§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Chief Commissioner of the Pacific Islands is satisfied that the persecution of the Wesleyans in Tonga has ceased; whether the engagements of the Native Government are being fulfilled; and, whether he will lay further Papers upon the Table?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead)
In the last despatch, which was received from Sir Charles Mitchell on the 10th of January, he stated—I see no reason to doubt that Mr. Baker is—as far as in him lies—using his influence with the King to make him fulfil the letter—if not entirely the spirit—of the promises made in April last.I trust, therefore, that the persecution has ceased, and that the Native Government will fulfil its engagements. As regards the return of the deported Wesleyans, Sir Charles Mitchell, in June last, reported that, if applied to for advice by these people, he would unhesitatingly recommend them not to return to Tonga until sufficient time had elapsed to allow of recent political and religious excitement to subside; but I have pressed upon Sir John Thurston, the new High Commissioner, the expediency of accelerating their return to Tonga. Sir Charles Mitchell will be in England in April; and Her Majesty's Government will then be able to determine, with his assistance, what course it may be most for the advantage of the Wesleyans to take. There are at present no further Papers which could usefully be given.