HC Deb 07 August 1867 vol 189 c1044

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary for the Colonies, Whether the Government have any further information as to the ravages of the yellow fever in the Mauritius, and whether they propose to allow Parliament to separate without providing means to alleviate the severe distress reported to be existing there?


said, in reply, that the last information at the Colonial Office relative to the ravages of the yellow fever in the Mauritius was dated on the 20th of May, and was received on the 20th of July. The statement was that the health of the population had been improving since the 7th of May, but that there had died in Port Louis and other districts up to that date 7,000 persons. Governor Sir Henry Barkly had already instituted certain inquiries as to the causes of the epidemic, and the local Board of Health was still considering the question. The Colonial Office also intended to send out other persons to assist in that inquiry. With regard to any relief which Parliament might render, he could only say that the circumstances of the distress were not sufficiently known to justify the Government in asking Parliament for a Vote of Public Money on the subject. Such Votes for the relief of the population in distant Colonies were very rare, almost the only cases being for relief of distress caused by hurricanes in the West Indies. A private subscription was now being collected in the City on behalf of the sufferers in the Mauritius, and a large amount had already been collected, and any gentleman sympathizing with the object of that fund could, of course, contribute to it.