxious to carry out their responsibilities in relation to these men.

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