HC Deb 02 July 1907 vol 177 cc527-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any further in formation regarding the British subjects kept in servitude on the Galapagos Islands; whether some of them were kept in irons while there; and whether he can state what steps are being taken to release these people from their miserable condition.


I have no further information beyond the Report by the commander of the "Shearwater" alluded to in my Answer to the hon. Member for Mid. Armagh on the 17th ultimo. † Five men stated that they had been put in irons, but this was denied by the working manager of the company to whose notice the matter was brought by the commander. The only case which the manager has admitted was that of a labourer who had committed a theft and who was punished by the Governor's †See (4) Debates, Clxxvi., 155–6. orders by being placed in irons. It does not appear that any men were in irons at the time of the visit, and there is no reason to suppose that they are so now. His Majesty's Government have made re presentations to the Ecuadorian Government, and they have instructed His Majesty's Consul at Guayaquil to go to the Island by the next opportunity, and arrange that the men should be free to leave, if they desire to do so.