§ Mr. CHARLES EDWARDS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether the South African Government intends taking any steps to set up an impartial court of inquiry into the conditions, hours of work, and wages of the native workers in the Rand mines, with a view to reform in industrial legislation with regard to the native workers;
(2) if he has any information as to how many native workers are involved in the strike on the Rand; and if he has been informed whether any attempt has been made to settle the strike by arbitration?
§ Mr. LAWSON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information showing that the South African Government is sending large bodies of police and troops to protect voluntary workers in connection with the Rand strike; whether such bodies of police and military are being used to disperse meetings of the strikers; and whether the strikers have been forbidden the right of picketing?
The answer to this question and to the questions of the hon. Members for Bedwellty and 287W Chester-le-Street is that I have practically no information on the subject beyond what has appeared in the Press. These questions, I should add, deal with matters entirely within the competence of the Parliament and Government of the Union of South Africa.
§ Mr. LAWSON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information as to the average number of hours worked per day by the native underground workers in the Rand mines, their rates of wages, and the rate of wages in 1914 for underground workers?
§ Lieut.-Colonel AMERY
The number of hours during which a person can work underground was limited by the Union Mines and Works Act, 1911, to eight hours during any consecutive period of twenty-four hours, save in certain special cases. I understand the average pay of the native underground work was in 1913 58s. 9d. per thirty shifts: but I have no information as to what the present wages are.