COLONEL WILLIAMS (Dorsetshire, W.)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to carry out the assurances that have been given as to extending the policy of the abolition of the legal status of slavery to the ten mile coast strip of the East African Protectorate; whether they are aware of the decision of the Provincial Court of Mombasa of 25th April, 1898, whereby it was laid down that all slaves imported into the coast territories since the decree of 18th April, 1876, were illegally held in bondage; and 389 whether a large proportion of the slaves now held in the territory have been imported since 1876.
(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The buying and selling of slaves in this strip of territory has been prohibited since 1890, and all persons born in it since 1900 have been born free; with the result that, as appears from a Report received from the late Sir Donald Stewart, slavery has become almost nominal, and is dying out. The Secretary of State has heard of the decision of the Mombasa Court to which the hon. and gallant Member draws attention. He is not aware that any slaves are hold in contravention of it; but he will make inquiry of the Commissioner on the subject.