HC Deb 12 February 1917 vol 90 cc289-90W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the steps taken by the French Government and people to main tain the social welfare of their coloured labour units now in France from overseas by the provision of recreation huts for religious and educational facilities and also simple amusements, and other means of maintaining the comfort of these auxiliary forces; and whether British coloured labour contingents will receive similar consideration; and (2) whether the African labour contingents are proving in every way eminently satisfactory; and whether he can give an assurance that they will not be denied the provision of the facilities enjoyed by the white troops for religious and social welfare, and supplied by the Young Men's Christian Association or other approved agency?


I will answer these questions together. I am not aware what steps have been taken by the French Government and people with regard to the welfare of their coloured labour units. The Union Government have appointed an officer of exceptional personality to command and administer the South African labour units and promote their comfort, and I have every confidence that he will provide whatever is necessary. Any suggestions which my Noble Friend may have to offer will receive every consideration.