HC Deb 24 March 1885 vol 296 cc380-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether Labuan still remains a possession of the British Crown, or has been ceded to the North Borneo Company; whether the governor of that Company's territories has been recently appointed Governor of Labuan, and whether he holds the office of Her Majesty's Consul General at Brunei; in which capacity has he negotiated the late cession by the Sultan of Brunei of a large part of the West Coast of Borneo, and to whose sovereignty is it ceded; whether the expedition which annexed this territory proceeded from Labuan; and, what measures are taken to enable the Sultan of Brunei and others to distinguish between the sovereignty of Great Britain and that of the North Borneo Company?


Labuan has not been ceded to the North Borneo Company. The Governor of the Company's territories is also an officer of the Colonial Service, who administered Labuan from 1877 to 1880, when he was permitted to leave the Colonial Service to hold the appointment of first Governor of the Company's territories. He has lately been granted an extension of leave of absence. He is now acting also as Administrator of Labuan and Consul General during the absence on leave of the Administrator, Dr. Leys. It was in the capacity of Governor of the Company that he negotiated the late cession. The Sovereignty is that of the Company under its Royal Charter. I know of no expedition which proceeded from Labuan; but I believe that Mr. Treacher was conveyed across as a passenger by Her Majesty's ship Pegasus. The Sultan of Brunei is fully aware of the constitution of the North Borneo Company, whose Charter provides for the acquisition of territory, subject to the approval of Her Majesty's Government. I may add that Sarawak is interested in similar cessions, and Her Majesty's Government think that the Rajah's position should also be considered.