§ MR. ERRINGTON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true, that during the month of September last Mr. Kerr, the Lieutenant Governor of Grenada, was obliged to remove from various estates in that island more than 100 indentured Coolies in consequence of their being in a dying state from want of food and general ill usage; whether some of those removed have since died; whether Mr. Denham, the protector of immigrants, has been by direction of the Governor prosecuted for manslaughter; if so, with what result; whether the 400 Coolies now in Grenada on the estates of the persons who ill treated the others are to be left there; and, whether, as Coolie immigration can hardly be done away with entirely, he will take steps in order that such abuses shall not recur?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Sir, it is true that Mr. Kerr felt called upon to remove to hospital more than 100 Coolies from the estates in Grenada on which they had been located. On some estates complaints were made of insufficient food and medical attendance. Proceedings have been taken against the managers. The manager of one estate has been convicted of neglecting to supply the Coolies allotted to him with sufficient food and has been fined £50, and the Coolies from that estate have been allotted to an estate belonging to another person in a healthy locality. On other estates on which no complaints were made the Coolies were found to be in an unsatisfactory state of health, owing partly perhaps to the exceptionally unhealthy season, and partly to the unsatisfactory accommodation provided for them. Since the removal one or two of the Coolies have died; but the rest are doing well. They will not, however, be allowed to go back to the estates unless satisfactory accommodation has been first provided for them. Measures have been taken for more thorough inspection of estates and for more regular medical 305 attendance, and I have reason to believe that the proprietors of estates are exerting themselves to remedy the state of things complained of. On the occasion of the removal one man who was left behind by the captain of the ship which was sent to remove them died. Proceedings were taken against Mr. Denham in the matter, but he was exonerated from blame. There appears, however, to have been a failure of justice as regards the really culpable parties, which is being inquired into.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
asked, whether the 400 Coolies now in Grenada, on the estates of the persons who ill-treated the others, were to be left there; and whether Papers in connection with the subject would be produced?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, he thought he had already answered the Question. The Coolies had been removed, though not to the number of 400. The owners and managers of those estates on which they resided had been prosecuted and one had been fined; and the Coolies would not be allowed to return until proper accommodation for them had been provided.