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Cotton Industry, Antigua

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction being expressed by the workers of Antigua at the price being received in the territory just now for Sea Island cotton; and what steps are being taken to protect the interest of the islanders in a new agreement when the present agreement comes to an end in August of this year.

I understand that there has been some dissatisfaction with the current price. In future, sales will be made through ordinary trade channels and I understand that the West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association is taking measures to ensure orderly marketing.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what protection is afforded the workers in the cotton-ginning factories in Antigua against the inhaling of cotton dust; and how far, under the colony's ordinances, there is a statutory obligation on the part of the employers to provide the workers with such protection.

Gauze masks are provided to workers in cotton ginneries, when stained cotton is being ginned. There is at present no statutory obligation requiring employers to provide workers with such protection, but factories legislation which would oblige employers to provide for the safety, health and welfare of their workers is now under consideration.