§ SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
As there is no business before the House, may I, with the leave of the House, ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies whether he has any confirmation of the very grave news from West Africa, to the effect that a British force has been fallen upon by a French force in the Hinterland of Lagos?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
I can read to the House the telegrams I have received, but I must leave it to the House to appreciate their 1184 importance. I have received to-day one telegram from the Governor of Lagos. It is as follows—Borea"—that is a place in the Hinterland of Lagos—occupied by Hausa guard on Feb. 6th. On 9th Feb., 30 Senegalese, probably from Niki, arrived at Borea, instructed to occupy. Ordered non-commissioned officers to haul down British flag. Demand refused. Foreign power retired. Camped three miles from town.I have also received, at half-past five this evening, the following telegram from the Acting-Governor of the Gold Coast; it contains copy of telegram from Major Northcote, who is in the Hinterland of the Gold Coast—Regret to inform you French have established posts at Wae, consisting of subaltern officer and about 30 native soldiers. Codrilletthe lieutenant, I believe, or captain in command—accompanied by a captain and lieutenant and 64 native soldiers, arrived Nassa on Feb. 1st. I had established post at Nassa, and dispatched Fortescue with letter protesting and suggesting conference on Feb. 2nd. In spite of protest he advanced. After protest in usual manner between both parties Codrillet left for Leo to-day, leaving behind above-mentioned post uncontested.