HC Deb 18 February 1924 vol 169 cc1375-6W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that Chinese contract labour is employed in Nauru phosphate mining; that these Chinese labourers are confined during their non-working hours and that they are unaccompanied by women; and whether he will take any steps open to him to secure shorter duration of contract. freedom of movement during non-working hours, and twat in future Chinese contract labour will only be recruited under a proviso that a certain proportion of women folk accompany the men?


No Chinese contract labour is imported into Nauru, but the labourers after arrival invariably ask for agreements, though this is in no way compulsory. They usually prefer to engage for three years. I am informed that Chinese are not permitted out of their settlement (there is no compound) at night, though allowed freedom of movement in the daytime, and that, in the interests of the native inhabitants, this slight restriction is considered essential. The British Phosphate Commissioners inform me that many of the Chinese are offered free accommodation for their wives at the island, but that up to the present the social prejudices of the Chinese have prevented more than a very few women taking advantage of these facilities.