MR. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty for what periods during the last year British guard ships have been withdrawn from the port of Aden; whether he will inquire if their absence has resulted in an increase of the slave trade in the southern part of the Red Sea; and whether he will make arrangements for the guard ships to be again stationed there.
§ MR. McKENNA
There is no permanent guard ship at Aden; but one of His Majesty's ships on the East Indian station is generally there. During the last year Aden has been without a ship for a period of five months, an unusually long period, for which there were exceptional reasons. No information has been received which would point to an increase of the slave trade having taken place in the southern part of the Red Sea, but inquiries will be made on this point. The movements of His Majesty's ships are determined by the requirements of the service, and any circumstances requiring the presence of a ship at Aden will be duly taken into account by the Commander-in-Chief.