HC Deb 05 December 1927 vol 211 c990W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the recent Ceylon Labour Ordinance, which affects a large number of Indians who are working in the plantations in that island; whether he is aware that these Indians are estimated to number about 750,000, of whom 80 per cent. come from the Madras Presidency;, and whether, seeing that the ordinance, as drafted, will have the effect of depressing the economic position of these labourers, he will inquire into the matter?


I presume that the hon. Member is referring to the proposals for fixing standard wages for Indian estate labourers in Ceylon. I have not yet received the final text of the ordinance, but the proposals have been drafted after full consultation with the Government of India, and with their general concurrence, and I cannot suppose that they are likely to have the effect suggested. The hon. Member is doubtless aware that the Legislative Council of Ceylon includes a large majority of elected members, and, according to the latest information in my possession, the matter is still before that Council.

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