Mr. Creech Jones:
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is yet able to indicate a date for the publication of the Report on the dispute in the North Rhodesian copper belt and whether he can make any statement, in view of the lapse of time, as to whether the recommendations of the Commission are acceptable to the companies operating in the copper belt or to the Northern Rhodesian Government?
Yes, Sir. The report, together with a statement indicating the action which it has been agreed between the mining companies and the Northern Rhodesia Government, should be taken or the recommendations contained in the report, will be published by the Government of Northern Rhodesia on Tuesday next, 18th February. Copies of the report and of the statement, together with a summary of the findings and recommendations of the Commission, will be laid in the Library of the House on the same date. The report will be placed en sale in this country as soon as further copies arrive from Northern Rhodesia, and will be obtainable from the Crown Agents for the Colonies in due course. Copies of the summary of findings and recommendations and of the Government statement may be obtained from the Colonial Office after the report has been published.
Mr. Creech Jones:
Will the report be made available to all Members of this House, without the necessity of buying it from the Crown Agents to the Colonies; and, in view of the very considerable interest in this report, will the Colonial Office continue to exercise the utmost pressure on the Labour Department of the Northern Rhodesian Government for the improvement of wage standards and general conditions of the African workers?
As to the latter part of my hon. Friend's question, we had better wait until we see the work which has been done by the Rhodesian Government in obtaining the concession which has been made by the mining companies. On the question of the report being made available for Members, there is a difficulty, owing, as he knows, to the fact that these reports are published by the Northern Rhodesian Government. We hope to have sufficient copies available at a nominal price for those who are interested in the matter.