HC Deb 16 December 1949 vol 470 cc371-2W
Mr. Platts-Mills

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why, in view of the fact that the Government of South Africa has not ratified and has never operated the Convention of the International Labour Organisation regarding the recruiting of labour in Colonies, recruiting is permitted in the Protectorates of indentured labour for employment in the Union of South Africa.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have been asked to reply. Large numbers of Africans from Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland, as well as from other parts of Africa, wish to work in the Union of South Africa. If it were desired to prevent this, it would in fact be impossible, owing to the geographical position of the three Territories, for their Governments to do so. In these circumstances, it is felt to be in the interests of the Africans of the High Commission Territories that recruitment should be conducted in a manner over which we have some control: if Africans go to the Union, it is usually better, from the point of view of their health, their feeding and their remittances to their families, that they should be recruited, rather than that they should go without having any specific employment in view.

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