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Nigerian Tin Mines (Compulsory Service)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 24 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the approximate number conscripted into the Nigerian tin mines; whether he is satisfied with the conditions of labour therein; and whether wages have risen proportionately to the cost of living?

At the end of December the number of workers employed on the tin mines in Nigeria under the Regulations for compulsory service in essential industries was 14,098, out of a total mines-field labour force of 70,802. As regards the second part of the Question, while conditions cannot be regarded as entirely satisfactory due to the attempt to attain the maximum production of tin in the shortest possible time, I am satisfied that every effort is being made to improve those conditions with the least possible delay. As regards the last part of the Question, the scales of wages compare favourably with those paid in the case of voluntary labour and it has recently been decided to award a bonus of 4s. a month to all mine workers who satisfactorily complete their four months term of service under the Regulations.

Will the wages with this bonus rise proportionately to the cost of living?