MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether any of the districts injured by the recent swarms of locusts in Eastern Equatorial Africa are within the British sphere of influence, and what are the districts 928 injured within the German area; whether he anticipates any serious destitution in either sphere; and, if so, whether he is taking any steps to prevent the increase in the Slave Trade to the coast plantations and to the islands likely to result from such destitution; whether he is aware that natives wanting work dare not go to Pemba or the other islands for fear of being enslaved; and, whether he will take the opportunity of abolishing the status of slavery in the islands, so as to make it possible for destitute natives to seek work there without the danger of being ensnared into slavery?
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
We have heard of serious damages by locusts in the districts near Machahos and Kikuyn in the British sphere, and in Bondei Usagara and Lindi in the German sphere, but it was hoped that the subsequent rains would relieve the scarcity which resulted. There is no reason to anticipate any increase in the Slave Trade in consequence. We have not heard that natives are unwilling to go to Pemba for fear of being enslaved, but, as I have previously stated, the question of the best method of putting an end to the status of slavery in Zanzibar and Pemba is now being considered.