HC Deb 29 May 1906 vol 158 cc273-4

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he can now inform the House what measures His Majesty's Government have decided to sanction for the protection of the inhabitants of the Transvaal from the outrages committed by the Chinese coolies imported by the gold mining companies.


I am not yet able to inform the House, as the question of the measures to be adopted is still under consideration.

*MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

asked whether one method of reducing the outrages would not be to alter the fugitive slave law, which made it a penal offence to give food, shelter, or employment to escaped Chinese coolies.


said he was not aware of the existence of any such law. Of course, the coolies had no right to be employed when they were absent from their regular employment. He thought the matter was one which must be taken into consideration in connection with the measures which Lord Selborne would recommend.


asked whether the hon. Gentleman would see whether the original Ordinance had been altered. Under that law, he repeated, the giving of shelter, food, or employment to an escaped Chinaman was prohibited, making outrage and murder inevitable unless the Chinaman was to die.

MR. MORTON (Sutherland)

asked whether these coolies were treated as fugitive slaves.


said he did not quite know what the question meant. It was true that when caught fugitive coolies were sent back to the mines, but he had no knowledge whether any inhumanity was suggested.

MR. CHURCHILL (replying to Mr. LEHMAN N,) Leicester, Market Harborough

, said he would probably be able to make a statement on this matter after Whitsuntide. It had already been decided that the proposals in regard to barbed wire fences should not be carried any further, and the question of the improvement of the police at the cost of the mineowners was now engaging attention.