§ Mr. Harvey
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement as to the way in which the measures for compulsory labour are working in Kenya and in Nigeria; how many men have been conscripted in each case; how many additional labour inspectors have been appointed; what wages are 2295W being paid and whether there have been any convictions for the breach of any of the Regulations?
§ Mr. Harold Macmillan
The position is as follows. The total number conscripted in Kenya was just over 14,000 up to the 25th October; in Nigeria the number, up to the 20th of October, was 3,000 under the regulations made in March, 1942, for a maximum period of service of two months, while since August, when new regulations were made, 4,466 labourers have been conscripted for a maximum period of four months' service. Three additional Inspectors have been appointed to the staff of the Labour Department in Kenya, while in Nigeria an Administrative Officer has been placed in charge of the general welfare of the workers in the tin mines, and two Labour Officers have been appointed to assist him. In Kenya 20 convictions have been reported under the regulations for refusal to work, and as a result of 545 desertions reported, 120 Africans have been convicted or ordered to return to work. In Nigeria there have been 184 convictions under the Regulations made in August—three for refusal to proceed to the mines when selected and the remainder for leaving work before the period of four months' service had been completed. Wage rates in Kenya vary with locality, tribe and nature of work. In each case they include prescribed rations, housing and medical attention. Minimum wage rates have been laid down as follow:
Short periods, 8s. to 10s. a month.
Over three months, 9s. to 12s. a month
but considerably more is earned on task work in heavy industries where wages total from 14s. to 20s. a month. In Nigeria labourers are paid wages on the following scales:
(a) When employed on task work and rations and fuel are not provided as part of wages, a minimum monetary payment of 5s. 6d. per week is paid to each worker for a completed six-day task.
(b) When employed on task work and rations and fuel are provided as part of wages, the minimum wage is 2s. 6d. per week for a completed six-day task.2296W
(c) When employed at daily rates and rations and fuel are not provided a minimimi payment of 5s. 6d. for six days' work is made.
(d) When employed on daily rates and rations and fuel are provided the minimum payment for six days' work is 2s. 6d.
In addition to the above payments, free housing and free medical treatment are provided.