HC Deb 17 February 1926 vol 191 cc1944-5W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has any further information concerning the strike and boycott which has taken place at Sierra Leone; what steps the authorities are taking in order to adjust and settle the difficulties; how many persons are involved in the strike; do the authorities recognise the right of the workers to organise and accept the principle of collective bargaining; if any arrests have been made; whether any violence or disturbances have taken place, and the number of soldiers or extra police which have been employed in connection with the dispute; are any of the military or other forces being used to carry on the work and duties usually performed by the strikers; and has he any information indicating that the dispute has arisen from any causes other than legitimate grievances the persons involved consider they are suffering from?


I have now received a report from the Governor, from which it appears that the strike still continues although some men have resumed work. A meeting has taken place between the general manager and representatives of the union, at which the latter have been informed of the terms on which the Government is prepared to take the men hack. I do not know the number of persons involved, note the number of soldiers and extra police employed in connection with the dispute. The Colonial Government have not opposed the formation of the union nor refused to negotiate with it. Some European military personnel has been used for keeping open telegraphic communication and in assisting the European locomotive drivers. I have no information that the strike has arisen from any other cause then the alleged grievances of the strikers. With regard to the remainder of the question, I can add nothing feather to the reply given to the hon. Member on the 12th February.