§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the attention of the Colonial Office has recently been called to the continued decline in the Fijian population of Fiji, and to the high death rate among that portion of the population of the Colony; and whether he can state what fresh steps it is proposed to take to prevent the Natives, whose interest was alleged as a reason for annexation, being replaced by other Polynesian and by Indian immigrant labourers.
§ (Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The hon. Member will have seen from the Fiji Report for 1905, published last month, that the decline in the Native population has been checked, that year showing for the first time a slight increase. The death rate last year, though still considerable, was lower than for some years past. I am not aware that the past decline in the native population has been in any way accelerated by the introduc- 1252 tion of other Polynesian or Indian immigrants.