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Rhodesia—Native Labour

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received information, through the British South Africa Company, or from other sources, as to collisions at Salisbury last December between the British South Africa Police and natives imported from Somaliland for service in Rhodesia, and as to disturbances at Beira in January with other natives imported for similar service; and, if so, whether he will inform the House as to the facts; whether he will inform the House as to any arrangements now in progress for obtaining native labour for Rhodesia from outside areas, which are within the knowledge of His Majesty's Government, and have received or may be awaiting its approval; and whether any reports have been received by the High Commissioner for South Africa from the Resident Commissioner in Rhodesia as to the condition and treatment of natives in the British South Africa Company's territory; and, if so, whether they will be communicated to the House.

(1) I have seen an account of the collision at Salisbury on 31st December in the Rhodesia Herald, and I am expecting a reply from Sir A. Milner. As to the disturbance at Beira. I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Northampton yesterday. (2) The Administration of Southern Rhodesia have applied to His Majesty's Government to obtain a removal of the prohibition against native labour being introduced from Portuguese East Africa, and His Majesty's Government are in communication with the Portuguese Government on the subject. The question of obtaining labour from the Northern Transvaal, which is not possible for the moment in the disturbed state of the country, is under consideration. (3) Such a report has been received by Sir A. Milner, who will no doubt send it on as soon as the pressure of work leaves him time to consider and comment upon it.