HL Deb 05 July 1904 vol 137 cc616-7

My Lords, I desire to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Chinese labourers of those hitherto imported into-South Africa under the Chinese Labour Importation Ordinance can demand the importation of wife or children, under Clause 33 of the Regulations, and the numbers of such wives and children respectively. I would only remind the noble Duke that it was a week ago that he promised me this information. He said he would telegraph to Hong-kong to obtain it. I refrain from making any observations until I have heard the answer of my noble friend.


MyLords, I do not think I need detain your Lordships more than a minute or two in replying to the Question of the noble and learned Lord. As the noble and learned Lord has reminded us, on 28th June he asked me to find out from Hong-kong the number of Chinese labourers who had registered their wives and families. In pursuance of my promise to the noble and learned Lord a telegram was sent off on the 29th ultimo to the Acting Governor of Hong-kong, and the reply we have received from him is to this effect, that out of the first batch of Chinese who went over to South Africa on the "Tweeddale," which I think had on board nearly 1,000, 308 had registered their names as being anxious to have their wives and families sent out to them; that is to say, over a third of the total number in the first ship registered their names and will be able to have their wives and families sent over to them at some future date. I think, in view of this fact, that the doubts and misgivings which I detected in the mind of the noble and learned Lord on the last occasion the subject was mentioned must be entirely removed.

House adjourned at twenty minutes past Five o'clock, to Thursday next, half-past Ten o'clock.