§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether Her Majesty's Government can communicate to the House a list of, and any material portions of, the political treaties, exceeding 400 in number, which, according to the statement of the Chairman of the Company at its meeting of the 17th July, have been entered into by the Niger Company with native chiefs; whether there are still sufficient reasons for withholding from the public Sir Claude Macdonald's Report of 1890 regarding the Niger Company's territories, or whether the House can now be furnished at least with those portions of it to which the late Under Secretary of State alluded as in the main highly satisfactory; and whether it is now possible to communicate to the House the remainder of Sir John Kirk's Report, from which an extract only has hitherto been laid before the House?
A list of some of these treaties, numbering over 340, with specimens of the forms in which they were concluded, was given in Vol. T. of the "Map of Africa by Treaty," a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. The work in question is now under revision, and will shortly be reissued. Sir Claude Macdonald's Report of 1890, which was described by Sir James Fergusson when Under Secretary of State as of a satisfactory nature, was a confidential document, and it is not proposed to publish it. Sir John Kirk's Report on the Brass River has been laid in full. Her Majesty's Government do not propose to lay any opinions which may have been expressed by him for their confidential information.