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Nigeria (Ordinance)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether his attention has been drawn to the Criminal Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 1947, by the Nigerian Government which makes strike action by persons employed in public utility undertakings a criminal offence; if he is aware that the Nigerian Trade Union Congress has criticised it as an attempt to bind the workers concerned to their jobs without binding the employers to give fair treatment; and if he will call the attention of the Nigerian Government to the desirability of a reconsideration of the Ordinance.

I am aware of the Ordinance in question, which relates no breeches of contract by persons employed in certain services, and of the criticism which it has evoked from the Nigeria Trades Union Congress. As regards to the third part of the Question, I would invite attention to my reply to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) on 3rd of April. For the reasons then stated, I do not consider that there is any necessity for the action which my hon. Friend now suggests.