HC Deb 07 December 1857 vol 148 c271

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any obstruction on the part of the British Commandant at Aden has been offered to the employment by the Guano Expedition to the Kooria Mooria Islands of Arabs, and other labourers not natives of India, and whether Government has taken steps to remove that obstruction?


said, that when the subject was last before the House he stated that Her Majesty's Government had determined to afford a fair trial to the attempt to obtain a supply of guano from the Kooria Mooria Islands. A ship of war had been sent to protect the trade, and from the accounts in the papers there seemed reasonable grounds for believing that a considerable supply of guano had, in consequence, been obtained. With regard to the question of the hon. Gentleman, he learned from the same source that labourers had been conveyed from various ports on the coast of Arabia to the islands; but that as regarded Aden, from which the principal supply was expected, it did appear that the Government of Bombay thought there were objections, partly of a legal nature, to allowing any labourers to be taken from that place, and the Commandant at Aden had forbidden their employment. Her Majesty's Government had called the attention of the Indian Government to the obstruction, and expressed a hope that if there were no valid reason for it it would be removed. The matter was under the consideration of the Board of Directors, and he was not able to state at the present moment the decision at which they had arrived.