§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether, in addition to the repeated rejection of applications of British traders to be allowed to establish factories in the large portion of the Congo State ruled by concessionaire companies noted by Acting Vice-Consul Beak in his Report at page 872 35 of Africa (No. 1), the special attention of His Majesty's Government has been called to discrimination against British subjects by the Congo Government in punishment for alleged offences; and whether any steps have been taken to ask for explanations from the Government of the Congo Free State in the matter of the refusal of permission to communicate with the British Consul in the case of a British subject named by Vice-Consul Michell in his despatch to Consul Nightingale, printed at page 8 of Africa (No. 1).
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir EDWARD GREY,) Northumberland, Berwick
The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative. As regards the second part, no specific case has yet been brought to the notice of the Foreign Office, but inquiries are being made into the matter through the local British Colonial authorities, and in the event of the statements alluded to being confirmed steps will be taken to uphold the rights of British subjects to equal opportunities of trade.