HC Deb 04 May 1937 vol 323 cc993-4W
Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1) whether he will inform the Government of Southern Rhodesia of the apprehensions felt in this country as to the extension of the pass system to Southern Rhodesia through the Native Registration Act; and whether he will obtain information as to how this system will be enforced and also what penalties will be imposed for infringement of the Act;

(2) in view of the apprehensions expressed as to the consequences of the Natives Registration Act in Southern Rhodesia, and of the statement in the Chief Native Commissioner's Report for 1936 that the aim of the Act is simply to prevent gamblers, loafers, and thieves from gathering in urban centres and to check the influx of young women who evade parental control, whether any steps can be taken to deal directly only with the disorderly and undesirable native such as was suggested in the committee stage of the Bill by Mr. R. C. Tredgold, now minister of justice?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I have communicated with the Southern Rhodesian Government regarding the various representations which I have received on the Southern Rhodesian Native Registration Act. As I have explained in answer to previous questions, the Act is, to a large extent, a consolidation of existing enactments and the requirement that natives visiting or seeking employment in towns must obtain passes is taken from an Ordinance of 1901. The penalties for offences against the Act are set out in Section 21.