Bracegirdle Case

Mark Anthony Bracegirdle came to Ceylon as a plantation manager in the 1930s. He saw firsthand how the plantation owners treated the labourers, including the brutality faced by children and women. He opposed the extension of the daily working time to 12 hours and joined the Ceylon Sama Samaja Party in 1936. 

By 1937, Bracegirdle's actions had become so troublesome to the British that Governor Sir Edward Stubbs ordered his deportation. The first labour political battle in this country was launched against this order. After this incident, Governor Stubbs was forced to retire from office, and the succeeding Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, appointed a commission to settle the problems arising from the deportation order. Minister of Home Affairs Sir D.B. Jayathilaka testified before the commission and confirmed that he had not approved the order. However, the commission's acquittal of Inspector General Banks was severely criticised by the State Council. The State Council passed a motion of confidence on the Minister of Home Affairs and a motion to remove the Inspector General of Police.

LK-NA/108/20/2, Bracegirdle Commission, 1937

Department of National Archives Sri Lanka

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