HC Deb 28 February 1888 vol 322 cc1648-9
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to the attack by organized bands of Arab slave dealers on the Presbyterian Mission Stations near Lake Nyassa, and the precarious position of the Missionaries and the British Con- suls, O'Neill and Hawes; whether Her Majesty's Government has taken, or will take, any steps to assist them; whether he is aware that the African Lake Company, if empowered by Charter to enter into alliance with friendly tribes and assisted by Government, is prepared to equip and maintain an armed police force among the friendly tribes on the northern shores of Lake Nyassa, and to place a gunboat on that lake for the suppression of the rapidly increasing slave trade on its shores; and, whether Government will consider the advisability of treating with the African Lake Company as to the grant of the requisite powers?


The latest Report from the region in question is from Consul Hawes, dated December 10. He had found Consul O'Neill and the other whites encamped in safety on the north shore of Lake Nyassa. An advance was then contemplated against the Arabs, by whom they had been attacked, and whom they had repulsed with the assistance of friendly Natives. The Nyassa Consul, Mr. Hawes, and Consul O'Neill, of Mozambique, who happened to be travelling in the neighbourhood, repaired to the assistance of the Station menaced by the Arabs. The House will see that Her Majesty's Government could not undertake responsibilities in connection with settlements, established without their concurrence, situate several hundred miles from the sea coast, in a district inhabited by warlike tribes and infested by slave-trading Arabs. Her Majesty's Government have no knowledge of the power of the African Lakes Company to protect life and property in the remote regions where these events occurred; and they are not in a position to confer administrative power over a district which is not under their control.