§ MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the statements of the Government Agent at Brisbane, published in the recent correspondence relating to Polynesian labour in the Colony of Queensland, wherein are contained statements against the missionaries; whether his attention has been drawn to a letter which appeared in the Westminster Gazette, on 26th May, from Mr. A. K. Langridge, the representative in this country of the 321 leading missionary referred to, in which he refutes the alleged charges, and gives explanation of the matters which he states to have been misrepresented by the Government Agent; and whether the Government will make inquiry into the truth of these charges brought by their Agent against the missionaries?
§ MR. S. BUXTON
I am aware of the statements made by the Government Agent, and I have seen the letter from Mr. Langridge. I am glad to have seen Mr. Langridge's letter, and I trust it will be found that the Government Agent—who I may observe is the Agent of the Colonial Government and not of Her Majesty's Government—has been mistaken as to the other facts, as well as the reported abandonment of their posts by two missionaries. Copies of Mr. Lang-ridge's letter will be sent to the Governor of Queensland and to the High Commissioner, and Mr. Langridge's letter and their replies shall he published in the next Paper given to Parliament.