HC Deb 23 June 1904 vol 136 cc987-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that Sir Arthur Lawley stated, in reply to an address presented to him at Heidelberg, by a deputation of British-Indian residents, on the 18th May last, that the liberty of licensed traders to carry on business outside locations, declared by the Supreme Court in the test case of Habob Motan v. the Transvaal Government to be legal, will not be tolerated, and that the Secretary of State for the Colonies had already been approached with a view to sanctioning legislation to annul the decision; and, if so, whether, in case he is so approached, he will refuse to countenance any such legislation, in view of the pledges repeatedly given by Lord Milner that existing rights will not be interfered with.


I have seen a newspaper report of Sir Arthur Lawley's reply to the address presented to him at Heidelberg in which he referred to the question of the introduction of legislation with regard to Asiatic residents in the Transvaal. Such legislation will, of course, be subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, and in dealing with the question I shall have specially in mind the safeguarding of the interests of British-Indians now settled in the Transvaal. I am in communication with Lord Milner on the subject.


Has the right hon. Gentleman addressed any request, or will he do so, to Sir Arthur Lawley to ascertain whether he did make this outrageous declaration? Will the right hon. Gentleman endeavour to verify the truth, or the contrary, of the newspaper report.