Child Labour.

Oral Answers to Questions — Kenya. – in the House of Commons at on 6 July 1938.

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Mr. David Adams:

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Labour Adviser to his Department was consulted before the minimum age for contract child labour in Kenya was fixed at 10 years?

Mr. M. MacDonald:

No, Sir. The Labour Adviser had not taken up his duties at the time when the Ordinance containing this provision was enacted.

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

Is this matter being carefully examined by the right hon. Gentleman's Department?

Mr. MacDonald:

An inquiry is going on.

Mr. Adams:

Was the Minister himself consulted before this enactment was put into force?

Mr. MacDonald:

I think he must have been consulted in some form. The hon. Member will appreciate that it was before I myself actually went back to the Colonial Office, but I am quite certain that he must have been consulted in some form.

Mr. Adams:

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether adequate time is at the disposal of medical officers in Kenya for the examination of children recruited for labour; and whether these officers are able to make full inquiries into the nutritional condition of the children?

Mr. MacDonald:

As I informed the House, in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley) on 22nd June, I am in communication with the Governor on these matters; and as soon as his report is received I will let the hon. Member have the information for which he asks.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Do the medical officers examine these children before they are allowed to go to the plantations?

Mr. MacDonald:

That is exactly the question I am going to inquire into.

Mr. Adams:

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that adult labour recruited in South Africa has to go through a period of about two weeks of careful feeding before full work is expected; and what precaution is he taking against the danger of undermining children's health in Kenya from this cause?

Mr. MacDonald:

The Kenya Employment Ordinance requires that all employÉs shall be properly fed, and labour officers and medical officers are empowered to see that that is done.