HC Deb 27 April 1876 vol 228 cc1763-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Government has received any information to-day with regard to the state of the island of Barbadoes? He asked the Question because a most startling, not to say alarming, statement had appeared in the public Press this afternoon, purporting to be a telegram received from that island to-day.


I will give such information as I have to the right hon. Gentleman and the House; but, not having had Notice of the Question, I have not had, until the last few moments, time to make any inquiries. I understand, from the courtesy of the right hon. Gentleman, who sent the paper to me, that an extraordinary telegram, dated April 26th, has been published, saying— 500 prisoners taken; 40 killed and wounded; riots suspended; position threatening; confidence in the Government entirely gone. [Laughter.] This is no laughing matter for the people of Barbadoes. There has been a telegram received by us, dated the 25th—that would be rather before this alarming telegram—but it has not been given to the House yet. It is as follows:—"No truth in the private telegram"—this is the answer to the inquiry we made as to the last alarming and mysterious telegram— No truth in the private telegram. The island has been quiet since Saturday. Some black troops from Jamaica had left before my countermanding telegram. Will arrive on Friday. A detachment is also en route from Demerara, but they will not be detained. That is a telegram from the Governor. That is all the information I can give to the House; nor can I throw any light on those mysterious telegrams, which have evidently been systematically forwarded to this country. I must leave it to the House to form their own opinions on this subject. I will, of course, take care that the most recent information is always furnished to the House.