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Trade Unions Bill

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what consultations have taken place between the Government and the trade unions in Kenya on the drafting of the Kenya Trade Unions Bill.

The Bill has been under consideration for the past two years by the Kenya Labour Advisory Board, on which there are employees' representatives. It was published on 8th January for public comment and copies were specially sent to the trade unions.

Will the Minister give consideration to the advisability of sending out to Kenya a few trade unionists in conjunction with the T.U.C. so that they may give advice to workers in this Colony?

The present situation is, I think, that public opinion is being formed upon this matter in the consultations which are taking place with various trade union leaders, and I do not at all exclude the possibility which the hon. Gentleman has in mind.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Kenya Trade Unions Bill include a provision that the secretary or treasurer of a trade union applying for registration must be literate in English; and if he will make representations, with a view to the deletion of this provision.

I am consulting the Governor of Kenya on this matter and will communicate with the hon. Member when I have received his reply.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Kenya Trade Unions Bill lays down that all officers of registered trade unions must be actually engaged or employed in an occupation with which the union is concerned; and if he will make representations with a view to the deletion of this provision, thus leaving this matter within the competence of trade union rules.

The hon. Member's information is not quite correct. The requirement to which he refers is modified by a proviso giving discretionary powers to the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Member responsible for labour matters to permit persons not so qualified to hold office. The reply to the second part of the Question therefore is "No, Sir."

Will the Secretary of State for the Colonies place this Bill before the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Trade Unions for their comments and advice?