HC Deb 09 December 1908 vol 198 cc457-8
MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister for how long the President of the Board of Trade, when Under-Secretary for the Colonies, was absent from the Colonial Office on his journey to British East Africa, Uganda, and elsewhere; what length of time he spent in Nairobi and British East Africa and how many deputations he received there; what was the object of these deputations; and what was done to adjust and regulate the relations between the settlers, natives, and the Government, which was the avowed object of the Under-Secretary's mission.


Mr. Churchill was absent from the Colonial Office from October, 1907, to January, 1908. He arrived at Mombasa on 28th October, and received there deputations from the Goanese community and Planters' Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Zanzibar Khojas. He was at Nairobi from 4th to 15th November. He received addresses from the Colonists' Association, the Pastoralists' Association and the Indian, Goanese, and African communities. Deputations from the Colonists' Association discussed with him the following subjects: Land tenure; labour; agricultural and commercial, problems; white colonisation; mining laws; and the administration of law. As regards the last purl of the Question, the main object of Mr. Churchill's mission was to make himself acquainted with the Protectorate. The knowledge which he acquired has been of much service to His Majesty's Government and the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the consideration of the many questions arising in connection with East Africa, but it is impossible to give within the limits of an Answer to a Parliamentary Question an account of the action of the Protectorate Government on these questions. Such an account must be sought in the administration Reports of the Protectorate.


Could we not have first hand from the President of the Board of Trade the report of his interesting visit to those countries, rather than seek for them in the administration papers?


If the hon. Gentleman wishes for that information he had better ask my right hon. friend. But I daresay he can obtain it at any bookstall.


Will the hon. Gentleman tell us, so far as he is aware, did the President of the Board of Trade give any illegal tea-parties in the town-halls of the places he visited?