§ MR. EVELYN DENISON
said, he wished to be informed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether an arrangement had been entered into between Her Majesty's Government and those Liverpool merchants to whom the guano islands on the coast of Africa had been ceded, which, while it secured to the latter a full and fair remuneration, would enable the farmers of this country to obtain a supply of guano?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, that what had occurred since he last addressed the House on the subject was this—the parties who at present had exclusive licences for taking guano from the islands in question had assured him that they were ready to allow anybody to take guano from the islands upon payment of £1 per ton. He had reason to believe that that arrangement would be satisfactory to those parties who were apprehensive that the only con- 1589 sequence of the islands being ceded to those who now had the exclusive licences would be to establish another guano monopoly. It was the intention of the Government to afford to those parties every practicable protection, through the instrumentality of the Government of Bombay, to enable them to fetch guano from the islands; and if, as seemed probable, it should happen that a very large quantity of guano should be obtained, and a great number of ships should be employed in the transport of it, it would be the desire of the Government to afford them permanent and efficient protection.