§ MR. LABOUCHERE
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, in view of the statements of The Times Correspondent at Suakin, that slaves, men who are starved by their then owners, and slave girls, who are forced to prostitute themselves for the benefit of their owners, and who escape from their owners, are restored to them by persons in the service of this Country, orders have been sent to the Commanders of Her Majesty's Forces at Suakin prohibiting such practices; whether he can give the House any assurance that, in future, escaped slaves in Suakiu and its neighbourhood will not be restored to their owners by any action of the civil and military authorities of this Country, or by any persons under their control; 1020 and, whether he can inform the House what has become of a caravan of slaves which it is stated, by the correspondents of several of the daily journals of the Metropolis, recently arrived in the vicinity of Suakin?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Sir, the only definite statement I have received on the subject was one relating to the alleged proceedings of Admiral Sir William Hewett in regard to Abyssinian scouts. That statement appears to me to have been completely disposed of by the telegrams of the Admiral, which I read to the House a few days ago. If the hon. Gentleman can bring to the notice of the Government any well-authenticated and definite statement of any further proceeding we shall make inquiries about it; but I do not think it would be desirable to ask for information, or that a vague statement respecting the conduct of officers should be made the subject of inquiry.