Mr. David Adams
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the frequency of drunkenness among young children employed for wages in Kenya; whether he will take steps to prevent such serious effects upon Native family life of unregulated child labour which takes the children many miles away from their homes; and whether he will inquire closely into the methods by which such children are recruited, with a view to preventing misrepresentation and other undesirable pressure by recruiters?
Mr. M. MacDonald:
I called for a report from the Governor of Kenya on the allegations recently made in the Press about the employment of children in picking tea. The Governor has now reported that the conditions under which juveniles are employed on tea estates are admirable. Both schools and hospitals are accessible from the estates, where the services of welfare workers are also available. The children's conditions are in such circumstances much better than in their homes. I am informed that the cases of juvenile drunkenness which have occurred on tea estates have been rare. With regard to the remainder of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question of 1st June, from which he will see that I am inquiring into these matters.