HC Deb 09 June 1898 vol 58 cc1168-9
MR. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give any information concerning the recent riots in Montserrat; whether the rioters dangerously injured Commissioner Baynes and the Inspector of Police, and stoned the blue-jackets who were landed to check the disorder; whether some of the rioters were shot and some 40 arrests made; whether he has any information regarding the condition of the labourers in Antigua now crop is over, by reason of the dearth of provisions owing to the bad season and lack of means to leave the island; and whether he can now intimate the approximate date when the Government proposals for West Indian relief will be disclosed?


The disturbance referred to arose out of the seizure of an illicit still and proceedings for the arrest of the distillers. The arrest was resisted by a crowd armed with stones and sticks, who severely injured the Commissioner, Mr. Baynes, and the Inspector-General of Police. Blue-jackets were landed the following day; they were not, according to the reports received, stoned; their arrival restored order. Four of the rioters were shot, none fatally as at present reported. About 76 persons accused of taking part in the riots have been sent to Antigua for trial. I have no recent information as to the condition of the labourers in Antigua, or of any dearth of provisions owing to a bad season. I am unable to say when I shall be in a position to make any further statement of proposed measures of relief.