HC Deb 20 May 1851 vol 116 c1167

wished to ask if Government had received information of the murder of a British officer at Aden, and more recently of an attack made upon another officer, evidently with the intention of murdering him?


said, it was quite true that the Government had received information of another attack having been made on a British officer in the port of Aden; but the circumstances attending it were not of a nature to induce the authorities on the spot, or at home, to attach any political importance to the transaction. The facts were these:—An officer named Delisser was riding in the neighbourhood of the outer fort, in plain clothes, and unarmed. He was beckoned to by an Arab; and, thinking that the man wished to speak with him, the officer pulled up his horse, whereupon the Arab approached, and pulling from beneath his clothes a weapon called a crease, which he had concealed there, attacked the officer. The latter immediately dismounted from his horse and tried to wrest from the Arab the weapon with which he had struck him. A severe struggle ensued, in the course of which the Arab was killed. The dead body of the man who had made that attempt at assassination was afterwards brought within the camp and hung in chains. He (Mr. J. Wilson) ought to mention that it was contrary to the regulations for an Arab to enter the fort armed, and he could only evade these regulations by concealing his arms. He (Mr. J. Wilson) could only say that the authorities on the spot had taken every precaution to prevent the recurrence of such a circumstance; and he could assure the House that neither the authorities on the spot nor those at home believed that any political importance attached to that circumstance, nor to the one which occurred previously, both being the result, he believed, of religious fanatacism.