HC Deb 21 March 1951 vol 485 cc290-1W
91. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on the wages of the sisal workers on East African estates over the last two years during which period the price has risen from £95 per ton at the time of decontrol to the present price of £210 per ton.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Yes. In Tanganyika, which produces over 75 per cent. of the total East African sisal crop, wage rates have, risen as follows over the last two years (wages quoted are for 30 working days; bonus is paid if those 30 days are completed within a period of 42 days):—

1949 1951
Categorv I (Production) 21/- plus bonus 5/- 21/- plus bonus 12/-
Category 11 (Transport) 21/- plus bonus 5/- 21/- plus bonus 10/-
Category III (Brushes) 15/- plus bonus 5/- 21/- plus bonus 10/-
Category IV (Plant and Development) 15/- plus bonus 2/50 15/- plus bonus 5/-
In addition, all categories of labour receive free rations, according to the scale laid down by law, worth 12s. to 22s. per head per month according to locality, as compared with 10s. to 12s. two years ago. Housing and medical attention as required by law are also provided free, and the standard has recently been improved. It has recently been decided to increase the wages-bonus total by from 42 per cent. to 58 per cent.

In Kenya, wages have risen from a minimum signing-on figure of 20s. to 26s. in the past two years. Free rations, housing, medical attention and educational facilities are also provided on the majority of plantations. A large proportion of the labour is paid by results and often earn up to 40s. over and above the minimum wage.

No comparable figures are available for Uganda, which provides only about 0.6 per cent. of the East African sisal crop.