HC Deb 20 June 1878 vol 240 cc1881-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true that the Acting Governor of Labuan has appointed a Mr. Pryer, who is agent of the British Borneo Company, to be Consular agent at Sindak, on the territory in Borneo ceded to the Company, a cession which has not been sanctioned by the British Government; and, if so, whether steps will be taken to prevent misconceptions which might arise among the natives from the agent of the Company flying the British Flag?


Sir, it is true that Mr. Pryer, one of the agents for the British Borneo Company, stationed at Sandakar, has been provisionally appointed by the Consul General at Labuan to be Consular agent, without salary, in Northern Borneo. The Consul General reports that there exists a valuable trading connection between Labuan and the harbour of Sandakar, and he thought it desirable that he should receive official and reliable information upon this part of Borneo, which has never been penetrated by Europeans, and which is said to be a very fertile portion of the island. However, the appointment of Mr. Pryer has not been confirmed, pending the further consideration of the question which has been raised with respect to the cession of the territory. This cession of the territory has not been recognized by Her Majesty's Government, who have suspended all action in the matter pending the return to this country of the promoters of the Company, who are either on their way home or are about to start. There is no reason to apprehend any misconception arising from the use of the British flag by the acting Consular agent.