HC Deb 16 January 1913 vol 46 cc2243-4

asked whether the boundaries of the lands on Ocean Island, Gilbert Group, which the Pacific Phosphates Company were, by the terms of their lease, 1900-1, permitted to occupy and mine, have now been clearly defined and marked out by the Government; whether the lands not in this area have been thoroughly inspected by mining experts; whether the Government have taken effective steps to obtain full value for all the phosphates therein; and whether adequate payment has yet been obtained from the company for the phosphates previously removed through trespassing beyond the boundaries of its allotted area; and, if so, what this payment amounted to per ton?


The boundaries of the areas within which the future mining operations of the company will be carried on have now been settled; the lands out- side those areas are required by the natives, as the Secretary of State stated in reply to my hon. Friend's question on 5th December, 1911, and there is therefore no need to appoint mining experts to inspect them, since mining will not be allowed by this or any other company; the past operations of the company outside the recently limited areas cannot be properly described as trespassing, since they were carried on with the consent of the natives concerned, and therefore no question of requiring further payment arises.


Will there in future be a representative of the Colonies on these islands to look after the natives?


Perhaps the hon. Member will put a question down.