§ MR. PICTON (Leicester)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to reports in The Daily News and other newspapers of recent disturbances on the River Niger; whether he is in a position to give any information on the subject, especially whether those disturbances have occurred in the territory of the Royal Niger Company; and, if so, what was their origin; whether the Secretary of State has come to any decision on the increased imposts levied by the above Company; and, if so, whether it can now be stated to the House; and, whether any answer has yet been sent to the Memorial transmitted through the Governer of Lagos against the extension of the Royal Niger Company's Charter; and, if so, what was its purport.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (SIR JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
The only Report which Her Majesty's Government have received of such disturbances relates to hostilities between the tribes in the neighbourhood of the Oil River, and of subsequent acts of cannibalism by the victorious tribe. These events were not within the Niger Company's territories. The Consul visited the spot, accompanied by the commander of one of Her Majesty's ships, rescued some surviving prisoners, and inflicted a fine on the offending tribe. He speaks in high terms of the assistance rendered to him by the coast tribes. I cannot at present make any 17 further statement to the House on the subject of the last two paragraphs of the hon. Member's Question.