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Colonies (Labour Conditions)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 8 April 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when the publication of the Reports of his Labour Adviser into labour matters in Mauritius and Malaya may be expected; and whether he has in contemplation any further inquiries in other colonial areas by his Labour Adviser?

I have been asked to reply. With regard to the first part of the Question, I have been asked to refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to a Question on this subject by the hon. Member for the English Universities (Mr. E. Harvey) on 3rd February, to which he has nothing at present to add. The report referred to in that reply includes also a report on labour conditions in Malaya. With regard to the second part, it is one of the normal functions of the Labour Adviser to visit Colonial territories from time to time.

Will my hon. and gallant Friend convey to the Secretary of State that this reply is regarded as extremely unsatisfactory; will he also point out to him that we have been waiting for two years for the report on Mauritius, and that in view of the labour difficulties there it is important that that Report should be published? May I also ask that the Labour Adviser should investigate very quickly labour conditions not only in the East African but also in the South African areas?