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West Coast Of Africa—Labour Laws

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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I bog to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will consent to a Return of the laws and regulations affecting labour in those parts of the West African dominions of His Majesty in which gold reefs are being worked.

The special laws affecting labour on the Gold Coast are the Master and Servant Ordinance, 1893, the Slave Dealing Abolition and the Emancipation Ordinance of 1874. A copy of the laws of the Gold Coast will be placed in the. Library. I cannot help thinking there must be some misconception of the answer I gave the other day, when I spoke of the ordinary law of the Gold Coast as seeming to me sufficient to deal with this case. I was not referring to any special law.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware there are a great number of miners up and down the country, specially in Cornwall, who being out of work in consequence of the war in South Africa, are looking to West Africa for a fresh sphere of employment, and are consequently anxious to know what are the conditions of labour obtaining there? Would not a fuller statement on these laws be of value to them?

I do not think it is possible to furnish any such statement as to the special laws on the Gold Coast.