§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether the Consul General of the Niger Coast Protectorate has in his possession papers drawn up by the Chairman of the Royal Niger Company which would give the Brass natives free access to their customary markets; and, if he can state to the House the reason why a proclamation to that effect has not been issued?
Yes, Sir, the Commissioner has in his possession a plan prepared by the Chairman of the Royal Niger Company for admitting the Brass men into markets hitherto closed to them on the Niger. He published it by proclamation on the 1st of April last. It was, however, subject to acceptance by King Koko, which it has been impossible to obtain, as, since the attack on Akassa, and subsequent cannibalism of captives in his capital, he has declined to meet any of the British authorities, including Sir John Kirk. In consequence of this behaviour he has been deposed. The settlement is now dependent upon the organisation of a new native Government in Brass, and will it is hoped very soon be arrived at.