HC Deb 02 March 1888 vol 323 cc20-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government has received any despatches from Consuls Hawes and O'Neill, relative to the reported massacre by slave-raiding Arabs on the north end of Lake Nyassa and their attack upon the English Consuls and other British subjects in that district; and, whether Consul Hawes has been furnished with a steamer to enable him to cruise upon the Lake, as suggested when he was first appointed?


The despatches received from Consul Hawes show that, in his opinion, the disturbances did not arise from slave-raiding. A quarrel broke out on an insignificant matter between the Arabs and the Natives, in which a Native Chief was killed. In retaliation about 30 Arabs, mostly women, were slaughtered. This led to a war, in which Native villages were fired; but there does not seem to have been a massacre. It is not clear how the Whites became involved in the war, as the Arabs are said to have shown at first no animosity against them. In my reply to the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) on the 28th of February I stated what the action of the Consuls had been. Consul Hawes has a boat; but it has not been thought advisable to keep a steamer at Government expense for his exclusive use. He avails himself, when necessary, of the steamers already on the Lake.