§ MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, West)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that, since the expulsion of the Rev. John Jones from Maré, one of the Loyalty Islands, the Protestant natives are being subjected to cruel persecution; whether M. Goblet, referring to Mr. Jones' expulsion, said, "The principle of religious liberty is by no means in question;" whether any information has reached the Foreign Office that, on 14th January, 1889, a native pastor, named Waiwi, while attending a marriage feast of one of the Church members, was seized and handcuffed, and has been sentenced to cease the administration of the Lord's Supper to the people; whether Naihele, the bride, who had invited her pastor to attend the wedding, was cast into prison for holding Bible classes among the young people; and if he can give any information to the House as to the present state of affairs in Maré?
§ *SIR J. FERGUSSON
In reply to the first, third, and fourth paragraphs of my hon. Friend's question, we have received no reports of persecution of Protestant Natives of the Loyalty Islands, nor of the occurrences alleged to have taken place. As to the second, Monsieur Goblet stated in a note dated 26th July, 1888, which is among the Papers laid before Parliament (France, No. 3, 1888, page 57) that "the principle of religious liberty is by no means in question." As to the fifth, we have no later reports of the state of affairs in Maré.
In further answer to Mr. Johnston,