§ SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is a fact that a British trader, named Stokes, has been hanged by Belgian officers on the Upper Congo; and if so, what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take in this matter?
§ * MR. H. M. STANLEY (Lambeth, N.)
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question I wish to ask whether he is aware that this Stokes, said to have been executed by the Belgians, is the well known Charlie Stokes who since 1879 has been a merchant trader in East Africa, that he was a Protestant Irishman from the north of Ireland, that he first went out to Africa as a missionary, that he afterwards distinguished himself by his mercantile enterprise, that he exercised a vast influence among the natives, and that he was the man who established M'Wanga——
§ * MR. SPEAKER
"Order, order!" The hon. Member is somewhat exceeding the limits of a Supplementary Question? [Laughter.]
* MR. CURZON
In answer to the question of the hon. Member for North Lambeth, I have to state that I was aware that Mr. Stokes was a well-known person in Africa, although I was not acquainted with all the details mentioned in the question of the hon. Member. In reply to the hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield I have to state that the fact of the execution is as alleged. Her Majesty's Government have applied for, but have not yet received, a full statement of the grounds of this action on the part of the Congo State authorities, and they are not therefore at present in a position to pronounce an opinion on the matter. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could say whether Charlie Stokes was a Protestant Home Ruler from Ireland. [Laughter.]
§ No answer was given to this question.