Skip to main content

Panama Canal Labourers

Volume 180: debated on Thursday 15 August 1907

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps the British authorities take to satisfy themselves that the labourers engaged in the British West Indies to work on the Panama Isthmian Canal thoroughly understand the terms of their engagement before leaving.

The majority of the labourers from the West Indian Colonies working on the Panama Canal have gone to the Isthmus voluntarily in search of work, and without the cognizance of the Governments. As regards those who have been recruited under contract, the Secretary of State has no doubt that the local Governments assure themselves that the terms of any contract offered are fully understood.

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state what are the regular hours of work for labourers engaged in the British West Indies for employment on the Panama Isthmian Canal; and what system is in force to ascertain that these hours are not exceeded.

The matters to which the hon. Member refers come within the purview of the Canal Commission. The British Minister at Panama will be asked to obtain particulars.