HC Deb 28 July 1927 vol 209 cc1453-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that by a majority judgment in the full Court of Sierra Leone the legality of slavery is now declared to be recognised throughout the protectorate of Sierra Leone, and that so long as no more force is used than necessary a master may recapture a slave who has run away; and what steps His Majesty's Government proposes to take to bring Sierra Leone into line with other British dependencies in making slavery in all its forms wholly illegal?


The text of the judgment has not yet been received in the Colonial Office, but I am asking for it to be sent as soon as possible. Pending its receipt, it is not possible to say how it affects the question.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance on behalf of the Government that when the judgment comes, if the facts are as stated in the question, His Majesty's Government will take steps to see that slavery is not allowed to exist in any British dependencies?


As the hon. Gentleman knows, there has been recent legislation in Sierra Leone on this question, and steps were taken. I think a new Ordinance has been in operation about two years. If there appears to be a fault in the drafting of that Ordinance, an Amendment will have to be considered.