HC Deb 08 August 1904 vol 139 cc1347-8

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the extent to which the slaughter of wild animals and birds is now being carried on by the natives in the Colony of Logos; if he will cause inquiry to be made as to the causes thereof; whether he will ascertain if the Governor of the Colony of Lagos has taken any and what, steps to prohibit such slaughter, as he is empowered to do under the provisions of the International Convention for the Preservation of Wild Animals and Birds in Africa signed in London on 19th May, 1900; and, in particular, whether the sale of cheap trade guns and powder to the natives can be regulated or prohibited.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) An Ordinance was enacted in Lagos in 1900 whereby the Governor of the Colony was empowered to put into force the provisions of the Convention of the 19th of May. 1900. and regulations for the preservation of certain wild animals and birds have been drawn up. Inquiry will be made as to the promulgation of these regulations. Considerable difficulties attend the imposition of restrictions in the Protectorate of Lagos as distinguished from the colony, but I will communicate with the Governor with the object of securing the end which my hon. friend has at heart. The entry of flint-lock guns and powder is subject to a certain amount of control, as duties are payable on the importation of these articles. It is feared that without an international agreement on the subject it would not he possible to prevent their introduction into the territories. Failing such an agreement, any further increase of the duties would encourage smuggling on a large scale, which the Government of Lagos would have the greatest difficulty in repressing.