Colonial Affairs.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 4th August 1942.

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Photo of Mr David Adams Mr David Adams , Consett

Has he seen the conditions prevailing in Russia to-day? Are we to disbelieve what is said in the public Press because we have not seen with our own eyes what is described? Then there are the Minimum Wage Ordinances, which have been sent by the Colonial Office to the different parts of the Colonial Empire, and which have not been put into force. Many of the Governors say that they prefer to rely on the power of trade unionism. You could not rely on trade unionism in this country to establish trade boards; so how can you expect trade unionism, in its very raw and limited condition, in the Colonial Empire to establish Minimum Wage Ordinances? But I think the position is being gradually accepted by the Colonial Office that there must be a new outlook if we are to make the most of the associations, produce, and so forth of the Colonial Empire. If our administration is based, as the Under-Secretary has advised us that it should be, on a spirit of friendship and, as I would add, on a spirit of equality, there is in the Colonial Empire, I believe, a vast untapped source of wealth, of loyalty, of human power and of culture almost for the asking, to which this nation and the Empire have hitherto turned a deaf ear, but which I believe the education of the general body of the community, and particularly of the Membership of this House, will bring at no distant date more actively into review.