HC Deb 23 July 1896 vol 43 c480
MR. H. D. GREENE (Shrewsbury)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether an appeal is take place, and, if so, when, with reference to the trial of Major Lothaire for the murder of Mr. Stokes; whether such appeal will include an Inquiry as to the right to seize and confiscate Mr. Stokes' property; whether, in the event of an appeal, Her Majesty's Government will arrange to have adequate professional representation at the hearing; and, if no decision as to the course of action has been arrived at, when Her Majesty's Government expect to be able to give information?


An appeal has been made, and the hearing has been fixed for the 3rd of August. As the Government of the Congo Free State is the appellant, the conduct of the appeal will be in the hands of its representatives before the Court. Her Majesty's Government must leave to that Government the entire responsibility for seeing that the investigation into the case and all material circumstances connected with it is complete. Her Majesty's Government have themselves no locus standi at the hearing of the appeal, any more than they had at the original trial at Boma. The question of Stokes' property did not come before the latter, and therefore is not involved in the appeal. Her Majesty's Government, of course, reserve to themselves the right of subsequently making any diplomatic representations to the Government of the Congo State, which the circumstances may seem to call for.