§ MB. MACKARNESS (Berkshire, Newbury)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether both on the 14th and 22nd of this month farmhouses in the Transvaal were attacked by gangs of Chinese deserters from the mines, some of whom were armed with guns; whether the farmers were compelled to defend themselves by firing at and wounding the Chinese; and whether he can say how many coolies have deserted from the mines during July, August, September, and October respectively, and how many have been convicted of any offences during the same months.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
I have seen newspaper telegrams as to the attacks upon the two farms referred to, but there is no official information of the occurrences. The numbers convicted of desertion, refusal to work and unlawful absence from work were in July, 664; in August, 786; September, 613; those convicted of the specific offence of desertion were in July, 55; in August, 34; September, 49. The figures for October have not yet been received. The total number of convictions for all offences were in July, 1,173; in August, 1,285; September, 1,261.