HC Deb 17 May 1900 vol 83 cc403-4
MR. HEDDERWICK (Wick Burghs)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to a report purporting to be a verbatim report of a speech to the natives, recently delivered by the Governor, at Coomassie, in which he asked where was the golden stool and why did he not sit to-day on the golden stool, and whether he was not their king; whether such language has the approval of the Colonial Office; and whether he has any information to give the House as to the cause of the native rising at Coomassie.


The notes of the Governor's speech which have been received show that he was impressing upon the kings and chiefs that the Queen was now the paramount power in Ashanti and that he asked why they had not brought the golden stool to which she was entitled, and on which he should sit as the representative of the paramount power. He did not represent himself to be the King of Ashanti, and there does not appear to be anything to disapprove of in the language which he used. It is not possible at present to say what was the cause of the rising.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

May I ask who it was contemplated was to sit on this piece of furniture?


I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman wishes me to go into the history of this stool. It is an emblem of sovereignty in Ashanti, a sort of fetish, and it is desirable as a means to secure the pacification of the country that it should be in the possession of the Governor as representing the paramount Power.


Has it been sent to Birmingham?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the rising has been attributed to this speech of the Governor?


Oh, yes; but it is not reasonable or to be expected that I should answer in the House for all the attributions of those who may have considered the subject with imperfect knowledge of the facts.