§ MR. JOHN O'CONNOR
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies how many prisoners are now detained under the authority of Ordinances of the Gold Coast Colony; how many are there so detained against whom charges were made and not substantiated, and how many others against whom charges were made and dismissed; how many were released and subsequently imprisoned without any formal charge being made against them, and how many have been brought from the interior and detained in prison; has the ordinary process of law been set aside in cases of persons charged with offences at the Gold Coast; and, if so, why; and has the Governor of the Gold Coast recently visited Elmina; and, if so, has he inquired into the cases of prisoners detained under exceptional legislative measures, and with what results?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. de WORMS,) Liverpool, East Toxteth
There are 13 political prisoners detained, of whom six 1765 are from the Gold Coast Protectorate and seven from Sierra Leone. Only one prisoner is detained in custody, against whom the Government failed to establish a charge of murder. There are none against whom charges were made and dismissed. One was released and subsequently rearrested, having broken the conditions of release. All except one were brought from the interior districts of the Protectorate. In ordinary circumstances the usual process of law is observed; but the persons referred to are detained under special Ordinances for political offences. I am not aware whether the Governor has recently visited Elmina. He has standing instructions to report every six months whether any of these prisoners can be released. A Report is now due and may shortly be expected.
§ MR. JOHN O'CONNOR
Did not the right hon. Gentleman state, or was it not stated on his behalf, about twelve months ago, that the Governor was about to visit Elmina, and would inquire and report to the Colonial Office upon these matters? Has that inquiry taken place, and has a Report been made?