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Southern Rhodesia (Building Industry, Wages)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 12 November 1945

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is aware that under the recent building industry agreement in Southern Rhodesia, a European journeyman will receive 4s. 4½d. an hour, plus cost-of-living allowance, while an unskilled African labourer will receive a maximum of 2¾d. an hour, minus deductions for board and lodging; and whether he was make representations to the Government of Southern Rhodesia to secure that African interests are better looked after in this agreement.

As explained in reply to my hon. Friend's Question on 29th October this agreement does not require the approval of the Secretary of State. Inquiries will, however, be made as to the position.

Having regard to the fact that the Governor's assent had not been proclaimed before the agreement itself came into operation will the Minister use his influence to ensure that the urgent representations of the native welfare society shall be considered before the assent is given?

We can only give effect under the constitution to particular Acts, and we do go into particular Acts to see that the Governor of the local assembly does not exceed his powers.