HC Deb 13 November 1906 vol 164 cc1288-9
MR. HIGHAM (Yorkshire, W. R., Sowerby)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if His Majesty's Government can state whether the territory of the Lopori-Marringa in the Upper Congo is still subject to the régime militaire spécial; and if His Majesty's Government are satisfied that the persons and property of British subjects residing therein are safe from molestation.


I have received no definite information as to whether the réjime militaire is still in force but M. de Cuvelier informed His Majesty's Minister at Brussels last month that the three months mentioned in the decree of 24th July establishing that régime had almost expired, and that he had no reason to suppose that this term would be extended. The Congo Government have informed His Majesty's Government that the only effect of the régime militaire is to extend the competence of the courts-martial, but that these courts can only apply to civilians the ordinary penal laws, and that non-native civilians the expression including coloured British subjects) can appeal to Boma. I have not heard of any molestation of British subjects during the period named.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if His Majesty's Government can now publish Consul Mackie's Report on the sittings of the Commission of Inquiry which he attended, and also the Reports furnished to Consuls Mackie and Nightingale by British subjects who were called as witnesses before the Commission at sittings where no British Consular representative was present.


I have nothing to add to the replies on this subject given on April 3rd and May 24th. Mr. Mackie's comments on the evidence which he forwarded did not differ materially from those of the Commission of Inquiry, and he was only able to attend three sittings of the Com- mission. His Majesty's Government cannot publish information respecting the evidence which has reached them from unofficial sources.