HC Deb 30 June 1960 vol 625 cc1550-1
34. Mr. Skeffington

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Tanganyikans are now employed in South Africa, having been recruited in Tanganyika by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association; and what facilities are provided in this respect by the Tanganyika Government.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am asking the Governor how many Tanganyikans are currently employed in South Africa. The Tanganyika Government operates an employment exchange and transit centre in the Southern Highlands Province through which Africans wishing to proceed to South Africa can offer their services and can be medically examined. Last year, 8,568 Africans were engaged through the exchange for employment with this Association.

Mr. Skeffington

Is the Colonial Secretary aware that a number of institutions and individuals are rather concerned at this export of some of the finest Africans from the Territory at a time when it will soon be facing very acute problems in increasing production? Will he investigate further and possibly make a statement later?

Mr. Macleod

I do not think I need investigate here. For many years, it has been common practice for as many as 10,000 people or more a year to go from the country to work in the gold mines. However, some questions on this matter have recently been raised in the Legislative Council in Tanganyika, as the hon. Member probably knows. I should have thought that it would be right, if any action is taken, for it to be initiated there.

Mr. P. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend give an undertaking or some information about assurances and facilities in respect of health conditions provided by this Association when recruiting labour? For instance, is it true that workers are taken on at a certain medical standard and that the Association or whoever employs the people concerned guarantees to look after the health of the people so recruited?

Mr. Macleod

The Association does not, in that sense, recruit them. It takes applications from those who volunteer. On the point about medical standards, there is a good deal of very detailed care. I will itemise it in a letter to him, if my hon. Friend 'wishes.