Oral Answers to Questions — West Africa (Rates of Pay).

– in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any further report or information respecting the increase in the cost of living in West African Colonies both for Africans and Europeans; what further steps have been taken respecting the necessary adjustment of wages and salaries; whether he is satisfied that the remuneration of civil servants and Government employees has been adequately increased; and what machinery has been established to deal with industrial grievances?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

The Committee appointed to consider the adequacy of rates of pay of labour and of African Government servants in Lagos has now presented its report. It estimates the rise in the cost of living since the war at 47 per cent. No special investigation of the cost of living for Europeans has so far been considered necessary The Nigerian Government is understood to have published on 25th July a bonus award as a result of consideration of the Committee's recommendations. Particulars of the award are at present awaited. Awards on the basis of the Lagos awards, varying according to the estimated cost of living, have also been made in respect of places outside Lagos. As regards the third part of the Question, the West African Governments have shown themselves fully alive to the necessity of minimising as far as possible hardships arising from the increased cost of living.

As regards the last part of the Question, in all four West African Colonies legislation has been enacted providing for Government machinery to assist the settlement of industrial disputes although every endeavour is made by the Labour Departments to effect settlements between the parties without recourse to such machinery. The Labour Departments in the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone have been strengthened, and the Government of Nigeria has recently decided to expand its Labour Inspectorate into a Labour Department. In the Gambia it has been decided to appoint a full-time Labour Officer in place of the existing part-time Officer.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Has the increase in wages been commensurate with the increase in the cost of living, and is anything being done to see that the salaries of Europeans in that area are similarly raised?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

The award was made on the 25th, and we are now waiting for the complete details of the new wage schedules. If the hon. Gentleman will put another Question on the Order Paper a little later on, I shall be able to give him the exact figures of the award.