HC Deb 10 May 1906 vol 156 cc1494-5
* MR. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to an official Return, sent by Lord Selborne to Lord Elgin, which shows that the monthly number of Chinese deserting from the Rand mines has risen from 245 in July to 780 in January, and that nearly 140 serious crimes, including several murders, have been perpetrated by the Chinese upon the inhabitants of the Transvaal during the last nine months; whether he is aware that numerous public meetings have been hold to entreat the protection of the Government, and that last week a deputation of Colonists waited upon the High Commissioner for the same purpose; whether he has been informed that Lord Selborne, in reply, admitted the danger to the lives of the wives and children of the Colonists from the Chinese marauders, and said that the Goverment would arm every man with guns or rifles against them within ten miles of the Rand; whether there is any precedent for the Imperial Government sanctioning such a policy in a British Colony; and whether His Majesty's Government proposes to tolerate further this state of things.


The facts appear to be generally as stated in my hon. friend's Question, though I am informed that the Secretary of State has not, as yet, received an official account of the proceedings connected with the deputation to Lord Selborne. The question of the means to be taken for securing the more efficient control of the Chinese has formed the subject of local inquiry and discussion, as my hon. friend was informed on the 2nd instant,† and the Secretary of Suite is expecting to learn from Lord Selborne shortly the additional measures which may be decided upon, more particularly for the control of the Chinese in the mine premises. Pending the receipt of this report, the Secretary of State is not in a position to express any final opinion.


Is there any precedent for arming British colonists against the foreign employees of a particular industry?


I had omitted to notice that part of the Question. If the hon. Member will put it down again I will endeavour to answer it.

† See Col. 551.

Forward to