§ MR. SCOTT (Ashton-under-Lyne)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the case of an employer of Indian indentured labour in Natal, named Armitage, who last month was convicted of knocking down one of his coolies, jumping upon him, and deliberately cutting off the lobe of his right ear with a penknife; whether he is aware that the defendant justified his action by pleading that the Government allowed the cutting of sheep's ears, and that the penalty imposed was a fine of £20; and what steps His Majesty's Ministers propose to take to secure a more efficient protection of His Majesty's Indian subjects domiciled in Natal but unrepresented in the Parliament of that Colony.
§ COLONEL SEELY
I have seen a short account of this case in the Press, which does not give all the details contained in the Question, but I have no official information as to its accuracy. The Secretary of State has, of course, no power to interfere with the sentences of the Courts, but as it is alleged that the prisoner was an employer of indentured labour, he is making inquiry of the Natal. Government with regard to the case.