§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the attention of His Majesty's Government has been drawn to the statements made by the Rev. Edgar Stannard that certain evidence given before the Congo Commission of Inquiry by native witnesses and vitally affecting Mr. Stannard's defence was not accessible in the course of his recent trial at Coquilhatville, in the Congo State; if the attention of His Majesty's Government has been drawn to the sworn state- 1290 ments of the Rev. J. H. Harris and his wife, witnesses before the Congo Commission of Inquiry at Baringa, in the Congo State; that the gravest charges were preforred at the sittings of the Commission in regard to the proceedings of Commandant Hagstrom, who recently obtained damages against the Rev. Edgar Stannard for alleged libel before the Coquilhatville Court; and if the attention of His Majesty's Government has been drawn to the detailed notes, published by the Congo Reform Association, made by Mr. and Mrs. Harris, of the testimony of the Chief Lontulu, of Bolima, at the Commission's sittings affecting that Congo Government official; and, if so, what action he proposes to take.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
The attention of His Majesty's Government has been drawn to all the matters referred to. I stated yesterday that His Majesty's Government had again pressed the Congo Government to publish the evidence taken by the Commission of Inquiry, and I have now heard that the Government adhere to their refusal to do so, on the recommendation of the Commission itself. But I have also received the assurance that the entire records of the proceedings of the Commission in so far as they bore on the prosecution of Mr. Stannard, were placed before the Court in the fullest detail, and without the omission of a single item. It is open to Mr. Stannard to insist upon the examination of this evidence at the trial.
SIR GILBERT PARKER
Will it be open to him to insist on the examination of the Papers at the appeal. I do not suppose it will be in his power to make public the proceedings.