§ 74. Mr. Awbery
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Federation of Malaya Government refused to refer the claim of their employees for a minimum daily wage rate of $4 or 9s. 4d. a day, to arbitration, before stating that their final offer was $3 or 7s. a day; and what negotiations have since taken place.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
In the opinion of the Federation Government the offer of a minimum daily wage rate of $3 is the limit to which Federal revenues can be committed, having regard to the present economic position of the territory. The Government therefore refused arbitration on the grounds of public interest.
The reasons for this decision have been fully explained to the staff side. The Chief Minister, who has had three meetings with a staff side delegation, has stated that although he can see no reason for raising the minimum offer above $3 a day, he is prepared to recommend an increase of 20 cents. a day to employees in the higher pay range. The staff side reply to this offer is awaited.