§ 99. Mr. Rankin
asked the Minister of War Transport if he is aware that ship masters at Singapore have been instructed not to pay the coolie labourers there more than their prewar wage of is.5d. per day; if he will state the number of idle ships now lying in the anchorage; and if he is prepared to appoint a court of inquiry to report on shipping conditions at Singapore since the Japanese invasion.
§ Mr. Barnes
Rates of pay for coolie labourers are, I understand, controlled by the Civil Affairs Division at Military Headquarters in conjunction with the local government authorities. With reference to the second part of the Question, I am making inquiries and will communicate with my hon. Friend. There is no14W case for a court of inquiry, but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War and I are giving special attention to the question of the use of shipping in this area, with particular reference to the turn round of ships.