§ MR. WHITBREAD (Huntingdonshire, Huntingdon)
To ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Secretary of State has observed the estimate by Mr. F. J. Jackson, Deputy Commissioner for the East African Protectorate, given on page 344 of, [Cd. 3189], that the revenue derived from game licences, Customs dues, and other expenditure by hunting parties in that Protectorate cannot be less than £20,000 annually; that, in Mr. Jackson's opinion, the only hope of keeping up this revenue lies in the establishment of an efficient game ranger's department; whether the Government are taking, or contemplate taking, steps to establish such a department on an; adequate scale; whether the areas of the reserves in the East African Protectorate, the Budonga and Toro reserves in Uganda, and the Elephant Marsh reserve in British Central Africa have been reduced during the present year; if so, whether the Secretary of State has sanctioned such reductions; whether†See Col. 990–992.1493 the regulations of the East Africa Game Ordinance, 1906, as to the size of ivory, have been relaxed as to ivory in transit from Uganda; whether his attention has been called to the remarks by Mr. Jackson, in paragraph 4, page 342, of the same Blue-book, on the trade in game hides from German East Africa via Mombasa; and whether the Government will take steps to check such trade.
§ (Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The Answer to the first part of the hon. Member's Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part of his Question I would refer him to Lord Elgin's despatch at page 386 of Cd. 3189, in which his Lordship instructed the Commissioner of the East Africa Protectorate to bring forward the question of establishing a Game Ranger's Department in connection with the Estimates for 1907–8. These estimates will be received very shortly, and the matter will then be carefully considered. With regard to the third part of the Question, the boundaries of the reserves in the East Africa Protectorate have been re-defined by the Ordinance of the 14th April, a copy of which is printed at pages 356–365 of Cd. 3189;but, so far as I can see, no important reductions have been made. The Budonga and Toro reserves in Uganda have been reduced during the present year, but, as the hon. Member will see on reference to page 354 of Cd. 3189, the former reserve is still approximately 560 square miles in extent and too large and difficult to be systematically controlled without a special staff, while the area of the latter is now about 970 square miles, the original boundaries having extended beyond all practical requirements. The area of the elephant marsh reserved in British Central Africa has been reduced since its establishment in 1897, but, so far as I am aware, no reduction has been made during the present year. The reductions referred to above have been sanctioned by the Secretary of State. With regard to the fourth part of the Question, Section 7 of the Game Ordinance of the East Africa Protectorate, No. 9 of 1906, empowers the Commissioner to make rules legalising the export in transit through the Protectorate of any ivory lawfully acquired 1494 in Uganda, even though of less weight than the minimum allowed by the Ordinance. The reasons for this exception are given at page 354 of Cd. 3189. With regard to the fifth part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to Lord Elgin's despatch which is printed at page 386 of Cd. 3189, and from which he will see that the Commissioner of the East Africa Protectorate has been requested to consider whether some arrangements cannot be made for stopping the trade in question.