HC Deb 14 December 1888 vol 332 cc228-9
MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether it is true that eight so-called leaders of the freed Mozambiques in Madagascar were bayoneted to death by order of the Hova Government because they refused to work without payment in French gold mines; whether it is true that they were asked whether the English Vice Consul had encouraged them to resist the Government authority; to which they replied— No, we refused to go to the forced labour at Mevatanana (gold mines) of ourselves. Mr. Knott did not incite us; and, whether the Government have received any Reports relating to this massacre which confirm the above statement; and, if so, whether he will lay them upon the Table of the House?


It has been reported from Madagascar that seven leaders of the Makoa, labourers from the African Mainland, were put to death, in fact bayoneted, by the Hova authorities for refusing to work under requisition in some gold diggings which are being explored by a Frenchman. It is also reported that, in reply to an inquiry, the men stated that they had received no encouragement from the British Vice Consul; but we cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports. It should be added that they were not British subjects, and had no right to British protection. The Vice Consul, being absent from his post at the time of the execution, was not able to report from his personal knowledge. There is, consequently, no Paper to lay on the Table.


asked, whether it was not the fact that our Consuls at Madagascar had been very frequently changed of late, and that, consequently, they had extremely little influence in the island?


No, Sir; I do not think that is the case.