§ MR. CRAWFORD
said, he wished to ask, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been drawn to recent statements in the public papers relative to renewed and systematic piracy in the Eastern Archipelago, and the signal service conferred by the destruction of a piratical fleet and the liberation of more than 200 captives by a steamer of the Government of Sarawak; and whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to take steps to put a stop to such practices?
§ MR. LAYARD
said, the attention of the Government had been called to the 831 account recently published of the attack made on the Borneo pirates and the additional services which Rajah Brooke, and those who acted with him, had rendered to the cause of civilization and humanity, as well as to the commerce in those seas. The attack, it appeared, was very effective, and some notorious captains and spies had been captured, and signally punished. Her Majesty's Government had been long considering the importance of suppressing piracy by the most effectual measures, but they had been encountered by much difficulty in consequence of the occupation of some of those islands by other Powers. They had consequently failed hitherto in effecting a combined action. They, however, hoped soon to accomplish that object. The Government of the Netherlands had signified their intention to send a vessel of war to co-operate with the British force in those seas. An application had been made to the Government of Spain, who claimed a right to some of those islands, to take a similar course. He trusted that the Government of Spain would ere long co-operate with the Government of the Netherlands and that of this country in order to put a stop to evils that occasioned such incalculable injury in the neighbourhood of those islands.