HC Deb 24 July 1900 vol 86 cc1050-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in receipt of detailed official information concerning the circumstances under which a protectorate over Tonga was proclaimed; and, if so, whether such information shows that no protectorate flag was hoisted and no reply given by the Tongan Government to the salute of twenty-one guns fired from H.M.S. "Porpoise."


Mr. Thomson's report has been received and is now under consideration. I do not understand what is meant by a protectorate flag. The British flag is not hoisted when a protectorate is proclaimed, but only when a country is taken possession of by Her Majesty. I am not aware that the circumstances in which the salute was fired by Her Majesty's ship "Porpoise" were such as to call for a reply from the Tonga Government. I may state, however, that in accordance with the usual practice in protectorates the British flag was hoisted by the Tongan Government alongside the Tongan flag on Her Majesty's birthday, and duly saluted with twenty-one guns.