HC Deb 08 February 1926 vol 191 cc601-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is proposed to introduce legislation in Sierra Leone designed to bring about a complete abolition of slavery in all its forms; whether the attention of the Government has been drawn to the agitation in Freetown directed towards securing compensation for the slave owners; and whether His Majesty's Government intends to advise the Governor that no such compensation will be made or any slaves set free under the proposed legislation?


A Bill has been read a first time in the Legislative Council amending and strengthening the existing law affecting slavery in the Protectorate of Sierra Leone. I ought to make it clear that while a system of customary domestic servitude has survived in the Protectorate it has no legal sanction in the Courts, and that all dealing in slaves is unlawful. The effect of the Measure will be gradual, and no question of compensation should arise. My right hon. Friend has heard nothing of any agitation at Freetown, which is situated in the Colony of Sierra Leone, where slavery does not exist in any form, and will not be affected by the proposed legislation.