HC Deb 08 June 1904 vol 135 cc1063-4
MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of Stats for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Commissioner for Pemba, appointed by the Zanzibar Government, has ruled in the Court that all property acquired by a slave, by purchase out of his own money, or by gift, belongs to the slave's master; and, if so, whether, in view of Article 2 of the decree dated 1st Zilluada, 1314, which states that from that date the district Court shall decline to enforce any alleged rights over the body, service, or property of any person on the ground that such person is a slave, he will say what action he has taken or proposes to take in the matter.


The ruling referred to by the hon. Member is probably one given by Mr. J. P. Farler, the Zanzibar Government Slavery Commissioner at Pemba, in the case of an action brought against a freed slave named Mshangama by his former master. By this ruling it was ordered that the slave's property should be taken as part payment of a claim which the master had against him, and it was further expressly stated that in all cases where a servant, before he is freed, has acquired land legitimately the law secures to him his legal right to that property, and his master cannot take it from him. It appears doubtful whether the decree dated 1st Zilluada, 1314, has any real bearing on this particular question, but as the freed slave has appealed against the judgment of Mr. Farler the matter is still Subjudice, and it would not he proper at this stage to make any further comment on the case.