§ MR. ERRINGTON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether a Treaty signed on 2nd of May last between the Administrator of Sierra Leone and certain native chiefs for the cession to us of territory and sea-board considered of great importance by the Colonists, extending north of Sierra Leone to the Islands of Los, and including the Mellieouri River, has received the sanction of Her Majesty's Government; if not, whether he recognises the rival claims to a portion of this territory put forward by the French Government of Senegal in a Proclamation dated 8th May 1877?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Sir, the Treaty of May2,1877, is wrongly described in the Question of the hon. Member. It refers only to the south bank of the River Mellieouri, and to a small extent of sea-coast to the south of that river—a very small portion of the whole seaboard between the Isles de Los and Sierra Leone. It has not as yet been sanctioned, as the whole question of these Treaties is still under the consideration of the Foreign Office. I understand that a representation on the subject is about to be made to the French Government, pending the result of which I do not think it would be advisable for me to express any opinion on the claims referred to in the latter part of the Question.