HC Deb 28 July 1908 vol 193 cc1225-6

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether His Majesty's Government, when establishing a British residency in the Sultanate of Bruni, has also assumed any responsibility other than advisory to that State, and, if so, what are the limitations of any such authority prescribed by His Majesty's Government; will he say from what source year by year since such recent residency was established the expenditure connected therewith, either directly or indirectly, has been defrayed: and if any, how much, of the money applied as above-mentioned has been borrowed or granted from the purse of either the Federated Malay States or from that of the Straits Settlements; will he state the amounts given or lent by either or both, the rate of interest charged on such loans, and what prospect there is of repayment.


The treaty with the Sultan of Brunei, which was signed in 1905, provides that the advice of the British Resident must be taken and acted upon in all questions in Brunei other than those affecting the Mohammedan religion in order that a similar system may be established to that existing in other Malay States now under British protection. His Majesty's Government, therefore, through the Resident, control the whole administration of the State, except where religious matters are concerned. The Resident of Brunei is also Resident of Labuan, which is now part of the Straits Settlements, and in view of that fact he draws a salary from Straits Settlements funds, a sum of £600 a year being paid from Imperial funds to the Straits Settlements in consideration of the Consular work performed by this officer. The other expenses of the Residential system are borne by Brunei funds. To enable the Government of the State to buy up a number of monopolies and concessions, and to put the new system into working order, the Federated Malay States advanced to Brunei the sum of $200,000, without interest. I cannot say when this sum is likely to be repaid. No grant or loan has been made by the Straits Settlements.