HC Deb 24 April 1907 vol 173 cc23-4
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

To ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can inform the House of the nature of the contents of the despatch addressed in January to the Acting Commissioner in East Africa on the immediate abolition of the legal status of slavery in the Zanzibar Coast Strip, and the abolition of slavery in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba; and can he state why it was thought necessary to ask the Acting Commissioner in Mombasa for further proposals as to arrangements to be made, although the Commissioner himself was in attendance at the Colonial Office.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) In the despatch referred to the Secretary of State stated that, in his opinion, the time had come to abolish the legal status of slavery in the mainland dominions of the Sultan of Zanzibar, and asked for a report on the most, convenient measures to be taken to carry the decision into effect. He added that the matter should be proceeded with as expeditiously as possible. The Acting Commissioner was also requested to consider the question of abolishing slavery altogether within a limited period, †See (4) Debates, clxxii., 778. and it was added that similar measures to those which might be approved for the mainland would be taker, for the abolition of slavery in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The reason why the Acting Commissioner was consulted as to the arrangements to be made was that it was at that time hoped that the arrangements could be put into force before the Commissioner returned, so that the responsibility for carrying them out would fall upon the Acting Commissioner.