HC Deb 14 February 1895 vol 30 cc750-1
MR. H. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is the fact that the King of Ashanti has expressed a desire to send an Embassy to England, and has sent messengers down to Cape Coast Castle with this object; and, whether it is a fact that Her Majesty's Government have informed the King that such an Embassy could not be received by Her Majesty the Queen; and, if so, on what grounds was the refusal based.


The King Kumasi—we do not admit his claim to the title of King of Ashanti—has sent certain messengers to Cape Coast Castle, who have stated that their instructions are to proceed to England to see Her Majesty the Queen. The Governor of the Gold Coast Colony has been instructed to inform them that any communications from the King of Kumasi must come through the Governor; and that if the messengers proceed to England they will not be received. The grounds upon which Her Majesty's Government have based these instructions are (1) that the King of Kumasi is not a chief or ruler of sufficient importance to be allowed to send ambassadors to the Queen, and that, in accordance with custom, she can only treat with him through the Governor of the Gold Coast Colony, who is her representative; and (2) that, under any circumstances, Her Majesty could not receive a mission from a ruler who, there is good reason to believe, allows and countenances the practice of human sacrifices. I have to add that, under instructions from Her Majesty's Government, a message was sent to the King of Kumasi by the Governor some months ago requesting the King to accept a British Resident, and laying down certain conditions for the preservation of peace and the abolition of inhuman customs, but stating that his authority and independence would not be further interfered with.