HC Deb 18 April 1907 vol 172 cc1135-7
MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Captain Ewart Grogan, now imprisoned in East Africa for holding an unlawful meeting at Nairobi, is the explorer of that name who, during his march from the Cape to Cairo, was for some months in the interior of Africa accompanied only by Native servants; whether Captain Grogan some time since, with a view to assisting in the development of British East Africa, settled at Nairobi with his family, and induced some of his friends to take the same course; whether Captain Grogan, as chairman of the Colonists' Association, lately represented to the local authorities that the attitude of the Wakikuyu towards the white population has changed for the worse, and requested that increased police protection should be afforded to the settlers; whether his representations were disregarded until he publicly caned three of his boys for deliberate insults to English women; whether, immediately after that occurrence, the Secretary of State authorised the raising of twenty, since increased to forty, white police for the protection of the settlers, and on whose recommendation the authority was given; and whether it is in consequence of a crowd having collected while the boys were flogged that Captain Grogan and his friends have been convicted of holding an unlawful meeting and imprisoned.


The Secretary of State has no official information as to Captain Grogan's explorations. He has now been for some little time resident in East Africa, and has obtained a large forest concession from the Government which so far he has not developed. The Secretary of State is not aware that, previous to the flogging of the natives on the 14th March last, Captain Grogan had made the representations referred to by the hon. Member. The raising of a small white police force had for some time been recommended by the Commissioner of the Protectorate, and provision for raising it was inserted in the Estimates for the financial year 1907–8, which were prepared in the Protectorate as far back as November last. The increase of the number from twenty to forty was, however, decided upon in order to deal with such lawless acts as that of which Captain Grogan has been guilty. It is clear from the reports received that Captain Grogan and his follow-offenders announced their purpose of flogging the natives in a public place with a view of inducing a crowd to assemble to witness and participate in their unlawful acts. The House must not assume that I admit that the expression "caning three boys for deliberate insults to white women" expresses at all accurately what took place.


Will the hon. Gentleman inquire as to the alleged discontent among the whites?

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

Is it not the fact that this alleged discontent is very largely caused by the alienation of large tracts of land from the natives?

MR. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

Will the hon. Gentleman inquire if the representations referred to in the Question were made?


It is very difficult to see how such inquiry can be made.


It is not for me to guide the hon. Gentleman.


I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, whether Captain Grogan contracted a dangerous illness while serving in the Matabele war, and has lately had a return of such illness; whether he is imprisoned at Nairobi or Mombasa; and, if the former, whether on the high or low ground.


The Secretary of State has been informed that the facts as to Captain Grogan's medical history are as stated in the first part of the hon. Member's question. He has ascertained that he is now in good health and is confined in a house on the high ground at Nairobi, where he is daily visited by a medical officer.


I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies when Papers on the subject of the Nairobi incident will be laid upon the Table.


Papers will be laid in due course, but I cannot fix a date at present.