HC Deb 13 December 1900 vol 88 cc685-7

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state what steps have been taken in British East and Central Africa, in Uganda, and other game districts in Africa, for the preservation of big game on the lines recommended and agreed to by the recent International Conference held in London on this sub- ject, and, in particular, what game reserves now exist in British South Africa, and what steps are being taken to guard and enforce the sanctity of these reserves, and also to maintain and enforce the other regulations for game preservation; whether he has any information showing that public officers such as railway officials and others are allowed to kill game in the Kenia Reserve in British East Africa, and have in fact killed game there in considerable quantity; whether the Kenia Reserve contains sufficient grazing lands and area for the purpose of an adequate game reserve; and, whether he is aware that an Englishman recently sold in Mombasa as the produce of his hunting trip ivory to the amount of £8,000; and whether an inquiry can be made into the circumstances of the sale of this ivory, and how and where it was obtained.


Carefully drawn regulations for the preservation of wild animals have been in force for some time in the several African Protectorates administered by the Foreign Office as well as in the Soudan. The obligations imposed by the recent London Convention upon the signatory Powers will not become operative until after the exchange of ratifications, which has not yet taken place. In anticipation, however, steps have been taken to revise the existing regulations in the British Protectorates so as to bring them into strict harmony with the terms of the Convention. The game reserves now existing in the several Protectorates are—In (a) British Central Africa—the elephant marsh reserve and the Shirwa reserve; in (b) the East Africa Protectorate—the Kenia district; in (c) Uganda—the Sugota game reserve in the north-east of the Protectorate; in (d) Somaliland—a large district defined by an elaborate boundary line described in the regulations. The regulations have the force of law in the Protectorates. Protectorates and offenders are dealt with in the Protectorate courts. It is in contemplation to charge special officers of the Administrations with the duty of watching over the proper observance of the regulations. Under the East African Game Regulations only the officers permanently stationed at or near the Kenia Reserve may be specially authorised to kill game in the reserve. There is no reason to believe that this privilege has been abused. The question of extending the Kenia Reserve will be considered. The circumstances connected with the alleged sale at Mombasa have not been reported to the Foreign Office.