HC Deb 14 May 1928 vol 217 cc640-1

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many of the Solomon Islanders who have been in prison since last October awaiting trial have died; whether he has now received the Report of the High Commissioner on the matter; and whether he proposes to take any further action?


A telegraphic report of the 2nd April gives the number of deaths as eight. I have since received a despatch by mail giving a report up to the 8th March, by which date five deaths had occurred—two from dysentery and three from causes other than dysentery. Many of the prisoners were undernourished and emaciated when they were brought in, all were kept under close observation by the senior medical officer, and their general health improved in a very marked degree as the result of regular and substantial diet. Apart from the outbreak of dysentery, there had been little illness among the prisoners, and admissions to hospital bad been few. I am expecting a later report by the next mail.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when it is proposed to bring these men to trial?


I think I answered a question on that point the other day.