§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information showing 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 the sum of £20, which was considered to be a return for the hospitality extended to Mr. Brown by Awujale and the chiefs; that the natives, who previously had received licences to cut logs, were deprived of this privilege and of their livelihood, and some of them imprisoned for disputing the right of Mr. Brown; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
Telegraphic information which we have received indicates that the transaction in question 480 is capable of satisfactory explanation; but as it is desirable that the reply should be categorical and complete I would ask my hon. friend to wait until the full report which has been called for arrives by mail.