HC Deb 05 June 1894 vol 25 cc419-20
MR. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the allegations of Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson in Saturday's Times with respect to the harsh conditions under which the Samoan Chief, Mataafa, and his adherents have been exiled; that they are imprisoned on a coral atoll, where the water is brackish and the food distressing; that they are divorced from their families and dependent on the charity of pitying whites; that the Government has made no attempt to relieve their necessities; and that Mr. Stevenson himself was not allowed to send them a supply of food and tobacco; and whether Her Majesty's Government are in possession of any official information on this subject; if not, will the British Consul in Samba be instructed to inquire, and, if he finds that Mr. Stevenson's allegations are well founded, to exert his influence in the direction of a more humane treatment of Mataafa and his exiled adherents?


Mataafa and his principal adherents have been deported by agreement between the three Powers to the Marshal Islands, which are a German possession, and where, though their banishment may be disagreeable, they are, under the custody of the German Government, being treated with every regard to humanity. The question as to what extent they can be joined by their wives is under consideration, and special assurances have been given that, as they are Roman Catholics, the services of Roman Catholic priests settled in the Islands shall be available to them.