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Trinidad Labour Ordinance

Volume 180: debated on Tuesday 13 August 1907

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On behalf of the hon. Member for the Ecclesall division of Sheffield, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, if he can now state what Court decided that the recent Trinidad Ordinance cannot be enforced in the Panama zone; what was the status of the Court which pronounced this verdict; and has notice of appeal been given.

It is presumed that the hon. Member refers to a decision stated to have been given by the Supreme Court of the United States, by which it has been laid down that the Isthmian Canal Commission, with whom the contract entered into by Trinidad labourers is made, are part of the United States Government, and therefore cannot be sued for breach of contract. His Majesty's Government having received information to this effect, His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington has been instructed to report whether such a decision has been given. Until His Excellency's Report is received I am not in a position to furnish the hon. Member with any further information.

† See (4) Debates, clxxix., 1211–2.