HC Deb 18 March 1898 vol 55 c246
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will consider the wisdom of ceasing to treat the death, at Waima, of Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police Captain Lendy, Lieutenant Wroughton, W.I.R., and Lieutenant Liston, W.I.R., and of the men under their command, as a factor in more general negotiations, and will press the claim for compensation as one properly to be dealt with by itself, in the same manner in which the claim of he French Roman Catholic missionaries in Uganda for loss of property has been separately dealt with?


I do not think it would be desirable at this stage to follow the right hon. Baronet's advice. The considerations which lead Her Majesty's Government to this conclusion are the facts that, whatever the subsequent geographical determination of Waima, its locality at the time of the incident was equally unknown to both the French and British parties; that the French also lost an officer and several men, and that the question has ever since, with the consent of both parties, been included among more general negotiations.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state whether Waima was not at that time considered to be British territory by all the British authorities in West Africa, and also whether a distinct attack was not made upon British troops by the French forces?


I cannot speak for all the British authorities in West Africa without having consulted them, but my impression is that the exact geographical position of Waima was equally unknown to both the British and the French forces at the time.