HC Deb 07 September 1909 vol 10 cc1074-5

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he is aware that in July, 1907, two British subjects, Messrs. King and Woest, arrived with 12 wagons at the Kotanga frontier of the Congo State, and on various pretexts were prevented from entering Congolese territory for 12 months, eventually having to return to Bulawayo, having lost two years and some thousands of pounds; can he reconcile this act of the Congo Government with Article V. of the Berlin Treaty of 1885, by which subjects of any nation are guaranteed free entrance and trading facilities in the Congo basin; and whether representations have been made on the matter by this Government And compensation asked for loss sustained?


The case of Messrs. King and Woest has been reported to me by Mr. Beak, His Majesty's Vice-Consul in the Katanga, and I have brought it to the notice of the Belgian Government. I am meanwhile awaiting further details, for which I have asked Mr. Beak, before deciding how far a claim on the Belgian Government for compensation will be justified.