§ MR. BUCHANAN () Aberdeenshire, E.
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give the House any information with regard to the alleged ill-treatment of certain Lagos natives, British subjects, at Fernando Po; whether all of them were brought back to Lagos by the steamer "Volta," and whether he will take steps for the protection of any that remain: what were the terms of the labour contract under which these natives were hired by the Congo agent; and whether the colonial authorities exercise any supervision over the terms of such labour contracts.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
I have no information as to this case, but in consequence of reports from Fernando Po on the treatment there of labourers from British colonies I am directing the Governors of the West African possessions to prohibit recruiting 1527 for service in that island. I have no doubt that the British Consular Agent will see to the protection of any Lagos labourers who may still be in the island. The Colonial Government has legislative power to prohibit or to permit, on such conditions as it thinks fit, recruiting of labourers for a foreign country, but I am not aware what the terms of the contract were in the present case.