Mr. Creech Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make a statement on the working of the African Labour Corps in Northern Rhodesia?
§ Colonel Stanley
This Corps, which was established by the Emergency Powers (African Labour Corps) Regulations, 1942, is administered by a Controller appointed by the Government under those Regulations. The corps can be used for any work, including road construction, as 943W the Governor may direct in furtherance of the war effort. Where members of the corps are employed otherwise than directly by the Government, a fixed rate per man is payable to the Government. The members of the corps receive 12s. 6d. per month, plus 2s. 6d, per month bonus, at the termination of employment, together with full scale Government rations. This rate is higher than the normal wages rate for labourers in Northern Rhodesia. The maximum period of service of the corps is twelve months. The regulations provide for enrolment either by voluntary recruitment or by conscription. There is a right of appeal against conscription to a board with native representatives, on grounds of undue hardship to family or detriment to the economic life of the community concerned, or recent employment, or other good cause. A total of about 500 labourers, of whom 115 were conscripted, has been enrolled in the corps. Labourers are sent to farms in batches of 25 under a native headman and reports received show that they are contented and have performed good work. The establishment of this corps has made it unnecessary to continue the earlier scheme for direct conscription of labour for the farms.