HC Deb 12 February 1872 vol 209 cc208-9

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, What steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to ascertain the truth of the allegations which are contained in a Petition signed by upwards of 9,000 old Indian emigrants in the Mauritius; and, whether there is any objection to lay upon the Table the Correspondence relative to the proposed expulsion from the island of M. De Plevity, the author of a pamphlet on the subject?


The best answer which I can give to the hon. Gentleman is the statement that a Commission has, at the request of the Mauritius planters, been appointed to inquire into the condition of the Indian labourers employed in Mauritius, and into the allegations contained in the pamphlet mentioned. Mr. Frere, who lately presided with so much ability upon the Demerara Commission, and Mr. "Williamson, of the Northern Circuit. will form this Commission, and will start for Mauritius next month. It is only right I should add that, although it is believed that amendments in detail are required in the existing laws at Mauritius, the Governor has expressed his belief in the general well-being and good treatment of the labourers. Pending the inquiry, I think it would hardly be desirable to present to Parliament any such ex parte statement as would be involved in the publication of the Correspondence in question.