§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if Captains Williams and Lugard hold regular commissions from the East Africa Company, and if these are military commissions; if such commissions have been published in any Gazette; if the East Africa Company has the power of conferring commissions and do such commissions confer the power of levying war; and if Captains Lugard and Williams have infringed on the rights of the subjects of other European Powers, is the Foreign Office responsible?
*THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER,) Cumberland, Penrith
Inquiry has been made as to the position of these officers from the British East Africa Company. They have replied as follows:—Captains Williams and Lugard do not hold regular commissions from the East Africa Company, but are fulfilling the terms of a Treaty concluded by the Company with Mwanga on the 26th December, 1890. In December, 1889, Captain Lugard proceeded to East Africa for a holiday trip, and whilst there the administrator ascertained that he would be willing, if permitted by the War Office, to serve the Company for a time. Negotiations were therefore opened in London with the Commander-in-Chief, resulting in the loan of Captain Lugard for one year from the end of January, 1890, and this has since been indefinitely extended. These preliminaries being settled, Captain Lugard was deputed to proceed to Machakos for the purpose of finding the best road to the Victoria Nyanza. Owing, however, to a change of plan consequent upon the Anglo-German Agreement, Captain Lugard, whilst waiting at Dagoreti, received instructions on the 19th October to proceed 578 without delay to Uganda to conclude a Treaty with Mwanga. He was informed that the district had, under the above-noted Agreement, passed under the control of the Company, and it was impressed upon him that the then existing religious dissensions must cease, and that full religious liberty to all denominations must be granted, every effort being made to impartially reconcile the conflicting interests. These instructions were fulfilled, and a Treaty, a copy of which is to be found in the recent Blue Book, entered into between the Company and Mwanga on the 26th December, 1890. A reference to this document will show that the administrative power vested in the Company's representatives is clearly defined, and it is under this Treaty that Captain Lugard and his staff are acting, assisted by Captain Williams, whose services have also been lent by the War Office.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
I do not think the hon. Gentleman has answered the last two paragraphs of my question—namely, whether the Company has the power of conferring commissions; whether such commissions confer the power of levying war; and if Captains Lugard and Williams have infringed on the rights of the subjects of other Powers, is the Foreign Office responsible?
I have told the hon. and gallant Gentleman exactly the circumstances under which Captain Lugard was appointed—
§ COLONEL NOLAN
Yes; but has the Company the power of granting commissions carrying with them the right to levy war?
I have told the hon. and gallant Gentleman the circumstances under which Captain Lugard was appointed, and I cannot tell him anything more. He may form his own conclusions from the facts. As to the last paragraph of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question, of course I am unable to say whether the rights of the subjects of other Powers have been infringed, for up to the present I am not aware what action Captains Lugard and Williams may have taken in the matter.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
I think I shall have to put a question to the Attorney General as to the responsibilities of this 579 country in such a matter, but I apprehend he will not be prepared to answer such a question now.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office has the War Office at present any control over Captains Lugard and Williams beyond that of being able to cancel their leave; or is the Commander-in-Chief, or the Secretary of State for War, in any way responsible for the public or official acts of these gentlemen in relation to Africans or to the subjects of other European Powers?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
These officers having been seconded for service under the British East Africa Company, neither the Secretary of State or the Commander-in-Chief has control over them, nor can either accept responsibility for their proceedings.