HC Deb 07 May 1903 vol 122 c23
MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any petitions from Chambers of Commerce in this country, or complaints from merchants in the Congo Free State, setting forth the fact that British traders are not allowed to trade in certain parts of the Congo Free State, as they are entitled to do under Article 5 of the Berlin General Act; and, if so, will he state what action, if any, the Government have taken on this question with the Congo Free State Government; and, whether he will lay Papers dealing with the matter upon the Table of the House.


The attention of His Majesty's Government has been called by Chambers of Commerce to the limitations on the freedom of British Trade alleged to be due to improper action on the part of the Authorities of the Congo Free State. The questions raised by these allegations were already receiving the careful consideration of the Government, but there are at present no Papers which can usefully be laid before the House, and no decision has yet been come to.