§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Government is prepared to suggest any measure by which the Act for regulating the Emigration of 1366 South Sea Islanders may be supplemented by a safeguard against illicit practices in entrapping those Natives from their homes?
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, in reply, that the rumours as to abuses existing were very much without foundation, and satisfactory regulations had been passed by the Queensland Legislature as to the emigration, which were much in accordance with the recommendation which had crossed them on the road from the Colonial Office. No Native could be taken on board ship unless he had a certificate from a Consul or Missionary, or some other person of known position, to the effect that he had ascertained, and could vouch for the fact, that the Native was going to emigrate voluntarily; and he thought, therefore, that the regulations as to this matter were complete. Whether it was possible to have any further guarantee against kidnapping Natives was under consideration. The ship, in the next place, must be licensed, and there was an officer on board each ship who must be satisfied before receiving them that the Natives had been properly engaged, and when the ship arrived at Queensland she was overhauled, and if any of these regulations had not been observed the shipowner was liable to a penalty of £20 for each non-observance of the prescribed conditions. His noble Friend (the Duke of Buckingham) was considering whether these provisions might not be made more stringent than they were, and also whether the security for the condition of the Natives on board might not be improved. No doubt there would be further provisions gradually indicated by further experience to guard against abuse.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, he wished to know, Whether the officer on board ship who superintended the shipping of the Natives was an officer of the Government?