HC Deb 18 May 1896 vol 40 cc1563-4
MR. J. E. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is able to indicate the nature and extent of the American land claims in the Crown Colony of Fiji, which, are reported to be engaging the attention of the Committee of the United States Senate on Foreign Relations; whether he has any official information as to the statements on which these claims are founded; and whether any such claims were advanced when the Fiji Islands were ceded to the Imperial Government?


A petition signed on behalf of some 30 persons claiming to be United States citizens was presented to the United States Government in 1887 praying for the intervention of that Government in the matter of their claims under grants, or alleged grants, of land from natives in Fiji prior to the cession of the islands which had been wholly or partly disallowed by the Land Claims Commission appointed by Her Majesty's Government to adjudicate on all land claims under such grants. No definite information as to the extent of the claims, or the grounds upon which the particular decisions of the Lands Commission in respect of them are impugned, is in possession of Her Majesty's Government, but an agent of the United States Government was dispatched to Fiji in 1890, and it is understood that he has presented a voluminous Report on the subject. The claims were all advanced before the Commission, which was appointed immediately after the cession, and the general nature and extent of these and the other claims heard by it, and the statements on which they are founded, may be granted from the Reports of the proceedings of the Commission laid before Parliament in C. 3,584 and C. 3,815.