§ MR. R. PEARCE (Staffordshire, Leek)
To ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that goods supplied by Messrs. Stillwell and Son between October 1902 and August 1903, and amounting to £412 7s. 3d., to the officer then commanding E division, South African Constabulary, have not yet been paid for, in spite of many requests, calls, and correspondence with the authorities in South Africa and the Colonial Office up to the 25th April, 1906, since which date the supplying firm can get no further consideration; and whether he will take steps to have the matter settled.
(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The matter is one which cannot be conveniently discussed within the limits of 23 a Question. It has formed the subject of prolonged correspondence with the authorities in South Africa, which is now being finally considered by the legal advisers of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State must not be taken to admit that the facts are accurately stated in the Question or that the South African Constabulary are liable. In all probability the matter will prove to be one which can only be decided by a Court of Law.