HC Deb 09 July 1907 vol 177 cc1433-4
MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the fact' that Mr. Brown, a European at Ijebu Ode, Lagos, South Nigeria, has Obtained a concession to some 600 square miles of territory from Awujale, the King of Ijebu Ode, for the purpose of cutting mahogany logs; that Awujale and the chiefs repudiate the claim on the ground that the document signed by them merely conceded the right to prospect for timber, with the option after six months of entering into an agreement for cutting rights; that the only money which has passed between the parties is she sum of £20, which was considered to be a return for the hospitality extended to Mr. Brown by Awujale and the chiefs; and whether, seeing that as a result of this alleged concession the natives, who previously had received licences to cut logs, were deprived of this privilege and of their livelihood, while the timber which had already been cut was confis- cated, and that at the same time several of the natives were imprisoned for disputing the right of Mr. Brown over this area of timber land, he will cause inquiry to be made into all the circumstances of this case, and order the immediate release of the natives and the restoration of their property.


The Secretary of State has no detailed information on this subject, but a full report has been called for by telegraph.


Will the right hon. Gentleman receive a deputation on the subject?


I shall be willing to hear anything my hon. friend has to say.