§ MR. THOMAS BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Imperial East Africa Company have stated, in reply to a letter addressed to them by the Rev. C. T. Wakefield, that it is illegal for any private individual within the territories over which the Company exercises sovereignty to harbour or retain runaway slaves; that missions are only in these territories on condition that they comply with this obligation; that it is legal for the police to take such action to uphold and execute the law, and in order to prevent, such breaches of the peace as Mr. Ormerod's action was calculated to bring about: and that the Company justifies this view of its sovereign duties upon the instructions sent by the Marquess of Salisbury on 1st February, 1889, to Her Majesty's Consul at Zanzibar: and whether the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs recognises this as the proper meaning of these instructions of his predecessor?
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. GREY,) Northumberland, Berwick
The Correspondence in question has been submitted to the Secretary of State, Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to assume responsibility for the precise language employed by the Imperial British East Africa Company; but they consider that the position of Missionary Societies in regard to runaway slaves in the territories administered by the Company is correctly laid down in the Despatch of February 1, 1889, referred to. I may add that the Despatch in question, and the Circular issued by Sir C. Euan Smith, will be found in Blue Book Africa No. 1, 1889, and that it will be seen on reference to them that the decision on this subject was taken to prevent the security of the missionaries being imperilled.