HC Deb 24 April 1891 vol 352 cc1320-1
MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government has received from the Portuguese Government any complaints of a violation of the modus vivendi on the part of the agents of the Chartered South African Company; whether specific complaints have been made of the imprisonment and deportation of Portuguese Officers by the agents of the company; and, if so, what reply has been made to the complaints; whether Masse Kesse is within the territory that was agreed to be within the Portuguese sphere by the modus vivendi, and whether its occupation by the agents of the company constitutes a violation of the stutus quo agreed to in that instrument; and whether the company has obtained the permission of Her Majesty's Government to exercise power in Manicaland; and, if not, what is the exact status of agents of the company exercising power in that territory as regards Her Majesty's Government and as regards the Portuguese Government?


(1) Such complaints have been made, but it has not been shown in what respect the modus vivendi has been violated; (2) only one such complaint has been made referring to the reported arrest of Lieutenant Freira in January. The Company has denied the arrest, but further inquiry is being made; (3) Masse Kesse is outside the territorial limits of the British sphere indicated in the August Agreement, and it would have been a violation of the modus vivendi if Great Britain had accepted a Protectorate there, or exercised Sovereignty. There has been no such Act. There is nothing in the modus vivendi which would prevent the presence of Masse Kesse of the Company's agents. We are assured that the fact is that the Mozambique Company's vacant buildings are protected by four policemen, who have been ordered to give them up when the Portuguese arrive; (4) the Company is not exercising powers of Government in Manicaland. The Government is, by the Convention with Mutassa, expressly reserved to the Chief, with the assistance of the residents and the Company's police.

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