§ 3. Mr. JOHN HARRIS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in response to the request of his predecessor, reports have been received upon the existence of slave-owning and slave-trading in territories for which this country has contracted treaty obligations; and whether these reports will be issued in the form of Parliamentary Papers prior to the discussion on the Foreign Office Vote?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Ponsonby)
In accordance with the request of the League of Nations, the Secretary of State for India and the Secretary of State for the Colonies have called for reports on the means taken to secure the suppression of slavery, and on the results of the application of the measures taken. I understand that no reports have yet been received, but they will be communicated to the League in due course. I assume that the hon. Member is not referring to Abyssinia, as under the Treaty of 1884 it was the Emperor Menelik and not His Majesty's Government who 1311 undertook obligations in regard to the prevention of the traffic in slavery throughout his dominions.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May we rely upon these reports being given to this Parliament, and will they be published in this country, so that the public may know what is going on?
§ Captain BERKELEY
Is it not a fact that British warships are now being detailed for the purpose of putting down this traffic, and are not the public entitled to know the purpose for which their ships are being used?
§ Mr. LINFIELD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of these captured natives are citizens of the British Empire?