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Breaches Of Contract (Penal Sanctions)

Volume 521: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1953

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps the Government are taking to implement the Penal Sanctions (Indigenous Workers) Convention of 1939 which was ratified by the United Kingdom providing for the abolition of penal sanctions for breach of contract.

:The Convention laid down that the penal sanctions covered by it should be abolished progressively, and action has been taken accordingly. In most Colonial Territories they have been completely abolished. In the few Territories in which certain penal sanctions remain discussions are taking place in preparation for the next Session of the International Conference in June, 1954.

Am I right in thinking that by the date mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman we shall have a full report? Is he satisfied that by that time we shall be able to say that we have fulfilled our obligations?

I think so. The obligation is to get rid of these things progressively, and I think we can say that we have done that.