Northern Rhodesia.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (I) whether he is taking any steps to improve the defective medical service for natives as reported by the commission appointed to enquire into the financial and economic position of Northern Rhodesia;

(2) whether he has considered the report of the Commission to inquire into the financial and economic position of Northern Rhodesia relating to the backward condition of native education; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which I gave to questions by him on nth May. It will be appreciated that the examination by the Northern Rhodesia Government of the numerous recommendations made in the Commission's report must necessarily take time.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

As some of these proposals were indicated years ago, particularly those with regard to education—some of them as much as six or seven years ago —and nothing has been done, is it necessary that we should now wait for somebody else to make some further recommendations?

Mr. MacDonald:

All that we are awaiting are the comments of the Government responsible for the administration of this territory on the very important and serious recommendations which have been made.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

How long is that likely to take?

Mr. MacDonald:

I must say I think it will take some time. The report has only reached the authorities in Northern Rhodesia, and, naturally, they will require a considerable period in which to examine the whole position very carefully.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered the statement in the report of the Commission to inquire into the financial and economic position of Northern Rhodesia relating to native labour at the copper mines, to the effect that the system of compensation for accidents does not seem to be a satisfactory one as compared with that in force on the Rand; and whether he proposes to take any steps to improve the system?

Mr. MacDonald:

A draft Model Workmen's Compensation Ordinance for the Colonial Dependencies in East and West Africa is now under consideration by the Governments concerned, including the Government of Northern Rhodesia.

Mr. Creech Jones:

In view of the long period which has elapsed since this matter was raised, is it not about time that something was done?

Mr. MacDonald:

We shall receive the comments of the Governments concerned as soon as possible.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

In view of the fact that all these proposals of medical services, native education, compensation and the rest have been recommended years ago, what is the right hon. Gentleman going to do to compel some method being found of putting them into operation?

Mr. MacDonald:

That is a much wider question than the question on the Paper.