HC Deb 05 May 1887 vol 314 c955
MR. W. H. JAMES (Gateshead)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether his attention has been called to a letter in The Sunday Morning Herald, in which the writer, Mr. Duncan Campbell, states that Mr. B. Leefe, the British Consul at Tonga, informed the Roman Catholic priests who waited upon him, that— The King was perfectly justified in persecuting the people who were not of his religion, and in forcing them to turn over to his religion; and, whether the Consul, in giving such advice, was acting in accordance with his instructions?


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, If his attention had been called to the report of doings in Tonga, given by The Pall Mall Gazette of the 3rd instant; and, whether he has any further intelligence from Tonga?


I have seen the letter referred to by the hon. Member; but the passage to which he alludes is in a letter signed "A. W. Mackay," written, as we gather, at the request of Mr. Moulton, who is the chief Wesleyan minister in Tonga, Owing to the excitement prevailing in the Island at the time, it seems necessary to accept with reserve statements from either side. The despatches as yet received do not in any way confirm the report of Mr. Leefe's alleged language, of which I should venture to doubt the accuracy. It is necessary to await the Report of Sir Charles Mitchell, who reached Tonga on the 27th of March, and proposed to send a telegraphic summary of his Report as soon as practicable. This answer will, I think, cover Question 41, put by the hon. Member for Boston.