ME. KEIRHAKDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he has received a petition from Lagos, West Africa, praying for the intervention of the Government in regard to a Bill passed by the Legislative Council of Lagos in August last whereby 6,000 persons will be dispossessed of their property; whether the site which the Bill proposes to clear was selected in 312 1865 by the late Sir John Hawley Glover, the then Governor, for occupation by the men of the Hausa tribe on their return from a military expedition, and was cleared by them, and houses erected thereon at their own expense and have since been maintained by them; and whether, under the circumstances set forth in the petition, the Colonial Office will take immediate steps to protect the petitioners and others interested, who will, if the Bill is permitted to come into operation, in the language of the petition, be cast out in their old age, homeless and helpless.
(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The petition to which the hon. Member refers has been delayed in its course to the Colonial Office, no doubt through the absence from Lagos of Sir W. Egerton, who has been on tour in the interior. It has now been received, and will be carefully considered by the Secretary of State. The healthy and ordered expansion of the town of Lagos, the need of improved sanitation, and of regular barrack accommodation for the forces, are all very necessary and desirable public objects. The Secretary of State has no reason to suppose that every precaution is not being taken to inflict no real material hardship or injustice upon poor people inconvenienced by such improvements, but he will call the attention of the Governor specially to the subject.