HC Deb 15 April 1890 vol 343 cc557-8
MR. WALTER M'LAREN (Cheshire, Crewe)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the following statement, which has appeared in several papers:— Information has been received in London which leaves no doubt of the extent of the horrible traffic described as 'the Madras slave trade,' the existence of which has hitherto been only suspected. At a trial at Rangoon one witness, a Madragese girl, declared that she had been forcibly put on board a steamer at Negapatam, taken to Rangoon, and sold for 80 rupees. Another girl, who was seized as she was proceeding to join her husband, was taken to a house, kept a close prisoner for three days, and then sold for 90 rupees. In fact, sufficient evidence was given to show that, although Rangoon is supposed to have an ample police force, the importation and selling of girls goes on systematically; and whether the evidence given at this trial has been brought before the notice of the Indian Government; and, if not, whether he will cause inquiries to be made in Madras and in Rangoon as to the facts?


The Secretary of State has seen the statements referred to, and also that the man who committed the offences mentioned has been convicted, and sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment. The Governments of Madras and Burma have had their attention directed for many years past to the migration from Madras to Rangoon, and to the necessity for carefully watching it. The law against offences of the kind mentioned in the question is strong, and will be vigorously enforced.