HC Deb 24 August 1893 vol 16 c952
MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Decree, issued at Zanzibar by the Sultan and Sir Gerald Portal, on the 11th September, 1891, forbidding the hiring of porters to proceed inland from the Sultan's dominions in consequence of the stimulus this practice gives to the Slave Trade, is still in force; and whether caravans organised in the British Protectorate of Zanzibar for travel in Africa are manned in part by hired slaves; and, if so, how many such caravans have started for Uganda and elsewhere since September, 1891?


The Decree in question referred to the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, and, so far as Her Majesty's Government is aware, is still in force. It is understood that caravans organised on the coast are in some cases manned partly by persons who are technically slaves. But in all cases which come under the notice of British Authorities the greatest care is taken that the hiring is a direct transaction with the person hired, and his status as a slave or otherwise does not come in question. It is impossible to say how many caravans have left the coast since September, 1891.