HC Deb 17 April 1896 vol 39 cc1151-2
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether, by a Dispatch annexed to and published with the Agreement between Great Britain and King Leopold, Soverign of the Congo State, presented to Parliament in "Africa, No. 4, of 1894," and also in the Treaty Series, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the late Administration undertook to recommend to the Secretary of State for the Colonies that facilities should be given for recruitment in the British Colonies on the West Coast of Africa, in order to facilitate the prompt and complete occupation by His Majesty King Leopold II. of the territories in the western basin of the Nile, known as the western watershed of the Nile, comprised in the leases from Great Britain to King Leopold, being the territories running from Lake Albert, near Wadelai, northwards to the 10th parallel of north latitude, and north-east to the intersection of that parallel with the 25th meridian east of Greenwich; (2) whether, since the Congo State withdrew at the suggestion of France from occupation of by far the greater portion of these territories in the British sphere, and withdrew in fact from the whole of them, the recruitment facilities have continued to be given, and whether any other purposes have been specified; (3) whether the forces now serving on the Welle were so recruited; and, (4) whether Her Majesty's Government are satisfied that recruits drawn from the British West Coast Colonies have been well treated by the officials of the Congo State?


The Dispatch of May 12th 1894, referred to conveys an assurance of the character mentioned in the first paragraph, though its terms have not been fully or textually quoted by the right hon. Baronet. In view of the altered conditions no recommendation was made to the Secretary of State for the Colonies; and consequently no recruitment has resulted from the Dispatch. The Question in the concluding paragraph was answered in the negative by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the 12th of March.