HC Deb 22 February 1897 vol 46 c964

On the Motion "That this House do now adjourn,"

SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, in view of the rumours in circulation, if the Government had any information in reference to the expedition to Benin?


Yes; I am glad to say news has been received of the successful issue of the expedition and with very little loss of life. The following is from Consul General Moore:— Advanced from Ologbo, 14th, in two columns, joining up on 16th. Benin City taken afternoon 18th. Distant 24 miles. Running fight entire route. Great difficulty with carriers getting up water. Considerable resistance taking city; entire force brought up; numbers, 540 men; casualties since my No. 8:—One naval sergeant, one chief petty officer, two Marines, one sergeant Protectorate force, one scout, one carrier killed; one Marine officer, one warrant officer, one petty officer, four Marines, one seaman, six force, eight carriers, three scouts, one interpreter severely wounded; three Marines, two seamen, two force slightly wounded. City now deserted. Neither king nor Juju men captured. A few natives of Phillips's party have come in from bush. Dreadfully mutilated human sacrifices met en route, and in city crucifixions and mutilations. Juju houses, compounds surrounding them, reek with human blood several deep holes in compounds filled with corpses. Effects of Europeans, Phillips's party, found in King's palaver house. Admiral proposes remaining few days assist establish Protectorate force here with necessary supplies. Immediate action taking (sic) capture king and Juju men and pacify country. Inhabitants inclined come in. All survivors well. No fever." [Cheers.]

Adjourned at Twenty-five minutes after Twelve o'clock.