HC Deb 10 December 1906 vol 166 cc1556-7

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from what source the cost of the recently created residency at Brunei is found; if from the Federated Malay States and Brunei, in what proportions; whether the Secretary of State has had before him a copy of the petition, signed by the present Regent and his Ministers, addressed to His Highness the Rajah of Sarawak, praying for his influence to effect the absorption of Brunei into Sarawak; and whether, in view of this and of local circumstances, the Colonial Office propose to assent to such absorption.


The British President is also Colonial Secretary of Labuan and is paid from Labuan funds. In other respects the cost of the residency is borne by Brunei, aided by an imperial contribution of £600 which is made in return for the discharge by the President of the duties of Consul for Sarawak and North Borneo. A copy of the petition referred to has been communicated to the Secretary of State. It is signed by the Pengiran Bendahara, who is one of two joint Regents, and by certain other persons, most of whom cannot be identified. There is no reason to sup-pose that any considerable proportion of the people of Brunei desires annexation to Sarawak. The idea was strongly opposed by the late Sultan to whom a promise was given that his dynasty should be uphold. His Majesty's Government are not as at present informed, inclined to depart from the policy which has been adopted.

In reply to a further question,


said he was aware that the hon. Gentleman was well informed on this subject, and he proposed to arrange an interview for him with the Secretary of State at which the matter could be fully discussed.