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The Slave Trade—Mozambique

Volume 230: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1876

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any Report has been received from Captain Elton, Her Majesty's Consul for Mozambique, of seven dhows, containing two hundred and fifty slaves a-piece, having sailed from under an armed fort at Mozambique, while a Portuguese man of war lay at anchor at the entrance of the harbour, as reported in "The Times" newspaper for February 19th, 1876?

No report of the nature alluded to has been received from Captain Elton. I have looked into The Times of the19th of February and find no such statement as that contained in the Question. Nothing about a fort is mentioned in The Times, and so far from the Portuguese man-of-war taking no notice of the dhows, as the Question would imply and impute to the Portuguese Government, the statement in The Times distinctly says the Portuguese man-of-war gave chase. The fact is, no report has been received of the kind mentioned in the Question. Several captures have been made of dhows sailing from Portuguese waters. There is no doubt, also, that dhows do escape from Portuguese waters. No doubt, the Portuguese Force is inadequate to deal with the slave trade, but we have been actively co-operating with the Portuguese to suppress the slave trade, and have acted in conjunction with the Portuguese in Portuguese waters on several occasions lately. We are doing what we can to suppress the slave trade in the Mozambique Channel.