HC Deb 24 November 1926 vol 200 cc427-8W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will give the last available figures showing the extent to which forced labour was used in the Cameroons province for the transport of Government loads, together with the rates of remuneration; and whether it is possible to use motor transport to a greater extent or, alternatively, to offer a wage which will attract Voluntary labour?


I would refer the hon. Member to paragraph 166 of the Report on the British Cameroons for 1925, published as (Colonial No. 22), which gives the latest information in my possession. It must not be assumed that the 9,398 carriers referred to were engaged on this work for more than a few days each during the year. The hon. Member will observe from the paragraph to which I refer that the number of carriers required was 3,895 less than in 1924 that the large majority of those used in the Bamenda Division were Volunteers. The rate of pay given is quite adequate. The use of motor transport depends upon the existence of roads, and the construction of roads in a tropical jungle is a matter which needs time and money. Roads capable of bearing motor traffic are being constructed as rapidly as possible and I trust that the wasteful and uneconomic use of labour in head carriage will be further reduced as time goes on.

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