§ MR. HAZELL
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the open sale of slaves takes place in Saffi, a coast town of Morocco, contrary to the undertaking given by the Moorish Government to the late Sir John Drummond Hay; whether such, sales have occurred more frequently in 1897 than in any previous year since this arrangement was entered into; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will use their influence with the Sultan of 1531 Morocco to the end that this undertaking may be adhered to?
Her Majesty's Minister at Tangier has telegraphed, in reply to an inquiry addressed to him, that no public sales of slaves had been reported to him from Saffi or elsewhere in Morocco. Her Majesty's consular officers have standing instructions to report any case which may come to their knowledge; and if any sale had occurred at Saffi during 1897 it would have been reported to Tangier. An attempt at a public sale of slaves at Saffi in 1896 was stopped on the representation of the British Vice-Consul, and the auctioneer was imprisoned. The Governor of Saffi issued orders on that occasion prohibiting the sale of slaves. Her Majesty's Government lose no opportunity of pressing their views upon the Moorish Government. I may add that the hon. Member, having kindly sent to me an extract from the Press upon which his inquiries are based, I have called the attention of Her Majesty's Minister at Tangier to the statements in question, and have instructed him to inquire and report thereon.