§ MR. STEPHENS (Middlesex, Hornsey)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to a communication which appeared in The Times of the 21st of 906 April, describing the poisoning of a village of 3,000 Indians, and of a village of 800 Indians, by strychnine and chloride of mercury in Brazil, the same communication further declaring that it is in contemplation to destroy another village of 5,000 Indians by the treacherous use of poison in a similar way; and, whether, as a reference is made to some connection, in a manner not explained, with the idea of missionary work, the Government will communicate with the Brazilian Government upon the ground of the interest and anxiety which we share with the Brazilian nation in whatever affects the honour of Christianity?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
Her Majesty's Government cannot believe that such atrocities have been committed under a civilized and Christian Government, and hope that if there have been any such occurrences their extent has been greatly exaggerated, and that their authors have been visited with just punishment. But it is not the duty of Her Majesty's Government to question a Foreign Government with regard to affairs entirely domestic. No Government can be insensible to the public opinion of the world, and to the detestation which would attend such acts if tolerated.