HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc368-9W
Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress in trade unionism is being made in Northern Rhodesia; and, approximately, how many natives working industrially are in trade unions.

Mr. Creech Jones

The Governor of Northern Rhodesia indicated to the Legislative Council at its last meeting, that the formation of trade unions for Africans in Northern Rhodesia is an objective of policy and that the Government would add to the staff of the Labour Department an officer with trade union experience who would be available to advise African workers in this regard. Publicity for this statement of policy was specially given in the local African newspaper "Mutende." The officer mentioned has been appointed and is expected to leave for Northern Rhodesia very shortly. Upon his arrival, a direct approach will be made to the African workers on this question.

As regards the second part of the Question, no Africans employed in industry or otherwise are at present members of trade unions, although there are elected committees representing Africans in all major industries. Committees of this type will continue in being until such time as African trade unions can be formed.