HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 c1270
64. Commander WEDGWOOD

asked: the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is prepared to take advantage of the British occupation of German East Africa to emancipate the slaves there; and, if not, will he say why this will not be done?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Long)

No action in this matter is practicable while the territory is merely in British military occupation.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think it is possible to liberate the slaves whilst we are in military occupation, without taking over the territory; and, in view of the right hon. Gentleman's declaration that it is to be permanently British territory, might he not take the step at once?


The quotation from what I said is not accurate, but I can assure my hon. Friend that it is not practicable, as I have said already, to secure this release.


As we are advised to-follow the example of Lincoln in fighting the War to a finish, cannot we follow his example in liberating the slaves?


Surely it is illegal to retain slaves in any country which is under British administration, and surely the right hon. Gentleman is wrong in suggesting that it is impossible to release them?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is not asking a question, but answering it.