HC Deb 11 July 1906 vol 160 cc871-2

I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a Government inquiry was held in the compound of the Cason mine on June 10th last into the truth or otherwise of the affidavit sworn by Mr. Thomas Ratcliffe regarding the Hogging of a Chinese coolie; that the inquiry was attended by the general manager of the mine and other persons connected with the Farrar group, together with the Government officials and five commissioners of police; that in the course of the inquiry coolie No. 277 stated, through an interpreter, that the compound manager and the Chinese controls intimidated him so that he swore untruthfully that he had not been flogged, but that the other affidavit which he had taken stating that he had been flogged was the true one; will he say whether Mr. Ratcliffe was discharged within a few hours of his having sworn the affidavit which was the subject of the inquiry; and whether he will state what steps the Government propose to take to protect the coolies and the white miners from undue influence exercised by the mine managers.


So far the Secretary of State has received telegraphic information to the effect that " charge of assault was preferred against Jimson, compound manager in question, and case heard at Boksburg on June 25th. Case was dismissed by magistrate, who stated it was concocted charge on part of Radcliffe, on whose affidavit proceedings were instituted. Radciffe was arrested and charged with perjury, preparatory exam- ination being down for hearing July 13th. The Secretary of State has telegraphed for information on the Government inquiry to which my hon. friend's Question refers, and of which we have so far heard nothing.

In reply to a further Question by Mr. MACDONALD, Mr. CHURCHILL said he hoped to be in possession of the information asked for by Monday next.