HC Deb 04 August 1943 vol 391 cc2308-9W
Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the average wages being paid to African miners on the Gold Coast as compared with wages paid to Government employees of corresponding skill; and what is the position among miners now that a number of the gold mines have closed?

Colonel Stanley

It is difficult to compare the wages paid by the mining companies to their employees with those paid to employees in the public works or other Government Departments. Generally speaking, however, the rates of pay in the mines are rather less than those paid to Government workers of roughly corresponding skill. The following are examples of the minimum and maximum rates, including cost of living bonus, paid to skilled workers by Government: carpenters 3s, 10d. to 6s. per day, blacksmiths and boiler-makers 3s. to 4s. 9d. per day, electricians 3s. 6d. to 6s. per day, lorry drivers 3s. 6d. to 55. 3d. per day. As regards unskilled labour in one locality, the Government minimum rate, including cost of living bonus, is 1s. 8d. per day. I am asking the Governor for comparable figures for the gold mining industry. With regard to the second part of the Question, approximately 6,000 men were paid off following the closure of certain of the mines. Plans had been prepared for their repatriation and relief but it was not found to be necessary to make use of them because the men were quickly absorbed on other work or were able to return to their homes without assistance.

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