§ Mr. FREEMAN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of persons, if any, now engaged in forced labour or in work or service which is exacted under the menace of any penalty, and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily, at the present time in each country of the British Empire?
§ Dr. SHIELS
It is the policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, in the Dependencies for the administration of which they are responsible, to reduce forced labour to an absolute minimum. In the execution of this policy they enjoy the active co-operation of the Officers Administering the Governments of those Dependencies in which it66W is still necessary to have recourse to forced labour. The number of persons employed on such labour fluctuates from day to day in accordance with the necessities of the various authorities in the Dependencies who are authorised to employ forced labour, and no statistics are at present available to show the number of persons so employed at any given time.