HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc37-8
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention had been called to an extract from a letter dated Tahiti, the 14th January, and published in the Standard of the 15th instant, stating that Her Majesty's ship Hyacinth had just arrived there; that She came from the Hervey group, where they had hoisted the English flag on every island in the group; that the Union Jack was hoisted, 21 guns fired from the ship, 'God Save the Queen' played, and the islanders became British subjects; whether that statement was true, and, if so, how many islands had been annexed; whether the captain of the Hyacinth acted on instructions from the. British Government in annexing the islands; and whether papers on the subject would be laid before Parliament?


The statement as represented in the question is substantially correct in these particulars. Between the 26th of October and the 4th of November, 1888, the captain of Her Majesty's ship Hyacinth declared a Protectorate over the islands composing the Cook group, which includes the Hervey group. The Union Jack was hoisted and saluted in the usual manner. There are in all nine islands included in the Protectorate. The captain was acting under instructions from the Government.

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